Malaika Wa Azania
Malaika Wa Azania

Don’t throw Malema into the dustbin of history

I have listened to political analysts, academics, businessmen and women and ordinary people trying to convince me that Julius Malema is the biggest problem this country has ever been confronted with post-democracy. I have heard arguments about how he is a “populist”, an “opportunist”, a “demagogue” and “a danger to the future of the country”. I have heard these arguments posed by the most astute of intellectuals, the most progressive of minds as well as the most regressive elements in our society. I have heard them echoed in lecture theatres of Rhodes University, in the media, on the streets and on the social network scene. To date they continue to make very little, if any real, sense, for whatever damage it is that Malema allegedly did is not comparable to the greatness the ANC Youth League achieved under his leadership.

One of the greatest tragedies about South African society is how entrenched mob psychology is. Our retreat from engaging objectively on matters of racial antagonisms has resulted in the naturalisation of opinionated prejudice and a herd mentality. But more than that, it has resulted in the tendency to shift from fundamental questions as we employ our energies on vilifying folk devils that are a creation of moral panic, which is largely fuelled by the media. While Malema is not necessarily an angel with a shining halo, he is also not the monster he is projected as and in fact, he is one of the young people with the greatest potential to re-write the narrative of the oppressed black majority in this country. But to understand the vital role Malema has played and is yet to play, we must first understand black not as subjects of political and media chess, but as a people with a history that has shaped our collective consciousness.

For over five hundred years, black people in this country have been on the receiving end of the most brutal systematic subjugation known to human history. The dispossession of black people goes beyond the dispossession of our land and economy. The dispossession of black people goes to the dispossession of our very humanness. The most tragic thing about the dispossession of a people’s humanness, if only because of the psychological ramifications that leave both mental and physical scars, is that it contains us within a prism of soporification and ultimately, traps us in a state of defeatism. This is a state in which we have been over the past two decades. The reality that the new dispensation is bleeding from wounds of the past regime have weighed heavily on the mental and psychological state of our people. Despite revolutionary gains we made, our people continue to face the worst form of systematic and institutionalised brutality. We are faced with ostracisation from the economy, coupled with the refusal of the white minority to make a conscious effort to contribute to the genuine reconstruction of the country. The sustained arrogance of many white people of both working class and bourgeois backgrounds is evident in many spheres of life.

At the heart of this reality is the sustained monopolisation of the economy by an elite minority. According to a JSE-commissioned study released in December 2012, black investors directly hold 9% of the bourse’s top 100 companies. This is echoed by the census report released earlier, which shows that wealth disparities between race groups persists. In a 1998 parliamentary debate on reconciliation and nation building, then deputy president Thabo Mbeki correctly argued that ours is a country comprised of “two nations divided by deep inequalities”. As he so aptly put it:

“One of these nations is white, relatively prosperous, regardless of gender or geographic dispersal. It has ready access to a developed economic, physical, educational, communication and other infrastructure. The second and larger nation of South Africa is black and poor, with the worst affected being women in the rural areas, the black rural population in general and the disabled. This nation lives under conditions of a grossly underdeveloped economic, physical, educational, communication and other infrastructure. It has virtually no possibility to exercise what in reality amounts to a theoretical right to equal opportunity. ”

This reality, because it is happening in a dispensation that we believed would signal the emancipation of black people, has effectively sent our people deeper and deeper into a state of incomprehensible defeatism, believing not only in the permanence of injustice, but perhaps, even beginning to embrace it. And this is where Malema has been most effective: he first hurled that painful truth in our faces and proceeded to restore a fighting spirit back where it belongs, in the minds of our people. A people once defined by the nervous conditions of their existence, are today a people slowly awakening from that state. Because of the young man’s boldness, a rapture has slowly happened in the minds of our people who now understand that it is only through our contributions as activists that this source can be obliterated. The Economic Freedom March he led a year ago sent a message to young people that economic freedom will only happen through mobilisation and organisation.

