Malema is part of poverty problem

I AM always fascinated when ANC Youth League president Julius Malema attributes his opulent lifestyle to the fact that he grew up poor.

And typically, Malema has drilled that point home and seems, somewhat, perplexed by the fact that we are not happy for him.

After all, Malema is the son of a domestic worker from Limpopo and today he is at the helm of the governing party's youth league, with a couple of multi-million rand business deals on the side - how can we not be happy for him?

And for the purpose of this piece let's relegate Malema's rags-to-riches story to being conspicuous and unheard of in South Africa. The issue here is poverty, one that Malema and many like him are slaves of.

Poverty is a very strange evil. You are either perpetuating it from the inside or outside.

And of course, it is easy to perpetuate it from the inside. You just have to be poor - no money, no food, nothing. Be a beggar.

However, hit the big time like Malema and suddenly you graduate to the other level, that of perpetuating it from the outside. And Malema is excelling at this role.

The truth is when you betray the vote of the electorate - many of whom live in dire circumstances of poverty - and pursue your own selfish interests, you are doing nothing to eliminate poverty, but the contrary.

When as a youth leader you do absolutely nothing to rally young people into a common cause including issues of morality, entrepreneurship and education, and helping them to be self-sufficient, you are part of the poverty problem.

Tshwane Malope, Pimville