Why the masses love Malema

2010-04-17 11:24

JULIUS Malema is our most exci­ting politician. He provokes wild passion.


The snobbish black middle class is embarrassed by him; black pundits are annoyed and whites are terrified. But the black masses love him wildly.


Out of touch commentators read his fortunes, narrowly predicting his political death after small ­shenanigans like the recent chaotic youth league conference that was held in Limpopo.


They get tjatjarag (uppity) each time Malema is challenged and then rush to write his political obituary. But the phoenix always rises.


Malema’s political significance lies outside the ANC Youth League and the governing party can never fire him because if it did it would have a problem bigger than Cope.


In addition, he is the direct ­outcome of ANC rule in which the black majority has not tasted the fruit of democracy and is becoming increasingly restless. I often ­wonder whether the government is facing insurrection, given the ­ongoing community protests and strikes.


The scourge of racism from the farm fields to the boardrooms is galvanising anti-ANC sentiment within the black community.

The people are beginning to ask: What has the ANC actually done for black people?
 

We are seeing the beginning of the end of ANC hegemony.


While this may not show itself in the next election, the nature of the contest will change because it will be played outside the rules of liberal democratic engagement.


When democracy, the constitution and elections don’t serve the majority then extra-constitutional mechanisms become attractive – as the ongoing violent protests in Khutsong and Balfour show.


Malema understands more than many the growing anger of the black masses. He has moved into the vacuum that exists for a radical and pro-black political movement. He has fashioned himself as a warrior of the excluded and denigrated. His style is one of “ngibatshelile la belungu” (I told those arrogant whites where to get off).


His visit to Zimbabwe is part of his self-styling as a radical who cares for the plight of blacks. Despite the Zimbabwean economic crisis, Mugabe remains a darling in South Africa. And on his visit Malema spoke about South Africa as if it were run by colonialists.


His planned visits to Cuba and Venezuela are also part of the ­projection of himself as a radical.


But Malema is fooling the hungry and black masses. He has no plan or desire to change anything to serve them. The rhetoric of ­nationalisation is a clever move to enrich ­himself and his friends; they now want their share of mining wealth.


If he is so concerned with sharing mining wealth why is he quiet when mining communities are forcefully removed from the platinum fields in North West?


Why no word when parastatals like Eskom profit the few and rob the poor?


His sterile politics of insulting whites while changing nothing ­requires a stunt a week but reveals that he has no programme to engage the poor for whom he pretends to stand.


By singing about whites who must be shot all he does is gift the ANC with an escape clause from accounting for its failures to the poor.


He may save the ANC from the anger of the masses but he won’t save the poor from their hunger.


My question is: Will he succeed in fooling people with his rhetoric or will they take him seriously and go further than he calculated?

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The moon moves into your sign today emphasising your brilliant fast paced and innovative mind. Nervous tension can be a problem if...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.