He had faults and at times he displayed elements of crass materialism. But this pales in comparison to what he was able to accomplish. Malema transformed the most potent weapon in the hand of the oppressor: the mind of the oppressed. He made of it a questioning mind, a conscious mind and above all, a mind impatient with the status quo. Such potential cannot be thrown into the dustbin of history!

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  • 54 Responses to “Don’t throw Malema into the dustbin of history”

    1. Mobutu #

      I fear that Mr Malema is hardly a hero in the mould of Biko. Far from being a real, honest, moral black consciousness activist prepared to sacrifice himself for the sake of black people and black consciousness, Malema was a grotesque parody. You mention his materialism – far from being a socialist, or even a humanist, Malema had all the attributes of the most materialistic gangsters – fancy clothes, fancy cars, and aping the worst aspects of white culture. Secondly, his so-called values were paper thin. Far from being a real believer in nationalisation, he used it as a way to exploit the desperation of the poor, knowing full well that the kind of nationalisation he was calling for was just more crony capitalism – the Aurora mines kind that makes a tiny minority rich and the vast majority even poorer. Thirdly, so much of his own wealth was made by corrupt activities, patronage, bribes and favours that you can hardly say he represented black hopes, or poor hopes, or to be honest the hopes of anyone but himself. No doubt Malema has been victimised as there are hundreds of others in the party just as corrupt as him, who have not been prosecuted. But there have to be far better heroes of black consciousness than Malema – from Biko to Nkrume to Sankara – and to them be all strength for a worthy cause. Malema is a parody of these heroes, closer to Al Capone than Nkrume.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm
    2. Economist #

      ‘The Economic Freedom March he led a year ago sent a message to young people that economic freedom will only happen through mobilisation and organisation.’ I fear this is exactly the wrong message to young people – ‘mobilisation ans organisation’ usually means hooliganism, collectivism, and trying to create wealth through extortion from others – whether looting shops, or bankrupt ideologies. Economic freedom can only come through hard work, discipline and individual effort. There is no easy way. And destruction and talk of revolutions, however sublime, seductive, and rapturous they sound, can never create wealth. Ask the Chinese or citizens of the former USSR. It’s a mirage peddled by politicians to exploit the desperation of the poor – who really do need, and deserve, a chance in life.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm
    3. New Thinking #

      Oddly enough, probably the one thing that could unshackle black consciousness more than anything else, and ensure real emancipation of black people, is the decoupling of black consciousness thinking from Socialism, or Communism. It is taken as ‘received truth’ that black consciousness activists are socialists, and it is never questioned as to why this should be so. Any serious study of socialism, from the USSR, to East and West Germany, to North and South Korea, to Mozambique or Angola, to Mao era China compared to current China, would conclude simply that socialism creates poverty – it doesn’t work, and to be blunt it belongs on the rubbish heap of history. If black consciousness wants to be successful, to uplift black people, to liberate them in every way, to conquer poverty and inequality, it needs to confront the heretical truth that major parts of its thinking are linked to a bankrupt, outmoded and destructive ideology. Freedom from these ideological blinkers may result in the real triumph of black consciousness and the end – for ever – of the need to find reasons for a dreadful status quo rather than a wonderful and promising future. Which is what black consciousness, black people, and people in general deserve.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm
    4. Enough Said #

      “Malema transformed the most potent weapon in the hand of the oppressor: the mind of the oppressed. He made of it a questioning mind, a conscious mind and above all, a mind impatient with the status quo.”

      Interesting analysis Malaika.

      I wonder if the oppressed would ever question whether Malema was patronising them for their benefit or for his? Would they ever wonder if Malema gave a damn about their material and social advancement or whether he just wanted to gain another Rolex watch, more luxury cars and a larger bank balance at their expense?

      Would the oppressed wonder whether Malema and his co-horts were robbing the poor that supported him by milking the provincial government of Limpopo dry through tenrepreneurship and non-delivery?

      January 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    5. Malema is facing charges for corruption and graft and tax evasion. He only showed himself to have a potential for self enrichment, greed, and double standards.

