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Who remembers that October day in 2009 when Julius Malema became the ANC’s heir apparent? It was a sunny Sunday in Seshego, the township where Malema was born and bred, and he was sharing a platform with Jacob Zuma, who had become president of the country five months earlier.
The two men were still political allies at that time and fresh in Zuma’s mind was the footwork Malema had done for him in his comeback from political ruin. And as the pair sang and danced that afternoon, the president lauded his junior partner “a leader in the making”, a young man worthy of “inheriting the ANC”.
It got a front-page splash the following morning in the sister titles of this newspaper and kept commentators busy throughout that day. A future with Malema at the helm had unsettled most minds.
“I don’t know,” Malema said when I asked him why the president had given him such a ringing endorsement at that point. “But I’m not complaining.”
The young man was so chuffed that a couple of weeks later he asked for a copy of that photo of “me and Zuma jiving”. The Sunday Independent obliged and he blew it up and had it framed and to this day the image hangs in the ante-room of Malema’s office in Luthuli House.
But two years on and Malema is not even worthy of holding on to that office, following Thursday’s dramatic ruling by the National Disciplinary Committee. Some have even suggested since then that Malema is no longer worth associating with either, now that his political stock is in ruins and with worse still to come if the charges of alleged corruption, fraud and money laundering that hang over his head take proper shape.
But who remembers June 14, 2005 when former president Thabo Mbeki sacked Zuma as his deputy?
He made a spectacular comeback in the space of two years and then took the party by storm.
The odds are heavily stacked against Malema making a similar return, but as history has since taught us, Zuma’s comeback had less to do with him and more to do with unseating Mbeki as party leader.
History will also show us that this week’s ruling against Malema has less to do with party discipline and more to do with Zuma’s own ambitions.
If it was party discipline and political reason that really motivated Derek Hanekom’s committee, then why didn’t they act sooner? Malema has given them ample reason to do so these past three years. And why don’t they reel in the other offenders that continue to bring the party into disrepute?
While Malema licks his wounds this weekend, there are men and women scattered throughout Limpopo who are keeping their heads held low.
They were his foot soldiers, the people who did his bidding both within the party, in provincial government and in business.
They acted for Malema but also for many senior ANC figures in Limpopo.
They were the people who would collect the cash, pay the bribes and settle the scores.
Each and every one of them acted unlawfully, and in the name of the ANC, yet little mention is made of their actions or the fact that Limpopo has become a twilight zone these past couple of years, riddled with corruption from top to bottom.
Take the case of two well-known men in Polokwane who claimed fame as corruption busters since early last year. Throughout that period they kept themselves busy digging up dirt and feeding journalists reams of hard and damning evidence about what was taking place behind the closed doors of the provincial government.
But when Polokwane’s political elite began to feel the heat in recent months, they immediately turned to the two men and pleaded with them to keep a lid on their dirty affairs.
Money talks and for a significant sum, the two agreed and are now trying to keep the media off course.
As the ANC would say, “they are also members in good standing”.
But if I know the identity of these two men, so too does the ANC, yet they conveniently turn a blind eye to the way in which they and all of Malema’s other foot soldiers are calling the party into disrepute.
So that collective sigh of relief that echoed on Thursday was a tad premature.
The ANC may have sidelined Malema, but the ruling party did not rid its ranks of the rot and South Africa has not rid itself of its problems.
Zuma merely ousted one of his enemies as he clears the path to Mangaung.
The praise heaped upon Zuma for taking such a brave move was perhaps a tad misplaced as well. It is precisely his lack of leadership that has brought the ruling party to this point. - Sunday Independent
* Forde is the author of An Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema and the ‘new’ ANC
Sadly this country is rotten to the core thanks to the ANC. Thanks to the governments before the ANC otherwise we would not have had any infrastructure at all, any money would have been stolen.
@ badbaillie you're not reading the news or the statistics properly. To say that the "DA is as corrupt as the ANC" is just putting you in the same class as that unintelligent moron Malema. Your statement has absolutely no grounding and can only be considered as a Malema type "utterance". Where has the DA shown corruption? If you can read you will have read that the DA in Midrand were cleared of corruption and only found to have had a case of maladministration. There's a huge difference between that and corruption which, by the way, runs rife in the ranks of the ANC. There's hardly a day goes past without some ANC "corruption" report appearing in the news. Please open your eyes and give credit where it's deserved. Your anti DA sentiment is probably provoked through jealousy of the fact that an opposition party can be far more successful than the ruling party when it comes to getting things done. The ANC would do a lot better if they would stop the "in-fighting" that's continually taking place and take a much stronger stand in getting rid of the corruption in their ranks. What an embarrassment for any political party but, for them, it’s like water off a ducks back.
well said Fiona, what kinds of parents are they (ANC) that fails to discipline a child almost for nearly 5 years? Mangaung will be the worst Policy conference of the ANC ever in its history.
ALLY , wrote
JUJU WILL COME BACK YOU LIKE OR DONT HE WIILI BE THE PRESIDENT OF ANCLY.
Someone once said "parentselders are bones in which children get to sharpen their teeth" this makes me wonder if Malema hasnt beaten too much from them( ANC) and maybe he is now in position of some important inside info that has a potential of destroyimg the whole party if let loose hence he is so confident about this apeal thing.
Malema was used by JZ and others, now that he has served his purpose he is out. The worst a public figure can do is believe they are invincible. Interesting times, the succession in the ANCYL will be fascinating as it unfolds. I suspect that there is lots of scrambling at Luthuli House, people like Fikile Mbalula that are close to Juju will be very concerned.
The ANC is not viable as a leadership structure it never was and I doubt it ever will be. That said the DA has through its Midvaal embarrassment shown us that it is itself not who it claims to be and only a fool would chance bringing them into power. The unfortunate truth then is that the ruling ANC party is beyond any doubt little more than a cuban wannabe, involved in mass theft, illegal activities, fraud and a unending list of other 1st schedule offenses which will never be stopped.....The DA is just as corrupt and has failed to keep proper control over its members and constituencies to the point where it is no longer a viable option either. Our only hope therefore is a NEW party which is made up of good and decent people who will act in the best interests of the people they serve.....as no party of this calibre exists in Africa we are well and truly up the creek.
I agree with some of the things in the article. Julius' is exactly what they (Zuma) created. One can compare it to the relationship of parents and child... Where the parents approved of the child's antiques until the child started embarassing them and throwing tantrums... Juju was used... he can definitely lead and if he wants to... he can turn this around for his good... he just needs to learn what the word controversy means. He also needs to stop comparing himself to Madiba...it sounds stupid and far fetched...even a bit arrogant... Just my 2 cents...
aNON el politico, wrote
benson...ford is not batting for malema, she is stating some facts - he alone is not the problem, there are others that have not been touched and are just as dangerous. for sidelining malema to be an important move the 'others' need to be nailed down too...any guess who they are? perhaps those two who supported him at the hearing, maybe others? any ideas?
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