Madiba Magic Undone By Malema Madness

2013-06-28 11:08

While some may label him a charismatic leader, Julius Malema is known internationally as a political wild card. Chanting infamous songs that amount to hate speech and driving unrest has been how we came to know Malema.

Julius Malema was initially a very important element in Jacob Zuma’s campaign to take the presidency. After Jacob Zuma’s election, cracks in the relationship began to emerge and when Malema no longer served Zuma’s ends – he was expelled and found himself in a tail spin of charges relating to corruption.

Why this is so important is that since Malema has already built a following, he is now in the position to establish his own political party. There have recently been reports that Malema is in fact intent upon doing so. His mandate: ‘Fighting Social Injustice’ which will be embodied by the ‘onslaught against a white male monopoly capital’ (News 24).

Although there seems to be the sentiment that this will never succeed, it remains problematic in that it completely defies the vision that Nelson Mandela had for South Africa; that of reconciliation. The focus will be pulled even further from bridging the gap and shift towards more conflict among South Africans, conflict that is not needed.

I make reference to conflict in that there is a shift from conflict resolution to peace building. The focus has moved from how to manage conflict to what is needed to attain peace, to keep peace and to make peace the basis or institutionalise peace.

We can correlate Madiba’s vision of a South Africa that belongs to all those who live in it, black and white; with the shift to the institutionalisation of peace but in the same token we can see the antithesis in what Malema propagates.

What is concerning and a common theme in statements made by Julius Malema is the inciting language that is used such as “onslaught” and “fighting” as in the above mentioned examples is indicative of the ill-intent that Malema has. What was arguably politicking by Jacob Zuma in his run up to taking the ANC leadership - has now given rise to Julius Malema momentum in continuing down that road.

An example is Malema’s Marikana presence – after the violence that resulted in the grave loss of life that shook South Africa – to chant “Kill the Boer” and later deny it in a CNN interview claiming that he was singing “Kiss the Boer” as it was a reconciliatory version of the song...

It is important that South Africa not be side tracked and distracted and that we focus on remaining constructive in building a society that embraces its own diversity, a society that is free of discrimination, a society that aims to look at the injustices that are a legacy of apartheid and that wants to work towards the reconciliation - as per the legacy of Madiba.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Madiba for his contribution to the democracy we enjoy today, we will remember what you have sacrificed so that we may be free and we will safeguard and share your message of reconciliation.


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