Khaya Dlanga

Malema, ANC and vulgarity of money

2011-07-26 08:10

Malema should start a church and call it Tithes for Tenders Church. After all, the ANC is a broad church. This would be a lucrative church. There are already so many people who worship at the altar of the tender anyway.

In light of the recent allegations levelled against Malema, the suggestion of course is that Malema is unscrupulous, he’ll get you the tender whether you are competent or not. Let’s not forget that he also gets anywhere between 30% and 50% of the profits from the tender once awarded. Of course we don’t know how true the allegations are; they have not been tested before a court of law.

This might or might not go before the courts. Malema has many powerful enemies who would be happy to see him go. But he also has many powerful friends with vested interests who will do whatever they can to protect him, for if he goes down, so do they. For us outsiders, the reports make it look like the ANC is nothing but a sordid orgy of greed based palm greasing.

It is of course no surprise that there are many who are pleased to see yet another front page story about Julius Malema that goes to prove their point that Malema is a greedy principle-less entity. Because that’s what he is to them, not a human being, but just an entity to provide entertainment.

Purchasing favour with money

It seems to me that some powerful and influential people seem to believe that they can avert the wrath of the ANC by purchasing favour with money. That one will be looked upon favourably by those issuing tenders, very much like the Catholic Church forgiving people’s sins in exchange for money before Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis in 1517. There was a teaching by the church’s salesman, Johann Tetzel, who taught that one’s sins could be forgiven by God if they paid a fee.

The corruption of the church had reached Sodom and Gomorrah proportions. Johann Tetzel was working under the instruction of the Archbishop of Mainz, who had bought his position, the Archbishopric, from then Pope Leo X. The Archbishop encouraged these heretic teachings because money was coming in for him to pay the Pope. The Pope tolerated them too because money was coming to his coffers too, which would help him finance his vanity project, the renovation of the majestic St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The love of money is the route of all evil, even in the church.

If money can corrupt the church, how much more will it corrupt mere men? Especially men of politics?

The ANC has lost its soul. It lost it a long time ago, and those with the means to find it, do not want it to be found. Power and money. They are sinking in the quick sand of unscrupulous lust for all that is glitzy, all that will visibly impress. The ANC is being spat at and demeaned tender by tender, brown envelope by brown envelope. Slowly the great party sinks to stinking new depths. When you think it can’t get any worse, it does.

The ANC faces a crisis of morality and moral leadership. Worst of all, it faces a lack of outrage from its membership. Perhaps it fears losing that its sins will not be forgiven if it utters a word. I don’t know.

This is no fault of Julius Malema. He didn’t create this. The monster was already there when he got there. He had seen it done. The grownups, the ones who were supposed to guide him and show him the way (as I wrote in the Cape Times) have let him down. The seniors turned a blind eye because he must get something too. They are rewarding him for his hard word. The indictment is on the ANC, those who made him and others think that it is ok to do this, if the allegations are true.

Thabo Mbeki, when warning against what he foresaw, said: “We should not seek to emulate the demeanour of our oppressors, nor adopt their evil practices.”

Our turn to eat

The brown envelopes are a continuation of the oppression of the masses. They say to themselves there is no harm. They are just taking money from the government and helping other black people. It is our turn to eat. We must eat while we can and much as we can because the gravy might not be here for us for long. This is the thinking.

Taking money from the government is taking from the poor, whether one likes to admit it or not. They do not think that they are serving themselves, not the poor they claim to speak for. What is celebrated is the ease with which money comes as opposed to the hard work that one puts in to get the money.

Since I write about Martin Luther, a man of the cloth in his day, perhaps it is appropriate that I quote the book of Isaiah 10:1 - 3

1 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
   to those who issue oppressive decrees,
2 to deprive the poor of their rights
   and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
   and robbing the fatherless.
3 What will you do on the day of reckoning,
   when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
   Where will you leave your riches?


They steal from the oppressed and rob from the fatherless. They deceive themselves and say they are not stealing from anyone, and they harm no one.

The ANC is in desperate need of the RDP of its very soul. The Reconstruction and Development Programme of its very core. The ANC may be dead. It may be in need of mouth to mouth.

Who will be the ANC Martin Luther?

Who will stand up in the ANC and post the 95 thesis against what is unANC behaviour? Who will have the balls to do this? Who will be the ANC Martin Luther or is money and power far too great an incentive than to stand for what is right and true? Who is bold enough to make the ANC sit up and notice? Who will risk being called a heretic by the heretics?

One no longer has to work for the good of the people; one must merely appear to be working for the people in order to get votes, and then get the position, then get the financial benefits that come with it. Personal financial gain is valued over a legacy that one can leave behind. The generation before fought tooth and nail and even giving up their very lives for liberation.

In 1978, Thabo Mbeki delivered a lecture in Canada and said: “The capitalist class, to whom everything has a cash value, has never considered moral incentives as very dependable. As part of the arrangement, it therefore decided that material incentives must play a prominent part.”

It appears that in South Africa today, we can change the wording from “capitalist class” to “political class”.

It is not all lost. At least we can still talk about these things. We can discuss them. The moment we are not free to discuss them we are in a bad place. There are still people within the political class in the ANC who uphold the values of the ANC. And I am not for a second saying that politicians must not make money. They should and must, but it should not be at the expense of the people, nor should it be because of undue influence. Money is good, but not when people think that it’s the most important thing.

- Follow Khaya on Twitter.

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Read more on:    anc  |  thabo mbeki  |  julius malema
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