The EFF's detractors label the party and Malema as populist.
In modern use the terms, populist and populism, have been reduced to swear words that are used to insult politicians who for better or for worse - depending on where you sit on the ideological continuum - appeal to the aspirations of ordinary peoples' .
The EFF aptly describes itself as a new generation, "We are not part of the Codesa compromises, which only focused on taking over political power without control of the economy. We are a generation that is fighting for true economic emancipation NOW!", writes Malema in the foreword.
Unlike the ANC, which has been the preferred party to govern the country for a quarter of a century, and the DA which has also enjoyed the privilege of running a province and some
municipalities, the EFF is unencumbered by the baggage of a track record in government.
SA under the leadership of the ANC has gone through numerous and ongoing stop-start cycles of promised transformation in favour of improving the lives of the country's poor and jobless, the majority of who happen to be black. The results have been mixed and many remain excluded from meaningful participation in the economy due to failed policies, corruption and, in many instances, sheer incompetence.
The EFF has arisen and established its popularity on the basis of society-wide disillusionment with the status quo, particularly among the youth, and growing angst toward the country's political and economic elite.