What does Malema and Zuma have in common?

What does Malema and Zuma have in common asks our Columnist Phepheng Maruping?

As usual he brought his A game, in my view successfully selling a glorious picture of his party, the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Judging by his previous interviews and public talks, Malema continues to confirm himself to arguably be the most able and coherent orator among our politicians today. You can call him a Gucci revolutionary, the man nevertheless speaks swimmingly whenever he accounts for policy positions of the EFF.

But even when one tries not to, it just seems difficult to speak of Malema and not at once reflect on another infamous politician of ours. You know who, don’t you?

So let me reflect on the infamous politician and the party he leads.

The single most important basis why the ruling party should get rid of that

discredited disappointment of a politician is not because he is a gluttonous old man who finds nothing wrong with his modest house suddenly morphing into a multi-million castle when the majority in this country lead a life of horrifying squalor. No.

The single most important reason why the ruling party should recall their damaged head – some would say ‘shower head’, is not because he becomes asinine, chortling uncontrollably when faced with the truth that exposes him to have no appetite to account to parliament, and by extension to us the citizenry.

It is not even because he continues to supervise a progressively dysfunctional tripartite alliance that he must go.

The fact that two years ago the whole world watched him being jeered by a clearly peeved crowd at FNB stadium is not one to cause the ruling party to worry.

It is not because the Marikana Massacre happened right under his watch, nor is it because Ficksburg’s Andries Tatane was killed like we are now oppressed afresh by a black Verwoerd that he should go.

It is not because under him our soldiers died crassly in the Central Africa Republic.

Forget the fact that his administration goes to court to argue that it is not its responsibility to deliver books to schools. Forget that.

Overlook also the fact that he does not want to appear in court to answer hundreds of charges of corruption and fraud and money laundering.

Don’t bother about the Guptas. They are nothing to upset the ruling party.

No, it is not because he has as part of his cabinet the most unable people for ministers. Communications is literally decomposing the SABC, Home Affairs passes pieces of legislation that frustrate tourists and business advancement, State Security (or who was it, again?) squashes communication and therefore curtails the basic liberty for members to use their cell phones inside parliament, a structure meant to defend freedom and democracy!

Eskom, SAA, Post Office. No. Those things and all the filthy hospitals and trigger-happy cops and millions of unemployed youth are fine.

I think the single most important reason why he must go now, and people inside and outside of the ANC know this, is because he created the EFF, perhaps a blessing for many but certainly the biggest and sharpest thorn trapped deep in the ruling party’s swollen behind.

To take you back in memory lane just briefly, it was Julius Malema – ANC’s biggest headache today, who pleaded with the ANC to take everything else from him but not his membership of the organisation he grew up in.

Ramaphosa and Mantashe and Zuma did not listen. They kicked him out, thinking he will expire outside the ‘warm broad church.’

The platinum strike – which the Zuma administration allowed to get out of control, gave Malema a second lease of life, and since then we have all seen red, literally.

Ask mama Baleka Mbethe, she knows. Ask the JSE. Ask the nervous ABSA.

You are free to say I am being a little too extravagant with my criticism but I am sure I am not alone. The nexus between the infamous politician and Julius Malema is easy to piece together.

Jacob Zuma gave the ANC a headache called Julius Malema. It does not follow that removing him will weaken Malema or strengthen the ruling party, granted, but I believe it will be a start to repair things for the once mighty ANC.

Even if you were to remove the Malema element from the equation, the ANC has a plethora of compelling reasons to boot out a liability called Jacob Zuma.

Keeping him a day longer as president is a bad Christmas gift. It certainly is not in the interest of the country.

I feel sure that if the ANC does not (among others) get rid of Zuma, it is likely to retain a couple of metropolitan municipalities ONLY if it instructs its deployees at the IEC to rig elections like they did in Tlokwe.

(Maruping Phepheng is a novelist. His new book called Nightfall will be out next week, 18 Dec 2015. Find him on Facebook or on Twitter @phephengm to get yourself a copy.)

Ed: Maruping’s comments are entirely his and not necessarily ours!

This is our last column for this year, until we meet again in 2016.

Merry Xmas and have a prosperous, safe and enjoyable New Year with family and loved ones!


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