Senekal last week had nothing to do with solutions. It was all about politicians’ testosterone. It was all about politicians’ egos. What useful idea came out of all that heat and noise generated by all those politicians in Senekal last week? There is nothing. Nothing that makes SA a better place. Nothing that leads us to a better understanding of race relations in SA after 1994. Nothing that is a solution to farm murders – many of whose victims are poorly paid, desperate black people – or a solution to the incredibly horrendous murder and crime problem in this country.
Malema is no innocent victim. But he has been punished for his role in expressing opinion, not in preventing others from having their say. He is punished for saying that Mbeki cares more about Africans than Zuma — not for storming a stage in 2010 to try to bully Justice Minister Jeff Radebe. He is sanctioned for remarks on Botswana that were crass and embarrassing but no threat to democracy in the ANC — not for driving his opponents out of a hall in Limpopo or ignoring a court order in the Eastern Cape. The message is clear: ANC members can bully and bend the rules, as long as they don’t criticise leaders or deviate from policy. This insistence that the problem is not unfair contest but contest itself will worsen the problem. – Steven Friedman in Business DayBACK TO TOP