      He can go in the bin.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm
    6. New Thinking #

      Oddly enough, probably the one thing that could unshackle black consciousness more than anything else, and ensure real emancipation of black people, is the decoupling of black consciousness thinking from Socialism, or Communism. It is taken as ‘received truth’ that black consciousness activists are socialists, and it is never questioned as to why this should be so. Any serious study of socialism, from the USSR, to East and West Germany, to North and South Korea, to Mozambique or Angola, to Mao era China compared to current China, would conclude simply that socialism creates poverty – it doesn’t work, and to be blunt it belongs on the rubbish heap of history. Socialism is the opposite of humanism – it is deeply anti-freedom, hostile to liberty, and imposes a tyrannical elite lording it over the ordinary worker whilst bankrupting the economy and destroying not only industry but the self-respect of individual people. Socialism is not just a failed idea – it is inherently wicked and evil. Understanding this is the first step to mental emancipation and new thinking. If black consciousness wants to be successful, to uplift black people, to liberate them in every way, to conquer poverty and inequality, it needs to confront the heretical truth that major parts of its thinking are linked to a bankrupt, outmoded and destructive ideology. Freedom from these ideological blinkers may result in the real triumph of black consciousness and the end – for ever – of the need to find…

      January 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm
    7. All of the politics and factoids in this article hardly at all apply to Malema except in the writer’s mind, or one can alternatively say Malema has nothing to do with true Black Conciousness in the honorable honest form of the concept.

      This is not a Thought Leader article. It is spin and Malema PR without substantiation.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm
    8. GrahamJ #

      “For over five hundred years, black people in this country have been on the receiving end of the most brutal systematic subjugation known to human history.”

      Where do you suck this rubbish from?

      Colonists? What about India? Uganda? Germany? Vietnam? Ruanda? These all subjugated and killed far more than apartheid did. Apartheid doesn’t even appear in the UN’s list of greatest atrocities.

      I am afraid your column is so full of myth and innuendo that it is small wonder that your conclusions are all wrong.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm
    9. Malaika Wa Azania

      Economist, there can be no revolution without revolutionary consciousness. A people who are not even conscious about the causes and nature of their conditions are unlikely to employ that very hard-work that you speak of to the betterment of their own communities. So while economic freedom is going to demand hard work from all of us, it must necessarily be preceded by mental freedom, something which needs even harder work, because there have been 500 years of its brutalisation.

      As for mobilisation and organising being the problem, i seriously disagree. There has been no revolution anywhere in the world that has been achieved without the mobilisation of people. Revolution is not a dinner party where people sit down and talk about it. The masses must necessarily TAKE their freedom, because those who oppress the will never give it freely.

      By this do i mean protests must have elements of hooliganism as we have witnessed of now late? No. It means that those who protest must be conscientised into the fundamental principles of revolutionary discipline, but never waver from fighting for the attainment of that which is just.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm
    10. Malaika Wa Azania

      Jeremy Acton, ours is a constitutional democracy. Like everyone else, Julius as a citizen of this country has the right to a fair trial. He is innocent before the eyes of the law, until proven otherwise.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm
    11. Malaika Wa Azania

      Enough Said, what you have said, interesting as it is, is pure allegations devoid of any evidence. I have yet to hear Julius being convicted of anything that you have indicated and so, there is no reason at all to believe in the public court of opinion.

      January 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm
    12. Enough Said #

      @Malaika

      Some people, especially politicians are above the law. How can Julius afford such a flamboyant lifestyle, and what wealth is he sharing with the poor and oppressed he claims to represent?

      George W Bush is also innocent of crimes against humanity because it has never been proved in a court of law, but do you think he will ever be charged for such crimes?

      January 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    13. 'whiteness' #

      @Malaika

      There is a vile white habit in many democracies that when a politician faces charges for corruption and graft and tax evasion, they resign until their names have been cleared.

