Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:00 pm
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – South Africa’s ruling ANC on Tuesday likened the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters to the Nazi party and its firebrand leader Julius Malema to Adolph Hitler.
“South Africa has… witnessed the entering of a fascist movement into our parliamentary politics,” the party said in a statement.
Malema’s populist EFF took third place with just over six percent of the vote in May elections, winning 25 seats in the national parliament.
Party lawmakers turn up in parliament in red overalls and hardhats or domestic maids’ uniforms, claiming this shows their solidarity with poor South Africans who have not benefited from economic changes since the end of the racially based apartheid system 20 years ago
“This movement uses uniforms to mobilise in the same way that (Adolf) Hitler used brown shirts in the 1930s,” the ANC said in a statement read by its secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
“The Nazis didn’t start by killing Jews, they started by making promises,” he told reporters.
“What we are saying is we should read the signs and smell the coffee,” said Mantashe, whose party came to power in 1994 under the leadership of liberation icon Nelson Mandela.
Police last week threw stun grenades and fired rubber bullets when EFF lawmakers stormed the provincial legislature in Johannesburg, which had barred them from wearing their uniforms.
It was “worrying” that the EFF used “anarchy and destruction as their modus operandi”, the ANC said.
EFF policies include the nationalisation of mines and banks and the seizure of white-owned land without compensation.
Malema, a former leader of the ANC youth league who was booted out for indiscipline, draws thousands to his rallies where he castigates the ruling party as corrupt and in thrall to the economic power of the white minority.
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