Dear Julius

2012-09-29 10:48

I have finally succumbed to writing this letter to you, former comrade Julius Malema, because I do not want your irreparable, misguided militancy to go down in history unchallenged.

Basic Marxism teaches us that isolating and attacking leaders of any revolutionary organisation – such as the ANC – literally amounts to attacking the very same national democratic revolution I have a duty to defend.

I regret being part of the collective that played a central role in your re-election in the 24th national congress of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

Your obsession with attacking ANC leaders, surrounding yourself with yes men like Sindiso Magaqa and Floyd Shivambu, and falsely believing you possess immense power similar to that of a mini god, is your biggest downfall.

Former comrade, you know how I – like most comrades – honestly believed you could help us consolidate our gains and make new inroads while simultaneously championing the interests of young people and rallying them behind the ANC vision of creating a national democratic society.

Hence this open letter seeks to appeal to your long-suspended political logic to find alternative means of feeding your unquenchable appetite for the media’s cameras than attacking the ANC because you will be defeated like all those who couldn’t swallow their egos and toe the revolutionary line.

Former comrade, our ANC government has done a lot to create a united, democratic, nonsexist, nonracial and prosperous South Africa.

For instance, it has provided free housing, infrastructural development and transformed most apartheid policies.

But we note with serious concern much more remains to be done, especially for the youth.

Of major concern to us is that unemployment is rife among black youth in general and African youth in particular.

For example, a survey by the SA Institute of Race Relations found that unemployment among African women is at 63% and out of all young Africans, 57% are unemployed compared with coloured youth at 47%, Indian youth at 23% and 21% of white youth.

Remember that the 24th ANCYL national congress unanimously re-elected you and the collective to implement our clear and concrete national programmes.

We mandated you to ensure these programmes substantially improve the material conditions facing the youth and be integrated into a national agenda.

As a national political head of the ANCYL, we said you must lead us in mobilising young women and men to participate in the implementation of key programmes of the National Youth Development Agency.

What we saw was personal accumulation using any means available, including the agency.

In essence, the 24th national congress adhered to Franz Fanon’s advice that each generation must “discover” its mission and fulfil or betray it.

The essence of the current generation was arguably “discovered” to be the translation of political freedom into economic freedom in our lifetime.

It’s important to mention the economic freedom struggle precedes the formal arrival of white settlers in 1652.

As such, it is incorrect for you, former comrade Malema, to undermine Amilcar Cabral’s advice that leaders must be honest to the masses and not claim easy victories.

It is worth mentioning the programme of economic freedom in our lifetime does not belong to you Julius, but is the South African people’s programme that was reaffirmed by the ANCYL.

Unfortunately, you are unsuccessfully attempting to hijack both the ANCYL and the economic freedom programme.

What went wrong?

I really do not know what diverted you from the mandate we gave you, except to assume you became obsessed with ANC leadership issues and vindicated Nelson Mandela’s warning against uncontested comrades becoming dangerous to the movement.

I did not expect you to:
» Confuse our support for you with a licence to accumulate personal wealth;

» Act in a manner violating the core values and principles of the ANC, such as respect for elected leaders, ANC decisions, humility and self-respect;

» Falsely claim you installed comrade Jacob Zuma as the ANC president when you were a mere provincial secretary at the time. ANCYL support for him was a 2004 22nd ANCYL national congress resolution;

» Define yourself outside the ANC, such as stupidly saying “gloves are off” to the ANC. You were like a barking, toothless dog; and

» Manipulate the inherent capitalist exploitation of the miners opportunistically and confusingly question the legitimacy of the ANC while ironically wearing ANC regalia.

We once understood you to be on our mission for total liberation.

However, your behaviour – especially after the 24th national congress – indicates we were wrong about believing in your capacity to lead the ANCYL and South African youth.

Finally, I must caution you that you have taken a wrong turn whose ultimate destination is the dustbin of history, like all other factionalists who were expelled from the ANC.

Dlungwana is a KZN ANC provincial executive committee member, the ANC Moses Mabhida region’s deputy chairperson and MPL in the KZN legislature. He writes in his personal capacity

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