      Politicians should welcome going to court to clear their names if they know they are innocent I would think.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm
    14. Anti everything that is wrong #

      Malema was a greedy fat cat who cared nothing about the development of the youth, his war “the economic freedom fight” was the sure way to prove to the society that he only wanted to make huge amount of money the quick way which is in his little mind “grabbing land” that’s thuggery!! He didn’t even have a strategy/knowledge/experience on how is he( him and his hooligans followers) going to sustain or maintain those mines once they’ve grabbed them. Malema belong in the bin he can stay the, his a zero not a hero

      January 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    15. Economist #

      I must say – I like this writers blogs for a simple reason – they have the ring of integrity, and values. We may not agree on everything, but I respect the writers integrity, honesty, decency and interest in the advancement of black people, a topic which is of great personal interest to me also. I urge other commentators to engage with the writer with respect! It is above all when people do not respect each other that racial divisions happen. People are far more alike than we think.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm
    16. Facts People #

      As soon as I read 500 years, your credibility went out the window. Colonisers (black and white) have annihilated and subjugated the indigenous people of the region for 600 years.

      Everyone wants history to start just after their “teams” last victorious war.

      It is an economic competitive system now. The challenge is ensuring those South Africns with talent and drive get to achieve and lead, regardless of race, pigmentation or cultural identity. South Africa is the team.

      People’s fear of Malema is that he appears to want to break an unjust system and replace it with mob rule. No one argues that the skills, experience and structures are bias towards those who acquired them through whatever means each did. The reality though is that without those skills and structures, South Africa will lose ground as a relatively sophisticated, inventive manufacturing, agricultural, financial country. One cannot just overthrow systems and elevate people unequipped into positions. Even the brightest graduates need years of mentoring. Get into the detail of any organisation and very quickly one appreciates the myriad of skills that make up a successful economy.

      Creating hype and entitlement and expectation may seen “fair” from some angles but is not sustainable and ends in an outcome which is worse overall and for sure will lead to rule by dictator.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:40 pm
    17. Mayan Prophesy #

      History will judge Winnie Mandela, Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma in the same mold.

      January 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm
    18. Andrew #

      Very well written with some uncomfortable truths. Unfortunately, as a white guy, my perception of him is slightly different to yours. I saw him as someone who considered himself above the law (I remember him rocking up to a 702 interview in a Range Rover without plates. When questioned on this, he just laughed.) and as someone who was able to rally people around a common enemy: i.e. whites.

      While I absolutely agree with you that the economy is skewed in our favour, I battle to reconcile an old white lady sharing a bedsit in a rundown old age home as the cause of the impoverishment suffered by a Breitling flaunting, sushi eating Range Rover driving 30 year old.

      I’m not saying feel sorry for her (I do, but I know her) but the message we perceived was one of a divisive chancer in it for himself.

      I take your valid point that he brought a subject into the public discourse, and he should be commended for that. But I’m glad he’s gone, and I hope he goes to jail.

      Again, though, well written. I mean that! :)

      January 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm
    19. The Naked Worker #

      Malaika – you speak as passionately as Eugene Terblanche. He also believed certain things based on race, irrespective of the fact that thinking people could not identify with the world going on in his head.

      Ubuntu is about humanity not about race. Does Julius Malema live ubuntu?

      January 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm
    20. The Naked Worker #

      Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu explain Ubuntu, while Judge Lamont expands the definition in Julius Malema’s ‘hate speech’ trial:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_%28philosophy%29

      .

      January 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm
    21. Sinodi #

      What an objective contribution Malaika.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:17 am
    22. Alex Barnett #

      Thought “leader”?

      Malema is the epitome of mob ruler, a self serving hypocrite. People like him and Zuma are the reason South Africa is going down the tubes..

      January 25, 2013 at 1:59 am
    23. DeeGee #

      “For over five hundred years, black people in this country have been on the receiving end of the most brutal systematic subjugation known to human history.”

