20 July, 2011
Fat cat 'champion of the poor' an insult to true struggle heroes
The Times Editorial: Julius Malema is right. He is the true face of a 21st-century post-apartheid revolutionary. He is correct because he is the complete antithesis of a real liberation hero in the tradition of Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.
For, in post-apartheid South Africa, revolutionaries have transformed themselves. Now they use the language of liberation, and lyrics from struggle songs, to mask an acquisitive nature that revels in conspicuous consumption.
These revolutionaries speak the language of their elders: they will liberate the poor from the chains of economic oppression to ensure that they share in the wealth of our land.
But when confronted with his ownership of a R16-million home in Johannesburg's northern suburbs, Malema had the audacity to say yesterday that the poor want their leaders to be wealthy, that they don't mind that their leaders live in exceptionally comfortable circumstances, drive luxury cars and strut about in designer duds.
Equally audacious is his claim that he is the only ANC leader who would be welcomed happily in a squatter camp because those poor South Africans know that he is fighting for them.
Malema disingenuously says that, to fight and defeat capitalism, he must "live in conditions of capitalism".
But, surely, if South Africa's poor blacks were capable of recognising the injustice of the apartheid regime, then it stands to reason that they cannot possibly fall for the self-serving comments of this poseur.
Surely they can see him for what he actually is - a young man who serves himself before he serves those whom he professes to represent.
He is as authentic as the fake Breitlings his acolytes must buy at their nearest Chinese emporium to imitate their leader.
We should not fear this young man from Limpopo and his threats. To do so would afford him a power of which he is greatly undeserving.