Hoist with own petard

THE clamour in the ANC and its alliance partners over Julius Malema's perceived insolence are most puzzling. It is Frankenstein being astounded by his monster creation.

THE clamour in the ANC and its alliance partners over Julius Malema's perceived insolence are most puzzling. It is Frankenstein being astounded by his monster creation.

The same people who are today calling Malema to order are the same ones who have been at pains to tell South Africans that the ANC Youth League president is on a learning curve and we should be patient with him. Some have even made the bizarre and exaggerated claim that former President Nelson Mandela was a lot like Malema in his youth.

President Jacob Zuma has even said Malema has all the qualities to inherit the ANC leadership.

The ANC leadership sat idly when Malema showed great insolence to the head of their organisation and president of the country Thabo Mbeki. It did not matter to them that Mbeki's office of both party and country meant he deserved respect, especially from an upstart such as Malema.

Young Communist League secretary Buti Manamela, who is now one of Malema's biggest critics and has called him a "drama queen", laughed his lungs out when Malema said "a senior comrade", Naledi Pandor, then minister of education, had a "fake American accent".

There might have been a time when it made sense for adult South Africans to allow themselves to be ruled by their children. In a democracy that cannot be allowed.

The ball is firmly in the ANC's court to decide whether decency and decorum return to the public and party discourse.

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