Three years ago, on this day, 1 100 delegates gathered at the Uncle Tom’s Hall in Soweto to form the Economic Freedom Fighters.
Three years later, this number has multiplied by hundreds of thousands who have joined the ranks of what is the fastest growing Socialist and Pan-African movement in the history of Democratic South Africa.
Moreover, the support base of the EFF was tested only within 9 months of its formation when over a million people voted for us in the national elections of 2014.
These activists came together in what was called the National People’s Assembly on What Is To Be Done. The gathering posed three options to this historic question: one, should we become an NGO, two should we transform the liberation movement from within, or three, should we form ourselves into a political party with the aim to contest state power. The gathering unequivocally took the third option with a mission to attain economic freedom in our lifetime. The gathering at Uncle Tom’s Hall in Soweto was constituted by fearless activists, peasants, workers, students, the unemployed, and the poor who came from all the 9 provinces of South Africa.
The decision to contest political power is informed by the reality that the liberation movement abandoned the liberation mission for total decolonisation. The liberation movement has adopted the ways of the former oppressors in maintaining black people in a position of cheap and easily disposable labor, and as human waste.
They exploit black workers and have brutally massacred them in Marikana in defence of white monopoly capital and the greedy interests of the black comprador. The liberation movement has also grown corrupt, criminal, nepotistic and intellectually bankrupt; it has no ideas to change the lives of the oppressed black majority.
The EFF is therefore the only political party that remains true to the aspirations of the oppressed black majority who still live on their knees, begging for crumbs from white dominated tables of privilege.
It is the only political parity that continues to speak about the struggle for decolonization and the restoration of land to the black majority. It is the only political party that campaigns for the nationalization of banks, mines and commanding heights of the economy. It is the only genuine voice for the poor, in particular black people.
The EFF’s mission for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime is fully expressed in its founding manifesto adopted at the National People’s Assembly on What Is To Be Done. In this document the EFF stipulates that economic freedom shall be attained through seven non-negotiable pillars:
a. Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in use.
b. Nationalisation of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation.
c. Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders.
d. Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
e. Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including the introduction of minimum wages in order to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor, close the apartheid wage gap and promote rapid career paths for Africans in the workplace.
f. Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice in the entire continent.
g. Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
We are a Marxist -Leninist- Fanonian Socialist Movement with an Progressive Internationalist outlook. The National People’s Assembly on What Is To Be Done also drew inspiration from the 26 July Movement that inaugurated the Cuban Revolution, led by Fidel Castro. That is why the birthdate of the EFF is 26 July, demonstrating a commitment to internationalism.
Three years later, we celebrate the over 1 million of our people who voted for us to attain 31 seats in Parliament and 30 across all the 9 Provincial Legislatures. We therefore call on all those who voted for the EFF in 2014 to join in the campaign for Local Government Elections with the aim to increase the support base of the EFF towards victory in all municipalities.
We celebrate the more than 50 000 people that marched for 27 kilometres to raise the banner of Economic Freedom in the historic Economic Freedom March of October 2015. We celebrate the poor, unemployed, workers, students, youth and elderly who filled up Orlando Stadium in the historic launch of the EFF Local Government Manifesto in April of 2015.
Three years later, we celebrate the fact that we are contesting all wards from Cape Town To Musina, Upington to Ethekwini. We celebrate the branches of the EFF that have kept this movement married to our people’s daily struggles for land occupation, better wages, against the rise in students fees and accommodation.
Three years later, we celebrate the student wing of the EFF, the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command launched 23 months into the formation of the EFF on June 16 of 2015. We celebrate their part in the Statues Must Fall and the Fees Must Fall Movements; these movements are unthinkable without the birth and popularity of the Economic Emancipation Movement in the form of the EFF.
In honour of the this movement, in full recognition of its historic importance we shall mobilise every peasant, worker, unemployed and poor person to vote for the EFF on 3 August 2016 in the local government elections. We shall further celebrate this Anniversary in the Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane in 31 July 2016 in our Tshela Thupa Rally. The Tshela Thupa Rally is the Closing festival of the poor, who come together each election year to consolidate the election campaign of the EFF for victory in attaining state power.
We invite all people of South Africa to come and celebrate their organisation and their revolution, because the EFF is the Last Hope for Jobs and Service Delivery.
Rise EFF, Rise! Long Live the EFF, Long Live!!