      Oh dear. According to http://www.southafrica.info/about/history/history.htm#.UQHaIGdd9WN (thanks to DJ for the link), the infamous Dutchman arrived in 1652, not 1512 as your sentence above would suggest. Or are you referring to someone else who started this most brutal systematic subjugation known to human history? For a while there it was 350 years, but then last week someone said 400 years. Now it’s 500 years. Next week? I’m a buyer at 750.

      Also, could you assist me in understanding how a 28 year old, who, by his own admission, only earning R20,00 a month (at the time), is able to afford high end luxury goods and a house worth a small fortune? I think it is a valid question, in the context of what has been put forward by Enough Said. No-one begrudges success, but when it is done under dubious circumstances (and said person is a public figure), it is correct to question, is it not?

      January 25, 2013 at 5:33 am
    24. Actually the ‘subjugation’ in South Africa was not anywhere near the most brutal in history. Not to trivialise the plight of black people in South Africa, but it’s factually inaccurate to suggest this.

      Across the border, in Namibia, there was worse subjugation:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herero_and_Namaqua_Genocide

      January 25, 2013 at 7:23 am
    25. Lenyehelo Lenyehelo #

      Clearly South Afrika should be a vacuum of leaderlessness, if Malema can be believed as revolutionary. Malema represented emerming black bourgeousie class that is only interested in feeding their belly fully as the expense of ever poor residents of Seshego. Malema never had revolutionary consciouness but rather he possesed over reactionary lust for money and lavish white life. People should be confused by rhetorics of Malema while he always masquarade at behind the conditions of the marginalised poor black people. Malema is more as fake as the one who support him. He is a chuavinist individuals, bull dozer and non thinker.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:31 am
    26. Mphemba #

      As much as I agree with the fact that Julius was born a leader,but he lacks two paramount elements that if not attained will be the reason of his vanish in leadership fraternity,RESPECT and DISCIPLINE. He needs time with himself and employ these elements as weapons to flourish in his God-given talent. South Africa has lost a lot of talent due to lack of respect and discipline,just to name one, Jabu Pule. He had great talent,but his talent is post humous for the lack of respect and discipline. I hope we will not lose Julius from the same reason.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:23 am
    27. Comrade Koos #

      Unfortunately the poor and oppressed will remain that way as long as they support charlatans.

      This happens all over the world.

      In the US, the poor whites support The Tea Party and vote for the Republicans who actually represent big business and the corporations and screw the poor. The poor US whites think the reasons they are suffering is due to illegals crossing into America, plus blacks and Hispanics, socialists and Muslims, and so they vote Republican Party (their perceived savoir) and even get poorer.

      In South Africa, the poor are told white oppression is the root cause of their problem while they are screwed by fat cat government officials raking millions of rand into their private accounts and squandering government funding left right and center.

      As long as disadvantaged people cannot work out who is actually screwing them they will remain poor and oppressed.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:45 am
    28. Just a Thought #

      @mabutu, I enjoyed your comments until you attribute malemas vices to mirroring the “worst aspects of white culture”. There is no such thing as white culture. There is only western culture and even that is a harsh categorisation because it all comes down to greed. I would like to hear you call all white people greedy because we all know that isnt true. I am white, but i cant afford to spend R100k on a watch, and even if i had that amount of money I still wouldnt spend that much. So I guess that means I’m not white or western in your eyes. haha. So BBBEE shouldnt restrict me then.

      Just to let you know i live “white culture” every day.I base all my efforts around supporting my family through effort in the office and at home. I forego all my wants by only pursueing what my family needs and has to have to survive and succeed in RSA. So just because Malema is the figurehead of why african race is in a crisis: wanting to enjoy the fancy clothes/cars and drink while pretending to maintain african roots isnt my fault.

      So sort your own house out before trying to comment on mine.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:03 am
    29. Just a Thought #

      @Malaika your response to Enough said is interesting because Malema has been accused and will be sitting in a court of law to respond to the allegations against him. So yes, he is innocent until proven guilty but a person who claimed to earn R20k only from the ANCYL seems to be living an amazing lifestyle. I earn more than that and cant afford a house in sandton. Grade 8 acocunting can tell you those books dont balance.

