Schlagwort-Archive: unity

Understanding the Malema Debacle

An analysis to the Malema-Zuma-relationship

(Editor: Leon Schreiber*)

The circumstances surrounding Julius Malema’s suspension has been extensively covered in the South African media. But just how did such an embarrassing situation arise? Why has an organisation with a proud history of integrity reached a point where its representatives are openly calling for regime change in democratic countries, provoking racial tensions and publicly insulting its President? And why did the top six leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), including President Zuma, decide to hold an embarrassing press conference last week where they were preaching unity, while it was obvious to all observers that there are great tensions between them? The answer is to be found at the ANC’s 2007 Polokwane conference.

President Jacob Zuma is no longer supported by Julius Malema. The suspended ANCYL president is using the chaotic lack of discipline & respect and embarrassing the ANC leadership. (Quelle: flickr/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa + GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma is no longer supported by Julius Malema. The suspended ANCYL president is using the chaotic lack of discipline & respect and embarrassing the ANC leadership. (Quelle: flickr/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa + GCIS)

It was during the Polokwane conference that Zuma’s camp let the Malema genie out of the bottle. They had identified the populist talents of the newly-elected ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader, and these talents were very useful to Zuma at the time. Zuma’s supporters sat back and watched as Malema was given free rein to use whatever tactics were necessary to get rid of Zuma’s opponent at the time, Thabo Mbeki. The important point is that there were no limits to the lengths Malema was allowed to go, as illustrated by his infamous call that the ANCYL is prepared to ‘kill for Zuma’. But there was more to it than just this rhetorical flourish. Zuma’s camp allowed Malema to completely assassinate Mbeki’s character. He was also allowed to make pronouncements on the corruption and rape investigations which were being carried out against Zuma at the time. However, in the process of using Malema to advance his own political agenda (seeking the position of President), Zuma effectively sacrificed all discipline and integrity. Indeed, if integrity and discipline were still present within the ANC, Malema would never have gotten away with claiming that the alleged victim of Zuma’s rape ‘had a nice time’ whiles the case was still sub judice. In short, political expediency was regarded by Zuma to be more important than the principles of the ANC. In 2007, the ANC spectacularly surrendered all of its principles in the most public of fashions. And from Zuma’s perspective it had worked like a charm. The corruption and rape charges were controversially dropped and he was free to be elected as President of the ANC, while his opponent Mbeki was unceremoniously tossed out to sea.

During the ensuing four years, Malema has steadily lost favour with Zuma and his supporters. It appears as if Zuma initially believed that there would be no consequences to allowing discipline and respect to collapse. He may perhaps even have felt vindicated when Malema started making racist pronouncements against whites, because it gave the ANC an easy scapegoat to blame for its lack of progress in fighting poverty and inequality. If Malema could get young black South Africans to blame whites for the lack of service delivery and their continuing poverty, then the ANC’s hold on power would not be threatened by its own incompetence. This explains why the ANC initially did not even attempt to reprimand Malema for his clearly racist behaviour – it continued to work in their favour. However, the honeymoon came to an abrupt end when Malema started openly criticising Zuma, even ironically comparing him to Mbeki in an unfavourable light. Never mind his calls for nationalisation, racial violence and perhaps even regime change in Botswana (the ostensible cause for his suspension) – it was Malema’s decision to attack the Zuma camp (which includes powerful individuals like the ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe) which finally led to the marriage collapsing.

The embarrassing events of the past few months are very easy to understand when keeping the context of the Zuma-Malema relationship in mind: now that Malema has lost his value to Zuma, the ANC is trying to put the genie back into the bottle. But they will find that it is much harder to force Malema’s considerable girth back into the proverbial lamp than it was to let his (skinnier) self out back in 2007. This is because reinstating discipline and integrity will be almost impossible after it was sacrificed on the altar of Zuma’s quest for political power in 2007 for the entire world to see. The result is that Malema will continue to use the chaotic lack of discipline and respect which now rules in the ANC to embarrass the leadership. He will defy his suspension(s). He will openly criticize Zuma. He will call for a new ANC President to be elected in December. Why? Because Zuma had opened the floodgates at the Polokwane conference. And now the torrent may very well wash him away to the ocean, where he would join Mbeki in floating around aimlessly as pieces of South African political driftwood.

