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28 July 2014 14:09 (South Africa)
Opinionista Sipho Hlongwane

The Passion of Julius Malema: Judas Iscariot edition

  • Sipho Hlongwane
He is set upon on all sides by his enemies. He is taking a battering. And now, his closest allies have turned on him. Worst of all, nobody cares. We join our hero That Jolly Fellow Julius Malema once again as he contemplates the horrible realities of being misunderstood and betrayed in his lifetime. 

Thirty pieces of silver. That’s all it took for Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus Christ. He went up to the Sanhedrin, and he committed the vile act of treachery against the Son of God. Just like that, he threw away everything. 

Whilst Jesus was in the throes of tormented prayer, and whilst his faithful disciples slept, the betrayer arrived. In order to point him out to the guards, Judas embraced him with a kiss, that highest symbol of affection of love.

“And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him,” the Gospel of Luke says. “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”

He did indeed. For thirty pieces of silver. 

We are not clear as to what thirty pieces of silver can buy, exactly. A slave, according to the Bible. But since that practice is generally frowned upon nowadays, we have to settle with the thought that it could perhaps buy a politician. 

That Jolly Fellow Julius Malema (TJFJM) must be wondering how many pieces of silver his own life is worth. Surely less than thirty – even he knows (one hopes) that he is not Jesus Christ. But it cannot have been a small sum. For now, his once loyal deputy Ronald Lamola has turned on him. He has also tried – and failed – to turn the entire ANC Youth League against their fearless leader.

We are well aware that TJFJM is fighting for his life against the forces of evil and darkness that have tried to silence the voice of the youth and the poor. Under the sway of these dark slayers of brave men, the state has tried to bury him under an avalanche of charges. But hold your dismay and repugnance in abeyance. We must first discuss the disgusting and shocking nature of Lamola’s betrayal.

Lamola agreed to accept the outcomes of a democratic election at the ANC’s conference in December, even if the wrong person won. Wrong, in this case, being the incumbent and TJFJM’s worst enemy, Jacob Zuma. 

How could he? That flies in the face of everything that TJFJM has worked for!

The response was swift and brutal. “He is compromised. He is gone. He has sold out... With his sell-out tendencies he will never lead the youth league,” roared TJFJM. 

ANCYL spokeswoman Khusela Sangoni-Khawe responded with that deliciously evocative turn of phrase we’ve come to expect from this august organisation. “These blood-curdling remarks are not worthy of any leader, let alone one trusted by not only the youth, but thousands of South Africans, as he has demonstrated time and again,” she said in a statement. Well. At least we know where she stands on the matter of her fearless leader’s brave and honourable mission! Judases Iscariot everywhere!

Lamola not only chose not to attend TJFJM’s court hearing last week, he advised the ANCYL not to go as well. Then, to rub it in further, he attended Cosatu’s march against e-tolling on the very same day, to find white people. That move would be hilarious if it weren’t so sickening. What gall. This is worse than when we were told that Season Three of Game of Thrones is only coming in April next year. 

But we should not worry. Lamola is finished. He will never be a credible leader of the youth. He is no Julius Malema. It is laughable that he even tries to match TJFJM. 

Whilst that traitor Lamola was having fun in Johannesburg, the politically-compromised and partisan National Prosecuting Authority brought even more charges against TJFJM. 

“The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has added 50 new charges, including corruption and fraud, against former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema,” City Press said. “According to the latest indictment against Malema, a copy of which City Press has obtained, he will now face multiple charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering. This is a dramatic departure from the single charge of money laundering brought against him when he first appeared in court on September 26.”

Fifty new charges! Fifty! Think about it – how can one commit so many white-collar crimes at once without being full-time corrupt? We know that TJFJM cannot have had the time to do all these things. He was busy leading the youth, after all. 

He is accused of “playing a leading role” in managing a criminal racket with fellow On-Point Engineering directors Lesiba Gwangwa and Kagiso Dichabe. Is this how determined the ANC is to get rid of our brave hero? Does he face a future of scrawling poetry on prison walls? Very probably. The walk to freedom is long, but it has been walked before. Nothing is impossible for TJFJM. He is fearless in any case. 

“The charges are politically concocted,” TJFJM sniffed.

The ruins of our intrepid hero’s grand plan now lie before us. The fall has been as spectacular as the heights upon which he soared at the peak of his powers. Amazingly, the public doesn’t care. As terrified as many were of him back in the day, nobody seems bothered anymore. Scary, isn’t it, the capricious nature of the public’s attention? Was he all that bad? they now ask. Did he really think he could climb over my massive garden wall, saunter into my kitchen and eat my imported Portuguese cheese? Pah, they mutter, before turning over another leaf of their newspapers and carelessly glancing over a story about increasing political violence in KwaZulu Natal, and the introduction of brute force into ANC politics. 

For TJFJM, the circus rumbles on. In April next year, he will do battle against the state and its multiple charges against him. 

Be reassured, my good people, that TJFJM will not be brought down. Not by anyone who plays a straight bat, in any case. But who knows what depths of deceit and depravity the NPA is willing to plumb in order to serve Master’s Bidding? This could get very tricky for our beloved conqueror. 

His courage is unshaken. His gaze is steady and steely. His resolve is firm. He will suffer through. He will endure hardships that would crush lesser men. His legend will live on into posterity. 

TJFJM is fearless and courageous. Like Jesus Christ, he fixes his accusers with a firm eye, and carries his cross with him. Yea, even unto his (political) death. DM

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  • Sipho Hlongwane
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Sipho Hlongwane is a writer and columnist for Daily Maverick. His other work interests also include motoring, music and technology, for which he has some awards. In a previous life, he drove forklift trucks, hosted radio shows, waited tables, and was once bitten by a large monitor lizard on his ankle. It hurt a lot. Arsenal Football Club is his only permanent obsession.

He appears in these pages as a political correspondent.

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