I, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, am getting pretty tired of hearing about Julius Malema in the news. Not because I don’t think he’s important, because, like it or not, he is, but because it detracts attention from far more pressing matters, such as the general failure (up to now) of the Zuma administration to deliver on many, if not all, of it’s pre-and-post-election promises.
Everytime I read about another Malema outburst and here talk that he will possibly, maybe, we’re-not-sure-but-someone-should-say-something be disciplined by the ruling party, I wonder if, in fact, they have a Frankenstein’s monster on their hands. They were more than happy to use him as a political suicide bomber during the elections, and the tactic proved ultimately successful, but since Zuma has come to power there have been precious few attempts by the ANC powerbrokers to reign him in, which lead me to conclude that either they’re perfectly content to have him continue to serve as a distraction to both the media or opponents, or that they’re afraid of him.
Julius does seem to have backed off of his campaign to unseat Gwede Mantashe though, so someone somewhere must still be able to exhert influence over him. I doubt he has the discipline to do so himself, and I personally was looking forward to seeing him come up against a seasoned political veteran such as Mantashe, if only because it would have provided a far clearer idea of his power-base than we have had previously.
Speaking generally, I’m really not in the mood for another succession battle within the ANC (the ANCYL is another matter, although it would be a brave soul who went up against Ju-Ju). There are far more important things to worry about and it’s disappointing that people within government are too busy scrambling to get a hand on the golden ring to actually govern. The saddest thing about all of this is that writing this post feels like old news.