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By Editorial staff

Journalist


Malema’s ‘unled revolution’ remark gets SA thinking

Unled revolutions have happened in South Africa before.


Julius Malema certainly got people thinking when, in an interview with the BBC Hard Talk programme last week, he spoke about what he called the possibility of an “unled revolution” erupting in South Africa. That’s a clever term for what is, essentially, a “people’s revolt”, where there is a spontaneous uprising against the government as the frustrations of the people boil over.

In France, in 1789, when the people rose against King Louis XVI, there were a number of parallels – ominous ones – with our current society in South Africa. There was huge inequality and as the rich got richer, the poor got ground down by soaring price inflation.

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Poverty spread, as did anger at the blatant corruption of the ruling elite. Unled revolutions have happened in this country before. Much as the ANC would like to claim the Soweto uprising in June 1976 was its work, it was not. It was a spontaneous outburst of anger at a school system where Africans were forced to be taught in Afrikaans… and a cry of anguish about apartheid.

The case of Zimbabwe

The ANC later benefitted from recruits who fled the country, inspired to fight the regime. But, then there is the curious case of our neighbour to the north, Zimbabwe.

Under Robert Mugabe and still, under Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabweans were exposed to far more hardships than have afflicted South Africans so far…yet they did not rise against the ruling Zanu-PF.

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Why not? Simply put, that country’s brutal and ruthless security arms, the police and military, are owned by the ruling party. That is the opposite of the situation in our country. Our cops are inept and corrupt, as are our soldiers.

That much was proved in the 2021 insurrection. There is, then, fertile ground for a people’s revolt. We are sitting on a time bomb. The ANC must wake up.

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