EFF two votes lambertsbaai

In defence of the EFF, this was always going to be a losing battle for them -Photo: Flickr

The EFF has MPs in other countries – and their support is growing

You’ll now find several countries outside of SA where you can join a domestic chapter of the EFF – and there’s even a branch which has two elected MPs.

EFF two votes lambertsbaai

In defence of the EFF, this was always going to be a losing battle for them -Photo: Flickr

The EFF is a political movement like no other. The Red Berets are as problematic as they are energetic, and since their formation seven years ago, they’ve brought a unique blend of passion and populism to the table. They aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but it seems people in countries outside of South Africa are acquiring a taste for the party.

Going global: Making the Red Berets an international brand

South Africa’s third-largest political party has already gone global. Or at least, continental. The EFF burst onto the scene in 2013, and their tub-thumping rhetoric immediately struck chords across our borders. At least four African countries have their own branches of the party – with some proving to be more successful than others:

  • Botswana: The EFF has a grassroots movement here – which is impressive, considering Julius Malema was banned from the country.
  • Liberia: A firmly-established chapter of the EFF has led several demonstrations against President George Weah.
  • Namibia: The Namibian EFF has been up and running for six years – and they have two MPs in national Parliament.
  • Zimbabwe: Delegates from this branch of the EFF attended the party’s birthday celebrations in South Africa last year.
  • Other: Smaller factions in Nigeria and DR Congo have also surfaced over the years.

Where else do the EFF have MPs?

The Namibian EFF is truly a head-turning proposition. Although they embody many of the anti-capitalist and black nationalist values of their South African counterparts, NEFF is socially conservative. They’re openly against gay rights, and are influenced by radical Christian beliefs – this is a sharp departure from the views of Malema and co.

Last year, the party managed to win their first two seats in Namibian Parliament. They went from securing just 0.36% of the vote in 2014, to gaining 1.66% in 2019. Their support has increased four-fold, with over 13 500 Namibians giving their support to this international off-shoot. And the global growth doesn’t end there:

The EFF African Council is now working to build three regional offices: One in a SADC country, one covering West Africa, and one covering North Africa. The headquarters are to be in Johannesburg. The party’s central committee member Thembi Msani has also stated that this move will ensure that the organisation ‘expands its influence’ across the continent.