Khaya Dlanga

Malema: Zuma-nkentein's monster

2011-08-30 11:52

In an editorial penned by ANCYL spokesperson on Sunday, Floyd Shivambu ominously points back to a time in history where then-ANC president Dr AB Xuma chased Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo out of his house when they told him to support the league or they would not support his re-election.

Floyd Shivambu wrote, I quote: “The 1949 Mangaung conference of the ANC not only adopted the programme of action, it failed to re-elect Xuma as president of the ANC.”

What makes this even more ominous is the fact that the next ANC elective conference will be held in 2012 in Manguang, the same region where Dr Xuma was not re-elected. Shivambu was reminding Zuma that he could be Xuma. In other words Zuma could be Xuma’d.

So, who created whom? Did Julius Malema create Jacob Zuma or did Jacob Zuma create Julius Malema? No one worked harder than Julius Malema when Zuma faced his tribulations against then president Thabo Mbeki and the now disbanded Scorpions.

In the process, Julius Malema became increasingly famous. He was both a villain and hero in the country. He defended Zuma before the people, better than a polished lawyer could before the courts in outbursts of populism. He remained loud and loyal to Zuma. Despite the flaws of the young man, he stayed loyal.

Lest we forget, there would be no Jacob Zuma presidency without Malema. There probably wouldn’t have been a Malema that is as powerful were it not for Jacob Zuma’s long song and dance to the presidency.

Zuma is probably thinking that he created a monster in Malema. Zuma-nkentein’s monster, after Frankenstein’s monster. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, Frankenstein is a novel about Victor Frankenstein who was attempting to create life, a human being from scratch.

Instead of creating a beautiful human being, he realizes that he has created an eight-foot monster.

He is disappointed by what he sees. His creation is ugly. He even says to himself, "I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."

Is disgust what fills Zuma’s heart after he has realized what he created in Malema? It could be argued that it is also the other way round. That Zuma is in Malema’s monster since many do credit him and the ANCYL for making the presidency possible for him.

The ANCYL does think that it has created a monster in Zuma judging by the supposed league’s plan to discredit Zuma by recounting his sins, according to the Mail & Guardian. The league is said to question the president’s fitness for the position of ANC president on the grounds of his having fathered a child with Irvin Khoza’s daughter, meaning that the president had unprotected sex with a woman who is not his wife even though he has more wives than one could have in three life times.

Back to Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein leaves in an attempt to wipe out the memory of what he has created. He leaves the monster behind.

(Incidentally, while the disciplinary hearing against Malema and his top leadership takes place, the president won’t be in the country.)

The monster feels rejected, unwanted, confused and angry.

This is almost what has happened to Malema. Once the president assumed office, it appears that he forgot the people who put him there. This has resulted in a lot of anger and confusion because the president has found new friends now, which is why the ANCYL is hellbent on revisiting the president’s past sins.

Whether Zuma has been loyal to him is another question all together. It is almost as if he hasn’t forgotten. One would almost think that it’s a case of Zuma saying that he won’t allow this boy to disrespect the way Mbeki allowed himself to be disrespected.

Zuma unleashed him and let him roam freely as he pleased, saying some things that shocked many about then president Mbeki. Some pleaded with Zuma to reign the young man in but the pleas fell on the ears of a desperate man whose only hope of avoiding a long trial and possibly jail was the presidency.

The president hasn’t been as loyal to Malema as he could have been. It could be argued that it was not the president that pressed the charges against Malema, it was the NEC - but it is an open secret that the president has lost all patience with the YL president.

In his Sunday Times editorial, Shivambu quotes the ANC's "Through the Eye of the Needle" document on leadership, “This seminal document of the ANC further says: "A leader should lead by example. He should be above reproach in his political and social conduct - as defined by our revolutionary morality.”

The league is finding it in itself to question Zuma’s fitness to lead now even though it knew that he wasn’t fit all along. This clearly is rather disingenuous of the league. All the things that it is pointing out now about the president are not new to it, these were known to it long before he was elected president.

Hopefully this will teach the league lessons. That it will no longer support individuals, that it should support people who share its principles. To never support desperate people. It is ironic that the ANCYL suddenly saw it fit to quote “Through the Eye of the Needle” that "a leader should lead by example. He should be above reproach in his political and social conduct,” even though it knew then that Zuma was not above reproach.

Let this be a lesson to you ANCYL; let the genuine principles of the ANC guide you above all. Principle above all.

- Follow Khaya on Twitter.

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