Marinos the philosopher contends, “true learning flourishes in chaos”. Chaos is generally defined as “a condition or place of great disorder or confusion.”
The question is what are we learning from the chaos around the EFF? Perhaps some have been oblivious to admit this chaos because they are overtaken to see the EFF as on course to rule South Africa soon. Some, in recent days have welcomed the behaviour of the EFF in parliament as the new praxis. Those who attest this a necessary new way of engaging argue that parliament needed this because it is lethargic and lacks energy as dominated by a ruling party.
The EFF leader is on record to have said that they will use every opportunity they get to campaign. There is nothing wrong with campaigning after all it is the oxygen of political parties. Yet a careful analysis may lead us to understand there is real chaos within the EFF. The common denominator of the EFF appears to be chaos in undergird and in fruit of presentation.
Can we attempt to argue the nature of the chaos as accidental or endemic? EFF members are increasingly questioning the leadership style of its leader. Some have labelled him a dictator that listens to none but his trusted lieutenant Shivambo. These claims may be true or false and may be brushed off as hogwash, yet what cannot be argued is that the proverbial EFF-boat, bereft of due structures, leadership and necessary programmes is in organisational raging choppy waters and may even already have taken some water. Perhaps the chaos in parliament as led by the EFF is symptomatic as an extension of the chaos that rules this party.
Its recent Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Gauteng meetings to elect leaders ended in utter chaos. Police had to be called in to defuse tensions among those who attended. In some cases private security were summoned to lend a hand to defend EFF from fellow EFF members. The more you read about the events the more a clear picture of chaos emerges.
The party despite its 6% May 2014 election windfall has yet to find a footprint in functional structures across the country. It struggles to become an entity that can in a meaningful sense engage and contribute formidably.
I opined months ago that the true reason for the EFF’s existence is not economic freedom but the antithetical twin personalities of the object of its hate (Jacob Zuma) and the subject of its love (Julius Malema). Perhaps the obsession to deal with the ANC leader as its primary raison detre has rendered the organic growth development of the EFF dysfunctional.
After 6 months of the 5th Parliament of SA in democracy the contributions of the EFF in constructive engagement in the committees of parliament remains outstanding. The problem is parliament is a democratic institution to which one in membership swear allegiance in respect as an elected member of your respective party. The EFF members like all elected members also pledged that same respect but fail to make that respect count.
Which leads us to the question, can the EFF out of its chaotic mind-set ever comprehend and accord this respect of parliament, the short answer is no because bullying is what the EFF knows well and bullies do not believe anybody else has a right but them. Its only obsession is to create chaos in parliament with the hope of embarrassing individuals more so the president and deputy president. It seems the party is happy hitting headlines for its chaos rather than its needful contribution.
It seems the EFF cannot escape the true reality of its birth being chaos and thus remains trapped in unseating Zuma, therefore proving a party in utter disarray. The same we said if ever attained will render the party obsolete in future existence. Regardless to how they protest an economic freedom mandate, it is a party held hostage in chaos. As the days unfold, we should expect more and more chaos from this party.
So what are we learning from this chaos,
EFF voters are learning that the EFF leadership is not open for transparent organisational engagement. Its leader addresses disgruntled EFF members as ‘these boys’.
We are learning one cannot fix the crack in the wall if the foundation is questionable or compromised.
We are learning there is a huge difference in being an opposition party in a democracy and being oppositional.
We are learning that often those who accuse others of dictatorships practice this as natural.
We are learning it takes more than a name to be a party, economic freedom may sound great a theme but emulating true fighters is another story.
We learning the EFF struggles to embrace a constitutional democracy, the same that saw affords its very own existence.
Yes, true learning flourishes in chaos!