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27 Feb 2009 13:30
African National Congress (ANC) Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema is a product of the ANC’s failed education policy and will eventually become a casualty of its infighting, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille said on Friday.
“While Julius was getting a ‘G’ for woodwork in a disadvantaged school, the ANC leaders [for whom he is prepared to kill], were making sure that their own children escaped the consequences of the ANC’s education policy,” Zille said in her weekly newsletter, SA Today.
“Almost all of these leaders send their own children to private schools [where they learnt the values of the open, opportunity society such as personal responsibility, discipline and hard work] while the ANC’s mass support base continues to suffer the consequences of closed patronage politics, where these values count for nothing. Like Julius, the only hope they have is to rely on their political connections for a foothold on the ladder of life.”
The DA and the ANCYL leader had been involved in a bitter slanging match since Malema last weekend called Zille “a racist, colonialist and imperialist”.
It degenerated further when Zille said he was as immature as an “inkwenkwe”, or uncircumcised boy, prompting him to ask how she could know that much about him.
On Friday, Zille described him as “a man who opens his mouth only to change feet”.
“It is tempting to dismiss Malema as a political lightweight; a harmless buffoon prone to delivering crass sound bites,” she added.
‘Malema a disturbing product of a closed system’
In fact, Zille said, Malema was the logical but disturbing product of a “closed crony system” that had evolved in the ANC around party leader Jacob Zuma.
She said Zuma’s closest allies in his power struggle with former president Thabo Mbeki “were propelled into all the key positions of power to reinforce each other in the inner cabal that inevitably leads to corruption and the criminalisation of the state.
Zille insists that Zuma’s interests are Malema’s interests, because they both belong to a closed circle based on reinforcing mutual interests, which inevitably results in power abuse.
“As long as Malema promotes those interests, he will flourish in the ANC,” she said.
“Like one of Robert Mugabe’s Green Bombers—the Zanu-PF-controlled and supported youth militia who attack Mugabe’s opponents and are rewarded with immunity from prosecution and with jobs in the military and police forces—Malema will survive and get stronger through power abuse.”
He knows the rules of the game, she said, and they spur him on.
“Most of us observe his daily ranting with amazement,” Zille wrote. “But he knows what he is doing. Within the ANC’s closed cabal, he is building his career.
“As long as Malema promotes those interests, he will flourish in the ANC.”
But in the end he would become a victim of the very system that spawned him, she predicted.
“Poor Julius. He thinks he has reached the top rung of the ladder; he doesn’t anticipate how soon it will be knocked out from under him. And he will have nothing to fall back on. He will hit the ground hard.
“His fall will either be the result of the ANC’s internal wars between competing crony factions—or the consequence of voters using their power to hold people like Julius Malema to account, and voting for the DA.”—Sapa, I-Net Bridge
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