The shocking wild celebrations of the punishment of Julius Malema, the criminalisation of his important political discourses and his demonisation by the media in South Africa and beyond, are a spectacularly painful paradox that compares to the celebration of the collective funeral of the poor in Africa.
The widespread obsession with Malema’s alleged twisted business dealings and rejection of his message about addressing economic and social inequalities between the blacks and the whites in South is a loud example of how in Africa we major in minor issues and trivialise major issues — a graphic sample of chasing mosquitoes with machine guns while monsters are abound.
So much dust of hateful words and blind condemnation of Malema and his political message has been raised to cloud important truths the youth leader stands for.
Malema’s call for the nationalisation of mines and the restoration of fertile farm lands to poor blacks in South Africa is a grave message that deserves rigorous debate not condemnation and silencing.
One only needs to watch John Pilger’s documentary Apartheid Did Not Die to witness the sad truth blacks in South Africa only gained political independence and a colourful flag in 1994.
Economic power still remains in the hands of the white minority and a few black tokens and black white fronts. In rubbishing Malema, calling him an unthinking idiot and ridiculing his message as racism, South Africans are doing the homework for their enemies and exploiters by participating in their own economic and political burial.
When Julius Malema criticised the oppressive government of General Ian Khama in Botswana and threatened forceful solidarity with the political opposition in that country, he was not shooting in the dark, but grabbing a troublesome bull by the horns.
Botswana has a bigger population of goats than of human beings within its diamond rich boarders, but the majority of people are wallowing in poverty and disease.
General Khama has militarised the government by appointing his army cronies and created a venal military junta intolerant of the political and economic aspirations of the people.
We learnt with shock from WikiLeaks cables that Khama begged Americans to establish a military base in Botswana that would be the centre of American military signature in Southern Africa.
For describing this as conspiracy with imperialism and militating against African interests, Malema has been viciously punished with suspension by the African National Congress (ANC).
In challenging the dictatorial and indeed puppet regime in Botswana, Malema was doing what Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) and the African Union (AU) have failed to do in Africa, namely to deal ruthlessly with dictators and to practice zero intolerance to tyranny and puppetry in Africa.
The reason why Nato led by America and France used the excuse of protecting civilians to invade Libya, assist the capture and humiliating murder of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, is because AU and Sadc failed to discipline Gaddafi and protect civilians in Libya.
As a result, America and France now have their fat hands on the butter of the bounty of oil that lies under the feet of Libyans.
For championing a home-grown approach to tackling tyranny and puppetry in Africa by directly confronting a dictatorial and visibly puppet regime that has not liberated itself from the colonial hangover of being a British protectorate, Malema is being persecuted and punished for allegedly bringing the good name of the ANC into disrepute.
The question is: For how long will the ANC keep its good name in Africa and maintain its exalted role as a democratic party and government when it works overtime to protect tyrants, puppets and genocidal regimes on the continent?
By dealing with dictators with kid’s gloves and cushioning puppet regimes from opposition, the ANC is sleeping on duty as a government that is well positioned to provide leadership in finding African solutions for African political problems without fear or favour.
On the altar of diplomacy and good reputations, the political and economic aspirations of the ordinary people of Africa are being sacrificed by those who are well positioned to preserve and protect them.
Africans must sober up to and be awake to the truth that if Malema in all his youthful wildness and controversy is to be allowed to sink, he sinks with the hopes and dreams of millions of poor and marginalised people of Africa.
The revolutionary assignment that freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba and Joshua Nkomo did not finish must be vigorously pursued to its logical conclusion by radical youths of Africa, not compromised elders who are now too tired to man the trenches in the war for economic freedom and distributive justice.
It is also unfair to compare Malema’s political postulations to those of President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. All knowledgeable Africans are aware President Mugabe was (former British Prime Minister) Margaret Thatcher’s blue-eyed boy who only started redistributing land along partisan lines in Zimbabwe when his political career was at risk.
It is a tragedy Malema has associated himself and his revolutionary ideals and those of the ANC Youth League with the tainted and compromised regime of (President) Mugabe that has the blood of innocent Africans in its hands.
As Africans, when we demonise Malema and collapse his grave political and economic message to nonsense and while we comfort ourselves with the false judgment he is an idiot, we are only being the proverbial chickens that faithfully prayed for the arrival of Christmas, a day on which they were slaughtered en masse.
When we laugh at Malema’s angry political outbursts and treat them as we do stand-up comedy, we are only celebrating our own collective economic funeral as people of Africa by throwing away the wisdom of our own economic salvation.
Whether Malema eats sushi with Kenny Kunene, parties with Khanyisile Mbau or dances with bling models in Mauritius, it does not make it a falsity blacks in South Africa and in Africa at large need fair access to the God-given resources that lie in their ancestral lands.
It is a pitiful irony that the intended beneficiaries of the economic revolution Malema proposes are the ones leading the chorus of his condemnation and demonisation.
Steve Biko said only half the truth when he observed: “The most potent weapon at the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”. The oppressor has his job of arresting our minds and blinding our sight to the truth, willingly and happily done by us, and indeed laughing as we do it.
What the ANC are doing to Malema is a typical textbook case of how to slaughter the messenger and refuse an important message.
The tragedy is that most of us Africans are silently, and some of us loudly complicit in the crucifixion of Julius Malema who must be advised to soldier on and suffer temporary infamy and unpopularity and print his name among African legends who paid dearly for political and economic truths.