This week I had a tough time deciding between Julius Malema, and the African Union (AU). By their respective actions, both demonstrated an equal affinity, in deserving entrance into the halls of twit-dome.
Let’s start with Julius Malema, the not so youthful President of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). Malema made a name for himself as a student activist (his most noteworthy achievements include leading disrespectful and unruly students on destructive rampages through the streets of Johannesburg) and was endorsed as President of the ANCYL after a disputed leadership election (shades of Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe). This twit earns his title by making repeated use of the hate-inspiring and inflammatory statements “We are prepared to die for Zuma,” and “We are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma.” He later refused to apologise, and disingenuously tried to deny meaning it literally. Even worse was to follow; Zwelinzima Vavi, Congress of South African Trade Unions secretary general, practically repeated verbatim the phrases used by Malema, Blade Nzimande, South African Communist Party secretary general, accused the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) of being a “kangaroo court” when they demanded a retraction of Malema’s statements, and all the while Jacob Zuma, potentially the future President of South Africa, has remained quiet and un-leader-like. I will say no more about Malema, but Fred Khumalo of the Times sums him up quite wittily in The Boy in the Bubble.
Now onto the AU, an organization that has been spectacularly unsuccessful as a body formed with lofty ideals for the African continent. With the exception of a handful of leaders, this organization consists of 53 African heads of State, largely despots. By issuing a statement calling for a “government of national unity” in Zimbabwe after the recent shameful election staged and stolen by Robert Mugabe, this collection of twits (with the exception of some leaders such as Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Ernest Koroma, President of Sierra Leone) deserve nothing but derision and initiation into the halls of twit-dome. On the other hand, the total lack of leadership from South African President, Thabo Mbeki throughout this whole debacle, is not only legendary, but has cast a dark shadow over the Southern tip of Africa. It makes one wonder if we are also headed in the same direction as Zimbabwe.