Zama Ndlovu

Dear Cde Julius Sello Malema

2012-07-11 08:36

Dear Cde Julius Sello Malema

You probably don’t know me, but I’m a huge fan of yours. OK, maybe not a fan, more of a sympathiser, despite the reported disjoint between your gospel and your lifestyle and the rumblings from Sars.

You see, Juju (can I call you that?), I believe that despite your shortcomings, you and the ANCYL put youth issues firmly on political and government agendas. In many ways, the current attempts at radical policy shifts by the ANC are in response to your commitment to the objective of economic freedom in our lifetime.

Your career within the ANC may have suffered a fatal blow, but your political career, although critically wounded, could still be salvaged. I was one of the many young people who remained compassionate to your cause, but after reading about yesterday’s events, I think you are starting to make this whole thing a little awkward by not tendering in your resignation.

Let me state that the only reason the disruption caused by eight of your followers made it into the news, was really because they are your followers. Eight guys singing anti-Zuma songs really shouldn’t be front page news. The fact that your computer was stolen was really not news either, save for the fact that it was your computer.

Granted, there were a few cases which called for reporting, but most of this has been nostalgic journalism. The media misses you, the columnists miss you, but your supporters need you to move on.

We watched your being cruelly kicked out of a political party you adored, in the middle of your exams nogal, but now you need to have faith that the cadres you left within the party will continue the good fight. It’s OK to go quietly into that good night. My advice is that you trust that issues that were raised by the ANCYL you led, remain pertinent, and you continue to advocate for change without needing to be in the ANC.

You must also let go of the fallacy that democracy only exists within the ANC.

Your continued obsession with the ANCYL is misdirecting the efforts of that organisation’s NEC, and gives the impression that you are concerned with power and not the real issues facing young South Africans. You need to let your people go, because waiting by the tomb of your ANC political career hoping for a resurrection isn’t healthy. It’s actually a little sad, that "skepsem" sad.

You have played your part, you took many risks, some paid off, and some cost you dearly. It is now time to free your supporters from you so they can refocus on evangelising for the issues that matter, rather than for a personality.

It may be time to take some of Professor Jonathan Jansen’s advice, run a spell check on your resume, borrow a suit and look for alternative vocation. You may find yourself struggling a bit while you are still studying. Actually, since you are studying a Bachelor of Arts, you may struggle a bit even after you complete, but you’ve always been one to live on the edge.

Perhaps you should consider remaining within politics, but joining another political party. Influential political parties outside the tripartite alliance are few and far between (none), but starting your own political party is also an option. What can no longer be an option is this preoccupation with Mangaung. You’ll give yourself a heart attack obsessing on the results of that event. Surely you have learnt the dangers of doing other people’s dirty politicking while they remain mum?

Although I do accept your apologies, I am just tired of seeing you begging and pleading for attention, it’s beneath you. You are still very young, and this need not be how your political story ends, but really, this version of you is stroppy, embarrassing and just not sexy. Cut it out!

Respectfully your Comrade
Zama Ndlovu

- Zama Ndlovu is a management consultant, managing director of Youth Lab, writer, activist, and anything else you'd like her to be. Follow her on Twitter: @JoziGoddess

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