In a significant gathering at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, which boasts a capacity of 56,000, the leader of South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – the nation’s third-largest political entity – Julius Malema, delivered a powerful manifesto launch on Saturday, February 10. In his address, Malema fervently reiterated the party’s alliance with global causes, expressing unwavering support for Palestine and adopting a stance in favor of Russia amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions, suggesting that NATO is masquerading through its actions in Ukraine.
“We are grateful to the people of South Africa for their unwavering support towards the Palestinian cause against the oppressive regime of apartheid Israel. Our bond with Russia is strong, and we affirm that Palestine and its people have a sanctuary in South Africa. We stand unyielding, undeterred by the influence of Jewish power,” declared Malema.
International Solidarity and Accusations
Malema did not hold back in his criticism of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, branding him a “warlord” responsible for the large-scale loss of life in Gaza. The ongoing military operations have resulted in over 27,000 Palestinian fatalities and left more than 66,000 injured.
“The struggle of the Palestinian people is not a declaration of war against the Jewish community. They seek self-determination without the shadow of violence that currently looms over them, directly attributable to Netanyahu, whom we denounce as a warlord and an international criminal deserving of prosecution,” Malema emphasized.
Election Priorities and Promises
As South Africa anticipates the announcement of the general election date, the EFF has laid out its key priorities, focusing on land redistribution and resolving the nation’s electricity crisis. The party’s rallying cry, “Jobs and land now! Stop load-shedding,” resonates particularly with the youth, a demographic increasingly disillusioned with the status quo and drawn to the EFF’s radical proposals, including land expropriation without compensation and the nationalization of key industries.
Julius Malema, a former ANC youth leader turned formidable critic of the ruling party and President Cyril Ramaphosa, has positioned the EFF as a vocal opponent of government policies. Under his leadership, the party secured 10% of the national vote in the 2019 elections, cementing its role as a significant opposition force.
In his manifesto, Malema outlined a vision to combat the crippling power blackouts adversely affecting South Africa’s economy, promising job creation through the development of social housing and infrastructure projects. He also pledged a crackdown on corruption, promising to incarcerate those found guilty and to bolster the police force to address the country’s rampant crime rates.
This gathering in Durban highlighted the EFF’s commitment to both national and international issues, setting the stage for what promises to be a vigorously contested election, with the party seeking to expand its influence and bring about transformative change in South Africa.