Statements attributed to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema have given us a hint of how life in this country would be, should a miracle propel his party to power.
Under the EFF, the rule of law would be flouted and some fundamental constitutional clauses would be violated – such as equality before the law. Malema recently criticised the ANC, accusing it of humiliating former AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, who is serving a jail term for a string of serious crimes, including attempted murder, arson, assault and kidnapping.
Malema led a high-powered EFF delegation at the weekend on a visit to the East London Maximum Correctional Centre where Dalindyebo is incarcerated.
Following that visit, Malema said the justice system could have looked at other ways of punishing the king, as imprisonment was an embarrassment. One of the reasons why we are failing to inflict any significant blow on crime that has spiralled out of control is precisely this attitude by the likes of Malema.
The EFF leader’s utterances are reflective of the behaviour of many South Africans who tend to emphathise more with criminals than victims of crime. The crimes Dalindyebo perpetrated against his subjects were callous. He set fire to the houses of three subjects and severely assaulted three young men, alleged to have committed criminal acts.
He delivered the body of a subject killed by his supporters to the man’s father and ordered the father not to reveal the truth about the circumstances of the death to anyone.
Instead of paying a visit to a heartless criminal, Malema and his lieutenants would have earned respect, had he visited the king’s victims. Dalindyebo’s imprisonment should serve as a reminder that no one, regardless of their social standing, is above the law.
A message has to be sent out that if anyone, be it a king, politician or the super wealthy breaks the law, they will be subjected to the same rule of law – like all citizens. Equality before the law is non-negotiable.