Wednesday, 02 December 2009

Is Jacob Zuma a 'gangster'?

A response to whether University of Cape Town Professor Pierre De Vos used the 'public media' to express his 'expert opinion or knowledge' as one reader, Thomas, alledged in his blog.

This was after Prof. (I would call him throughout his post entry) wrote in his blogs that SA president Jacob Zuma's decision to purportedly appoint Menzi Simelane as National Director of Public Prosecutions showed 'an utter disregard for the Constitution and the law. It is nothing more than the actions of a gangster hell bent on protecting himself[Zuma] and his cronies' and that he had 'given our President the benefit of the doubt for all these months'.

Well Thomas, in case you have not noticed, it was not like Pierre - not that I condone his 'gangster’ of Zuma or anything like that, but hey, the Prof. (or should I call him that?) - went to Media houses in SA or worldwide and submitted the article for print publication to receive support and or 'express' his views 'as an expert' or anything along those lines like some expert of our own in this country tends to do.

He actually wrote in his blog - and you are entitled to have/create your own and share your views too on whatever expertise knowledge you may want to share or from whichever field you may come from, that’s okay with me and I believe with everyone else – and did not “use public media to express their personal views and feelings as expert opinion or knowledge” as you seem to suggest, or at least that how I think you have interpreted the ‘gangster’ statement.

And again Thomas, I am sure Prof or yourself and some people would agree with me, it is not all people – (by this I do not refer to Zille, SAHRC, and opposition parties) – who in your view “believe the President’s decision [or whoever's it is/was] is [understood to be] unconstitutional . . . [should every now and then run] .... to the Constitutional Court [for their views] to be tested by a competent arbiter"

There are many ways of starting a debate. Certainly, for example, Malema did not take his views about nationalisation of mines to the Court to be tested!

Although one must admit that the manner in which the issue was raised may have been a bit, if not way too, off and instead should have been discussed in a civilised manner like SACP’s Jeremy Cronin did and not the military way in which Malema did!

And one may seem to agree that if a “professor… does [this] to the President... [and] use this kind of language (the Julius Malema kind of language), how can we expect the youth to be civil and respectful?”

On the above statement, the problem, I think, was and still is the interpretation of the 'gangster'.

Everyone including the media, the Presidency, the ANC, other political parties and their alliances – took the Prof’s ‘gangster’ out of context and his understanding thereof and as a result, it was sensationalized and it suffice to say, Prof’s ‘gangster’ may have been “misinterpreted and or misunderstood” just like 'shot to kill' can be misinterpreted and taken out of context and in the worst scenario, be blown out of proportion.

And these things happen, though not entirely advised or condoned, and in this case, it did happen and as a result it should be understood or read in the fashion you read it and also not the “shocking and despicable” fashion which the presidency seem to have read it.

And just like Prof. “as a university professor... [has] an obligation to serve as an example to [his] students and public at large” - and so does Malema to the youth and the 'public at large’.

And from this context, what makes Malema any different from Prof?

Could it be that the former has not reached the status (not politically, but academically) which the latter has reached?

Depending how one looks at the above statement, they may seem the same but they are not!

Most importantly, it is whether or not these 'shoot to kill’, 'gangster', ‘racist(s)’ and 'shoot the bastards' and many others - which may have resulted is huge political, economical, social and legal response and or debates in the country and worldwide are raised in a somewhat civilised and or militant manner or fashion .

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