*Leon Schreiber is a South African PhD student in Political Science at the Free University of Berlin in Germany. The views expressed are his own. Follow Leon on Twitter @Die_Schreiberei

Interview with model Lee-Ann Roberts

„South African fashion will always be slightly behind as it follows European trends“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Lee-Ann Roberts zählt zu den erfolgreichsten Models in Südafrika. Sie hat es auf das renommierte FHM Magazin geschafft – ein Traum vieler Models. Als stolze Südafrikanerin aus Durban erläutert sie, dass sie vom Modelscout Leon Cloete aus Johannesburg/Pretoria endeckt wurde. Genauso wie Jo-Ann Strauss vertritt Lee-Ann Roberts den Standpunkt, dass die südafrikanische Modebranche national und global betrachtet relativ unbedeutend ist. Vielmehr folgt die südafrikanische Szene den Trends Europa´s. Auch hinkt Südafrika bedingt durch die umgekehrte Jahreszeit zwischen Nord- und Südhalbkugel den europäischen Modeideen hinterher. Gleichzeitig untermauert sie, dass ein Model für diesen Job folgende Eigenschaften aufbringen sollte: Leidenschaft, Selbstbewusststein und Enthusiasmus. Deutschland wird Lee-Ann Roberts in diesem Jahr das erste Mal besuchen. Sie schätzt die Professionalität und Höflichkeit deutscher Kunden; und vor allem die trendige deutsche (Damen-)Oberbekleidung.

© Lee-Ann Roberts, a proud east coast model from Durban (Picture source:

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Lee-Ann Roberts, model from Durban. Ms. Roberts, according to your website you are „a proud east coast girl“. What is South Africa standing for?

Answer: I am a proud East Coast girl indeed. I am from a small town Durban in South Africa, living along the sea side while growing up you cant get better than that. When i ask myself that question the first word that comes to mind is unity, how ever I love my country and I am proudly South African. Die Cape Town Fashion Week (CTFW) bewertet das Model als die kreativste Modeveranstaltung im Lande.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You have been discovered by Leon Cloete, a model scout from Johannesburg, who is known in South African media as „the Guy with the Eye“. When it happened and what was your first impression of this really unique situation?

Answer: Leon and I started speaking in about 2008, I flew up to Johannesburg to meet him and then things started happening from there. After that I went to Johannesburg for his Model Events at FTV where I was meant to be the draw card for the event at the time, was so much fun and so very new for me.

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In an interview with us from March 2011, your model colleague Jo-Ann Strauss commented the fashion scene in South Africa. She said, that fashion in South Africa is still taking „a small role but it’s growing.“ Are you in the same opinion, that South African fashion is still relatively trivial in national and global view?

Answer: I definitely agree with Jo-Ann, South African fashion will always be slightly behind as it follows European trends and we are a season behind.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which fashion week is in South Africa the most important one and why?

Answer: I would say Cape Town Fashion Week (CTFW) as its the more creative hub of South Africa.

© Lee-Ann worked for the famous magazine FHM South Africa (Picture source:

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You have been worked for/ with several influential clients like FHM Magazine, Elle or Nokia. Which characteristics is representing your profession as model?

Answer: With my bubbly personality, confidence and enthusiasm I am able to interact with the clients to get my job done to the best I can with everyone being happy in the end.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Have you been already in Germany and which perception do you have from German fashion as well as German culture?

Answer: Unfortunately I have not been to Germany. It is definitely a country I would like to visit this year. I have worked for German clients and the garments are always trendy and the clients are always friendly and professional.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which personal dreams would you like to realize?

Answer: I have been lucky enough to realize some dreams last year and I am very grateful and fortunate. I do have allot more dreams and goals on my list. My main dream is to carry on working hard, being successful, happy and make my mark in this world, as they say we all are here to do something.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Lee-Ann Roberts, model from the east coast of South Africa, thank you very much for this interesting interview!

For more fashion news from South Africa read the

Fashion and Lifestyle Column by Sam Pegg

Soap Operas True Reflection Of Current SA?

