Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Power Play

I never wanted to use my blog as a soapbox, but I despair for this country because of it's current leadership.

I once read that nobility is achieved, it is not inherited. In each generation there are individuals most suited to the social environment that exists at the time. They become the aristocracy of the generation into which they are most fortunate to have been born. Those individuals have been blessed with skill-sets, attitudes and aptitudes most suitable to thrive in their world. Because of their success we tend to look to them for examples of how to conduct ourselves in order to succeed within the society we inhabit. Because we esteem them, they become the nobility of each generation. But each generation of leaders also have to prove themselves by showing tireless wisdom, strength of character and leadership skills and in so doing win the respect and admiration of their peers and elders.

But this seems to not be the case in with the current leadership in South Africa. From where I stand, you just need to have the right cronies and connections to empower yourself and rise up in society to act and be treated like royalty. What this teaches our society is that you need not be noble, honest, dignified or successful to be given authority and power. All you need is to be obsequious, ruthless, greedy, and well-connected.

Julius Malema doesn't manifest the characteristics of a great leader such as Mandela, he does not even come close to an Mbeki or even FW De Klerk. He reminds me of a coward and a bully. I suspect that he only speaks so boldly because wherever he goes he is surrounded by state-sponsored bodyguards every minute of every day. Even so, one can't help but notice his absence in Ventersdorp after the murder and subsequent funeral of Eugene Terreblanche. The kind of decisive confident leader that he pretends to be would have been there in a heartbeat to make amends by expressing regret, offering support and doing whatever was possible to bring the perpetrators to justice. Julius was deafening in his silence. He strikes me as the sort of bully who has never had the privilege of having his stuffing rearranged in a schoolyard for being too big for his boots. He's happy to shout the odds but slow to shoulder the burden of leadership. Apart from being all bluster and little substance, what makes me worry most about Julius is that he seems to be drunk on the power that he wields.

What of those who placed him in his position? I am certain he like President Zuma, was positioned by consensus within the ruling party and not by popular vote.

What kind of leadership places such an belligerent, ignorant person in a position with such power, authority and influence? They have either taken leave of their senses or simply have no clue what a true leader is, or there is a more sinister reason for his role as a protagonist?

Perhaps this is the achilles heel in this form of government. People are in positions of authority simply because they're correctly aligned and not because they have the skills and attributes that inspire respect and admiration. Not a single intelligent soul gazing upon our political landscape could misinterpret the malice and danger of the things being said by Julius.

I think the ANC should be held wholly responsible for his misdeeds and utterances. They should be acting decisively and ruthlessly with someone who is flagrantly ignoring their directives and behaving in a manner that causes embarrassment to both the party, the state and the country. I suggest to the ANC that a quiet, unambiguous chat with the ingrate prince would be most in order. A conversation where it will be made most plain to Julius that power that is given can be taken away, and all that he is - depends on the good graces of the powers that installed him. I have to wonder why they have not done this already? Are they perhaps refusing to pull in the leash because the handlers are quite obviously, scared of the dog?

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