MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 21
Article views: 2379
Latest Badges:

View all Molifi_Tshabalala's badges.

Malema as bad as he is made to be?

30 November 2012, 10:39

I do not wish to ingratiate myself with the expelled African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) President Julius Malema nor do I wish to profile myself at his expense, but I would like to answer the question that has been lingering in my mind for a while, “Is Julius Malema as bad as he is made to be?”  

To answer this question, I should first dispel the two main misconceptions held by many about him. Without any doubt, Malema is the selling news. He makes headline on daily basis, not only in South Africa (SA) but also across the globe.

In 2011, he was named The Newsmaker of the Year, an accolade he shared with an ever so workaholic Public Protector (PP) Thuli Madonsela.

Moreover, his newsworthiness was attested by the two biographies, “The World According to Julius Malema” co-authored by Max Du Preez and Mandy Rossouw, and “An Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema and the ‘new’ ANC”, authored by Fiona Forde.

In the first book, the authors hand-picked his famous and infamous sayings on the Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader Hellen Zille, the incumbent ANC President Jacob Zuma and Nandos, they critically analysed the underlying meanings within the context of the ‘new’ ANC.

Meanwhile, Forde went bit further to unearth his persona, from his poverty struck days in his homebirth Seshego, Limpopo, to his lavish lifestyle within the ranks of the ANC.

Even fashion designers like Obakeng Ramabodu have cashed in entrepreneurially on him as the sellable brand through his ‘Juju’ branded merchandise.

By virtue of not mincing his words, calling a spade a spade, he has been called names, from a rabble-rouser, a reckless populist, and all sorts of names.

The first misconception held by many about him is that he is stupid, uneducated, and a fool. A perception drawn stereotypically from his Grade 12 results in which he did not perform well.

In a normal conversation or discussion, when you support any of his political views irrespective of the merits thereof, you are considered a stupid, a fool, and uneducated.

Meanwhile those who reject whatever gets filtered out of his big mouth, notwithstanding demerits thereof, are considered clever, wise, and educated. His critics often fail to detach his persona from his political views and thus end up discussing him as the person instead of his political views.

The second misconception many held about him is that he uses the poor to his own political benefit. I hold ambivalent views to this misconception. 

Yes, he uses the poor to his own political benefit, but the poor too, use him to their own political benefits. In the wake of Marikana crisis, he and the Friends of the Youth League (FYL) voluntarily stepped in to occupy a leadership vacuum left by the self-serving union leaders at the expense of the poor mineworkers.

He was accused of turning the situation into a political rally, as if we have never seen politicians turning memorial services and funerals into political rallies before in SA. We often see them, instead of consoling the bereaved families; they use the services to score political points. When Malema does it, is called political opportunism or instigation of violence.

Ironically, when Malema said the ANCYL is prepared to take arms and kill for Zuma, he was not instigating violence. The same goes to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) threatening to destroy the tollbooths; it is not instigation of violence.  

It is in fact the two sides of the same coin. Malema, like any other politician, uses the poor to advance his own political fortunes. The poor on the other hand, use his media limelight to advance their own fortunes.

The mineworkers and suspended members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) knew very well that Malema could not solve their problems as such, but through his reckless public outburst, he will exert the necessary pressure to the government and their employers to accede to their demands.

Having dispelled the misconceptions, it is now befitting to answer the question, “Is Julius Malema as bad as he is made to be?” The answer is NO! He is an epitome of today’s politics of the ANC, you only make sense when you hurl derogatory insults or call names at those holding divergent views to yours.

He is a victim of looking up to a wrong role model, in Zuma. Instead of giving him a fatherly guidance, Zuma led him astray with his political shenanigans.

When Zuma was expelled in 2005 as the Deputy President of the country, he claimed that he was a victim of a “systematic abuse of power” Malema too, claimed victimhood on his dictatorial leadership when he was expelled from the ANC in 2012.

When Zuma appeared in courts on rape trial and on corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering charges, a series of night vigil rallies were organised outside the courtyards. His supporters burnt down the T-shirts bearing Mbeki’s image.

Similarly, when Malema appeared before the ANC National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) and in court on charges of money laundering, the night vigil rallies were organised outside Lethuli House and the courtyard respectively. His supporters burnt down the T-shirts bearing Zuma’s image.

To inoculate himself from the corruption stigma, Zuma attended various church services and he was ordained with an honorary priest. Malema too, accompanied by Floyd Shivambu, attended the same service.

Zuma, notoriously known of singing the violence inciting uMshini Wami song, dispelled the existence of homosexuality in his Zulu culture while Malema, notoriously known of singing the Shoot the boer song, dispelled the existence of hermaphrodite in his Pedi culture.

The instances drawn give credence to an assertion that Malema looked up to a wrong person to mould his political career. In fact, the only major difference between the two is that Malema can clearly articulate his political views irrespective of the merits and demerits thereof while Zuma has none of his own.

By Molifi Tshabalala

 This article will appears in the book, “An Anthology of Open Letters: The Views and the Voices of Ordinary Citizens in South Africa” to be published either late this year or early next year.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Michael Ernest Meder
OUTA on EToll Debr

I really believe Outa is "smoking something" - they are now calling EToll laws unjust and irrational, a far cry from their initial stance of lack of public involvement. Read more...

0 comments 272 views
Submitted by
Monika Rohlwink
Medical Aid for pets versus medic...

I think Malema's statement that people are more willing to take out medical aid for their pets than for their employees is grossly exaggerated.  Read more...

0 comments 167 views
Submitted by
John Stoltz
Madiba versus Malema,....or is it...

Dear Mr Malema, how can you ever make a derogatory remark about our beloved Madiba? Read more...

0 comments 134 views
Submitted by
Thulane Che Trosky637
21 Years later of absolutely noth...

South Africans before 1992 was lead to believe that Nelson Mandela deserved to be serving a life sentence apparently because of his ‘high treason’ case and the apparent acts that he committed before being sentence in the 60’s. Read more...

0 comments 56 views
Submitted by
Joshua Glenny
Ballito Drought Solution

I live in Ballito and I have "made a plan" to reduce my water bill. I have installed 3 x 2200l rain water harvesting tanks. Read more...

0 comments 1192 views
Submitted by
Shelly Bowling
The Oscar Pistorius through the e...

The fact forensics determined OP was on his stumps rather than his prosthetics when he fired the gun is the most significant finding. Read more...

0 comments 551 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.