Mister Nasty

2010-03-14 11:59

LIKE a cornered tiger, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s

claws are out.

Occasionally bequeathed with a maturity way beyond his years you

can understand why President Jacob Zuma believes Malema has good leadership

qualities that need nurturing.

Faced with louder and louder calls for him to take action against

the youth leader, Zuma has steadfastly stood by his man, declaring his colourful

effervescence to resemble that of founding president Nelson Mandela’s when he

was young.

That may once have been true, but Malema is the worst of

politicians and not the best.

He preaches for the poor but lives the life of a rich man. He

speaks the language of delivery but his companies betray the very development he

has built his career on punting. Disintegration and delays stalk his corporate

interests.

He speaks the language of entrepreneurship while using his

influence to win contracts ­valued at over R150?million and counting.

Entrepreneurs roll up their sleeves and put their noses to the grindstone.

Malema sub-contracts work and runs a bare-bones operation that has

failed to submit ­returns and has not secured the tax clearance certificates

without which tenders should not have been granted. While real entrepreneurs

struggle to get a foot in the door and have to jump through regulatory hoops,

the politically connec­ted youth leader is the consummate tenderpreneur – a word

he despises.

Malema is also the nation’s bully in chief. Since he became youth

league president Malema has scarred the body politic, taking on everyone from

­bankers to opposition politicians, activists and his own ­allies in the unions

and the communist party, insulting all in base language that holds no content

but only contempt.

It is the way of the bully and if he is not stopped it will be the

way of the demagogue politician who insults anyone who stands up to him while

cultiva­ting constituencies among the most vulnerable. Look at how he speaks

only to students and the old to see how he can accept only adulation, never

debate or difference.

This week he turned his guns on the media, releasing a four- page

document on City Press’s Dumisane Lubisi alleging ­corruption and exposing all

of the journalist’s most private details, including his address, his children’s

identity numbers and his wife’s business inte­rests.

It is a mish-mash of fabrication, hyperbole and nonsense mixed in

with factual detail like identity numbers, bank accounts and telephone details.

It bears the hallmark of state dirty tricks we have seen in the

hoax email saga deployed in the fight between former president Thabo Mbeki and

now President Zuma.

Other journalists have been maligned as unprofessional ­liars and

loose women who sleep around for stories.

This is dirty tricks against the media which has exposed his

substandard business practices, his tax-dodging ways and the million and one

ways in which Malema is no ­Mandela.


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