      Pandoras box will open soon and then his house of cards along with your argument will come crashing down.

      The sad thing is that the law doesnt apply to us equally. JZ called for his day in court but then did everything in his power to stop it. IRONIC. Schabir was convicted and was released because of serious health complications. He isnt dead yet unless I am wrong and his ghost is playing golf and eating at spiga.

      So if malema was still in favour he would never be tried as you or I would. You might protest that he would, but joe public’s cynacism is built through 19 years of experience.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:17 am
    30. Rich Brauer #

      “For over five hundred years, black people in this country have been on the receiving end of the most brutal systematic subjugation known to human history.”

      Wow! Who knew? Whitey was subjugating South Africans before he even made it here!

      And even more amazingly, here it was even more brutal and systematic than in, oh, say, the Americas, where indigenous peoples were nearly exterminated. And it was worse than the slave trade! Or slavery in the Caribbean, where the life expectancy was roughly 3 years.

      Or the Shoah. Or the Armenian genocide. Or the Cambodian one. Or Rwanda. Or the famines under Stalin and Mao.

      Yes, it was South Africa, where alone, out of all of the horrible things humanity has done to itself, the *very worst* in human history occurred.

      Only here.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:52 am
    31. Daniel #

      500 years?

      January 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm
    32. Also, the Moneyweb reference clearly shows a 21% domestic BEE ownership. The biggest chunk is foreign ownership (34%). That leaves you with 45%, of which 2% is government and 29% was also BEE investors of one kind or another.

      It’s thus disingenuous to cherry pick the 9% direct black ownership factoid and neglecting to convey the true picture.

      http://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-empowerment/jse-black-ownership-up

      Of course white people earn more than black people. White people also happen to have more skills than black people do on average. It does not appear that our current government is remedying this, because of characters like Julius Malema who are tenderpreneurs.

      In fact, it’s the only reason why Julius might end up in the dustbin of history: He bit the hand that fed the tenders.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm
    33. The Creator #

      Malema was the President of the ANC Youth League. As such he was a minor cheerleader for the rulers of his party. He tried quite hard to become a major player by putting forward some sensible ideas about redistribution of wealth, which disagreed with the corrupt project which his political bosses had in mind.

      He’s now been thrown out of both League and party and the bosses have made it absolutely clear that they have no intention at all of reducing unemployment, inequality or poverty. In short, he failed. Therefore, whether or not Malema was sincere in his calls (and I presume that he was at least partially sincere since he could have sustained a much better lifestyle by being docile and obedient to the white bosses who really run the ANc now) is irrelevant.

      It’s over; there’s no more possibility for revolutionary change within the ANC. Any effort at improving South Africa’s socio-economic prospects must start outside the ANC. As such, therefore, I’m afraid that Malema does belong in the dustbin. He was always on a hiding to nowhere once he began challenging the people who really run things around here.

      January 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm
    34. Lennon #

      I think that Julius Malema is a fascinating character.

      What grates me is that he tainted his image by showing off bling which I think was an insult to poor South Africans – especially those who support him. The wealth that he has acquired is now under scrutiny since he wouldn’t be able to afford all of his toys on such a modest salary, as has been pointed out. But that’s for SARS and the courts to decide.

      His other mistake was blaming all whites for what the ultra-wealthy whites (many of whom are foreigners) have done to monopolise our resources. He, and many others like him, have painted a picture of all whites belonging to some secret club that controls the economy and living lives of sheer opulence. All that he achieved here was to alienate a minority which might have supported him.

      His blind backing of Jacob Zuma could be attributed to one of two things:
      1) He sincerely believed that Zuma was the right man for the job.
      2) He backed Zuma so that he could get a larger slice of cake.

      The former implies that he grew disillusioned with Zuma realising that he simply wanted power and wealth. In this case, his criticism is well-founded and it is supported by the fact that Zuma did nothing to silence Malema until ending up in the firing line.

      The latter implies that Malema was not content with his slice after seeing what Zuma was bringing home. Either way, Zuma screwed him over.

