The Economic Freedom Fighters totally rejects the decision of Mr. Jacob Zuma and the Security Cluster of deploying the military into townships as a means of quelling the xenophobic and criminal activities that have defined some South African cities and townships. In Alexandra, one person was killed in what was evidently a criminal act, yet the State decides to over-react with deployment of the military, meaning that soldiers, who are supposed to safeguard the country against external threats are taken into the township to fight crime.
The EFF rejects this military deployment because we believe it is an over-reaction by the ANC Politicians, who are failing to deal with the socio-economic and criminal conduct through the necessary means and choose to throw tantrums, intimidate the media, and act as if there is a huge crisis. It is clear that the ANC government is losing control over society and now resorting to extreme measures in the same manner done by the apartheid regime. The crisis that confront society is primarily a political crisis born of politicians who have failed to provide jobs for the people of South Africa, and who have failed to educate the nation on coexistence of all Africans, including socio-economic migrants.
The political crisis is exacerbated by the fact that the essence of Mr. Zuma’s interventions and reaction to the current violence is that Africans from other parts of Africa should go back to their countries. Mr. Zuma always seek easy and cheap solutions to otherwise complex problems, and always resorts to violence because he believes that State sponsored violence will bring stability. Mr. Zuma has not learnt the simple reality and fact that State sponsored violence will never bring stability in our communities.
When mineworkers protested in Marikana in 2012, Mr. Zuma and the ANC Government sent police to kill them. Even after the killing of 34 mineworkers, the challenges that defined Marikana continued and Mr. Zuma deployed the military and the result of the military deployment to Marikana was additional killings of civilians and other mineworkers by the police and soldiers. With the wounds of Marikana still fresh, Mr. Zuma still deploys the military without a clear purpose of what should be achieved.
South Africa and the whole of Africa should now realise that South Africa under Zuma is as good as leaderless. We have a Securocract, who calls himself a President and believes that our problems will be resolved through State sponsored violence. Soldiers and armies all over the world are trained to kill, and we will not be shocked when instead of keeping peace in the townships, there are casualties of State sponsored violence.
The EFF is the only political party, which from the beginning has had a clear and progressive position on the question of immigrants. The Founding Manifesto of the EFF, adopted by the Founding Conference, the National Assembly on what is to be done in July 2014, says:
– The EFF will take up the struggles of all immigrants (most of whom are economic migrants and asylum seekers) in South Africa, whether they are in the country legally or illegally. The manner in which immigrants from Africa are treated by the police, government and our communities is less than desirable. Many of these immigrants are denied medical care, are discriminated against even by the police, are refused basic human services, and are even refused burial rights in our cemeteries.
– How sub-human can we ever be when we even deny our African brothers and sisters burial rights in South Africa, because transporting their loved ones back to their countries is too expensive? We need to take a firm stance on the protection of the rights of immigrants. Certain basic rights cannot be denied to any human being who is in South Africa, whether they are in possession of certain documents or not.
– Basic rights that should be guaranteed include access to health, access to education for children, protection from super-exploitation by employers, and access to burial rights in South Africa. The processes of applying for naturalisation should also not be complicated because, all over the world, it is generally accepted that people will migrate and can choose to stay in the country in which they are residing for economic, social, and political reasons. It cannot be correct that South Africa criminalises those who seek naturalisation.
The EFF will continue with massive public education and awareness campaigns against all forms of xenophobia, whether committed by the State or by community members. Concerning the irrational decision to deploy the army, the EFF will write to the President and advise him and cabinet to reconsider the deployment of soldiers, and will also write to the Speaker to convene an urgent sitting of Parliament to discuss and deliberate on the best solutions to the current crisis, instead of deployment of the army into civilian spaces.
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS: COMMANDER IN CHIEF JULIUS MALEMA