Malema: The long double standards of the law

2012-09-29 09:04

Never mind the roasting of Kuli Roberts at the hands of Trevor Noah, felony-accused former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema skewered “illiterate” President Jacob Zuma and politician-cum-businessman Cyril Ramaphosa after he was released on bail by a Polokwane magistrate this Wednesday.

It’s the prospect of Malema and his cohorts being roasted in an open court by prosecutors that may just be the tonic weary entrepreneurs, especially in Limpopo, have been thirsting for.

The charge against Malema is very serious, despite his scoffing, and the penalty is grave.

Whether or not the money-laundering charge will stick, not even a thunderbolt-wielding, mealiebag-snatching Limpopo sangoma can foretell.

In the minds of many upright entrepreneurs, the debate on whether or not bringing the charge against Malema was politically motivated or not is unimportant.

What is important is seeing the long arm of the law being flexed without fear, favour or prejudice.

Also, will a cornered, scorned, angry and vengeful Malema spill the beans on the business shenanigans of other high-ranking politicians-cum-businessmen?

Sadly, no chance, mochachos!

The matter is anticipated to only go on trial next year. In the meantime, the status quo in respect of how government procures, and the adulterous relationship between politics and business, shall subsist.

Therein lies the raison d’être of Malema and other corrupt politicians-cum-businessmen.

For as long as the current political system encouraging patronage, cronyism and pillaging of state resources with impunity by those with close proximity to the levers of power continues unabated, there will be a tenderpreneur born every minute.

For as long as the political system allows a senior ruling party politician-cum-businessman the responsibility to discharge discipline against fellow tender-loving comrades, or allows public servants to do business with government or be active directors in private companies; or lets close family members of the executive, including wives of the president, actively canvass for business in government, we have a snowball’s chance in hell of seeing the end of corruption in the public sector.

It is interesting to observe how the wheels of justice, known to grind as slowly as a Limpopo-bound textbook delivery truck, can suddenly turn like an F1 racer when an offender falls out of political favour – as with Malema.

It is hard not to suspect political interference also played a role when charges of corruption were recently withdrawn against alleged allies of Zuma in the “Amigos” trial in KwaZulu-Natal.

Not only are Malema and his co-accused on trial in Polokwane, but a system that can encourage the nephew of a president to connive with other well-connected individuals – including the grandson of a former president – to plunder a mine and workers’ pension funds with apparent impunity, is also on trial.

Not only must questions be raised about possible “struggle accounting” at Ratanang Family Trust but also about trusts benefiting, or under the aegis of, Zuma and his bevy of wives.

Of course, since he is the incumbent, there is no chance malfeasance allegations on Zuma’s and his family’s part will be pursued while he is still in office.

Little wonder Malema threatened outside court this week to have Zuma’s charges reinstated immediately upon Zuma’s envisioned defeat in Mangaung.

While Free State Premier Ace Magashule may call Zuma an “intellectual giant”, Malema’s claims of “illiteracy” on the part of the president are rich.

Upright ANC delegates should be asking themselves whether the struggle for economic emancipation is better advanced under the current political system and Zuma’s administration.

As for ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu’s cautions about a dark day for the country should Malema ever come to power, weary entrepreneurs and school kids countrywide are still to have light shed on their plight and aspirations since Zuma sauntered into Mahlamba Ndlopfu.

On a lighter note, it now appears Ban Ki Moon has ensured school kids the world over may now also be textbook cursed – what with his invitation to Prof Dr Reverend President Zuma to serve as the champion of the UN’s education drive.

»Khaas is the founder and president of the SA SMME Forum

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