This is a very sensitive issue and I believe the ANC is making a huge mistake if it expels Julius Malema from the ANC Party.
It’s a known fact by nearly everyone that the Youths in Africa are the most vulnerable in terms of employment, skills development, and access to socio-economic programs; and each ruling party anywhere in Africa should embrace at all costs to making sure that the Youths are well cared for. Because if you look at the age median of the political spectrum today in Africa; the majority of the voters are the youths, and I am referring to those who were born after 1990. They don’t know anything first-hand about apartheid or colonization, except what they read in history books and hear mythical stories as told by their parents and friends in the streets.
The youths today don’t care about what happened during the apartheid era or colonization; they only care about their cellphones, laptops, cars, tablet devices, connecting to the Web; in short, they only care about money; and I mean “hard cash” and nothing else. Hence any ruling party that doesn’t cater to providing the youths in their country with the much needed resources to put hard cash in their pockets, then that ruling party is doomed and is risking losing the next or next-to-next general election.
As for the ANC, it needs to realize that Julius Malema, regardless of his hard rhetoric and militant tenor, he’s more influential and more powerful than the ANC itself (consider the Hip-Hop group, Public Enermy, in the 80′s and early 90′s, do you know what happened during that time to the US cities of Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, etc. with their militant song; “Fight the Power”?), meaning that if he gets expelled from the ANC, that he’s more than able and capable of creating his own political party and be able to raise enough funds to easily win the next South African Presidential election.
Now, before you say “no” he can’t do that, then look at South African youths; the majority of them are blacks and are unemployed or underemployed and if Malema can put together a powerful and experienced Advisory Committee to court and guide him, so that he can tone down his militant rhetoric and embrace a more softer but still hard-toned down tenor that directly addresses the issues that the South African Youths are facing daily, then this will coin him and guarantee him to win the next South African Presidential Election.
Now, instead for the ANC to expel him, it should consider offering him and putting him in a “Strategic Position” within the ANC Party that will cater to pulling and attracting the angry South African Youths to the ANC Party, and then try to address their issues collectively. However, if they expel him from the ANC Party, because he has criticized President Jacob Zuma, then they are risking losing the next Presidential Election, because the Youths will likely follow him to whatever party he goes.
And in general, African Presidents need to get used to being ridiculed and criticized; this is democracy. Constituencies must have the rights to air their views on the President’s job performances. Criticism and being ridiculed don’t mean disrespectful, it simply implying an unsatisfactorily sentiments due to the President’s job precipitation.
The world has changed; everything in it has changed; politics and business as usual have changed; it’s not the same old principled theories any more. And every leader anywhere should embrace this change; which is the new age of interacted, and a more connected global economy. Political economy no longer has roots; it’s meaningless. Economic transformation is the next wave for Africa’s industrialization as fueled by the passion for Africans to live like other humans elsewhere in the world.
Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc are dead, even the Soviet Union (USSR) doesn’t exist any more, capitalism has seen its transformation change and chanllenge since The 2008 Great Recession. Now it’s the market-driven-economy which rules and controls this wind of a new change; a world of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, iPhone, and more. These platforms have completely revolutionized how things work and are done today; both in politics, business, entertainment, science, and everything else.
The global information in which we live now is on everyone’s fingertips. We are now more connected, more smarter, more informed, more vocal, and more open. The print news media are no longer relevant. Their relevancy only for confirmation of the reported news.
This new global change needs and must be understood and accepted by African leaders who still practice and focus on the old politics, the politics of old dogs fighting for old bones.
This new change needs to ring clear and loud within every ruling party especially in Africa; that the Youths at all costs “must come first”. Because any country that overlooks or underestimates its youths is directly or indirectly doomed to have political fallout and economic demise. And the ANC must consider reinstating Malema right away and find a common goal to best work and reason with him, if they want to win the next Presidential Election.
If ANC expels Julius Malema today, expect a huge political backlash against the ANC Party.
(I wrote this unbiased opinion as an Analyst, not a politician. I hate politics. And, no I am not a supporter of Julius Malema, I think he’s a joke, but I respect him as a human being).