South Africa: EFF Manifesto - Malema Takes a Calculated Gamble With Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric

Julius Malema (file photo).

Most of the election promises made by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema were taken straight from the wish lists of his many disaffected supporters, but he ended his speech on an unusually counter-populist note. On foreign policy, his party's manifesto goes against the grain.

Like a black Father Christmas with a red beret, EFF leader Julius Malema delivered a 166-page election manifesto full of promises -- or commitments, in the unlikely event that the EFF is in power after the 2019 general elections in a few months' time -- appealing to the most disaffected in the community.

His talk of much higher wages, a doubling of social grants, free education, and a stance against ANC corruption are people-pleasing vote-scorers. He even had something in his bag for immigrants: A South Africa free of xenophobia.

The crowd on Saturday filled the stands and part of the pitch of the cosy Giant Stadium in Soshanguve, about 25 minutes' drive north of Pretoria. The red sea of T-shirts was mesmerised, thrilled and highly disciplined, and roared approvingly in all the right places throughout the speech -- in contrast to the polite applause on the stands of the giant Moses Mabhida Stadium in...

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