South Africa – Julius Malema is striking the right chord with people who have no clue what he is talking about. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema told residents of Madibeng local municipality that the only way to stop corruption was to vote for his party. This is flippant from a man who has pending corruption charges against him that have not been finalized.
Malema went on to say that the only solution to the problem in South Africa is to vote in favor of his party platform. He urged the residents not to abstain from voting but to exercise their democratic right and vote. He said the poor service deliveries plaguing that area can be stopped, and all it would take is to mark an X on the ballot paper for his party. He convincingly told residents that corruption can be stopped with their vote.
Malema is certainly striking all the right notes and saying the right words, yet he does not have a real solution. His stance on economic freedom is more radical than democratic and to execute such drastic measures based on his freedom policies would place South Africa into a civil war. Malema is no role model when it comes to finances, and his history regarding his corrupt activities casts a shadow over his ability to manage the wealth of this country.
Malema has a loyal following and can dominate a crowd of people with his charming manner. He utters words that are relevant to the large rural, uneducated and poor people of the country. People who do not know the meaning of democracy and all they hear is Malema striking the right cord and that under his leadership there is the promise of a better life.
People should not undermine Malema; he is powerful and loved by many people. There is a real possibility that the EFF political party can gain a sufficient amount of parliamentary seats in the upcoming election. Whenever, there is the hint of oppression or the possibility of a strike, Malema and his political followers will advance toward the outrage and calm the fears of the disgruntled people.
A land issue in the Bekkersdal vicinity caused a stir when the residents met to support their fight for the land. A mining company in that area owns the land and applied to the court for an interdict to prevent people from illegally occupying the property. This area is a rezoned for agricultural purposes and remains geologically unstable and prone to sinkholes. The municipality said that they were not financial able to take on the responsibility of providing services in that area.
The Resident’s Association of Bekkersdal said that the land was stolen by whites. The land grabbers were not sorry for occupying the area and believe the land belongs to them. They said the government had failed to provide housing for its people. They felt helpless and have realized that their 1994 vote made no difference to their living standards.
The EFF issued a statement and stated that they do not encourage people to disobey the rule of law. The statement recorded that the people were frustrated and tired of false promises, and realize why they take action. Support for their fight for the land was offered by the EFF party. The EFF will meet with residents next week and discuss a solution to their raging problem. Julius will get another few thousand votes for striking the right cord and singing empty promises again.
Discipline is the key to changing a corrupt state into a truly democratic first class country. Malema can strike the right cords but can he control the different cultures of South Africa? In all probability Malema will do well as an opposition party to the ruling government and introduce a contribution to a worthy change.
By Laura Oneale