THOSE whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
This ancient proverb found more meaningful currency yesterday at the ANCYL press conference than when it was first uttered in the mid-1800s.
The ANC has to move quickly to remove the finger of Julius Malema from the self-destruct button he's bent on pressing.
Obviously his jaunt across the Limpopo River hasn't done him any good. At just 29 he's now spewing the sort of bile previously thought to be the sole preserve of senile leaders such as octogenarian Mad Bob Mugabe, who hosted him lavishly last week.
Every sort of vitriol the Zanu-PF strongman has thrown against "imperialist enemies" of Zimbabwe, real or imagined, escaped from a much younger orifice this time, Malema's mouth.
Not content to merely cast aspersions on Zimbabwean opposition politics and the sad persona of Eugène Terre'Blance, Juju Babe felt the need to up the ante - and swear like a sailor.
BBC journalist Jonah Fisher - this "thing", according to Malema - must still be smarting from the vulgarities.
The Briton's attempt at back-chatting the belligerent ANCYL bully served only to attract more invectives. "Rubbish" assumed a whole new phallic meaning.
As Fisher inched his way out of the gathering, he was urged on: "Get out, bastard; you agent."
Despite what Jacob Zuma and Mugabe may have told him, this is hardly the sort of language consistent with a future president.
Somebody, anyone, please save Malema from himself. Now.