To use Al Pacino’s evocative expression from the movie Scent of a Woman – “Ooh Waah!”
And that was about all I could say when Julius Malema unveiled his new “Economic Freedom Fighters” Party and its manifesto on July 11th 2013. I imagine many were similarly bedazzled.
His insights were breathtaking, with “seven non negotiable pillars” to challenge conventional wisdom and his cocky self confidence and towering intellect on show. His economic logic was discernible to only the select and esoteric few, but perhaps he should be given the benefit of the doubt; after all, who said that Adam Smith was right anyway? As a clear leader among men, he came across as just and magnanimous.
For those still unfamiliar, the seven pillars are
• Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution.
• Nationalisation of Mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation.
• Building State and government capacity, which will lead to abolishment of Tenders.
• Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
• Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs including Introduction of minimum wages in order to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor.
• Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice in the entire continent.
• Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimization
Utopia – picture this suite of social benefits! I see these three broad areas where society surely must score
His first two points bring social justice to all! Can you imagine how the expropriation of land without nationalizing much of corporate South Africa will benefit the masses? Everyone will have access to land and – through the state – have both ownership in and be employed by it.
So much for unemployment, it will disappear by fiat.
Voila! How come no one thought of that until now?
Enhancing State Capacity
On to the next two points – building state capacity and providing “free quality education, healthcare and housing” is a dead ringer and it is astonishing that no one ever thought of these either. Sometimes it takes a genius to uncover the simplest of things!
Development, Prosperity and Vision
Finally, “massive protected industrial development, millions of sustainable jobs, minimum wages, continent wide justice and freedom from corruption” are all really good things that I am sure we can look forward to under a Malema regime; wholesome values.
Once again, one is left close to speechless.
Clearly our philosopher king has been studying at the feet of Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il and the Castros. I do like people who learn fast.
We can also take encouragement from his clear head and articulate arguments as exemplified in these words at the launch – “Because Economic Freedom Fighters is led by organic and democratic revolutionary foot soldiers, Volunteers and Organisers, we took a decision that a decision to found a political Movement that will contest elections cannot and should not be taken by few individuals in a haphazard way.”
Clearly his light has been under a bushel and we should be thankful that he now bestrides the political stage afresh. “Ooh Waah!”