Thank you for coming
South African politics is a torrid affair and unfortunately as a result of this the people who benefit the most are not generally the masses. We as journalists however have a full lid. In the latest saga from Luthuli house as I am sure you are well aware, political firebrand Juju Malema has been ousted from the party, at least for five years anyway. There had been widespread speculation about whether the ANC was really going to take any kind of significant action against the troublesome leader.
There were however some tell-tell signs that trouble was brewing. Chief of which was the firing to members of cabinet. It was becoming clear that the ANC’s top brass was taking stock and realigning priorities ahead of its centenary next year. It goes without saying that this decision was long overdue and although Malema may have had some genuine reasons for concern he was definitely not the most politically correct of chaps.
What is unfortunate is that this International embarrassment had been allowed to go on for so long. In a world whether geopolitics are the order of the day and nations are interconnected it is vital to have the confidence of your partners. And South Africa in the international arena was certainly blushing. This was clearly signaled after the stocks rose and investor confidence was restored after the decision. It remains to be seen however if Malema’s ousting will have any long lasting moral and policy impact on the ANCYL. Already many of his rivals within the league are regrouping and vying for the position.
I believe that I speak for many that now more than ever we as the people of South Africa need to see some sort of common sense emerging from the ranks of the ANCYL. Whether you are a member of it or you are indifferent to the politics at work. The era of firebrand politics is certainly over. The whole vocal stalwart who lives vicariously through the terms like “regime change” and “revolutionary” has been milked for all its worth.
It would be a refreshing change to see some sort of credible statesmen or even stateswomen emerge from the Youth League and be part and parcel of viable debate that will help better shape the ANC agenda going forward. As many are forecasting doom and gloom ahead of the ANC’s elective conference with even some sectors saying the whole affair should be postponed, I believe the conference represents a vital opportunity for the ruling party to cleanse itself of the dirty politics in which it has found itself engulfed over the past few years. From the recalling of Mbheki and the founding of COPE to the cabinet reshuffles and Malema’s suspension. The past few years have seen Luthuli House at its least buoyant. This was clearly reflected in a small but significant decline in voter confidence at this year’s local government elections.
In summing up, there will be no revolution. No anarchy is going to happen. People are not gonna burn down buildings in defense of Juju. The primary focus now should be finding common ground between the ANC’s top brass and the new leaders of the Youth League and perhaps that common ground could serve as a catalyst that will inspire speedy and necessary ideological reforms within the party.