The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) scored yet another important milestone against all of their critics and oppositions during the all-important State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered by state President Cyril Ramaphosa last week.
The youthful party led by the outspoken, but highly criticised Julius Malema came under heavy attack from all political parties and individuals including the ruling ANC who slammed the EFF for the “embarrassing and shameful” disruptions which lasted for more than an hour when they demanded the removal of former apartheid South Africa ‘s president ,FW De Klerk and the current enterprises minister , Pravin Gordhan from the National Assembly chambers .
The EFF’s actions followed De Klerk’s recent television interview in which he claimed that apartheid was not a crime against humanity. They also demanded that President Ramaphosa recall Gordhan as minister of enterprises for having misled the president about load shedding in December and the demise of state owned entities in the country.
EFF MPs were angry that the National Assembly Speaker, Thandi Modise and NCOP chairperson, Amos Mason had invited De Klerk despite the statement he had made during the interview two weeks ago in which he said apartheid was not a crime against humanity. This despite the millions South Africans particularly blacks having died at the hands of apartheid forces. He said thousands of blacks died during the black-on-black violence as compared to victims of apartheid.
Political parties demanded that strong action be taken against the EFF with the ANC’s chief whip calling for the amendment of the parliamentary rules and members of unruly parties be summoned to the powers and privileges committee. However, it was ironic that many of those who had criticised the EFF action in Parliament, including the ANC suddenly joined the EFF in lambasting De Klerk and his foundation. They all praised Malema’s stand calling for De Klerk to be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize Award and be forced to apologise to the nation. What was not really surprising was the fact that many so called mainstream media houses and their publications chose to remain silent about the incident. White managed civic organisations, so called opinion makers and columnists alike who are usually loudly outspoken against other groups or organisations across the racial lines remained quiet against De Klerk and his foundation.
Even when De Klerk finally got the courage to “apologise” for his utterances, “those in his corner”
felt bad that their hero had to ask for forgiveness from the apartheid victims. The EFF rejected De Klerk’s apology and argued that it came from a man who actually did not mean it and that it was not sincere. They said the De Klerk Foundation had been used as a proxy to rationalise racism.