Ignore Malema at your peril, Uys warns

2012-04-23 22:37

Pieter-Dirk Uys speaks at Wits

2012-04-24 08:19

Watch this report of comedian Pieter-Dirk Uys public lecture at Wits University on Monday. He urged South Africans not to ignore Julius Malema. WATCH

Johannesburg - Political activist Pieter-Dirk Uys on Monday warned South Africans to not ignore suspended ANCYL president Julius Malema.

"Every single thing he said... we may not ignore, and we ignore at our peril. He is a clever politician in the year 2012. He has not followed the blueprint of the past.

"He has surprised everybody with his unbelievable cheek," he said.

Uys was speaking at a public lecture entitled "You ANC nothing yet – on the road to Mangaung" at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, where he urged South Africa's young people to get more involved within youth structures.

He said people should not underestimate the power of the ANC Youth League or any youth league.

"Why are so few young people involved with the youth league? The future is there."

The people had to lead and the government to follow. The future of South Africa was what the people made of it, not the government, he said.

All South Africans needed to be involved with what was happening.

"We are a country of democrats that care... and not people who say 'ons is bang, ons is bang, ons is bang' [we are scared]," said Uys. 

Stupidity can kill

Earlier, Uys said an oppressive system similar to apartheid could rear its head again if South Africans do not get more involved and hold the government accountable.

"Apartheid will never ever come back again under the same name. But don't underestimate the inventiveness of that era of politics.

"Of course it will come back, it made money. It will call itself something else, it will be benign, an acronym. We won't even know what it means."

Uys said this was because in a democracy people did not do their homework.

"We have a government that does its homework and you'll vote for it and be back in the dark ages for the next four generations," he said.

Uys said apartheid was a "stupid" system. He recalled how he was explaining to a 12-year-old boy how, during apartheid, black people were not allowed to sit on certain benches.

The little boy asked Uys "this apartheid thing, did it really happen?".

Uys said he asked the boy why he had said that and he replied "'cause it sounds so stupid", because who could stop him from sitting on a bench.

He said he thought about it and thought to himself "my God it sounds stupid".

"Stupidity can kill, stupidity is so inventive; so never underestimate the power of stupidity. Don't underestimate the power of the things you call stupid in politics."

South Africa was a democratic country because millions of people believed there was a future in the dark. He said there were good people in government as well as bad people, and South Africans should not forget that.

Read more on:    ancyl  |  pieter-dirk uys  |  julius malema  |  politics

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