By Pinky Khoabane
LABELING is an age-old propaganda technique that calls the object of the propaganda campaign as something the target audience fears, hates, loathes, or finds undesirable. It is also an old trick of silencing. It is no wonder then that in the latest spat between commercial media and the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) the description of the party as being “fascists” has dominated headlines. This follows the EFF leader’s tweet that television channel eNCA protected white privilege. It did not help that Deputy President Floyd Shivambu got involved in a scuffle with a journalist. As I wrote on this platform last week, there has been very little sympathy for the ANN7 journalists who were at the receiving end of the EFF for several years.
This seed of the EFF as a fascist organisation was probably planted a few weeks ago in the Daily Maverick. But it really took hold this morning with media organisations screaming EFF as a FASCIST organisation. And so this is how
The former opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) spin doctor who was later deployed at the Sunday Times as a senior journalist decried the media for having “indulged Malema’s various poisonous prejudices”.
Justice Malala, in a column with the headline” Why Is Juju Showing His True Colours” asked: “What is eating Julius Malema, the Economic Freedom Fighters leader? Why is he suddenly reheating his attacks on independent media houses – this time with the Zumaesque allegation that they are representatives of whites, “whiteness” and that hoary old chestnut, “white monopoly capital”?
The answer is simple enough – Malema and the EFF are a fascist organisation that is quickly running out of targets.”
TimesLive put a different headline to Malala’s column:
Radio 702 Eusebius McKaiser hosted EFF Chairperson Dali Mpofu and political analyst Prince Mashele on the question of whether the party was “losing the plot” and whether “They are Fascist?”
In that discussion, McKaiser mentions two or three other radio commentators who had seemingly also called the EFF fascist. Mashele describes the EFF as a black nationalist party which is also socialist. “If you put black nationalism and socialism you get the core of Hitler’s national socialism,” he explains. There are characteristics within the EFF that defines it as fascist, he says. Fascism espouses violence. The EFF, he says, through their Constitution seeks to take power by whatever means possible. Julius Malema he says is a dictator who comes close to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Well if there’s more scare mongering than this, then lead me to it.
For its part, the EFF didnt sit back but came back fighting on Twitter. As they say on Twitter: Bring on the popcorn and book your seat to see where this war ends.