The speech of ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema this week provided a scary glimpse of a possible future for South Africa unless strenuous steps are taken to avert a slow descent into hell.
At a rally in Johannesburg Mr Malema declared the Youth League’s willingness not only to die for Jakob Zuma, but to kill for him too.
What is most worrying, is that emerging ANC leaders like Malema seem to believe that South Africa’s “revolution” is not free and fair elections open to all, a Constitution, an independent judiciary, and a multi-party democracy, but the ANC itself.
Believing that the “revolution” belonged to the party and not to the people was Robert Mugabe’s first critical misstep. His second was that he was the party, and this one sent him down the path to tyranny, dragging his country and his people behind him towards disaster and despair. It is no wonder that he can now glibly recite phrases like “what was won by the bullet won’t be taken away by the ballot“.
Malema’s war cry at the ANCYL rally echoed these sentiments.
The country’s Human Rights Commission demanded that he retract his remarks, but he has refused to apologise, claiming – absurdly – that his words had been “maliciously distorted” and that henceforth he’d have to find “a creative way to say I will do anything to protect comrade Zuma.”
The country is at a crossroads. It can either turn back to the vision of Nelson Mandela, or it can rush headlong towards the disastrous, bloody and violent future of a President Malema.
Unless strenuous efforts are made to turn back from this, to develop leaders of a much higher calibre, we will be watching the slow Zanu-fication of South Africa.