EFF whacks sex offenders

03 November 2014 - 12:00
By Jan-Jan Joubert
EFF leader Julius Malema. File photo.
Image: ALEXANDER JOE / AFP EFF leader Julius Malema. File photo.

Boot camps for sexual and juvenile offenders, the abolition of bail and turning all lawyers into state employees are among the proposals in the Economic Freedom Fighters' policy documents.

The documents will be up for discussion in the run-up to the party’s first elective conference in December.

The conference will be held in Gauteng under the theme “People’s power for economic freedom” and will aim to provide an organisational, democratic and ideological basis for the EFF, which has taken parliament by storm since the general election in May.

The discussion documents  provide a frank assessment of the party’s organisational situation and its proposed policies, of which those on justice are perhaps the least finalised.

The EFF’s justice policy, which is really listed as a series of options rather than distinct proposals, is likely to be controversial. Abolition of bail, harsh boot camps for sexual and juvenile offenders and changing Roman Dutch Law to what is called “radical socialist Fanonian law” in a supposed interpretation of the views of Frantz Fanon are the mainstays of the fledgling policy.

The education policy insists on building universities and providing “free and compulsory quality education up to attainment of a bachelor’s degree” - without costing it.

The party’s social development policy is quite nuanced, focusing on job creation instead of social grants.

On the elections, the document states that “without organisational capacity and strength to match the existing political formations and without resources and proven historical record in governance and political leadership, the EFF partook in the 2014 general elections and recorded what was largely interpreted as success for a new political party. The EFF’s achievement is, however, far below what majority of the members and leaders of the EFF anticipated, but largely reflected the amount of organisational and political work done in various regions and provinces”.

The election provided lessons: “Without failure, where work was done, adequate outcomes and results were recorded. Joining into protests the EFF did not start does not automatically translate into electoral support. Winning voters does not naturally come on the basis that there were fed berets at the forefront of a protest action. What wins the electorate are properly constituted structures, united and cogent campaigns, not joining into protests we did not start,” the document states.

The EFF believes it is contesting the same space as the ANC, which it believes to be a disintegrating and poorly conceptualised organisation crippled by leadership battles, with a support base therefore there for the taking.

It sees its parliamentary performance as central to its future political success.

“Despite the EFF’s relative numerical capacity in the national parliament, we are currently on a correct path and approach to perform of legislative and oversight functions. Our broad aim in parliament is to illustrate that we are indeed a government in waiting and can provide cogent alternatives in the process of holding the executive accountable and passing legislation which will benefit majority of our people. The EFF’s participation in parliament is indeed a turning point in the history of politics in South Africa,” it states.

It is, however, critical of its own performance in provincial legislatures, believing there is much scope for growth especially because the ANC and the DA squabble more about implementation than policy or ideology.

On its own organisational character, the EFF will debate whether to form its own trade union, women and youth formations.

Regarding land, the EFF views are largely those of expropriation without compensation advocated regularly by its MP Andile Mngxitama, who plans to introduce a bill to that effect in parliament next year. Should the bill be rejected, the EFF will call for a referendum on the issue. The EFF is also focused on urban agriculture, including school and community vegetable gardens.

The EFF opposes what it sees as the establishment of state propaganda by the ANC, and sets out a plan to counter it using traditional and social media.

Its proposed health policies focus on nutrition, family planning, immunisation, education and medicine provisioning.