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|Subject: While SA laughs, Malema spreads his tentacles Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:34 am|| |
Jer 9:3 And they bend their tongue, [which is] their bow for the lies [they shoot]. And not according to faithfulness do they rule and become strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know and understand and acknowledge Me, says the Lord. AMPPro 29:2 When the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.AMP
This is a day when God is mocked. A day when what is sacred is profaned. And wickedness takes hold of a nation.
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- Quote :
- While SA laughs, Malema spreads his tentacles
Published: 2009/11/19 06:20:25 AM
JULIUS Malema is easy to caricature. There is the borderline criminal conduct from his time as head of the Congress of South African Students; his certainly fraudulent election as president of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL); his public nuisance value as Blackman-in-chief and, of course, his less than stellar “academic” record.
It is, in fact, a caricature that has seized hold of the public imagination. South Africans, Malema included, thrive on the cartoon of this buffoon.
We love the silliness of it all, the crassness and the crudity. We marvel at how someone so ill-equipped to lead can become such a national figure. Ja nee, we say; only in SA could a man who could not saw his way out of a woodwork workshop become a leader worthy of editorial pages.
But there is something odd about the relish with which Malema seems to greet being the butt of jokes. There is something unsettling about the way in which Malema seems to enjoy helping us construct his caricature. It may well be that Malema has no sense of irony and that he does not realise what it means to be a joke. But I doubt that. I suspect that Malema is keen to help us maintain his cartoon figure because it takes our eye off the prize.
Malema lets us focus on the spectacle and the joke that he represents because that provides him with the cover he needs to carry out activities that would turn our mirth to outrage in a second were we to know about them. Malema needs us laughing because the joke is, in effect, on us. We are Malema’s dupes, his useful idiots.
Strip away that caricature, kill the cartoon, and what you are left with is a cunning thug who is the nexus of a patronage network based in Limpopo but that cuts across provincial borders. Try cutting through the fog and you will find one of the biggest proponents of the National Tender Revolution in this country. Take a few steps away from the Malema sketch and you will discover a true political don and one of the biggest influence-peddlers in SA.
As I write, a group of (white) businessmen with interests in mining in Zimbabwe has been lobbying Malema and the youth league for political protection. The businessmen are afraid Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe might move against their interests and so are appealing to the league to use its connections with Zanu (PF)’s youth brigade to protect them.
I don’t know what the premiums are on that kind of insurance but you can bet your last cent they do not come cheap. Naturally, these businessmen would not want it known that they are running with the Youth League. Among their friends and families , these men are probably some of the biggest peddlers of the Malema caricature. Why would they want it otherwise?
Not so long ago, a municipality in one of the outlying provinces could not pass a budget. All because Malema had not, shall we say, pronounced himself on the matter. We all know the classical definition of politics as that which is concerned with who gets what, when and how. Well, Malema is politics.
So, while we laugh at his crudeness and at his caricature, Malema laughs all the way to the bank, the mattress, or wherever he keeps his loot.
Understand the Malema behind the caricature and you understand why a man who has never held an honest day’s job in his life can afford to own two palatial homes, drive a Range Rover and shop at some of the most expensive boutiques in the country.
Understand why Malema enjoys the jokes we crack at his expense and you understand that this is a man who figured out long ago that we were the silly ones, focused on mundane stuff, such as his school grades, while he spread his cancerous tentacles through SA’s body politic.
Money has been good to Malema, and I don’t just mean in terms of blue lights and easy living. Speak to youth league activists and they will tell you that Saki Mofokeng, the man he “defeated” to become ANCYL president, was a much better candidate. But he did not have Malema’s deep pockets. Understand the role of money in Malema’s rise to power and you understand why his predecessor, Fikile Mbalula, ditched Mofokeng, his homeboy and protege, for Malema.
Malema can afford the jokes we tell about him. They have made him rich and stopped us from asking the kinds of questions we should be asking. How indeed has Malema got so rich, and does he even pay his taxes? We are not likely to ask these questions so long as we are focused on the caricature, the cartoon, the buffoon. Begin to ask those questions and you start to realise that behind Malema’s call for the nationalisation of mines lies something far more serious, far more dangerous than the jokes we love to tell about him.
Meanwhile, we laugh ourselves silly. The joke is on us, SA.
- Dlamini is author of Native Nostalgia (Jacana ).
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