Julius Malema is becoming a prominent figure in the South African political world. He is a person who dominates the media with his sharp, outspoken personality. He is gaining momentum now, grinding his way toward the top position in the country. That represents a danger to the South African democracy.
Malema is the former African National Congress (ANC) youth president. He was publicly a rebellious member of the party and attracted attention wherever he went. After his expulsion from the ruling party, a process which saw him undergoing intense legal battles, the man who made news headlines every day remained hidden from the public. This action prompted people to believe the charismatic Malema was dead wood in the political world.
That is apparently not so. Julius loves attention, and his rejection only opened up another avenue for him to venture into politics. He formed a political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and he was returned to the national news headlines.
Julius is hated by many, but has a large following of South Africans who are ignorant of his nature and love him. He is a charismatic man, but with flaws as tall as the Empire State building, and he has found a way to attract masses of followers. He is known for his rants against oppression, sometimes spouting racial and genocidal outbursts. His economic policy of nationalizing the mines and giving land to his followers has been effective, along with are a few more of his promises, to continue to rally support ahead of the 2014 election. The fact that he uses his oratory to appeal to ignorance, rather than to inspire people to rise above it, is disappointing. It is even more so that the current administration has been largely silent on the subject of tyrants like Julius, who continue to be able to keep poisoning the minds of the people.
Julius Malema has the potential to be a strong person in South African society because of his ability to draw crowds toward him. His ability to appeal to even the poorest and least educated, could make him a positive and unifying presence, if that was of any interest to him. He could, for the good of all, become a motivational speaker and spread goodwill among people. He could organize social gatherings and empower people to help themselves. A man with his charismatic personality could lift up the ignorant and inactive members of society to implement an honest mechanism for survival. He could teach his followers to plant their own food, encourage study and ensure education was the most significant factor for their survival. He has the ability to talk to the people and could do so much good, if only he would.
Instead, Julius wastes his potential by giving empty promises of instant riches and a happy life. He offers a false type of hope to the hopeless, and for one reason only. While a part of the apartheid struggle, his determination to succeed mapped his future for success. He had a platform for teaching people to succeed, and live a decent life, yet he opted for the easy way out. He wanted power and he wormed his way to the top position of the ruling party in order to fulfill his get-rich-quick schemes by manipulating people and perpetrating tender fraud. Julius owned farms, properties in affluent suburbs, and expensive cars. He lived like a super star. With his downfall, he lost so much of the money he swindled that he is now determined to return to his former affluence. Now, he cannot settle for second best after living a life of opulence. He has returned to gather more than he deserves.
Julius Malema has a knack for creating havoc. He is driven to create division between the many diverse people of South Africa and drive the wedge of hate that Nelson Mandela fought to remove. He shows blatant disregard for the many other cultures and races in South Africa, and he has not been challenged by the current government, or reprimanded for doing so. Nobody is standing up to silence the energetic Julius Malema. He is convinced of the merits of his selfish and arrogant attitude, and because he is not taken to task, feels justified continuing his campaign of violence and racial hatred.
Malema displays a devil’s wickedness, bouncing around with his fist clenched tightly and uttering words that deepen the wounds of the South African social imbalance. This man has the potential to wreak havoc with the entire country if he ever succeeded in garnering enough votes in the 2014 election. He is pursuing his election campaign with gusto and empty promises, pulling in support from people who don’t even know what the meaning of democracy is. His promises could create an uprising, destroy the economic system and cause a great country to begin to deteriorate to non-existence. The threat is becoming more apparent daily.
Having Julius Malema in a governing role is a threat to South African stability. The current government has not issued any statements or uttered a word of worry about Julius, and he is gaining momentum on the election trail daily. Malema is, indeed, a charismatic individual, but for as long as we have people of his intellect and self-interest in seats of power, the population will never have real democracy in South Africa.
By Laura Oneale