Malema makes lofty promises as he outlines his path to Union Buildings

EFF leader Julius Malema yesterday stood tall at the end of the party’s 2024 election manifesto launch, promising sweeping changes should the EFF be in government.

This despite challenges, including the rain that drove tens of thousands of supporters from their seats as they sought cover from torrential rains in the middle of Malema’s speech.

According to Malema, South Africa would be a completely different country by 2027, with socialist policies defining the state and all its levers.

In what was an underwhelming event by EFF’s usually high standards, Malema promised radical changes in government should the electorate choose the red berets in the upcoming national and provincial elections.

If Malema becomes president of the country, policing, education, energy, land policy and the country’s military would see unprecedented changes.

As to the practicality of the promised changes, as some would demand a two-thirds majority to change the constitution, this appears to be a mountain to climb for the EFF.

On education, Malema would jail all parents who allow their children of school-going age to roam the streets away from school. This while the EFF would employ 40 000 early childhood development teachers by 2027, as this would put early childhood development at the centre of government’s development project.

All who qualify for university would go to their university of choice without paying a cent.

“We do not need NSFAS; we need the government to take money straight to universities and FET colleges; they must be responsible for the funding of their students,” said Malema.

Malema said crime-fighting would also be at the centre of a national government led by the EFF. For starters, any attempt to have a physical confrontation or kill a police officer would result in direct imprisonment of 25 years.

Rape and murder cases would be treated the same, with perpetrators jailed for life without parole, Malema promised. He said the current regime of policing and law enforcement in the country is too soft on criminals.

In an EFF government, for every police officer who arrests a criminal and kills those that fire at them, a bonus would be guaranteed on the spot. Any fat cop would not be tolerated in an EFF government, and gaining weight while a police officer would lead to employment termination.

In a Chinese-like commitment, Malema also said an EFF government would have zero tolerance against politicians and public servants who steal taxpayer’s money.

“After we hire you in an EFF government, we will take your family to jail to go and see inmates who were arrested for stealing government money. And we are going to tell them that your mother or father, if they steal, will come to join these people,” he told the approximately 50 000 EFF faithful, who almost filled the 56 000 capacity stadium.

“When you come with an expensive German machine, your children must ask, ‘dad, where did you get the money for this?’ because they will know that when you steal, you go to jail.”

Turning his sight to the SA National Defence Force, Malema did not mince his words in characterising the country’s soldiers as “a joke”.

The EFF government would change this situation by first and foremost raising salaries to bolster soldiers’ morale and invest in modern-day state-of-the art weapons and machinery.

“Our army in the air, in the sea and on land has collapsed. We are going to strengthen our army and take them everywhere where the criminals and gangs have hijacked our streets. Our army must find illegal firearms that are coming into the country,” said Malema.

In a bold statement, Malema said an EFF government would expropriate 50% of land from white people before the end of next year and give it back to its rightful owners, Africans.

On the big elephant in the room, unemployment, Malema believes an EFF government would create nine million jobs by tackling loadshedding within six months in charge of the Union Buildings. Ending loadshedding was not rocket science because South Africa was endowed with an abundance of coal, which it should use to generate enough electricity.

The just transition agreements that demand a move away from coal that President Cyril Ramaphosa goes around the world signing would be terminated “pronto”.

“We believe that through industrialisation, we can create jobs. But we cannot industrialise if we have loadshedding.”

“Our manifesto is not a manifesto of promises; ours is a manifesto of commitments; we are committed to everything we say here.”

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