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Thursday, 8 March 2012


South Africa after Julius Malema
By James N Kariuki

Julius Malema has finally been expelled from the ANC. In practical terms, this means that he has been pushed from the glamour of public visibility into the wilderness of political oblivion. In the absence of a miracle, he no longer has a platform to reach the public, an opportunity that he seemed to relish.

Even while this final decision was pending, for the past few weeks there has been a strange sense of emptiness in reading through South Africa’s Sunday newspapers and realizing that Malema’s name did not appear. It confirmed the nagging suspicion that the SA public would miss ‘good ol’ Juju.’

For the past four years, Malema entertained, puzzled and mesmerized the national audience and he was “something” to all. Some found his utterances offensive, threatening and reckless. To them, he was a demagogue. 

Others thought of the same Malema as a charming and inspirational leader, an icon of his generation. They would have walked to the end of the world with him. He was an admirable and charismatic folk hero. 

Still others were gripped by Malema’s capability to jolt. He lacked the oratory powers of a Malcolm X or the humility and disarming intellect of a Julius Nyerere. But with Malema around, there never was a boring moment.  He was a newsmaker.

Which Malema was real? Which Malema has been banished from public view? Has there been a case of throwing out the baby with the dirty water?

The Great Ideological Divide
While Malema did trigger an ideological split in the ANC, he did not cause it; he merely unveiled it. The divide was there long before Malema and it will be there long after him. The ANC must sooner or later come to grips with that ideological cancer. Otherwise, the possibility exists that Malema could reappear in a different guise. Was Malema’s a case of the proverbial killing of the messenger?

Post-apartheid black SA remains horrifically poor in absolute and relative terms. Today, the country indeed has the dubious distinction of having the widest poor-rich gap in the world. How is this class lop-sidedness to be rectified? This is where substantive differences between Malema and his party heavyweights originated.

Championed by Malema for the past several years, the left believes that an ANC post-apartheid government is duty-bound to nationalize the means of production such as mines and white-owned farmlands. By doing so, that government will be in a position to redistribute the wealth derived thereof and blunt the offensive and politically dangerous relative inequality of wealth between the races.

Thus, the left rejects the conventional wisdom that the first order of business is for the government to sustain national economic growth because it helps to address such social ills as unemployment and political stability. To them, adhering to such perception prompts external investments, which are ultimately unwelcome because they perpetuate crippling foreign dependency.

On that ideological issue Malema was unable to stomach the party line. Was he trying to tarnish the party or was he responding to a higher and compelling calling?

Malema and the SA’s condition
In contemporary SA, the ideas of land confiscation and mine nationalization are simultaneously popular and explosive. They are seductive, firstly, to the extent that they are widely believed (rightly or wrongly) to be intrinsically valid tools to address the issue of general and relative poverty. Secondly, they appeal because they contain a dose of anti-white sentiments. Racial undertones remain a potent component of the country’s politics.

Thirdly COSATU, SA’s largest federation of unions, laments that the apartheid economy of exploitation remains intact. COSATU is the powerful partner in the ANC’s government of tripartite alliance. Will a time come when this vocal mega-labor federation decides to agitate for the dismantling of the economy as we know it?

Finally, the anti-white wealth mentality has slowly but surely seeped into the otherwise moderate circles. The distinguished scholar, Professor Ali Mazrui, has expressed regrets that the terms to abolish apartheid excluded economic concessions for black SA. As he has put it, in 1994 the white man said to the Black man, ‘take the crown but we will keep the gold.’

To mitigate the agony of ‘economic-dream-deferred’, Malema’s ideological dream has been to snatch back some of the ‘gold.’

Perhaps Malema can be forgiven for harboring extremist views.  He is an angry young man in a hurry. But the complaint of ‘economic-justice-delayed’ has recently been echoed by the iconic nemesis to apartheid.

In August 2011, the well-known Archbishop Desmond Tutu Emeritus, by no means a man of Malema’s ideological persuasion, raised many eyebrows by calling for imposition of a tax on white wealth to speed up economic transformation.

In sum, what has been projected as Malema’s ‘heretical’ revolutionary agenda resonates as ‘conventional’ in the black SA community. And the same package of ideas has widespread following, perhaps strong enough to destabilize the country, if push comes to shove. Hence, the muted concern that the SA current political order would be fertile ground for an Obama-type politician.

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Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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