South African writer and journalist, William Gumede, in a contribution to The Guardian asserts that “South Africa desperately needs a relevant, credible and non-racial alternative to the dominant ANC” if “the [country’s] infant democracy [is] to fully come of age”. No evidence is given to support the claim of ‘desperation’, or any analysis to uphold the idea of an ‘infantile’ democracy.
The face of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa is young-ish and black. Their “redistribute now” missive has earned both valid and lazy criticism. Their tone is perceived by many to be “dangerous” and “irrational”. For Ramphele, the red-beret clad young man from Rustenburg should have been less respectful towards her. For he is “young, angry and black”. The faceless trope deprives him of agency; he is driven by dangerous impulses and anger; he is one within an uncontrollable mass, predestined to produce instability. He is a threat. In a country that oscillates between the haze of Rainbow Nation-ism and the reality of economic exclusion – “young, angry and black” is a good scarecrow.