Editorials 16.4.2014 10:00 am

Zuma’s snapper learnt from Juju

During his tenure as president of the ANC Youth League, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema gained notoriety for insulting everyone.

His victims included then-President Thabo Mbeki, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor. Malema was protected by Luthuli House for his crimes because he was doing a good job: keeping Jacob Zuma’s foes at bay. It was only when he targeted Zuma that he was kicked out. His successor, Mzwandile Masina, who is leading the league on an interim basis, is emulating Malema to perfection.

He has learnt from Malema’s mistake: attacking Zuma is suicidal.

Masina has become a Zuma praise singer of note and insults anyone who says anything negative about Zuma and the ANC. Shortly after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her damning report on multi-million rand upgrades to Zuma’s private home in Nkandla, Masina had nasty things to say about Madonsela – even calling for her removal.

He accused Madonsela of being sensationalist, saying her office was trying to “poison the public against the ANC”. Following this, the ANC released a statement saying it “notes with regret the disparaging comments about the Public Protector that have been attributed to the ANC Youth League”. However, this was never followed by action.

Late last year, when the National Union of Metalworkers of SA called on Zuma to step down, Masina called on the union to “f… off”. He also took to social media to ridicule an ANC MP for her dress choice at the State of the Nation address in February.

This week he made derogatory comments about former Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge for her call on South Africans to take a stand against corruption by spoiling their votes.

Masina will never be reined in by the ANC – as long as he does not direct his vitriol at Zuma.

 

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