When evil flourishes

ACCORDING to those who say they understand the ANC and its machinations former president Thabo Mbeki's undoing was that he created a climate of fear that brooked no dissension from anyone however well-meaning it might have been.

ACCORDING to those who say they understand the ANC and its machinations former president Thabo Mbeki's undoing was that he created a climate of fear that brooked no dissension from anyone however well-meaning it might have been.

As a result of this style of leadership good men and women chose to remain silent in the face of what has now turned out to be murderous HIV-Aids ideologies and a questionable foreign policy, particularly in reference to Zimbabwe.

As the old adage goes, evil tends to flourish when good men and women choose to remain silent when loud voices are required.

That is why we are particularly encouraged to hear that deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has spoken out against Julius Malema's unfortunate tendency of disrupting teaching and learning under the guise of "encouraging" schoolchildren.

It is deeply concerning that, according to Motlanthe, teachers and headmasters have been unhappy with Malema's visits but felt they had no power to speak out.

Motlanthe must now act as the leader he is in the party and in government.

He must use the authority entrusted to him to ensure that Malema does not cut his populist posturing at the expense of our children.

This must go beyond Motlanthe and Malema. True leadership is about leaders of state serving the interests of the people. It is also about sending a clear message that there is no place in our democracy for demagogues who believe their word is unchallengeable.

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