The country will pay hefty price for Malema insults

2011-06-11 11:34

There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie,” according to Dr Cornel West. The truth is that Julius Malema is a huge benefactor of a sad state of our national politics.

The lie is that no one is bothered by Malema’s lack of respect. As they say, the rot begins from the head, ANC troubles started from its head.

Former president Thabo Mbeki’s leadership style alienated him from many of his comrades, ostracising his deputy left the party deeply divided and vulnerable to political hyenas waiting on the sidelines.

Malema, a rubble rouser who has nothing to lose came in handy for politicians who lived a lie.

Malema rode Zuma’s tsunami wave to reach unprecedented prominence in South African politics.

All he did was use the public platform to hurl vitriolic attacks on Mbeki which ultimately earned him a seat at the helm of the ANC Youth League.

But Malema takes South Africans for granted. He now praises Mbeki’s leadership because he is no longer in good terms with Zuma.

People who subscribe to his views left the ANC to form Cope.

Though everybody knew Malema’s conduct was alien to the ANC, hurling insults and calling senior leaders names is not what made the ANC a respectable liberation movement.

It is not radicalism, and certainly not astute but nobody cared at the time for as long as it was good enough to remove Mbeki. It was deemed a lesser evil.

With the unintended media help, Malema’s name grew in the public domain, but so did his demeanors too.

Malema’s ill conduct began slowly like cancer to erode long-standing values of the ANC and its self image, thus ultimately destroying all that was once valuable to the ANC and society at large.

The ANC is almost 100 years old but with personalities like Malema it may not reach the next 10 years intact.

If any leader says it is okay for Malema to insult people he disagrees with, that leader is living a lie with far reaching implications.

For these Malema insults the country will pay heavily.

The ANC youth league needs sober leaders because it must lay a proper foundation for generations to come.

The ANC and its alliance partners also need time to heal from the political fallout of 2007, structures need to be rebuilt, workers need to be organized and the SACP must play its vanguard role including taking leadership of the next phase of national democratic revolution to its logical conclusion.

Socialism in our lifetime.

Collen Malungane

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