Malema Set to Assassinate Zuma’s Political Career
Is It Fair and Just? Are There Options?
By Vusi Kweyama
Friday, September 14, 2012
Obviously, my political ideology is not yet sufficiently formulated or developed to make informed political opinions. However, in my parochial view, the current series of events unfolding in my beloved South Africa might cause damaging and disastrous results for everyday people struggling to make ends meet.
It appears that voices within the ruling party, the African National Congress, fail to embrace the needs of the masses. Instead, its leaders are gravitating hastily towards their selfish ambitions. Behind their powerful voices you can sense anger, not against poverty, but against those who block their individual gains, at the expense of the national reconstruction agenda.
There’s no denying the fact that there are numerous shortcomings within the ruling party, just as there are in many postcolonial liberation movements. That said, I believe that such shortcomings aren’t the result of one or more individual’s lack of know-how, but a developed organisational culture that, over time, prioritises selfish ambitions and personal gains.
The initial national agenda (a.k.a. freedom charter), which was primarily concerned with both the emancipation of the least privileged and the reconciliatory project, no longer has such aims. It’s clear to me that the national agenda suffers from perpetuating a predominant characteristic of the “me, myself, and I” syndrome. It’s a greed for power and resources that has become the major incentive for political engagement, aided by the current economic world order that appears to thrive upon greed, all of which comes at the expense of fair play and social justice.
One of my professors who gave a justice lecture recently introduced me to something very challenging and intellectually stimulating. I found myself grappling with the fundamentals of justice, forcing me to evaluate what is being done in and to my homeland, the country I love so much. The lecturer presented to the class a provocative picture of a powerful train traveling down its tracks before reaching a fork; one track went straight ahead while the other track veered off to the side; on the straight-ahead track, we saw that five people had been tied down; on the optional track, we saw that one person had been tied down on that line.
Stopping the train before the fork in the track would have been impossible. Only two options existed: (1) Go straight and kill five people or (2) Switch to the other track and kill one person. No matter the option, the consequence of the conductor’s decision would be terminal. Which option would you choose in the name of justice?
We also need to consider whether justice was done appropriately in a recent event. President Obama determined and approved the option to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice. What troubles me about that decision is whether assassination without trial was just or not. Bin Laden’s killing certainly brought closure and the sense of justice to the American people. However, the president decided to not arrest Bin Laden and try him through a supposedly fair justice system practice, one designed to safeguard our illusionary democracy. Did justice prevail in that situation?
Here at home, I struggle to understand if justice prevails. Is it right for Julius Malema to attempt to render the mining sector “ungovernable” at the expense of the nation’s gross domestic product? Is it fair and just for him to stage a political comeback at the expense of people already suffering? Does he have other options at his disposal to achieve the same ends without harming the people he claims to love and represent? Should he kill one person or five people lying on his train’s tracks? Moreover, is it fair and just for Malema to assassinate Zuma’s political career at the expense of the masses? Shouldn’t he instead prioritise the national agenda in the interest of development and harmony?
Arguably, justice isn’t always determined by the judicial system. Instead, an individual’s intuition is often the primary determining factor. Unfortunately, many times, decisions are made without first evaluating the facts of the matter.
In a day when just decisions are tampered by selfish ambitions, the masses loose. Exactly what must we feel and do to successfully make fair and just decisions when we find the options we face extremely challenging?
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