Guest Post by Mulaifa Sigubu
On November 4, I read an article about how mining giant Anglo American will gain a controlling interest in De Beers. The company will part with US$5.1 billion for 40 percent of the company’s shares, held by the Oppenheimer family.
The deal marks a historic transformation for the South African industrial family, which has had a leading role in both companies for almost ninety years. This business deal increases Anglo American’s stake in De Beers to 85%.
Having read the article, I could not stop thinking about ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. Malema, over the years, has been outspoken about South Africa’s mineral resources; stating that they should be nationalised.
However, nationalisation of mineral resources by definition is not a bad idea, as it is an accepted method for governments around the world to extract sufficient rent from the limited resources they have, said Martin Kingston, CEO of Rothschild South Africa, an investment bank. Kingston was speaking at the AngloGold Ashanti/Motjoli Resources’ Mining for Change seminar in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
One needs to comprehend that Malema capitalised heavily on the emotions of poor people. He recently led thousands of predominantly black unemployed youths to the Union Buildings on his so-called economic freedom march. Malema chose the most powerless and poorest people to manipulate in his quest to gain popularity. He would be clad in his fancy suits and patronise the people by raising hopeless yet justifiable grievances while he lived a lavish lifestyle.
Malema has now become the perfect example of the 2 Samuel 1:25 Bible verse – “How the mighty have fallen in battle!”. The question is: now that he has lost his political supremacy, can South Africa finally become sane?
For years the enthralment with Malema by the local media bordered and still borders on small-mindedness while we, the readers, are held incarcerated by it. Besides, I do not know what is so newsworthy about him, spitting on the poor in the name of economic freedom.
It appears that whoever came up with this English proverb, “an empty vessel makes the loudest noise” was precise. Malema, clearly, is that vessel, and to this day, I wonder what leadership qualities were bestowed unto him. I, for one, am glad that the ANC decided to fill that vessel. I just hope that it doesn’t become empty again.
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