Malema, Ntime: when movements eat their own children
Tuesday, 15 November, 2011It is now legend that Julius Malema has been suspended. Newspapers literally across the world, television stations as well have been awash with news of his suspension and speculation on his first move.
The white minority in South Africa that has been scared by the ‘dubula ibhunu’ singing youth leader must be breathing a sigh of relief knowing that nationalization will not be spoken about, land grabs averted etc. Meanwhile, as they say terrible things happen in doubles, Kagiso Ntime of the Botswana National Front (BNF) is also out in the doldrums; only that the dawns are a little quieter on this front.
Back to Julius, annoyingly defiant and unrelentingly stubborn, Juju boy perhaps deserved his fate. When you have a cadre who becomes too powerful, particularly when still young and yet to achieve much in his life and political career (save for million pula worth mansions gotten out of the goodwill of the ANC and its friendly approach to cadre self enrichment) it is only wise to prune him so he realizes he is still just a child of the party.
It is Julius Malema who famously said the ANC does not cannibalize its own children. Through it all he forgot one thing; that was no license for him to keep defying the party’s orders. While he routinely cites Nelson Mandela’s bravado while still a youth leader, Malema has excesses that are far from those of Nelson Mandela. He has a poor sense of judgment on lots of issues including the issue of race and general basic etiquette. This differentiates him from the spirit of Mandela that he oft quotes.
While I pity him, out of my general piety towards humans when they are down less from agreeing with his ways, on the other side it also hurts. Kagiso Ntime has been cannibalized by the BNF. While most would say it is a fair thing one wishes to highlight a few things. First, Julius was afforded a hearing before his suspension. In that way then one could say the ANC adhered to principles of natural justice. The suspension of Ntime though is a bit harsh. I know the BNF has a duty to maintain discipline but at what cost? What would have gone wrong if Ntime had continued as Youth League President pending his disciplinary hearing? What is also hypocritical is the fact that Ntime is being crucified for the truth: while they are crucifying him to make him a scapegoat for God-knows-what, reports are abound that the BCP and BNF are trying to topple the BMD from its leadership of opposition in Parliament.
In a way, the opposition troubles that Ntime spoke of are coming to the fore. Instead of being appreciated for bringing a different insight to the whole thing, the guy has been driven out. What Ntime did and said is child’s play compared to what Julius Malema did and said. In actual fact, Kagiso told the truth. The talks were in trouble because of selfish interests.
What one also finds hypocritical is the fact that the opposition in Botswana supported Julius Malema and many of them said the ANC Youth League was an autonomous institution. If it is, then since it occupies a similar position to that of the BNF Youth League it follows that the BNF Youth League is also autonomous and Ntime must be accorded his space. They celebrated when he attacked Botswana and were eagerly awaiting his setting up of a ‘command team’. Now when he faces life in the doldrums they do not release statements ‘to support comrade Malema’. Politicians!
The revolutionary movements are on song though. The next time they call you reactionary as is the norm point the finger right back at them. They have always said they were movements that thrive on debate; what now with the debate when children of the revolution are being cannibalized? But wait until Ntime is afforded a hearing and a fair jury acquits him. Anyway, Ntime does not face financial ruin; if anything, this could be his first step to financial freedom. And you say it is arrogance when the BDP print ‘There is still no alternative’ on their manifestos!