Chris Moerdyk

Don't laugh at Malema

2013-07-22 07:15

Chris Moerdyk

I find it quite extraordinary that there are still so many blinkered South Africans who continue to write letters to newspapers and laugh out loud on radio talk shows, ridiculing Julius Malema as being nothing more than a buffoon in a beret.

Those were the same people, who in January this year, were crowing over the fact  that he was well and truly up the creek without a paddle with the ANC packing him off into the wilderness, Sars on his back and heaven knows how many others putting the knife in.

Many of his former buddies turned their backs on him and to all intents and purposes one would have imagined that he had reached the end of the road. Finished. Kaput.

Now he is back, heading up the Economic Freedom Fighters and still there are those who laughingly write him off.


As I wrote six months ago, while he might no longer be part of the most powerful political entity in the country, Julius Malema still has something that no one can take away from him and that is the support of anyone in this country who is unemployed, uneducated and facing a hopeless future.

And there are millions of those.

Bear in mind that two-thirds of the population of this country are under the age of 30 and of those, two thirds are unemployed. Do the maths.

In the last elections Julius Malema appealed directly to these young and unemployed and entirely on his own he secured the single biggest block of votes for the ANC.  In fact, Melema pulled in 18% of the total vote cast.

Now, with the ANC still being seen by the poor and unemployed, the homeless and hopeless as not delivering the goods and being completely out of touch with reality by just sanctioning Eskom price hikes and e-tolling without realising the impact on the consumer, one has to wonder just how much support Malema is silently building?

Messages hit home

Let's face it, much as the wealthy, the middle-class, the gainfully employed youth and most white people, were shocked at his fiery rhetoric and inflammatory speeches, one cannot deny that his messages hit home in no uncertain terms among those he was targeting.

By everything that is logical, it has to be assumed that Malema, now having been made something of a martyr by the ANC and Sars, still has a lot of sympathy among the growing number of unemployed, hopeless voters in this country.

Will it really be worthwhile him starting a new political party based on his EFF? I reckon so. After all, if he could manage to persuade 18% of the voting population to support him in the last elections, even if he got half that number he would effectively become a party far bigger than Cope and would probably give the DA a run for its money in time.

And the more the ANC remains in denial about the level of hopelessness in this country, the more of their followers will start following Malema.

Simple logic and even simpler arithmetic, dictates that Malema might well have been down a few months ago, but right now he's far from out.

Don't write Malema off

In my opinion, in spite of all his difficulties right now, it would be a mistake to write off Julius Malema.

It would be an even bigger mistake to laugh at him.

But, if you are still not convinced, go a read a bit of history, particularly about political leaders who appealed to the unemployed, the uneducated and the hopeless.

South Africa has not seen the end of Julius Malema - not by a long shot.

- Follow Chris on Twitter.

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Read more on:    cope  |  da  |  anc  |  eff  |  julius malema

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