In a tongue-in-cheek reflection, Azad Essa reviews the revelations of a secret dossier on Julius Malema apparently found in the abandoned mines of Diepklip.
Zimbabwean journalists, now illegal workers living in Jozi’s mines, have discovered a secret dossier that showcases one Julius Malema suffering from clinical depression. The dossier, found in the abandoned mines of Diepklip bordering the dry Mid-rand suburb of Kraakfontein (opposite the KFC) is a collection of transcribed counselling sessions between Malema, an unnamed psychiatrist only known as 'Doctor' and presumably three executive members of the ANC.
The dossier is made up of three sections – 'Report A: JM Matrix', 'Report B: JM Reloaded' and 'Report C: JM Counter-revolution' – and pinpoints key attempts to steer Malema into heading the ANC leadership from 2014.
More than anything else, it is an exploration of the difficulties faced by the ANC in rearing their latest protégé.
'Last week I got lost in my own house,' Malema arbitrarily admits during a roundtable discussion in 'Report B: JM Reloaded'.
'I still don’t know how many rooms I have, and these doors seem to take me to different places,' adds Malema.
Report A recounts up to 13 interventions since December 2008 in which the ANC top brass have had to prevent a heavily medicated Malema from slitting his wrists.
It is alleged that the trouble started when Malema realised that the woman who had once accused President Jacob Zuma of rape was actually his second cousin’s sister.
'I can’t keep up this charade anymore chief,' Malema is quoted to have said following the realisation, 'I think I have become a counter-weight; perhaps it’s time for me to go?'
While the document highlights some of the weaknesses in leadership currently experienced by the ANC, experts say that it is the role of ANCYL (African National Congress Youth League) spokesperson Floyd that disturbs them most.
According to the Zimbabwean reporters, it was precisely Malema’s reliance on quoting Floyd during counselling sessions that caught their attention.
In 'Report C: JM Counter-revolution', Malema sings to his doctor about his vision for a new South Africa: 'We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control; no dark sarcasm in the classroom; teachers leave them kids alone.'
'But my mother tells me she would like me to go back to university,' Malema soberly concludes to his psychiatrist.
The three-ply document skid-marks an ANC that is growing rapidly impatient with Malema’s flatulent histrionics. Following Malema’s admission in the report that to 'kill the Boers was not my idea in the first place', one ANC executive member identified only as 'CH' in the dossier is quoted as saying 'stop being a squealing bitch', while another, identified as 'JD', is quoted as having 'grunted' at Malema’s concerns.
'Remember what we have done for you Juliass,' drags CH.
Malema says that he was finding it difficult to even just have a quiet drink with his white friends from Sandton.
'I really do have white friends! These songs scare them chief … imagine if they leave the country and we are forced to actually keep our word and nationalise the mines. We would be f*****,' he continues.
'You are too stressed, Julius … you should consider doing some exercise,' says the doctor.
'Yes, are you a member of Virgin?', asks JD.
'Ey chief! I have children,' Malema replies.
But other sections of the dossier, experts say, prove to be more ominous than funny.
One sociologist said that the dossier is 'damning, damaging but not debilitating' because it shows that 'Malema is reflecting on his erratic behaviour'.
'This is ample proof that the lad has a brain, and despite his apparent thirst to stir violence, intolerance and gender disparity, he just wants to make his mother happy,' says sociologist Jaco van der Westwood from the University of BEE (black economic empowerment).
'It appears he is stuck in a catch-22 situation,' says Precious Ncube, a psychologist at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Middle Burg.
'On the one hand he loves the attention of being the prince of the ANC, able to raise his voice and cause a flutter whenever he wants – but he knows that dislodging this firebrand image is going to be difficult to negotiate. People don’t expect him to be the Marshmallow man, but if Julius needs a hug and can’t get it … God forbid.'
'This is a new century. This can drive a man to suicide,' adds Ncube.
However, Malema sees suicide as a shot at martyrdom.
'I think by taking my own life, it will show how counter-revolutionaries still have such a psychological advantage over black people,' suggests Malema in 'Report C: JM Counter-revolution'.
'Even with all my wealth, I still feel incomplete,' adds an emotional Malema.
'But our country’s constitution often comes in the way. And seriously, we black people need new lyricists,' added Malema.
ANC insiders nevertheless say far too much money has gone into Malema for them to simply let him die.
'Julius would like to think that he is replaceable. But he is not. There is no one like him. Yes, there are literally millions of young black and white males waiting to take his place but no one highlights and distracts the nation like Julius,' said the source. 'He would be a regrettable loss.'
In a dramatic twist, Zimbabwean journalists said they agreed to return the full document to the ANC if 'the South African government gives our country back'.
A statement released by the Zimbabwean Journalists in Exile Association, now working as illegal miners, declares their motion 'to return the entire document to the ANC NEC following a process that would get us out of the mines and back into the newsrooms of Harare'.
'The blood of the real South Africa flows within these mines … the ANC knows that this is a sensitive, coded document of high importance. We will give their life back … but we want our lives back first,' the statement added.
Attempts to reach comment from the ANCYL proved fruitless, though Floyd hinted that Malema could be just be another brick in the wall.
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* Azad Essa is a journalist based in Durban. He writes the award-winning blog Accidental Academic.
* This article was originally a blog post on the Mail and Guardian's Thought Leader.
* Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.