Following the suspension of Julius Malema from the ANC, Wonkie hopes that the South African youth will turn their eye toward a worthy role model in the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela. She has both attitudes and values that will serve the youth community well should they choose to aspire to be like her.

Thuli Madonsela – South African Role Models

This is the final article in Wonkie’s series on South African role models. Good timing, given the recent events surrounding Julius Malema’s suspension from the ANC last week. Our guest writer below touches on the good, the bad and the ugly of South Africans worthy of imitation:

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As the shadow of apartheid with all its limitations very slowly lessens, so it becomes imperative to create a new set of heroes and villains – the old struggle icons, to use a rather tired term, excite neither young people nor most older people for that matter. The main reason for this being the tainted example many of them now set – an example of self-interest, hypocrisy and cronyism. In addition, the depoliticization of communities and the erosion of common purpose have left young people vulnerable to the excessive individualism of neo-liberal capitalism with its emphasis on unchecked private accumulation and egotistical self-publicity. This then begs the question of how this new generation is to select those they wish to emulate and those they wish to avoid following.

The main criteria for a role model should be advancing the genuine empowerment of all sections of society, particularly of the dispossessed, through building a human rights based society. This is not to deny individuals the opportunity to realise themselves and stand out for their excellence – such opportunities must be allowed to flourish. But the celebrity sound bite media must be held to account so that the superficiality of role models currently being presented – Idols, reality show contestants, sports stars, entertainment figures, populist politicians, etc, is challenged.

So, which youthful role models should be applauded and which booed?

The Good: Thuli Madonsela – she is without doubt the most obvious example of a young black woman who has stood up for a genuinely new South Africa. Her handling of the Bheki Cele case and her refusal to be intimidated by the ANC power structure is extremely important. Her actions have given new relevance to and respect for the position of Public Protector after the previous incumbent, Lawrence Mushwana, a party hack, discredited the notion of independent investigation and appropriate sanction. Viva Thuli, viva!

The Bad: It would be too easy to use South Africa’s beloved Julius Malema to fill this spot – he is not alone in being a pathetic example to the country’s youth – the collective national office bearers of the ANCYL are to be condemned for leading South Africa’s youth into a dead end. Their rhetoric and self-righteousness while delivering nothing of any value is self-evident. Where are the campaigns or organisational frameworks that need to be built to deal with the atrocious education, massive unemployment, rampant sexual violence and disease that afflict young people? Pansi Juju and his cohorts, pansi!

The Ugly: Jimmy Manyi – the head of the Black Management Forum has progressively blotted his image. As spokesperson for a rising managerial and entrepreneurial class, he has shown ignorance of economics, lack of strategic thinking and a penchant for self-aggrandizement. His new position in the Department of Labour, which could have been an interesting exercise in bringing black business and organised black labour closer, has become a farce. The Norwegian complaint relating to his using an official meeting to punt for private gain was a particularly gross example of unethical and selfish behaviour. Pansi Jimmy Manyi, pansi! Other very ugly examples are Khulubuse Zuma and Zondwa Mandela – former directors of Pamodzi Mining who denied workers at the ill-fated Aurora mine their wages for almost two years while frittering away the assets of the company. So much for solidarity and basic decency!

In conclusion, there are some bright stars – Tladi Tladi of the Hawks is yet another, who are making an imprint on South Africa’s fledgling democracy, but in the main the cancers of a flashy lifestyle and the cult of the Quick Buck are making it difficult for them to set the tone. South Africans can only hope that this soon changes despite the current hegemony enjoyed by the ANC’s Young and Old Guards (with the SACP in tow) and a mass media and corporate culture that are fixated on sensationalism and conspicuous consumption. It is certainly not an easy time to be young.

Leave YOUR COMMENTS about South African role models and Thuli Madonsela.

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Other related Wonkie articles on African role models:

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Comments

  1. You go girl!!! show them you’re not only in charge in the kitchen but in the men’s world as well. Well done, never be intimidated……

  2. Thuli Madonsela is a wonderful example of what can be achieved in South Africa. She should be the role model to which the youth should aspire.

  3. Listening to these 2 young, intelligent, dedicated, educated , no nonsense people , Thuli Madonsela and Tladi Tladi, gives us all hope that it is not quite yet over. Indeed role models for everyone in SA today, whatever race, creed or age.

  4. Thuli Madonsela, she is not easily intimadated, great person, someont to look up to. Good going proud of you !!!!

  5. Landing a broken down 747 happened in Lalalaland.

    Thank you Lady Madonsela. You are a “Professional”, thank you.

  6. Deena Naidoo says:

    SA has many, many different racial groups. Infact, many educated youngsters also belong to the ANC. So, ANCYL, what the fuck’s your problem. This is apartheid in reverse.

