Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Malema’s theft policy would drive SA off rails

Malema’s theft policy would drive SA off rails

May 27 2011 – Independent Online



ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

The Afrikaans newspapers this week focused on the extraordinary statements by ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe about race and land, two issues that probably define the trenches of our political and economic debates.

Mantashe claimed that the ANC had not handled the matter of race irresponsibly during the recent municipal election campaign. Minorities were too sensitive about race issues and should calm down.

“The time has come for us to push our white countrymen in a direction and tell them they have to stop being so sensitive about race,” he said.

Defending ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s comments, Mantashe recognised discomfort in farming circles but asked rhetorically how the ANC could have dealt with the problem as the current land division was unsustainable. Should the ruling party have referred, more gently, to: “Most black people have no land,” or “Most of the land is in white hands.”

At a pre-election rally in Galeshewe, Northern Cape, Malema said: “We must take the (whites’) land without paying. Once we agree that they stole our land, we can agree they are criminals and must be treated as such.”

Another Malema comment – reported by the FW de Klerk Foundation – was: “They (white farmers or, as the foundation remarked, perhaps whites in general?) are thieves.”

Malema repeated the ANC Youth League’s threat to nationalise the mines, the banks and the commanding heights of the economy. He apparently said: “Political freedom without economic freedom means nothing. You can vote until you turn yellow, but without economic freedom it means nothing.”

The foundation interpreted that to mean that the key to economic freedom was to grab the wealth the whites “stole”.

Mantashe can’t extricate himself from the ideological hole that Malema has dug for the entire ruling movement.

Not long before the election, Mantashe argued that South Africa had inherited a “corrupt and a wrong value system”.

Quoting his arch-rival, former president Thabo Mbeki, Mantashe said: “Within the context of the development of capitalism in our country, individual acquisition and material wealth produced through oppression and exploitation of the black majority became the defining social value in the organisation of white society.”

He added: “Now, because the white minority was the dominant social force in our country, it entrenched in our society as a whole, including among the oppressed, the deep-seated understanding that personal wealth constituted the only true measure of individual and social success.”

Mantashe’s ideological alternative to free market economics is: “Serving our people, not monetary accrual, is the definition of success.”

Unsurprisingly “the minorities” – and a sizeable number of young black voters – voted solidly against the ruling party last week. It is patently obvious that ordinary people with mortgage bonds and salaried jobs regard the Malemas of this world as a threat to their future.

What makes it worse is that President Jacob Zuma and Mantashe are unable to discipline the youth leader.

Of course, wealth disparities have to be tackled, but threatening the very class – the middle class – which has the greatest capacity to employ the poor, is hardly the way to go about resolving the problem. Reducing everyone to poverty would be the consequence of the Malema danger.


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