I couldn't help but be petrified when I saw Julius Malema on TV emerging from a crowd outside the Polokwane Regional Court where he was granted a R10 000 bail. These visuals were somewhat reminiscent of the ones taken outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court sometime between 2005 and 2007.
Some strange and striking similarities stand in between the love and war relationship of Julius and Jacob. And of course, there are very noticeable differences.
For one, at some time in their lives, both of them have assumed leadership roles in the ANC for their respective constituencies. That one is the former and the other the incumbent is of little consequence. History is written every day.
They've both also pronounced some liking for armament. Julius is well-known, especially by the farming community, for his Dubul’ibhunu 2.0 version of the song he so much likes. And for Jacob, obviously Umshini wami is the soundtrack that had the whole nation on a trance some time back.
For someone who only feels contempt for these “leaders”, I know it is easy to dismiss Julius and Jacob as highly uneducated. The gap between a second grade and a mediocre matric is not so huge after all. Not even Khulubuse can fit in. But education is of no significance in politics. At least in South African politics, that is.
Julius and Jacob’s traditional backgrounds can also be said to feature well in this picture. We all remember Julius’ protection of Caster Semenya based on a “research” he had done with some traditional leaders in Limpopo. Caster deserved protection, but not of that order. And who has forgotten Jacob’s opinion that he would not have just walked past a gay man during his heyday? He would have dealt properly with him, and surely someone’s head would have bled.
And yep, if the grapevine is anything to go by, notwithstanding the investigations on his wealth, Julius is set to own a mansion in Sandton sometime soon enough. Do I have to remind you that this is not dissimilar to what exists in Inkandla, a place that has come to be known as Zumaville?
However, very divergent characteristics are also evident in both these men that I don’t even have the energy to recount them all. The obvious one is that the one is a Casanova while the other a professed bachelor. This is only one disparity, care to share others.
But I digress. What really petrified me about the visuals of Julius outside the court was the dress-code he had employed. To be precise, I saw more of Jacob in Julius in that black suit. Moreover, the choice of the shirt and tie is what I have come to devise as the “white-shirt & red-tie complex” that I believe Julius suffers from.
It’s unlikely that some scientific finding will back me up on a claim that such a “complex” exists. But I choose to be the lone voice in the sea of insanity. There’s nothing for me that can explain Julius’ obsession with greatness other than some kind or another of a “complex”. Inferiority or superiority complex, pick what you may, but I stick by my theory.
Never in all the pictures available online or in some archives did Julius Malema wear a black suit, a white shirt and a red tie. He’s well known for a range of ANC regalia, some expensive signature wear, and much recently a trademark beret. Even when he attended the “hate-speech” trial, he was respectable enough in his suit, waistcoat and shirt. Only for this court appearance did he have this "new" look.
We all know what the outcome was in Jacob’s trial in which he almost always attended in this trademark “white-shirt-red-tie” clothing. To end on some note, Julius said to his supporters, "All of you, your efforts are recognized." And my immediate reaction was, "haven't we heard this before somewhere else?"
Does Julius feel that he has broken the “glass ceiling” in the ANC now that he’s facing the charges of the “big boys” and not the petty hate-speech thing? Could Julius be predicting his own future greatness in the ANC? Surely the “white-shirt & red-tie complex” theory must be deeper than our comprehension.
- Follow Sphelele Dludla on twitter @SpheDludla
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