  7. Deena Naidoo says:

    Surely there’s many more qualified whites, Indians and Coloureds to fit that profile, OR, is the ANCYL reserving this post for black africans, and, do they have to also be illitrate as a pre-requisite.

  8. my dear Thuli a great job get those thieves and liars out and I am sure this beautiful land will revive again with life and decency and get those godless people as they belong to the devil’s flock.

  9. Thuli, you give hope to all South Africans who love this Country , but, will you be allowed to carry on? The Rotund One & Partners will soon be after you
    Keep well and a GREAT VIVA for you

  10. Dear Deena, forget about any high up posts or positions for anyone other than black Africans, we are in the midst of a great apartheid era, the majority rules and God help the rest of us, unless we have some bright spark who can see the dangers ahead, we might land up like the rest of this continent. Desert, barren, poor, disease ridden, genocide and lost.

  11. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Dis iss no de kinda roll modil dat de youf off da aNc kneed. Wot we wan’ is sumwon wot kan sho us how to get da big buks kwik and widout haven ta doo enny wurk 4 it.
    Bra jools was da master en now we hafta illect a noo precedent wot can sho us de eesi way of livin da good life.
    Wee don wan no onest ard wurkin peepul laik Thuli Madonsela and dat squared off Tladi. Dey may have passt woodwork but dey cudnt run da yoof leeg. We wan reel leedas hoo we can follo easi.

  12. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Laik jimy manyi

  13. Madonsela for president. Juju R I P in jail

  14. Thabiso Kokong says:

    Thuli my Sister, you are doing a very good job, but you must make sure that you do not come cleoser to there ANC and ANCYL ideiots lest they give you more money and you find yourself corrupted like them – you know le e mafemini- the most powerful shop stewards, they are given”higher Positions to close them their mouths and aftre that they become more corrup[t than their managers! please lovie, do not accept what ever that ediot Malama is trying to put on your table instead expose him for what he is! Steve Biko once said’it is better to die with an idea that is going to live than living with an already dead adea i realy respect your loyalty to the South African Citizens

  15. Hear, hear! Masondela for president!

  16. thanks to death of gaddaff he deserve to die together with his fimaly

  17. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ matiso – what on earth are you blathering on about?
    What has the death of Ghadaffi (however you want to spell his name) got to do with Thuli Madonsela or Tladi Tladi?
    And who is the “he” who deserves to die together with his family?
    Are you submitting on the same blog as the rest of us – or are you in some cloud-cuckoo land of your own?

  18. Thabiso Kokong says:

    Naidoo, Naidoo, Naidoo, of course the ANCYL Presidential Post is reserved for a black person where on earth would you see a black president in the United Kingdom? Nog noit in this Country if you are not black (especially in the ANC Ranks you will never be called a BEE there is nothing like WEE or IEE or even CEE (White economic empowerment, Indian Economic epowerment or Coloured economic epowerment, ) it is only about ANC Black Economic Empowerment as long as there is ANC in power-we will never see any race but blacks as Presidents in this country come 20 something ANC will be out i also assist Mr. Tutu in prayer to overthrow this so called ‘Working together we can do more Corruption’Government!!

  19. The overwhelming response in this column in favour of an intelligent return to good governance in this country is a tribute to those that still hold dear the tenets of the worthiness of the human spirit.

    We need to spread the word and convince our compatriots that self-aggrandisement, corruption, nepotism, hero worship are not the means to “a better life for all”. All classes in the previous dispensation were able to achieve “economic freedom” through education, hard work and commitment.
    That there are no longer the same impediments to certain classes to achieve these goals makes it is even easier to attain our dreams. The main obstructions are now the poor decisions formulated by the present government and the trade unions.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph (of evil) is that good men do nothing”. Only by discussion and persuasion might we turn the tide and prevent the descent of our land to the hell that many desire but will rue when it is achieved.

  20. Thabiso Kokong says:

    ja Tony it is true what you are saying

  21. she does her current job very so why?

  22. One of the great spirits of our time, she earns respect and deserves it.

  23. Nomthandi says:

    I would like to bring attention of the Public Prosecutor to the company (Tolplan) that did the feasibility study on e-tolling, installed the toll gantries and will be responsible for administration as well. A lot seems to be going there especially with their finances and BBBEE in obtaining business from Sanral.

  24. Ya! ba geso ge motho a kgebile ga a nyake polelo tsa monkgo gomme o tlo supa ba banngwe. Thuli forward ever madam Airfresh the bad smell we need some clean air. We are tired of Juliasses dragon breath. Of late he is talking of blood whose blood coward that he is. He is always howling like a stuck pig sies!!

  25. pietpompies says:

    We need a cabinet full of Thili Madonselas. Why are they scared of Thuli – because most of then are as crooked as a cork screw!

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