Johnson used to at least be able to give a passable imitation of being Boris Johnson. Now he can’t even manage that. The gags and the mannerisms that used to be his calling card, now just fall flat. A one-trick pony whose one trick everyone knows. The surface has been stripped bare to reveal a core of molten need. Someone who craves attention and fears he wouldn’t exist without it. Someone whose narcissism leaves him devoid of empathy. Incapable of either giving or receiving love.
Malema, to a limited degree, ‘stood in’ for an African-nationalist tradition that attempted to oppose the rise to dominance of this peculiar bond between the sinister tribal chauvinist, strongman, big-man, populist Jacob Zuma and the SACP – held together with that reliable old glue of rank opportunism. Sure, Malema was a manipulative populist and looter of the worst stripe. However, it is impossible to avoid that ultimately, he was urged or pushed forward to fight Zuma and the surprising SACP advances by a group that could broadly be categorised as constituting an African nationalist tradition within the ANC (a tradition that would, over a span of years, have included individuals as diverse as Mandela, Tambo, Mbeki, Modise and Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma). He ‘stood in’ for this shattered and directionless group as it gradually tried to pull itself back together – which it inevitably will, because it is and always has been the heart of the ANC. – Nic Borain in the Daily Maverick on the campaign against Zwelenzima VaviBACK TO TOP