Malema's silence, the absence of empty mantra

2013-01-23 15:35

There is a certain silence that has made its way back into the landscape of our lives.That buzz that wasn’t welcomed in our lives has been muted and no longer feeds our irritation and annoyance. It took a long while, but we are sure pleased that the drone that was a catalyst of unfruitfulness and rowdiness has been silenced.

Julius Malema’s mouth has finally been shut and so we hope that this delightful outcome prevails.

Although now and then there are a few newspaper sound-bites of the former African National Congress Youth League president, his voice sounds dimmer than the rumor of a breeze. Or maybe it could be due to the fact that South Africans have finally made the advisable decision not to take the so-called “young man” seriously?

However, the more logical explanation to Malema being tight-lipped is the daunting predicament that he is apparently facing bankruptcy and his upcoming court trial on 51 charges for racketeering, corruption and fraud.

The last time we heard from the loud-mouthed and “know-it-all” talk-shop was when he couldn’t stop himself from stringing another sentence of empty-protest. Only this time he was lamenting the fact that he has lost his “friends” who are treating him like a leper. Shame, it is so bad that his friends don’t answer his calls. Arg sies tog, does this mean we should offer him some pity and feel sorry for the once overconfident and former “comrade” of the ANC?  I can already see Malema in his beret, in his farming shorts, all alone in his plot in the company of cattle, tomatoes and cabbages. Eish, we don’t even know how long that is going to last since he could lose that too since he supposedly cannot pay for his R16 million tax invoice.

Malema being so hush and his ‘loneliness’ is no small reality; as this was a man who had the ability to draw crowds of thousands outside the JSE in 2011 demanding the end of “white capital monopoly”.  His current silence prevails despite the fact that this very dramatic “economic march” didn’t bear much economic fruit and the state of “poverty” in our country remains unchanged. Guess what, Malema? Your marching was nothing but a parade of a political street bash that didn't do much for the poor but might have made us aware of the seduction of your slogans.

After all his ranting and angry propaganda in front of crowds Malema has failed, as the opportunists that he is, in marking a change in the landscape of our society. Instead he has been another politician who has marked our politics with two-facedness, little action of change and too much debate. The fact that his reputation is marred with the corruption charges doesn’t make Malema a figure who demands respectability and much attention.

Yes, we gave Malema a stage and he gave us a show.  Even after he was axed from his leadership position in the ANCYL, we gave him a platform as if his voice was a magical muthi recipe to curing our burdens and grievances. We saw him taking the opportunity to have his say during the post-Marikana gatherings.  He made a spectacle of himself garnering applauds from the crowd, as he fervently was seen on our television screens hollering: "President Zuma decided over the massacre of our people, he must step down." Then again we watched him walking away from the havoc of the situation without making little personal commitment to do something about his supposedly brave confessions. In my circles, a person who is all talk and no do is called “hypocrite” and “pretentious” and a “good for nothing populist”. Nope, we haven’t witnessed the day when township dwellers move out of the dump to share opulence and beautiful scenery with the wine farmer. And no, the day hasn’t come when my grandmother owns a favorable share of Anglogold.

The thing about Malema’s sermon is that it never ever brought change. As much as he was a leader of a youth arm of the ANC, he dealt little with issues that affected the young in the country.

It was rare to hear the Limpopo boy engaging on conversations that had to do with education, unemployment, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse, which are issues that largely affect young people in our country. However, he had his eyes fixed on issues that had to do with “cashing in”; like land redistribution, nationalization of mines and power struggles within the ANC.

All we know about Malema is that he was so popular in the political sphere that he was able to shift the heartstrings of the “masses” with his empty-mantra and “radical” and careless speeches. We know that he was only there in the ANC on puppet-strings and to assist the “Zuma” take over. At the end of it all he was left wanting when he thought he could lead a second take over before Mangaung.

Nothing exemplifies better the kind of leadership we don’t need like Julius Malema’s political career. Malema is a man who has used a powerful role to cheaply use issues that move and affect us all as his weapons of rule and to recklessly minimize the complexities of our society, without offering resolutions.

So, without knowing how long it will last, I rest on this armchair, gaze at the blue of my country’s beautiful skies, outside the porch overlooking the dust and the grime of a township street. Aaah, silence, and so things remain unchanged.

I don't live on twitter but you can find me @jazz2ben

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