      January 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    35. Lennon #

      His message about foreign control of South Africa’s resources is one that needs to be acknowledged and I agree that South Africa should benefit first and foremost from its mineral wealth.

      January 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    36. Lennon #

      Regarding the (now) 500 years of white-on-black oppression in South Africa.

      The first permanent white colony was founded in 1652. At this time the Dlamini chiefdom had yet move south from Delagoa Bay and wouldn’t do so for the next 50-odd years.

      The first recorded clashes between whites (Trekboers) and blacks (the Xhosa) occurred in 1771 after the Trekboers crossed the Gamtoos River. It wasn’t until the declaration of a new border for the Cape Colony along the Great Fish River in 1780 that actual oppression began: a series of attacks, led by one Adriaan van Jaarsveld, against five Xhosa chiefdoms along the western bank of the Fish River aimed at removing them from the expanded territory. This became known as the First Frontier War. There is no known record of how many Xhosa were murdered during that conflict.

      January 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm
    37. Orlando #

      One day, the so called social & politic analysts will remember Julius Malema seriously and will then start to evaluate South Africa with pragmatism.

      One day, they will indeed look around neighboring countries and will then understand the reason why JM is so respected by those who right now are suffering the depression and oppression of post-colonial or post-independence era.

      I just hope that they could be vertical enough to write clearly about the facts and not just run to post comments against someone who shared his own opinion and socio-political views openly.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm
    38. Levi Kabwato

      @Malaika – The key thing is the “message” and not really the person.

      I’ve written before:

      “Could it be the case that in the near future as we – a formerly oppressed people – search for newer and much more contemporary icons, and as the reality of how economically disempowered we are as a result of previous systematic oppression sinks deep, people like Julius Malema and Saviour Kasukuwere will become our struggle icons, economic freedom fighters whose messages resonate with our own aspirations as a people not only seeking restoration of human dignity but also looking to become captains of industry, business magnates and tycoons, people who own the means of production and have firm “acquaintance with the actual and potential resources of their country’s soil and mineral deposits” and are therefore able to speak eloquently and authoritatively on what exactly needs to be done in order to get such wealth working for everyone and not just a select few?

      “Are we edging closer to that point where we are willing to openly say, “I may not agree with Malema’s personality but the man does have a point”? If we are, then we also need to ask if we are prepared to deal with the potential chaos that will ensue, more visibly on the stock market as investor confidence shakes. And it will shake.”

      See: http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/levikabwato/2012/03/08/malema-is-out-but-his-message-is-the-in-thing/

      January 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm
    39. Daniel #

      Ok so 232 years. That is more accurate. Thanks

      January 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm
    40. Eliza Beth #

      I still struggle to understand what Julius Malema did for the youth… Can anybody inform me?

      January 26, 2013 at 12:47 am
    41. Malema is largely a creation of the media to stereotype blacks and create division within the ANC. His larger than life depiction by our short-sighted media has inadvertently guaranteed him be a significant force in SA politics in the future! In fact, I would not be surprised if he became president some day.

      I agree with you that Malema, with all his faults, does speak courageously, and gives voice to the uncomfortable truths that most of us tend to shy away from. As the son of a single mom domestic worker, he does speak for the voiceless in our society.

      @Lennon
      You question “500 years of white-on-black oppression” only because you buy into your historical narrative peddled by the eurocentric education establishment.
      Free your self from your indoctrination!!!

      January 26, 2013 at 8:01 am
    42. Joe Nkosi #

      Julius Malema could have been so much. He has a weakness, and has been corrupted by those who saw his potential.

      Still young though, with time to pay his debt, take his punishment, and return stronger and bolder.

      I wish him well. He would made a terrific president, and can still be in time.

      PS: I have listened to him talk on many occasions. Don’t fall for all the media woodwork crap. He is an intelligent chap, and has real leadership skills. So far in this democracy, other than Madiba, I cannot recall a personality that the masses would go into battle for other than him.

