Lesson in leadership

The condemnation by ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe of the reckless comments by ANCYL president Julius Malema is commendable. It came too late though, sounding like an attempt at damage control.

The condemnation by ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe of the reckless comments by ANCYL president Julius Malema is commendable. It came too late though, sounding like an attempt at damage control.

Malema told the crowd at a June 16 rally in the Free State on Sunday that the youth was prepared to kill for ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma, who spoke after Malema, did not reprimand the motormouth youth leader. Instead, the ANC released a mealy-mouthed statement about how the ANCYL was an autonomous organisation with the right to express its own opinions publicly.

For his part, Motlanthe did not mince his words, reminding Malema that - as an ex-officio member of the ANC national executive committee - he represented the ANC.

The ANC deputy president moved quickly to plug a hole left by Zuma who should have shown leadership by clipping Malema's wings on the spot.

Yesterday Zuma continued to underplay Malema's utterances. Instead of coming out strongly, like Motlanthe did, he intimated that it is wrong to incite violence.

Malema is part of the youth still in need of guidance, especially from the ANC as the ANCYL's mother body.

Unfortunately, as a further example of a crisis in leadership, the ANC failed dismally in this regard.

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