Richard Anthony Chemaly
4 minute read
8 Apr 2022
4:13 pm

JZ, Malema trying distract from nonsense of present by digging around in past

Richard Anthony Chemaly

If Malema's gripes about the judiciary were genuine, why has he done nothing to address them in almost 10 years as MP and JSC members?

Julius Malema's attacks on the judiciary just aren't that convincing.(Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla)

From Zuma to Malema, the new golden goose of political opportunism is to take to task the judiciary.

This is because the judiciary is probably the easiest boogieman, considering that it’s still perceived to be pretty white, though if you look at the benches of the upper courts today, that perception will be challenged.

This is probably why Malema had to go back to the 1970s and raise the spirit of Solomon Mahlangu to make a point about unjust laws.

Malema criticised the country’s judiciary for its role in the death of Mahlangu, while addressing supporters outside the offices of billionaire Johann Rupert.

Also Read: Malema tears into ‘lazy’ NPA after his court appearance

This makes me question whether he’s aware that going on near a decade, he’s had not only more chance than most to amend laws as an MP, he’s also had some time on the JSC.

In that time, I’ve noted precious little actual work done in the form of draft amendment bills coming from the EFF.

There shouldn’t even be a need to look at the 1970s through to the TRC report finding Mahlangu guilty for death and gross human rights violations.

There shouldn’t be a need to have the debate about justifications of political killings, the use of the courts, and law to advance apartheid or the value of the TRC reports in 2022.

We only do these things of referring so deeply into the past so that we can be distracted from the nonsense of the present.

It takes more than hurling question marks at the judiciary to strike the change one wants but if one is capitalizing on the actual hurling, then is there a real desire to make the change? Doesn’t seem so.

Least of all from a dude who has more power than basically anybody to make the changes he supposedly believes in.

And JZ? How many judges and justices did he pick again in his years in office?

Also Read: The JSC should be restructured and ground rules imposed on its members

What significant reforms did he make or at least get his party to make while in office?

It’s like the Oscars of “I could have done all this but didn’t, and now want it done when it suits me after the fact”.

Only in these Oscars, the slap is dished out to those selected to do the job by the ones who supposedly (though they won’t admit it in such bland detail) did a bad job in selecting them.

But what else can they do, these critics of the judiciary? Get us all riled up and start a riot? That does sound very 1970s.

Other than being self-serving, what is the objective?

Is Juju trying to raise political capital by invoking anger of the past to give him more bargaining power in the parliament?

As if he’s ever needed that, even to back out of getting closer to land reform.

Is JZ trying to inspire what little faction of the ANC he still holds, to take us back to the days of parliamentary sovereignty so he can get out of the day in court he so badly wants us to believe he wants


It’s not like the bookies are putting money on that happening, but maybe he’ll die first.

Therein lies what I think is the true goal, and it’s fitting that Solomon Mahlangu came up like this because he has been a debatable figure.

Also Read: ‘Travesty of justice’: Zuma’s legal team responds to SCA’s ‘glaringly vague’ ruling

This is a dude who was found to have been a murderer by a questionable court, but also by the TRC.

Dismissing both the court and the TRC, and looking at the intentions behind the action, many South Africans view Solomon Mahlangu as a hero; a struggle hero no less.

Being a hero in The Struggle (whatever that may refer to today) is socially akin to being a martyr in Islam.

It’s something to aspire to. Sure, not everybody follows Islam but to them who do, martyrs are important.

Not many people may follow The Struggle but to those who do, their heroes are important.

Unfortunately, in the case of South African politics, it doesn’t take much to be a hero; just a big mouth, somebody to aim it at, and poor pain to exploit, and Allah only knows how many stacks of that we have going around.

If this was for the people, let’s see the work put in to get to what they believe in.

I fear that it’s not for the people, and what we’ll really only see is a couple of budget overrun projects to put up statues of some loudmouths in parks used by the homeless.

The judiciary, as a branch of state has had its issues, sure.

Getting criticised by members of the executive and legislature past and present just seems a tad rich.