Address by Mr BH Holomisa, MP and UDM President On the occasion of the Economic Freedom Fighters’
5th anniversary at Mdantsane Stadium
• Programme Director;
• The Commander in Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters Mr Julius Malema;
• The Deputy Commander in Chief Mr Floyd Shivambu;
• The EFF Chairperson, Advocate Dali Mpofu
• The entire National Command Leadership of the EFF;
• The UDM chairperson in the Eastern Cape and member of the provincial legislature, Mr Tando Mpulu;
• EFF members and the ground forces;
• People of Mdantsane and the Eastern Cape
1. Happy birthday
Let me start by saying: “Congratulations, Economic Freedom Fighters on your fifth birthday!”
When the powers that be massacred the workers at Marikana in the North West, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) was one of the first political parties to visit this bereaved community. I there met the current leadership of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who still were with the African National Congress’ (ANC) Youth League. The rest of the events around this day are well documented.
Fast forward to when the ANC booted out the executive of the Youth League and you decided to form a political party called the EFF.
It is like yesterday when you called upon me to give a message of support on the formation of your party at Marikana.
Since your arrival on the South African political scene things have dramatically changed. You certainly have made some waves and ruffled the establishment’s feathers.
The EFF and the UDM worked together on several occasions where the convergence of ideas led to us collectively to achieve several victories in pursuit of South Africa becoming a winning nation; those include:
• An unwavering fight against corruption, both in the public and private sectors;
• The removal of the former chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission after the Constitutional Court confirmed that she was conflicted;
• The release of the State Capture Report which today is the subject of a judicial inquiry.
• Going to the Constitutional Court where the judgement was made that the speaker of the national assembly had the power to decide that members may cast a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence in the former president of the country.
• The call for the former president of the Republic to account and pay back the money stolen from the public. Our continued pressure bore fruit when he resigned.
• There were several other high and constitutional court cases we won together, however, Zuma still owes us the money for the legal fees!
Our team of legal eagles, under the leadership of your chairperson, senior counsel Dali Mpofu, has made us proud.
For those who don’t know, I worked with Dali when he was part the campaign of release Mandela and other political prisoners. I also worked with him when we reburied King Sabata Dalindyebo. With his experience and knowledge of the South African politics, you were not wrong to bring him on board.
The UDM and the EFF, together, organised several marches that culminated in the mother of all marches when thousands of South Africans walked to the Union Buildings to rid this country of a destructive, self-interested man who could not be trusted with this country’s future.
2. Coalitions post 2016
You heeded the call for us to start talking about coalition governments post the 2016 watershed municipal elections.
Together with the EFF, the United Front and the Congress of the People, we agreed on the basic conditions for collaboration at our meeting at the Protea Hotel in Midrand. This collaboration effectively meant that the political landscapes in the big metros were going to drastically change.
Hopefully this start in local government leads to bigger things since that exercise served as a game changer in the political landscape of this country.
The voters of South Africa should not forget that we saved this country from the corrupt leaders of that time. They should give us the benefit of the doubt, as they cannot expect the ANC to correct itself.
3. The EFF’s agitation re the land question
The EFF’s motion for expropriation of land without of compensation in the national assembly, which the UDM supported, has given rise to the current national consultations with the people.
This is in line with the UDM’s call for an economic indaba, where the land issue would feature centre stage as one cannot achieve economic emancipation without security of tenure.
The UDM agrees that there is a need to review the relevant constitutional provisions to ensure a fair distribution of land. It cannot be that the people who lived in the villages and townships of the former Ciskei and Transkei, and other homelands, find themselves still living in areas which were dubbed reserve areas for black blacks, whilst there are acres and acres of land now lay fallow and unused.
As we follow the process on land we must come up with the laws, regulations and timeframes on how we are going to implement them. And, these must be followed to the letter. You will agree that this entire process is long overdue.
There are however much to discuss, and I propose that those parties who voted in favour of the motion to convene a meeting so that we may compare notes and make sure that we sing from the same hymn book.
We need to pay special attention on the “how” part of the process.
The people’s wishes must always be at the heart of what we do, and we must ensure that the process is not sabotaged by those who want to bulldoze us because of a superiority of numbers.
We must always ensure that rationality, supreme logic and the voice of the people are not only heard but that it dictates our course of action.
Once more, Happy Birthday EFF and Thank you