      January 26, 2013 at 8:37 am
    43. Nehemiyah #

      I read the article and I read all the comments… its very interesting how you can easily come under fire for stating facts that are uncomfortable. I dont know how accurate Malaika is on the 500 years but is that the main point of this article? Is Malema’s credibility the issue here? Or is it the very real fact that white people still at this so called “democratic” state, still own the majority of the land and wealth? Dont allow your personal resentments of the man called Julius to prevent you from tackling the issues at hand. Im not like a “Juju” fan or anything but like Levi says, besides all other issues, we should consider that maybe the man indeed has a point… just saying.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:35 am
    44. Brian B #

      Julius Malema is an opportunistic dishonest money raking bully who abused his position and status to enrich himself.

      He did however expose the hierarchy of the ANC’s nepotism , greed and incompetence in a manner which won him support amongst a significant core of mainly young desperately frustrated South Africans.

      He overplayed his hand and became a liability to the ANC leadership and they shut him down

      By eulogising him you are merely deflecting the route cause of the lack of prosperity of large numbers of South Africans.

      I.E The ruling elite enriching themselves and failing to deliver on their promises

      Constantly blaming the white minority for all the countries problems is futile and an admission of the governments failure to deliver.after almost 19 years of majority rule..

      We need leaders with the vision to put the peoples needs before their own and harness everyone’s skills, experience and capital and cooperation to make the country the great land that it should be.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:23 am
    45. Lennon #

      @ Dave Harris: So prove me wrong. Give me dates, places, groups and names.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm
    46. This kind of thought-leading revolutionary ‘dissertations’ are very ‘heavy’ & painful to digest!

      It may find some recognition and interest with scholars of our latest ‘popular street universities’ where azanian revolutionary theories have become a PhD subject, were logic and history are re-invented and replaced with the ‘latest revelations’ by these apostles!

      It may contribute to more ‘popular confusions’ and uncertainties and deserve a similar path as destined of the way such populist gangsters will eventually end up!

      January 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm
    47. Orlando #

      My dear colleagues and brothers,

      Lets not fail on our road to build a serious patriotic conscience.
      Let us not accept the wrong concept that opened socioeconomic and political criticism should be considered ill discipline. This is wrong and we will all regret near soon.

      Let us be brave and assume definitively that we, the young people, we have responsibilities in our won countries and Africa in general.

      We fought against colonialism and for independence and the result in most of our countries do not cause any good memories. They are back to put order and most worse, we [Africans] are the ones who invited them by various manners [ex: Libya and most recent Mali].

      Nothing says to me [and perhaps more others] that we will not have the same situation in future in our countries as well. Today the reason for the combat still terrorism but tomorrow even those who complain regards LAND will also be called terrorist……

      Look and read carefully what is happening TODAY with mineral resources, poverty of most of our people and LAND distribution or redistribution. Let us dream little bit more while weak up and we will all realize that doesn’t help to criticize Malema personal character BUT to evaluate the points raised by himself and the vigorous courage that he have indeed demonstrated along his consulate of political activism.

      Its easier and sometimes convenient to come up and demonize him BUT. Let us not accept to be distracted by disciplined hero’s of today…

      January 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    48. MKT #

      to remix ebrahim fakir, the question of ‘economic freedom’ is not malema’s battle – he’s sitting and ratifying all gear and new grwoth path and whatever policies in the anc nec, thus he’s the last person to champion economic freedom. his anc is/was committed to entrenching the status quo of deeping the economic inequality that out country is in…malema benefitted from this setup, thus no he is just a zero! he’s dumped into a bin now.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm
    49. Free us from the ANC #

      Julius was simply a sypmtom of the disease of poverty. He did nothing useful, except draw attention to the tinder box which is smouldering in the corner. The revolution is coming, and only a rapid change in government will avoid it.

      More of the same, will simply keep feeding the fire. Julius is a poor confused soul who was used as a stick with which to beat the minority, and a carrot with which to entice the majority. Now his use has passed, and he is back where he started.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:55 am

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