EFF CONDEMNS DEPLOYMENT OF SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE AND CALLS FOR POLITICAL INTERVENTION IN WIDESPREAD UPRISINGS
Monday, 12 July 2021
The EFF reiterates its call that the only possible solution to the widespread uprisings in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng is decisive political intervention and engagement with our people. This intervention comes in the form of all the so-called leaders who proclaim to have been elected by a popular mandate by the very people who are revolting, to go into communities and engage in peace-making efforts.
The President, Cabinet Ministers and the ruling party must go to the ground and have stakeholder engagements to bring calm to a situation that began within the ranks of their own political party factions.
Anything outside of this is the highest form of cowardice and failure to show leadership. It is for this reason that the EFF is against the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to quell the uprisings.
The deployment of the SANDF, must not pre-empt attempts to make political interventions. It is patronizing for Matamela Ramaphosa to suggest that he will meet political party leaders and public representatives, and deploy them to engage communities while he has already deployed the army.
No soldiers on our streets! Otherwise, we are joining. All fighters must be ready... they won't kill us all. We need a political solution to a political problem, not soldiers.#NoToSoldiers— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) July 12, 2021
The EFF must make it clear that we will not form part of the legitimizing of the deployment of the army, by walking beside the military in advancing engagements with our people. We will not collaborate in the bloodshed to come with this government, by walking behind guns that enter our communities.
A government that deploys the army against its own people, has essentially conceded that it is no longer a government of the people. It is a testimony that those who have been tasked with leading society, fear their own citizens and constituencies.
The military defence force of any nation is deployed in instances where an enemy needs to be confronted and dealt with decisively. Ramaphosa's deployment of the army therefore means he has declared grandmothers who have been scavenging for food, and citizens whose desperation has overwhelmed them as the enemy.
In declaring them as the enemy, he has resolved that these citizens are not worthy of engagement or grass-root level interaction, but must be met with brute force and crushed by any means necessary.
An army is a highly trained unit, whose role should never be made political and whose purpose is not for public order control. They have exhibited their propensity for excessive violence in the initial stages of the Lockdown-regulations to curb the spread of COVID-1 9.
All South Africans must therefore oppose the deployment of SANDF. This is a watershed moment in our democracy, where the wounds of inequality, poverty and hopelessness are beginning to fester, and the catalyst has been government failure and the ruling party's factional warfare.
To characterize the desperation of our people as criminality, instead of formulating comprehensive socio-economic solutions, is not only lazy but incredibly dangerous. We must send a strong message to Matamela that we will not form part of a coalition with him, to criminalize and massacre our people.
We will not unite behind a narrative that attempts to caste our people in the same violent light as despotic regimes in Africa, such as we have seen in eSwatini.
The emerging vigilante justice by bloodthirsty racists who have used firearms against black people has not been condemned. The President has not made any suggestions on how those who shot and beat our people will be addressed.
It has become evidently clear that there are white people in this country who have armed themselves and are ready to kill black people, yet the President continues to focus on his feebly defined ethnic condemnation.
The useless police won’t even do anything these white thugs https://t.co/dLcB7TSFrW— Sentletse (@Sentletse) July 13, 2021
South African Police have not arrested a single white-racist that has utilized firearms without any public mandate, to shoot at unarmed civilians in the streets, because for this regime, it is only black people that have the capacity to be criminals.
Matamela Ramaphosa is clearly out of depth, and is determined to lead a nation of people behind a television screen. His continued appearances on television are ineffective, fruitless and do not serve as any assurance for the nation.
As an organization, we are duty bound to defend life, even at the risk of our own lives, against a state that has criminalized people who no longer have the tolerance for never-ending lockdowns, hunger and unemployment.
There has been no consultation with Parliamentary structures or with political parties on the deployment of the military to intervene in what is a political crisis. The attitude of dictatorship is being further entrenched by an individual who has no regard for a consultative approach in running a democratic society.
To further prove his dictatorial style of leadership, Ramaphosa has continued his attempt to censor ordinary citizens, by instructing them to essentially not share content on social media relating to the protests.
He has threatened ordinary citizens, by characterizing the sharing of videos on social media as a form of inciting violence. This, coupled with his deployment of the military is an extension of his capture of the media space. It reveals a man who wants this country to bow at his feet and refrain from revealing the ugly conditions confronting us all.
At the rate Ramaphosa is insisting on censoring the social media space, South Africa is fast-approaching a situation where the internet and social media will be switched off, as is usually seen in African states where despotic regimes seek to hide their massacres. This must be condemned before it happens.
The EFF has asked its lawyers to write a letter to Ramaphosa asking for the legal basis for the deployment of soldiers, the powers of these soldiers and the agreement reached between the SAPS and SANDF.
Furthermore, our lawyers will inquire as to what Ramaphosa meant when he said "by all means necessary" in his speech tonight, in referring to bringing calm where there are widespread protests.
Ramaphosa has 12-hours to respond to the EFF's legal letter, after which we will take appropriate action.
Statement issued by the EFF, 12 July 2021