What is eating Julius Malema, the Economic Freedom Fighters leader? Why is he suddenly reheating his attacks on independent media houses – this time with the Zumaesque allegation that they are representatives of whites, “whiteness” and that hoary old chestnut, “white monopoly capital”?
The answer is simple enough – Malema and the EFF are a fascist organisation that is quickly running out of targets. They need an enemy and the media and whites are the easiest targets around. What is fascism? The Oxford dictionaries make reference to it as tending to “include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach”.
Which party in South Africa reminds one of these fascistic characteristics? It is the EFF.
And these characteristics have never been as pronounced as they have been these past few months.
We have always known that Malema is a mini-Mussolini.
Within the EFF he is a demi-god.
Malema is to the EFF what Mangosuthu Buthelezi was to the Inkatha Freedom Party in its blood-soaked heyday.
Anyone who holds a different view is shown the door.
So what does a leader with fascist tendencies do when he is faced with an ANC leader like Cyril Ramaphosa who finds solutions (raise VAT to pay for free higher education, for example, rather than disrupt and defile universities) and is slowly cleaning up the state?
For three months now Malema has watched with astonishment and fear as Ramaphosa has brought down Jacob Zuma, fired 10 cabinet ministers, cleaned up Eskom and last week suspended the dreadful SA Revenue Services Commissioner Tom Moyane.
Slowly, the state is being cleaned up. The economy will surely begin to grow. Jobs will begin to trickle back.
If this series of events continues and deepens then Malema will become as useless and anachronistic as the IFP’s Buthelezi in KwaZulu Natal.
So Malema needs an enemy, a scapegoat – and fast.
And so over the past month, the EFF leader and some of his cohorts have been attacking independent media houses and have hauled out tired accusations of “whiteness” or “white supremacy” to buttress their ill-conceived, outrageous, fascist and untruthful campaign.
Last week, Malema, on hearing about the hiring of one of South Africa’s top journalists (Stephen Grootes, who is white) by the SABC, tweeted that “we have to find a way of stopping whiteness from taking over the only platform of black people before is too late”.
What nonsense is this? Since when was the SABC “the only platform of black people”? Back in 2014, it was the same Malema who rushed to independent media houses, accusing the SABC of trying to keep his party out of the public eye.
This is a man who has been interviewed thousands of times on independent media platforms when the SABC had virtually banned him and his comrades. He is a hypocrite. We should not be surprised when EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu physically attacks a journalist, as he did last week, and calls it a “scuffle”.
He is a fascist and fascists believe in violence.
This is a man who in the past has called a journalist a “white bitch”.
He is sexist, fascist and racist.
What we are witnessing is the unmasking of the EFF. The Malema who verbally assaulted BBC journalist Jonah Fisher and threw him out of a media conference, the Malema who once called for violence against ANN7 journalists, has always been under the surface.
He never went away. Instead, he hid under the cloak of the anti-Zuma struggles that many South Africans waged.
With Zuma gone, the mask has dropped. The fascist within has been revealed. He is as scary and dangerous as he was in 2009 when he said he would kill for Zuma.
It is the reason why he should never be allowed anywhere near the levers of power.
He would suspend the constitution within a week. We would be under a fascist regime within a month.
In the 2000s South Africa ignored the clear and unambiguous signs that Zuma was unfit to lead. South Africans must not make the same mistake again.