The EFF's tone-deaf rampage – IRR

Fighters shutting down places of work at a time of economic crisis, says Institute

The EFF's tone-deaf rampage – IRR

At a time of great hardship for millions of people, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) yesterday found themselves unable to place South Africans above petty political theatre.

The economy is in a dire state, unemployment poses a massive threat to the lives and livelihoods of many, and society is desperate for hope. At such a critical juncture, the EFF demonstrated its callousness and deafness to the very real plight of South Africans by staging its theatre of the empty gesture.

While unemployment threatens to overwhelm many homes, the EFF used violence to shut down places of work, placing jobs at risk and depriving customers of access to essential medications. In doing so, the party found itself on the wrong side of good sense, Ubuntu and the South African Constitution.

While protest is a fundamental constitutional right, no-one has the right to inflict harm on others as the EFF so blatantly did yesterday in several protests at Clicks pharmacies.

Research on South African race relations and attitudes conducted by the IRR makes clear that the behaviour of the EFF represents a rejection of the fundamental decency of the vast majority of South Africans, who want to live in prosperous communities in a peaceful country.

The law must now be seen to be applied to the EFF's violent and coercive conduct. Failure to impose severe sanctions for the incitement and violence seen yesterday will illustrate that all are not equal before the law.

Statement issued by Hermann Pretorius, IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research, 8 September 2020