South Africa: Malema's Opening Address - a Socialist Gospel According to the Men in Red

analysis

The Economic Freedom Fighters' second congress saw the six-year-old party for the first time explicitly outlining its vision of socialism of an economic freedom type - a cure for all ills plaguing South Africa.

Delegates clad in red T-shirts designed for the occasion, rose up while singing the name of the man they call their commander-in-chief: "Julius Malema". They moved to the stage where their leaders were sitting and knelt before them, hands raised, singing in praise. The Economic Freedom Fighters' congress, dubbed the National People's Assembly, feels like a mixture of politics and cult, where Malema's word is the gospel of ultimate truth.

Perhaps the singing fighters were still infused with the spirit of Christian musician Dr Tumi's rendition of You Are Here, which had them rocking with their arms raised to the heavens before Malema's speech. Ironically, moments before, Malema denounced personality cults.

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On Saturday, 14 December, the six-year-old EFF's second congress officially kicked off in the Nasrec Expo Centre, the exact spot where the ANC had its big elective gathering two years ago. In 2014, the EFF's first conference took place at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, following the ANC's congress of 2012....

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