After South Africa’s debacle with denying the Dalai Lama a visa this past October (Foreign Direct Investment from China more attractive than enlightenment) the country appears to have redeemed itself from moving further into the depths of corruption as todays suspension of the notorious Julius Malema has shown. Malema, the head of the ANC’s youth league has been causing most South African’s heads to drop in shame from his ongoing antics. Some of our friends as I had reported in previous blog postings have been even threatening to leave the country if Malema were ever to be elected into an even higher position of power.
It appears that all the hype around leadership in the 21st century did not make it into Malema’s lexicon as this man has proven to be a complete and total embarrassment to everything South Africa purports to hold dear. Values such as racial equality went out the window with Malemas encouragement to sing the “kill the boer” song last year (a song that encourages black South African’s to kill the white farmers (Afrikaners) and where the pursuit of economic justice meant organizing nationalization of the mines marches (meaning more moolah for Malems pockets). And that Malema was (so exciting to say that now) head of the ruling parties youth league was possibly the most disturbing part as this man was supposed to be a role model for the next generation.
Today Malema was reportedly suspended from his position for 5 years due to the need for “internal disciplinary action” but I suspect the ANC has finally buckled from the anti-Malema pressure and has taken action despite the fear of loosing potential ANC votes from the youth league. What we do know about the trial was that Malema was found guilty of sowing divisions within the ANC but not for racial or political intolerance. I do believe that he should have been found guilty for racial intolerance- he even went as far as accusing all whites for being criminals who stole black land. Even though this is true from a historical perspective- how affective is this accusation in post-apartheid times?
South Africa is still in the process of licking her wounds by trying to pick herself up from the abyss of one of the most offensive crimes against humanity committed on this soil- the aftereffects of the apartheid regime. There is a heaviness in this place and I think it is fair to say that the 99% carry the tremendous baggage on their shoulders. The anger-energy however carried and dispensed by Malema has proved to be inaffective in the long run and this I believe is a very positive step towards healing for the country as a whole. The lesson perhaps is this: do not dwell in the past for it will not create the future. It will only create more hate and bloodshed- the opposite of what this baby democracy is really needing.
For this nation to rise and truly lead Africa into the next chapter of growth and development on all levels leaders like Malema need to be disciplined when they show their true colors and moved out of a space that can potentially hold the real movers and shakers of transformation.