Friends of the Youth League: The Value of Charismatic Leadership

2012-09-06 14:56

Lions when they hunt they identify a group of prey and then assess it. From this intelligent assessment on they pick up a single prey from the group. Their only focus when they launch an attack is not going to be confused on the whole group but will be focused single handedly on that identified prey.

That should have been the case with regard to the handling of the ANC Youth League case by the ANC. The ANC Youth League, in particular its president Julius Malema had for some time been a thorn in the flesh of ANC President Jacob Zuma. The pain on the flesh was so excruciating until the ANC acted by expelling Julius Malema from the organization. But in the process the ANC did a terrible blunder when it expelled Julius Malema, it did not single him out but also took his trusted lieutenants Floyd Shivambu and Ssindiso Magaqa.  That act was disastrous and we are all seeing it now as it plays itself in society.

Floyd Shivambu was the Communication Director for the ANC Youth League and Sindiso Magaqa was the General Secretary responsible for the daily operations of the ANC Youth League. It can be argued that the trio was in essence the engine that drove the ANC Youth League – they gave the ANC Youth League direction. And now currently the same work they have been doing in the ANC Youth League they are continuing in the Friends of the Youth League and they are forming a formidable team. It seems nothing has changed. They seem to carry on their duties and assume their roles just the same.

Both of them are now providing Malema with an effective support that is proving to be potent and deadly. The ANC has given Malema a lifeline and he is now more dangerous than he was while he was operating with the formal channels of the ANC as ANC Youth League President. And now the ANC seems lost in how to deal with the Friends of the Youth League.

Attempts were made to try to stop the Friends of the Youth League through the current leadership of the ANC Youth League. But it seems the current ANC Youth League is siding with the Friends of the Youth League. The ANC Youth League seems comfortable with the work that is being done by the Friends of the Youth League. Though Julius Malema is addressing the meetings wearing ANC regalia he is not obligated by the ANC regulations as he is expelled – and that means he is free to say what he want to say without being afraid of sanctions.

Meanwhile the Friends of the Youth League is growing in leaps and developing a character and philosophy of its own that is taking root at the community level. The question that is to be asked at this stage is when is the Friends of the Youth League going to be officially launched as a movement. What will be its colors and who will be part of the leadership?

A greater number of people have considered the development of the Friends of the Youth League as a blessing to the country’s politics and democracy. For now we will be having a fresh movement that like the ANC is entrenched within communities. It is clear that one cannot associate the Friends of the Youth League with Congress of the People or United Democratic Movement. Friends of the Youth League is different in many respects. It was not built hastily like United Democratic Movement. It was not built out of confusion and anger like Congress of the People. There is something fresh and genuine about the Friends of the Youth League, most analysts have said.

More importantly the Friends of the Youth League unlike the United Democratic Front and Congress of the People has outright clear leaders with charisma. Charisma is a quality that has a pulling effect. That is positive and attracts people because of its beneficial value. It is a force and quality of leadership that enable people to put their trusts in their leadership.

This one aspect of charisma is the driving force of leadership and is a source of mobilization and organizational appeal. Charisma brings with itself an influence that has the ability to mould and direct things in a defined manner.  Charismatic people posses the ability to influence not only people but the environment too in order to bring the desired results. The influence is in the heart and mind of the people that make them expect and do things in line with the expectations that has been set forth.

Every human being in this world yearns for direction in form or other. Charisma is a sheer display of leadership that provides direction with a purpose in the life of others.


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