I have found the court proceedings between Afriforum, Julius Malema and the State “interesting” to say the least in terms of the issues at hand, the players, and public reaction. I must say, I have had to apply the strictest discipline and to refrain from sharing my roudy comments to the very sober minded rhetoric that we’ve been dished up. When I read the arguments advanced in defence of Julius Malema singing “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” I find myself being made to wonder if I am not unsympathetic to the singing of this song and therefore among the ranks of the “counter-revolutionary” suffering with the newly diagnosed affliction of “Malemophobia” (as Gwede Mantashe coined the term). Could it be that Malema has the noblest intentions to honour heritage in chanting this song to the masses and that somehow he has been horribly mistaken for a rogue of opportunity, hmmm… or could it just be that I smell a rat, embalmed in fine perfumes and spices?
Undeniably, the struggle is not complete by any stretch of the imagination. We are not yet at a place of true liberation. In fact, the trouble now is that the target has shifted and we are unsure of who the enemy is and whether or not we are in agreement about its menace. The struggle today must of necessity retrace its steps back to reawakening the movement of consciousness and verbalisation of our discontent.
Unfortunately, there is an atmosphere of victimization and incrimination of those who dare to dance out of sync with the implementation of widely endorsed ANC policies and operative processes. We run the real threat of encountering the irony so well described in George Orwell’s Animal Farm that the distinctions between our liberators and those who keep us in captivity become blurred over time if the initial fruits of “liberation” are enjoyed by a few. One can find oneself standing in a room full of friends and still unsure of who the friends and who the foes are.
It thus is strange to listen to the rhetoric of Julius Malema and the prominent leaders who support him who have used their struggle credentials to add weight to the perceived issue that is on trial. What in fact is the issue on trial? Is it about the place of struggle songs and other means of celebrating our heritage in public Post-Apartheid life? Is it about the use of threatening and violent means of communication under the guise of heritage and self-expression? Or is it about the misuse of public structures to advance an independent will? I myself am unsure of what the real issue is but it would not be difficult to convince me that the agenda is set by a few and the ignorant, struggling, cheated masses are used to effect the strategy. Call me a conspiracy theorist but in the last 10 years of democracy in this country I have smelt numerous rats and undoubtedly there will be a number still to come. It believe it’s time to present a different struggle face to the contemporary dialogue about heritage, stewardship and civic engagement. In order to move forward the fittest must survive but in order for this to happen the dual must be true without capitulation to an oppressive regime of fear.