The Public News Hub spoke to Lufuno Gogoro, the National Coordinator of the Economic Freedom Fighters in Gauteng. Gogoro talked about the challenges that the EFF have faced since the organization was formed and the vision of the party ahead of its national launch in Marikana, Rustenburg.
Bearing in mind that South Africans celebrate Women’s Month in August, Gogoro had this to say: “We appreciate women and we celebrate them. By the way, we commemorate the impact that women have done in our democracy for us to achieve political freedom.” He paid tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Lillian Ngoyi and others “who were selfless, who are the heroines of the struggle.” Gogoro said that such women have been “forgotten” and “side-lined” by the government of President Jacob Zuma.
The EFF had planned to hold a rally at the University of Johannesburg in Doornfontein recently but when the convoy of fighters arrived, they heard “rumors flying around that the ANC, Luthuli House had given the university instructions to never allow us to hold a rally there.” The EFF were denied entry into the university and their student supporters were disappointed that they had to be addressed outside the premises of the university. Gogoro continued: “We pleaded with them to remain calm and to never respond to violence with violence.”
Regarding the motorcade from Johannesburg to Soweto, Gogoro called it “successful”. He dispelled media reports that the motorcade was halted. He explained that it was not necessary to apply for permission to proceed with a motorcade as long as the drivers were in possession of valid driver’s licenses. “We believe that it’s a democratic country. For as long as we are not going to affect other drivers; we can continue with our program.”
Reports of confrontations are unsettling to the public. These incidents may distract people from the program of the EFF as set out in their founding documents. Gogoro was asked if he thought that economic freedom could be achieved without the same violence which characterized the struggle for racial equality. He replied: “Here we are talking revolution and in every revolution; there’s casualties. And by the way, the white monopoly, those capitalists, they are not going to surrender power easily.” The Economic Freedom Fighters do not condone violence but they are expecting it as part of the revolution.
The MalaMala Game Reserve deal has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Economic Freedom Fighters. The Minister of Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti reportedly paid R 1 billion to the owners of the game reserve in an attempt at “land redistribution”. Gogoro condemned the deal and said: “The deal is not even going to benefit the people as the minister has said. It is only going to benefit the few black elites and their white counterparts.” He called for the expropriation of land without compensation. As far as the Economic Freedom Fighters are concerned, the MalaMala Game Reserve deal is like “spit on poor people’s faces”. Gogoro seems certain that people will “demand the reversal of such deals.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters will officially introduce their organization to the nation on 24 August in Marikana, Rustenburg. This much-anticipated launch will be held at a place that is, a year later, still coming to terms with the Marikana Massacre which left 34 people dead. Ten people died in the violence leading up to the morning when the police opened fire on protesting miners.
The EFF want to use the launch to “show the whole country and the world that we are not a bunch of or a group of disgruntled people.” He insisted: “We are a party that has got a vision. We are a party that has got the policies that can change the lives of the South African people.” The results of next year’s elections will show if the people also believe that the EFF is indeed the organization that will make a difference in the lives of South Africans.
Excerpts from the interview:
Lufuno Gogoro talks about women in the revolution.
Lufuno Gogoro talks about violence and the revolution.
Lufuno Gogoro talks about MalaMala Game Reserve deal.
Lufuno Gogoro talks about the road to the Marikana national launch.