Malema’s house is built on hot air ... but don’t expect it to ...

Ideas

Malema’s house is built on hot air ... but don’t expect it to collapse

One hopes voters aren’t duped by his ‘spacious houses’ for the poor and his rhetoric, but don’t hold your breath

Columnist

The Nats were known for matchbox houses and toilets in the veld, the ANC for RDP houses and corrugated iron shacks, and now from the EFF comes the very last word in residential upliftment for the poor — the “spacious house”. Recently, and to demonstrate how seriously they take women, the EFF unveiled on Twitter three such homes at an undisclosed location, which three lucky gogos are going to move into. Actually, they may already be living there, judging from the washing on the line seen in the pictures released to mark the historic moment. And they seem to have DStv fitted as well, so perhaps the EFF wanted to make sure the gogos were settled down nicely and watching Big Brother re-runs in this little Potemkin village of grandmother dreams lost and found.

You’ve got to hand it to EFF leader Julius Malema, though, even if you are tempted to dismiss this latest publicity stunt as a, well, publicity stunt. He’s a paint-by-numbers one-stop grievance shop. He is Ithuba, the Gift of the Givers, Clientele Legal, B’nai B’rith and the Catholic Women’s League rolled into one. Need a new house? Malema is your man. Can’t find your gogo? No problem. Lost your job? Sit back, and Malema will dispatch a cackle of clowns in red to terrorise your workplace and compel your boss to hand you the employee of the month award. With his quirky brand of high-profile events and utterances, combined with a cynical welfarism and an adoring twitterati, Malema is solving the problems faced by the masses, one case at a time, feeding on blissful sentimentality and creating the illusion of politics with a caring heart. No tough choices for him, and all the while picking at the raw wounds of racism, envy, poverty and hopelessness.

Malema’s bag of tricks is big enough for every occasion, his grasp of matters so quick and intuitive that he hardly needs the hours of painstaking study and dedication lesser mortals in the political realm require. Have a look at him in a YouTube video insulting former health minister Zweli Mkhize, who had bought us “fong kong'' vaccines, the name of which he recalled thanks to some “fighters” sitting alongside him. And the reason for this AstraZeneca fong kong purchase? You guessed it, an Indian connection, because as we well know Mkhize is from KwaZulu-Natal, so it all fits together, doesn’t it? This, we are told, is because Mkhize “wants to eat”. To illustrate his point, Malema acts out “eating” with both hands, and you could see quite a lot of practice had gone into his “eating". India, he repeats, with an expression of disdain, most guys reserve for ex-wives...

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