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Dear Gwede Mantashe...

02 April 2012, 11:08
Do you remember giving evidence on oath, in a court of law, in which some citizens of this country were complaining that Julius Malema should be stopped from singing a song, whose words plainly called for the killing of citizens?

In court, your evidence was that Julius Malema was not a problem. You contended that it was the media that was the problem. You disdainfully observed that the problem was one of "Malemaphobia".

The media, and many others using the media, had repeatedly warned ANC leadership that Julius Malema was out of line, on any number of counts. They had warned that he was out of control. The whole World had even witnessed him gratuitously treating a guest to our country with extreme racist contempt, just because he was a White member of the media daring to ask relevant questions.

To all this, your response was that Julius Malema was not the problem; it was the media. You swore this before God and man. It was the messenger that was the problem; not the message. The mischievous, antagonistic media were guilty of "Malemaphobia".

You were saying that a whole bunch of South Africans were guilty of an ill-conceived vendetta against an upstanding member of the ANC. This had been preceded by Jacob Zuma, President of the ANC, publicly anointing Julius Malema as a probable future President of South Africa.

It had been preceded by ANC leadership allowing him to publicly deride, demean and ridicule the country's sitting President, Thabo Mbeki, screaming that "the trouble was Thabo Mbeki and his people!"

He was allowed to posture that he was pivotal in the removal of the President. In the light of all this, the nation is bemused and confused as to - why Julius Malema has been expelled from the ANC for being out of line and out of control?; and why your spokesman, Jackson Mthembu, has now published an official warning to Malema that he now has no right to behave exactly as the media had contended was unacceptable?;  and is Julius Malema, as supported by Minister Fikile Mbalula, not absolutely right that ANC leadership is being inconsistent, for now penalizing behaviour that it previously sponsored and approved of?

Are they not right that it is simply gratuitously discriminatory to withdraw the status that ANCY leaders have enjoyed to be "more equal than others". Most right thinking human beings will agree with the sanction that has been applied to Julius Malema.

However, on these facts, most will question your own suitability as a leader. It is clear that you were completely wrong about Julius. You proved, on oath in a court of law, that you were divorced from reality. Being divorced from reality, and attacking others when they rightly cry "foul", implies arrogance that is inconsistent with true leadership.

At the very least, your judgement and reading of the realities were terribly flawed. Poor/bad judgement is also an intolerable failing on the part fo a would-be leader. Surely you should do the honourable thing and step down. Fair is fair. The ANC is an honourable organisation. Surely the ANC does not have a culture of "might is right!?"

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