One, two, three many Brother Malema’s are necessary!
By Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm
February 11, 2012
In an article in The Guardian on Feb 10 2012 the author of the article is unable to get his head around our struggle personified by Brother Julius Malema, former leader of the youth wing of the ANC, and who remains one of South Africa’s most popular political figures. The following paragraph reflects the writer as he struggle with his own prejudices and the actuality of the very real and powerful impact of Brother Malema’s political role: “On 8 January, the ANC held its centenary celebrations in a large sports stadium in the provincial town of Bloemfontein. Despite his suspension, Malema sat among the VIPs. When his presence was announced on the public address system, the roar was deafening. The party elders gathered on the stage would have immediately imbibed what that roar meant. It did not mean that Malema had sufficient support to set up a rival party outside the ANC. The old liberation movement’s reputation remains much too formidable for that. What the roar meant was that South Africans have acquired a taste for the new brand of volatile populism Malema has brought to national politics.”
The writer calls Brother Malema all manner of names in the article, casting the usual cheap aspersions tat one has come to expect from pro-western quarters. In truth the writer only treats Brother Malema the same as they treat any consistent leader of the black oppressed of the Global South, they ridicule him, try and pass him off as some kind of pathetic joke, make a caricature out of his politics, which are the politics of national and social liberation from the empire and white supremacy.
The writer states: “Among his wrongdoings was to have called for regime change in Botswana, South Africa’s peaceful and prosperous neighbour.” However many in South Africa are well aware that the west will ratchet up its regime change plans for South Africa, and very well may use Botswana as a base of operations for conducting this. Brother Malema’s comments on Botswana may have been undiplomatic, but they were not necessarily wrong.
But when its all said and done, there is one thing that the writer, and others like him cannot understand fully, that is nature and dynamics of the the rising militancy of the resistant poor and oppressed in South Africa and elsewhere. The writer and the eurocentric system in which he operates and works for are terrified of the power of the masses, they are terrified that in a post-Soviet era, when the empire and its economic, political, cultural, military and moral/immoral power is supposed to be dominant, that a brother like Malema can enter the scene and strategically shake up national politics in a place like SA.
Another reason why the pro-western and pro-white supremacists are livid about Brother Malema is that they thought they had bought off the revolutionary masses of South Africa, and had white-washed and brought to heel the revolutionary reflexes of the liberation organisations. According to the western narrative on South Africa, these organisations and their leaderships were supposed to forget about any notions of real independence and socialism, and should have been content with the very few crumbs from the white power structure’s table. Instead, the example of Brother Malema is that the Global South can produce young, militant, ideologically driven revolutionary leaders who can resist the empire and build a colossal force of the masses alongside them.
The writer goes on: “At first, Malema’s speeches seemed too outlandish to take seriously. He accused Mbeki of betraying black aspirations and demanded that the mines be nationalised and white farmland confiscated. South Africa’s racial minorities gasped in horror; they assumed these questions had been put to bed when the ANC came to power. Zuma would tell the world every so often that there was no debate in the ANC about nationalisation, and that young people should be excused for their exuberance.”
On the one hand the writer many times through this article frankly cusses our Brother, by calling him wacky basically, but then goes on to state that actually Brother Malema is only promoting those principles which resonate profoundly amongst our peoples in SA. So one can see that the actual ‘crime’ of Brother Malema in South Africa for the white man is that he dares to suggest redistribution of the natural wealth of SA to the masses of South Africa, from whom this wealth and land has been stolen by the white settlers and their western backers, and this situation remains despite the formal ending of Apartheid.
We in the Global South, and those of us who are loyal to the struggle of the Global South to end western hegemony once and for all, are in a historic period of great stakes at the moment. Since the late 1990s our struggle has seen us precipitate the demise of the empire that much quicker by means of the rise of Russia, China and other nations, and also by the non-state struggles of the Palestinians amongst others. By the middle of the first decade of this new century, empire put into place certain moves to ensure that even though they are on the way down, that our side of the struggle is not united, strong enough to push them over the edge. The means by which empire has acted out this strategy most recently is via the ‘Arab Spring’ with its victory in the toppling of Libya known by anti-imperialists as the ‘shield of Africa’ for the many things that Gadafi did to build up African unity and the unity and combativeness of the Global South. Now the west with their collaborators think they can continue with this momentum against Syria, Hizbullah, Iran and then onto the left nationalist states in South America, with their sights set on neutralising Russia, China and India.
Brother Malema is the natural product taking on the challenges of our struggle: a youthful militant Black leader ready to mobilise the masses on the basic demands of socialism and anti-imperialism. The problem is that we have so few of such seasoned leaders as Brother Malema, its high time that our leaderships in the Global South helped to bring up such young leaders, as we all know that the generations of our struggle and its victories proves that unity, militant socialist and anti-imperialist ideology and a determination to face down the enemy without flinching were and remain the only strategies capable of winning this historic struggle against empire and white supremacy.
The writer finished his piece with: “There is little doubt that his brand of politics will return.” Indeed, one it will return as the social and political grounds for Brother Malema’s return and many more like him is there. The questions remains, can we in all the fronts of the Global South bring up the leadership, organisations, and unity required to fulfil the historic duty to our ancestors and coming generations in ending the greatest purveyors of violence against our peoples, empire and white supremacy?