The call by the EFF leadership to use violence on other members who hold a different political view, is no different from the tactics used by the apartheid government against blacks. The SNI condemns the encouragement and use of EFF members and thugs as death squad forces in order to suppress democracy within the movement. The contradictions inside the EFF can’t be dealt with by an iron rod or worse by knives and guns. Leadership has a responsibility to explain itself to the membership. The use of the politics of intimidation and fear renders EFF nothing but a reactionary organisation of thugs.
The hooliganism celebrated by EFF leaders is fuelling Black on Black violence within EFF nationally. It has resulted in family members of fighters being attacked in the name of EFF. These attacks are being celebrated on social media and chat rooms. EFF is a young vibrant growing movement that is the home of many political strands. In the years to come we will see the synthesis of EFFs political ideology. The contradictions that are felt within the organisation at present is healthy and necessary in that clarifying these contradictions help to shake away possible destructive political habits inherited from other political movements. EFF is a new political movement, with new politics and it requires a fresh take on dealing with contradictions within its structures and ranks.
By far the lowest moment in the life of EFF since it came into existence started on 12 February 2015 when a group of misguided fighters and thugs (with no EFF branding) were called in by Western Cape Provincial Chair, Commissar Bernard Joseph, to deal with Fighter Andile Mngxitama following instructions from national leadership to “strip him of EFF regalia” since he is supposedly “defining himself outside the EFF”. Subsequently and on 15 February 2015 the mother of Fighter Lufuno Gogoro was a victim of this leadership endorsed thuggery. It is reported that when a big gang of members about 70 or so raided Gogoro’s place of residence yesterday he was not at home, but his mother was. They intimidated and threatened his mother at gunpoint and took money from the house without her permission. It is further reported that this group acted like hooligans. They also threatened to burn the house. Africa is replete with stories of vigilantism and hooliganism disguised in political clothing and this has entrenched itself in this continents body politic, hence the horror of the Gogoro incident.
Fighter Mngxitama cautioned that “those who approve of assaults on their political opponents should realise: once a culture of violence is established we all fair game.” He said that “the assault on me was 100% organised by the national leadership of EFF. Its as wrong as the assault that occurred at the #Sona. Spot the difference? I disapprove of the culture of violence to settle political differences. What happened at the #Sona (when EFF MP’s were assaulted by the Parliamentary Security Services) is as wrong as the attack on me. If we don’t insist on a new culture of politics then we shouldn’t be surprised when we wake up into serfdom.”
These brazen acts of thoughtless thuggery needs to be unconditionally condemned by leadership. So far members or even outsiders have not been effectively discouraged by EFF leadership from conducting themselves as they have done in the two cases cited here. In fact leadership has gone as far as taking to social and mainstream media congratulating members for removing EFF regalia from Fighter Mngxitama and called on members to do the same to other “ill-disciplined” members. It must be stated that the act of removing regalia from certain “ill-disciplined” members is itself an act of violence since it involves the use of force on the member who is being dispossessed of the regalia! This was evidently so on national television in the case of Fighter Mngxitama. Furthermore, the call by EFF leadership for such an act to be applied on any member of the EFF, is a call for violence and should be strongly condemned by all. Currently the EFF leadership’s response, being a condemnation by CiC Julius Malema of the assault on Fighter Mngxitama, amounts to nothing more than lip service and a deafening silence that functions only to legitimate this dastardly act. To be revolutionary is not to engage in such acts as going around attacking old women like some politically unsound militia. Thomas Sankara once famously and instructively intimated: “a soldier without political education is a potential criminal”. What could be clearly gleaned from the incident that occurred in Gogoro’s house when his mother was threatened at gunpoint and his house was looted by EFF members is that those members lacked political education and hence the crude thuggery displayed by them.
When fighters try to hold EFF leadership accountable, there is no need for leadership to call for the stripping of a member of her/his regalia! This is a militaristic approach equivalent to the cashiering of a soldier as a punishment arising for being convicted of a very serious offence. In the cases at hand the rank and file are instructed to mete out barbaric punishments on other members and worse still without those affected members ever being subjected to any disciplinary processes whatsoever. The superior politics and ideological perspective of EFF compels it to do better and in this regard to take a revolutionary approach to resolving problems. EFF members are evidently blindly agreeing to the call of leadership to ‘remove the regalia’ of certain members! This call is irresponsible on the part of leadership and constitutes an act of violence on those members being stripped of their regalia. Also it amounts to the promotion of black on black violence since such removal of regalia involves the application of force on the bodies and beings of the affected members. Leadership’s call here is contrary to the spirit of the revolutionary politics of EFF and SNI respectfully calls on EFF leadership to do the right thing! To this end we urge EFF leadership to immediately withdraw it’s call to it’s members!
We Are The One’s We Have Been Waiting For!
ISSUED BY THE SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO
16 February 2015
ISSUED BY THE SEPTEMBER NATIONAL IMBIZO
16 February 2015