ANC wears red berets ‘to confuse the enemy’
Red beret-wearing ANC supporters attending a door-to-door campaign by President Jacob Zuma in Mpumalanga this morning said their headgear was meant “to confuse the enemy”.
Scores of supporters gathering in Kanyamazane, east of Nelspruit, this morning wore red berets similar to those made popular by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), but sporting the ANC’s logo instead.
They were also sporting yellow ANC T-shirts with Zuma’s face on them and the words “ANC President” underneath.
The beret-wearers told City Press they got these from the local ANC branch yesterday, with some claiming it was meant to confuse the enemy – with reference to Julius Malema’s EFF.
ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the ANC did not mind people wearing red berets.
He added these would not cause brand confusion because Cosatu and the SA Communist Party (SACP) also used similar colours.
“The ANC branding on the berets is good enough to indicate that the wearer supports the party,” he said.
Local ANC leaders were also spotted wearing berets at an event attended by ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa elsewhere in the province.
Ramaphosa and Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, who were in Jeppies in Mpumalanga’s Ehlanzeni municipality, did not wear red berets but they did have ANC golf shirts on.
The red berets sparked an outcry by EFF leaders after it was posted on Twitter.
Floyd Shivambu, the EFF’s commissar for political education, policy and research posted on the EFF’s Facebook page that the red berets were not started by the SACP after SACP leaders wore red berets to a press briefing last month.
“Those who claim SACP started with Red berets must tell us where and when? I worked for SACP and there wasn’t a slightest trait of red berets. But as sages say: ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’ We are dealing with zANC and zSACP copycats who printed red berets because they wish they were EFF.”
Magdalene Moonsamy, the former ANC Youth League spokesperson who is now an EFF member, tweeted about the ANC’s berets: “It is a lack of innovation & in the absence of ideas/dictatorial quashing thereof the closest option is theft. Steal taxes/berets/ideas, etc.”
Half an hour later she tweeted: “All forces to the front! It is confirmed everyone wants to b part of EFF! They’ve demonstrated their support. Forward to victory!”
Malema is due to address a press conference in a Joburg hotel tomorrow, but it is unclear what the briefing will be on.