Charles Cilliers
5 minute read
8 Nov 2016
10:24 am

Malema has shown us who he really is

Charles Cilliers

Are we going to believe him now or, in the week after the genocide, look at each other blankly and say, 'Hey, we didn't see THAT coming...'?

Malema addressed a capacity crowd in Polokwane. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Malema’s obviously in a bit of a fighting mood and the passion overcame him yesterday in Newcastle outside court when he went on a tirade against white people and all their evils.

The law he’s been charged with was formulated in 1956 and it looks as though the EFF commander in chief is channeling the good old days of the struggle in his war talk against white people and the traditional bogeyman of “white monopoly capital”.

But the struggle is long gone and it wasn’t a white person who decided to charge him with that law. As many an expert has pointed out, just because a law happens to be from a time when there were a great deal of horrible laws around, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a law worth taking seriously. If you stop to think for just a second, it should be obvious that if Malema gets his wish and everyone is suddenly allowed to claim whatever piece of land they take a fancy to, we’ll be living in a state of permanent anarchy.

What would qualify as vacant land anyway? Malema hasn’t made that clear, although after yesterday we certainly know he’s not sweating the details: any white-owned land is fair game. No white person’s rights should be taken seriously, be those rights to property or even the right to life.

He’s apparently still mulling over the appropriate date on which to commence the wholesale slaughter of white people. Hopefully there’s still enough time to see what will happen in the next two Star Wars movies, but maybe I’m being overly optimistic.

Let’s not be coy: Malema hates white people. I was joking yesterday with colleagues that he probably hates me personally just a little more than the average white person because of a story I wrote early last year about all the strange paperwork around a Golf GTI that was bought and paid for with EFF money from official accounts. But then the car wasn’t put in the name of the party. It pointed to the fact that the party’s accounts were possibly not being managed properly, because if that could happen with a car, then maybe it was happening with other things too.

I traced the car’s ownership to a student in Seshego, Malema’s home town, who immediately confirmed on the phone that the car was “his”. The party then scrambled to explain that you can’t register a car in the name of a political party, which turned out to be nonsense, and the traffic department explained that it’s perfectly possible.

All of this apparently really infuriated the man we used to call “Kiddie Amin” – to the point that he was able to intimidate the newspaper that had run the story into apologising – not about the story itself, but about the fact that it hadn’t run the EFF’s full response to the story.

It was an extraordinary thing to witness: Malema was able to summon the entire team of editors of the country’s most quoted newspaper to a meeting at his headquarters in Braamfontein. And, shortly after they returned, a very odd apology was issued and all reference to that Golf GTI quietly disappeared.

Me, though, I didn’t apologise for anything, which is most likely why on whatever day that man decides is best suited to starting his genocide, he’s probably going to make a special point of singling me out.

“Make sure Charlie is the first to be slaughtaaared!”

Just to give it a poetic touch, they’ll probably do it by driving over me in that damn Golf.

Why does he hate white people so much? It’s a question a black colleague was asking me yesterday afternoon with genuine perplexity.

I told him we can be pretty annoying. We probably have a lot to answer for for Billy Ray Cyrus and Achy Breaky Heart. Oh yes, and there was apartheid.

But slaughtering us all does seem a bit of an overreaction. Of course we will be hearing all the spin in days to come about how it was just a joke … but the cliche about true words spoken in jest definitely applies here.

(What’s even more interesting since I first published this column is the party line that’s being taken by EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi that the EFF isn’t calling for the genocide of white people, but it could come to that if white people continue to own the land in oppression of black people. In this scenario, the EFF cleverly positions itself as ‘just the messenger’ who won’t be able to control ‘black anger’. It’s classic victim blaming, such as when a bully tells his son or wife: “I don’t want to beat you, but you make me like this. You make me into something I’m not.”)

Since Julius had his Kill The Boer case, many previously terrified white people gave him the benefit of the doubt and even started supporting him, but he told all of them to basically EFF off yesterday.

Don’t clap for me white man, I’m not your friend.

He’s telling us who he is. Oprah Winfrey once said her biggest lesson in life, which she learnt from Maya Angelou, is that when someone shows you who they really are, don’t try to make excuses for them or pretend they are what you want them to be. BELIEVE THEM.

Astonishingly, the DA’s top brass are oddly quiet about all this. Helen Zille’s garrulous Twitter account uttered not a peep in protest. Mmusi Maimane’s? Nothing. Sure, the party released a run-of-the-mill statement condemning Malema’s remarks and saying they have no place in a constitutional democracy, but they’re obviously more concerned about their unstable little alliance with the EFF that allows them to rule in Joburg and Tshwane.

What if he had said “Jews” instead of “whites” yesterday? There’d probably have been international outrage. Does that mean white people are somehow fair game? Do we somehow think he doesn’t mean Jews too? Of course he does. They’ll be next in line right after they’ve scraped me off those Golf’s tyres.

Should more people other than myself be concerned? I dunno. You tell me.

Charles Cilliers, digital editor

Charles Cilliers, digital editor