South Africans are loving soaps

(Editor: Tuming Lee)

Part 1:

Generations, Muvhango and Scandal constitute the crème de la crème of Mzansi’s local soap operas, attracting millions of viewership every weekday during prime time. Generations, with a viewership of 4 458 000 is not called Mzansi’s most watched soapy for nothing. Even though South Africans still enjoy American Soaps, they can’t help but feel patriotic every time they have to watch Kenneth Mashaba, devious media mogul played by Seputla Sebogodi, delivering his usual spectacular, SAFTA (South African Film and Television Awards) deserving performance of kicking out a subordinate from his office, with the classic line, “A bo re gwaa!” (Northern Sotho’s equivalent of ‘Bugger Off.’) This proves once more that local is always lekker. Nothing can make you feel more nostalgic than a home grown TV production with next door faces and local languages.

Everybody in South Africa loves his soaps, even this Baby by watching „Generations“

Just as Nelson Mandela is affectionately known as Madiba which is a clan name of which Mr Mandela is a member, South Africa is now simply being referred to as Mzansi. Mzansi is a term of endearment that means south and it was given to SA by its fabulous and vibrant Nguni language speaking youth. As in Ayoba (township slang for cool!), the word Mzansi has sneaked its way into the vocabulary of every curious mind in the country – young and old, black and white, print and social media alike to become the latest unity symbol of the rainbow nation. It is only a matter of time before Mzansi and Ayoba find themselves cosy little spots in the South African English dictionary, a global recognition that is long overdue.

© Screenshot from TV soap "Generations" (Source: YouTube)

Everyday some men and women hurriedly clear up their work desk and rush through traffic to get home before 6 pm for one more dosage of their favourite soap opera. More so, men than women because most men would rather have their limbs amputated than willingly admit to watching soap operas. Why? Because soap watching is embarrassing and considered a chick thing. Besides, what are Peter’s colleagues and buddies supposed to think when they hear how he had traded a perfect two hours of beer drinking and loud burping for an early night in front of the couch, biting his nails and hugging his pillow listening to best friends, Tshidi and Puleng’s in etv’s Rhythm City talking about whether or not Tshidi should marry Dylan or abort the baby. How would the guys perceive Peter, knowing that he was clutching to a pillow, shedding a tear the moment he learnt about Cheryl’s conspiracy to snatch her employer, Braam le Roux and marry him from right under her best friend’s Marlien’s nose in order to gain control of BLR Empire and get back at his number one enemy, former prisoner and millionaire ex-husband Barker Heinz.

The convoluted commentary typically characterises a soap opera plot where normally everybody is related either by marriage or birth but continues to intermarry, resulting in family disoriented off springs with a serious series of identity crises. The producers think it is a winning formula hence the recurring, feminine plot in almost all soap operas, leaving men with little or no entertainment.

Uninviting as soap operas might be to men, more and more males are rationalising their soapy watching as an occasional sneak peek in order to keep up with their women’s interests and so they let the world believe. They are quick to label soaps as hogwash and are always on tenterhooks waiting to deny their involvement in soap operas. Unsettling behaviour indeed.

Kgogo e e lelang pele, lee ke la yone – loosely translated, this saying means ‘the egg belongs to the hen that crows first’. The first ones to deny watching soap operas are usually the ones that watch it. It is an attention deflecting tactic away from the real culprits.

Even though men would be the first to confess that they do not find the plot of soap operas the least bit appealing and that they are only watching because of their wives or girlfriends, it is surprising how quick they are to proclaiming, that even if one does not watch soap operas for a year, Brooke would still be pining for Ridge while Eric Forrester will still be lusting after another bold and beautiful young thing to take as his next wife.”

Lo and behold, one year later, Brooke is standing by Ridge’s office door at Forrester Creations wearing a little red number that leaves a lot to the imagination and Ridge is left drooling and speechless one more time. Across the hallway in another office, Eric is on the phone, charming the pants off of Brooke’s sister Donna, inviting her to meet him at the Big Bear Cabin because he is divorcing Stephanie who has finally agreed to sign the divorce papers. What a strange coincidence! It is either soap opera’s plots don’t change that much or the men are lying and do actually watch soap operas behind women’s back. Female intuition says it is the latter.

On a serious note though, if so many people watch soap operas, doesn’t that put responsibility on the soapy production team to provide material that contributes positively towards the advancement of society? Therefore the question remains: Are local soap operas a true reflection of the current South Africa? More on this in Soap Operas True Reflection Of Current SA, Part 2.