Yesterday was a dark, dark day for South Africa. Once again, the ruling ANC leadership acted with significant inconsistency, callous disregard for the education system, and a tremendous lack of foresight.
The thoughtless ANC action Wonkie is referring to concerns South Africa’s young lion – the great, the late, ANC Youth League president Mr Julius Malema. Following a decision by the ANC’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) yesterday, Che Malema has been suspended from the ANC for five years. This means that Juju will not be able to involve himself in any activities of the ANC or the ANCYL during that period, effective immediately.
When one reads what Malema is actually being disciplined for, both the ANC disciplinary process and the suspension itself appear to be somewhat of a joke. It is the political equivalent of convicting Osama bin Laden for lacking good fashion sense.
Firstly there is a matter of inconsistency within the ANC. Neither Jacob Zuma, nor any of the ANC powers that be, had anything to say about sowing divisions within the ANC when Julius was jumping around screaming that he would kill for Zuma. At that time he managed to cause a very real internal split between the Mbeki and Zuma camps. What Julius is being disciplined for now is for disrupting some meeting and voicing his opinion on one more thing he knows very little about. Given that the current Zuma faction would be at risk now (as Mbeki was before), it suddenly makes great sense to discipline him now.
Secondly, Julius’s poor attempt at emulating Schabir Shaik with his admission to hospital for flu-like symptoms, resulted in his disciplinary hearing being delayed. Wonkie is disappointed that the ANC did not delay the announcement of the verdict until after Julius Malema had written his UNISA political studies exam – a total lack of regard for the education system. If Julius fails, it will be the ANC’s fault. Poor guy, as if writing exams isn’t stressful enough as it is.
Finally, and most importantly, the ANC has shown a great lack of foresight with their decision. Does the ANC not realise South Africans live in fragile economic times? Do they not realise that if Julius Malema leaves the South African news scene, tens of thousands in the local media industry would need to be laid off? Does the ANC not realise that they are taking away from the public a source of free entertainment and a preferred topic of whinge? The white folk in Cape Town will also need to find something else to complain about now – and in a country as beautiful as South Africa, without Julius that might be quite difficult for them. Inconsiderate is not the word to describe the ANC.
Julius has, through his various forms, from lovable Juju through to his bovine alter-ego, Moolius Jalema, captured the hearts and ingrown toenails of South Africans everywhere. Wonkie wishes him well through the appeals process which will no doubt drag on indefinitely. South African politics would just not be the same without you Juju.