Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something. -- Plato
Malema Says He Will Not Apologise
Will Malema say sorry?
By Mondlui Makhanya (The Times)
The time has come to bury Julius, not praise him
It is through his doltish antics that Malema has endeared himself to the masses. But what he says is just not funny
Just when is the ANC going to deal decisively with the Julius Malema problem? There was perhaps a time when some could generously dismiss the ANC Youth League leader as a harmless buffoon. There was perhaps a time when he was great material for comedians, cartoonists and satirists. A time when he made for great braai-banter and fodder for drive-time radio DJs.
But Malema was always dangerous. Dangerous people find ways of inveigling their way into mainstream discourse and making themselves the centre of attention.
Dangerous demagogues do not start out as demented demons. Humanity has had plenty of them in the past century and when they set out on their rise to the top, no one sees the danger that is coming. Most times, when society does eventually wake up, it is far too late and the damage is done.
Often they find their way into people’s hearts as revolutionary orators and inspirational liberators. Some start off as harmless clowns who are dismissed as passing fads whom the public would ultimately see through.
Malema falls into the last category, the simpleton who made it to the top. In terms of this thinking, the simpleton should cause only temporary grief. So we should shrug, laugh and wait for the natural order of things to expurgate him from the system. Except that things don’t work that way.
Often it is the very clownish antics and perception of inferior intellect that endear dangerous individuals to the populace.
It is not because we are less sophisticated than other people that Malema occupies the place he does. A Malema could have emerged anywhere in the world. Humans are strange that way. Why else would the voters of the world’s most celebrated democracy have given George W Bush two terms, a mandate he used to sow destruction across the planet?
It is also through his doltish antics that Malema has endeared himself to the masses.
But what Malema says to the masses is just not funny.
His first major pronouncement as president of the Youth League, that he and his followers would be “prepared to take up arms and kill for Jacob Zuma”, should have sent shivers down the spines of the ANC leadership, as it did a large chunk of South African society. At that point the young man should have received a stern talking-to and been instructed to behave like a leader.
Instead he was defended with that lame “quoted out of context” poppycock, if I may semi-plagiarise the cantankerous chief from Ulundi.
He went on to make far more dangerous remarks, which earned criticism, derision and laughter.
Many laughed out loud when, during the election campaign, he declared this support for the president of the ANC: “If Zuma is corrupt, then we want him with all his corruption. We want him with all his weaknesses. If he is uneducated, then we want him as our uneducated president.”
Now if ever there was a loyal insult.. .
Yet it does not seem anyone stopped to think about what this youngster was saying about the man who was about to become president of the republic. About the man he supposedly venerated.
But the subject of this column is the matter that saw Malema being hauled before the Equality Court this week.
Malema’s appearance related to comments he made to students last year in which he decried the behaviour of the woman who accused Zuma of raping her in 2005.
“When a woman didn’t enjoy it, she leaves early in the morning. Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money,” Malema reportedly told cheering and appreciative students.
The concern is that not only did the ANC fail to haul him over the coals for this misogynist comment, but it has sought to protect him from the Equality Court by trying to broker a deal which would have seen him walk away without even a slap on the wrist.
Then when he appeared, his lawyer — who has presumably been approved by the organisation — put forward what may be a legally sound but ethically and morally spurious defence. The issue is clear: women get raped a lot in this country and this crime is not something to be made light of.
Malema said something that should outrage every rational leader in the ANC. The fact that he was applauded by his audience is something that should be of deep worry to the party which, if it wants to govern our republic “until the Son of Man returns”, should certainly want to obliterate such attitudes.
If anything, the ANC should be siding with the largely black-male-led and controlled Sonke Gender Justice advocacy group, which brought the Equality Court application.
When I heard Malema describing Sonke on the radio, I wondered if the ANC head honchos realised just what a monster they are nurturing in Sauer Street.
“The black faces you see in front. Those are not real faces, they represent the whites who are opposed to African leadership.
“The imperialists and the whites who are still representing the past are using this organisation,” Malema told.. . yes, cheering crowds.