African National Congress (ANC) anti-apartheid activist and former South African first lady, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela says she’s now totally convinced that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema won’t be returning to his first political home – the ANC.
Addressing the people of Orange Farm in the Vaal on Sunday during the graduation celebration of EFF national spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Mama Winnie who was a potent symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle with her then-husband, the iconic Nelson Mandela, admitted that she had been assuring her colleagues that Malema will find his way back to the ruling party but after seeing how the EFF leader has been building his party, she became convinced that he’s not returning.
Malema who was ANC Youth League president was expelled from the party in 2012 by the party’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) after a long controversy over his alleged threat to turn the youth wing against the party.
The NDC justified its decision of expelling Malema by underscoring the cumulative effect of his past and present offences as a member of the party, coupled with his own evidence of lack of remorse and disrespect for the ANC constitution and its structures.
He was expelled was along with league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu and secretary general Sindiso and the following year, in the wake of the Marikana killings, he formed a new party called the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – a party he believes would give South Africans the sustainable solution to the many developmental problems they seek solutions to.
Today, the EFF is the third-largest political party in both houses of the South African parliament. Not only is the party a bone to crack by the ruling party, Malema has remained a threat to the Zuma-led government and the ANC administration in sum.
After its emergence on the political landscape four years ago, the EFF gradually became the third-largest political party, focusing its attention in Parliament and provincial legislatures and standing out with its fiery rhetoric and dramatic walk-out antics.
The party draws inspiration from the broad Marxist–Leninist theory and the Fanonian schools of thought in their analyses of the state, imperialism, culture and class contradictions in every society.
There are speculations that the EFF leader Julius Malema is using the EFF to maintain his political relevance whilst waiting for Zuma’s departure from the ANC. This could follow the EFF’s continuous attack on Jacob Zuma.
Malema, who often said his “blood is green, black and gold” referring to the colours of the ANC, is accused of being distraught about the party disciplinary committee’s decision and blamed Zuma personally for his expulsion.
Jacob Zuma had at a time disclosed that he’s not ruling out the possibility of the Fighters returning to the ruling party.
Without committing himself, Zuma said the ruling party will not hesitate to open its doors to the fighters whenever they come back to their senses. He said during an exclusive interview with the ANN7 that the EFF was created because its leader, in particular, was not happy with the ruling party and with the fact that they expelled him.
The ANC has never discussed whether the EFF can come back to the party or not, Zuma established. However, he admitted that their return is not something he would want to predict but that the ANC would never say no to anyone.
Speaking during the colourful occasion, Malema thanked Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for honouring the invitation. He said it has been Ndlozi’s dream for the former First Lady to attend his graduation ceremony, adding that her presence will forever be cherished.
In addition, the EFF leader said he has no plans to invite Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to join the EFF as it would be an insult to do so. According to Malema, “she fought for the ANC and will die in the ANC.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is EFF’s National Spokesperson and a PhD graduate from Political Sociology at the University of Witwatersrand. Like his political leader, Ndlozi was a member of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and the South African Students Congress. He was also a member of the Young Communist League (YCL).