"We Are The Left"
Julius Malema was jovial and in his best element, as usual, shooting from the hip at the EFF press conference yesterday. He has every right to be happy; he has grown an organization from zero to two million voters in two years. That's phenomenal by any standards if your goal of ending white privilege, breaking the back of white supremacy and arrogance, the return of the land, and restore the people's dignity, is solely dependent on taking political power through the ballot.
Journalists were treading carefully, not wanting to be called Ntshantsharag or bloody agents. One journalist did slip though, dictating to Malema to answer the burning coalition question with either a "Yes or No".
Malema wasn't going to let it slide, "we are not a group of young boys that you can tell what to say, we are matured politicians. Besides, I have already answered that question".
Malema knows the criticism that comes with a coalition with the DA, so he needed to be extra careful. They had already announced on "No coalition" with their most hated enemy, the ANC. They remained ambiguous about the DA until now.
So he said, "The DA are only interested in maintaining white privilege. We will abstain if we must. There are three options before us, a rerun of the elections, coalition or abstinence".
He added, "We are a party on the left and anyone who wants to talk to us must bring the land and show us how the coalition will benefit the African child”.
Then there was a deafening silence, which is the case everytime Malema says something progressively radical. There's always an echo and an eerie feeling. This happens because you wonder if this is an appropriation of Black radical politics by a liberal or what.
When Malema spoke about the land and white privilege, a part of me wanted to jump and shout "Izwe Lethu". Another part of me was conflicted and asking, "Is this guy for real or simply a professional politician who plays to the gallery?”
I am also left wondering if the two words, politician and revolutionary are interchangeable. Are they the same thing, are they even reconcilable. Can you be both a revolutionary and a politician?
Some of my learned friends who are inspired by Lenin more than King Hintsa and Bhambata, seem to think that there is a tactical bases for these two words to be reconciled. That in fact, one can be both.
The EFF has claimed the space in the left of the ANC, a space once comfortably occupied by SACP. Blade Nzimande has since been kicked to the curb and reduced to a capitalist communist who talks left and walk right.
I will not be surprised if the ANC in its fight to stay in power, changes tune and claim to be a left political party. The left space is open for appropriation by anyone and everyone in the absence of a strong Black Power, Pan Africanist liberation movement espousing Black radical politics of land and an end to white supremacy. Even the DA can resort to such rhetoric in the current political climate.
Socialist movements inspired by Sobukwe and Biko have not been able to decisively claim the space on the left of the ANC.
It takes the funeral of a PAC or AZAPO cde or Sobukwe and Biko commemoration to remember that it is not yet Uhuru; that Azania is still occupied by settler colonialists and the Land has not been returned to its people.
If after these local elections we are still not certain, that only a united socialist bloc of Pan Africanists and BC adherents, ander the umbrella of the Azanian Front, will free our people, we will never be certain, and should rather resign ourselves to a state of social death for the next hundred years.