Oh, how I love Julius Malema. I can’t help it. I’m besotted with his chubby little face, his gimlet eyes, his petulant lips. He’s like a cross between an unshaven Britney Spears and crack cocaine, except with half the talent and twice as addictive.
Responsible journalists and readers berate me for writing about him all the time. ”You’re just giving a crackpot a platform he doesn’t deserve”, they say. ”You’re pandering to his rabble-rousing side,” they complain.
I don’t care! I can’t give him up, I can’t. Take Thursday’s classic Malemapropism. Malema is demanding to know ”why all the security cluster ministers are black while the economics cluster ministers are appointed from minority groups?”
Forget the validity of the implied accusation, forget the straight line delivered to a million racists worldwide who are dying to answer, ”Well, set a thief to catch a thief”, or ”if you want to screw up the economy, get the white man for the job”.
No, concentrate on the fact that the head of the ANC’s youth brigade, the ANCYL-biters as they’re popularly known, is petulantly telling us that ”we would have expected once again an African child to occupy that strategic position”.
And then remind yourself that the former management heads of the ANCYL-biters’ investment wing, Lembede, have been found to have totally screwed up their financial reporting, to have breached the Companies Act, and to have been too busy partying up a storm to bother to conduct audits of financial statements since Lembede’s establishment in 2000.
In fact, the Sunday Times alleges (can you allege a fact?) that R436-million from 32 suspected dubious deals has gone missing. And at this poignant moment in the ANCYL-biters’ long and recently chequered history, Malema decides to make the point that an African child should be the South African Reserve Bank governor.
Oh, the exquisite timing. Every night I offer up a little prayer to the ghost of Groucho Marx, asking him to protect Julius Malema. He makes my life richer, and gives me a reason to get up in the morning.
Malema also tells us that unless we have black members of the economics cluster ministries, black kids won’t believe that they can aspire to one day work in strategic economic positions. As he so eloquently puts it, ”[The youth will think], because she [Marcus] is white, they [whites] are born like that, there’s no way I can be like that.”
Just how stupid does Malema think black kids are? Well, I guess he’s the youth expert. A more malicious mind than mine might point out that it’s far more likely that black kids will look at Lembede and the ANCYL-biters’ recent financial travails, and decide to aim a little higher than just being a corrupt, financially compromised official. Like president of the country, possibly.