Godrich Gardee: EFF is not an ANC clone, but Cope was
EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee believes the EFF has survived and managed to grow for six years because it was "not a clone" of the ANC, as was the case with Cope.
Gardee said this as the party turned six at the weekend.
According to him, the EFF's distinct ideological leaning is at the centre of its strength, thus it will continue to grow.
He said naysayers who had started writing the EFF's obituary based on the Cope script did not understand the red berets.
"We are an organisation that has a distinct ideological grounding, and is not a clone of other parties. We are not Cope, which was a clone of the ANC," said Gardee.
"We are very original and not a clone of anything. We are toe-to-toe with the oldest established political parties that are dominant in the political landscape.
"Our ideological grounding resonates with our members, supporters and the whole country because we are distinct from the rest who are either ANC clones or DA clones."
Gardee told TimeLIVE the EFF would not have made it this far had it not been for its leader, Julius Malema.
He said Malema's experience and leadership style was the glue that had kept the EFF together for six years.
"Our commander-in-chief and president Julius Malema is a seasoned political leader who has led Cosas as president and led the ANC Youth League as president for two terms. He learnt a lot about organisational management and leadership and building a grassroots organisation with a national footprint like the EFF.
"He found Cosas dead, he revived it. He found the ANCYL dead, he revived it. We all know that when he was in charge of both those structures, they were vibrant. When he left they are now a shadow of themselves," said Gardee.
"The EFF has survived because of his strength, capacity, experience and the skill with a collective that is willing to learn, a collective willing to be led and committed to the course."
Listen to the latest episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly
SHOWDOWN: The public protector vs the president