Malema is Not a Safe Ally

Opinion Piece by Lelouch Giard

Malema is Not a Safe Ally
Malema is Not a Safe Ally

Malema, the firebrand ANC reject that built his own party on radical (read crazy) views, fiery rhetoric and loud grandstanding, has done it again: in a sweeping racist tirade, Malema painted a bullseye on every South African citizen of Indian origin. As expected, this caused quite some outrage; also as expected, the EFF doubled down on the hate with a promise to never apologise for the hate speech of their troublemaker-in-chief.

Now, for those of us who are not directly affected (not Indian, in other words), it might be tempting to dismiss this new attack as just another Malema stunt. He is rarely not mouthing off at someone, after all, so why is this time any different? The important part, however, is not in any particular difference, but in how this is more of the same with a different target.

White people in South Africa are an easy target for hateful rhetoric and blame-slinging; the SAHRC doesn’t take anti-white slurs and threats seriously, and anti-white hate “art” is seemingly fine with the courts. As such, Malema’s hateful remarks about, and even genocidal threats towards white people is all but expected and accepted by South African society in general. An observer could be forgiven for attributing his series of attacks on whites to any number of things, and just shrugging it off despite its anti-constitutional bent.

Zuma, and by extension the ANC that he is controlling like a grotesque puppet, is another seemingly natural target for Malema’s fire-breathing rage. The ANC used to be Malema’s home – attending their rallies was more important to him than one of his matric exams – so having them throw him out must have been something of a shock. Perhaps, as a previously staunch supporter of Zuma, he was hoping his boss would protect him, as other Zuma acolytes have been; take Bathabile Dlamini, the SASSA-breaking nitwit, as an example. Whether the motivation is sweet revenge or less personal political opportunism, Zuma is not an odd target for Malema. He is, however, part of a pattern that’s forming.

People of Indian origin have recently gotten some particularly bad press. The Gupta family have done an immense amount of damage to our economy, the integrity of our government, and even the ANC itself. They have unashamedly syphoned off government and SOE funds – not just to their own bank accounts, but much of it also vanished beyond our borders to foreign banks and a growing empire in Dubai. Money leaving South Africa means less money remains to start businesses, fund the government, and so on.

It may well be that this upwelling of dislike for the Guptas is the spark that lit Malema’s racist rhetoric recently. Whether he has a serious bigoted dislike of Indian people, or hopes to score some more easy political points off the back of anti-Gupta sentiment, the pattern seems all too clear to spot now: whenever convenient, Malema turns on people.

Malema knows no loyalty for its own sake – watch how he went from supposedly ready to kill or die for Zuma, to actively trying to topple his erstwhile patron out of his presidential office.

Malema cares little for the consequences his sowing of hatred might have – multiple court cases, many complaints and much debate later, he is still ever eager to call for violence against people based on race, ideology, party membership… anything, really.

The EFF and its aggressive chief show no remorse or signs of slowing. They have flipped and flopped around on things from Zuma to the current public protector to Mugabe. Malema is not stable, probably not even rational. As the pattern shows, Malema is not a safe ally: given the slightest opportunity, it is entirely likely that he turns on any “ally”… or turns back to a supposed “enemy”. Few would be surprised to see him return to the ANC he so harshly criticised, given sufficient bribes of status or salary. For now, we can only hope he manages to offend so many people that he ends up isolating himself and festering away from our delicate national situation.

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