Sunday, 08 November 2009

When Malema gets it wrong

Today I was shocked by Sunday Independent newspaper headline ‘I spoke without facts: Malema’ and you too probably were, at least I think or wish. And if you were not, it probably was expected.

In fact, I was also a little taken aback by the contents and not just the headline.

Truthfully writing and if the newspaper report is anything to go by then many South Africans or whoever enjoys listening to African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema and even South African media that enjoy giving him too much coverage then must stop it and start asking serious questions.

Or should we instead consider giving him little or no coverage at all?

This is not in an effort to make the guy look bad than he already does, if the reports are true, but an effort to not lend someone your ears, some who speaks ‘without facts’ because one of the bad days – this could result in a major chaos for the country and ourselves if we are just not careful.

Malema’s speaking without facts, according to Sunday Independent and Sunday Tribune, comes after he was ‘forced to back down from his threat of a boycott against Nedbank and admit he had it all wrong’.

It can be said that Malema’s wrongly thoughtless threat of boycotting Nedbank's decision (or lack thereof?) came after the later decided to withdraw its sponsorship to the Athletic South Africa this year.

The youth league leader called on society to "teach Nedbank a lesson" for withdrawing its sponsorship to ASA saying “the bank had used the controversy surrounding Caster Semenya's sex as an excuse to hide its "real agenda," Sunday Tribune reported in another report.

Malema (or is it all ANC allies?) is not new to controversy. More than a month or two ago, he called on the nationalisation of the country’s mines. And ANC has since dismissed the statement as its policy, but saying the issue should first be discussed instead of being a-policy-to-be-implemented as Malema had suggested, if not given such an impression.

According to the report, the bank’s ‘decision to withdraw its sponsorship of Athletics SA (ASA) had nothing to do with the Caster Semenya debacle and was made in July, a month before the controversy over the athlete broke in the wake of the world athletics championships in Berlin’ which ‘followed nine months of talks between the bank and the ASA over the organisation's performance in organising road running’.

Sadly, when Malema (and his other brothers?) spoke of the withdrawal from Nedbank, he had not checked what categories the bank was sponsoring at the time. As a result, Malema’s judgement has come into question.

Given this: 'does Malema say whatever he says – with or without facts – to create controversy, something he’s quite good at and familiar with or as/in an effort to engaging the society?'

In a meeting between Nedbank chief executive Tom Boardman and Malema himself (although not sure if he was with his other brothers) facilitated by ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa in Joburg on Friday, according to the report, Malema is reported to have called off the campaign because (and anyone with common sense can see that) it seems our leader spoke without much facts.

This is because, if he did have his facts rights (considering the kinda militant youth leader he is and his firm way of speaking) he surely would not have called off that easily and instead, I think, he would have considered mobilising the community against those opposed to his assertion.

As I wrote in ‘Tips for “Opposition” Political Parties in SA’, I said “as a leader and member of your organizations – “KNOW WHEN TO SHUT UP” even when you enjoy the attention given or may be given!”

And that’s exactly what Malema should do, or at least try to do until he gets all his facts right?

Could it be that Malema receives this media coverage – good or bad – because he is believed to represent views of the ANC and its allies (COSADTU and SACP) despite many other differing views on his controversial statements?

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