Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, made a colorful entrance during the opening of parliament on Wednesday. The bright red overalls of Julius Malema’s EFF party brightened up the first parliament session of South Africa. Defiant as ever Malema said his parliament members would wear the red overalls and women an apron to convey their capacity as the working party for the workers of South Africa.
Proud of his achievements, Julius Malema removed his red matching hardhat and stood to the attention during the solemn ceremony and taking an oath for his parliamentary position. Jacob Zuma will be sworn in as president of the country to serve another five years and Malema will remain his biggest critic. The colorful members of EFF will try to secure ongoing support and realize their manifesto in an effort to bring in their progressive promises to their loyal supporters.
The opening of parliament begins another five year rule for the African National Congress (ANC) party under the leadership of Zuma. The discord and reports of past corruption and abuse of public funds probing will continue their investigations. The Nkandla issue remains a shadow disappearing into the background as the pomp and ceremony of a new parliament season begins. Malema in his bright red overall will no doubt continue to raise his voice over the rising allegations of possible wasting of funds. The amusement and daring action by Malema and his MP’s wearing the red overalls to parliament received a mixed reaction from politicians and public alike.
Bright red and beaming with pride, many found that the attire made Malema look less than presidential while others thought that he looked rather foolish when entering parliament. The handful of colorful red comrades were egged on by the public supporters of the public who literally see the new dress code of a genuine member of parliament. Rapturous applause confirming the EFF supporters of the overall attire was spontaneous. Other party members had no choice but to consider the humor or cheek by the charismatic Malema.
South Africa has new members serving in parliament and Malema together with his team will ensure a delightful entertaining edition to the cabinet. While Zuma might not explicitly express his displeasure, it sure was an indication of a strong working opponent coming into the ANC stronghold.
The EFF will remain committed to their cause of nationalizing mines and banks. Their claim to land expropriation without compensation is a top priority according to Floyd Shivambu of the EFF party. Shivambu said the bright red overalls worn by the EFF MP’s were a deliberate choice to connect with the working class and poor. He said there was no other party in parliament that represented the poor.
Starting their new role in parliament on a bright and colorful note, Julius Malema and his MP’s have received a round of applause from his countrywide supports. The drab grey and black suits of MP’s now have a touch of color with the red overalls worn by the EFF members. Parliament can turn out to be colorful not only in dress code, but during debates, as Malema is known to speak his mind and loves the podium. With the spotlight on Malema and his controversial remarks it will surely bring more humor into the South African political arena.
By Laura Oneale
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