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Who Needs Satire, We've Got Malema

Who Needs Satire, We’ve Got Malema

by Andy Davis / 13.05.2009


There has been a misunderstanding, surely. Julius Malema is really a satirist. A damn good one too. This is up there with The Colbert Report. Surely. Zapiro, Tom Eaton and Justin Nurse take a seat. Oh what a weird, slightly scary state of affairs when the main source of quality local satire comes from the ANC Youth League president. And he’s not joking.

This is what I’m talking about. The Sowetan quotes DA leader Helen Zille saying that: “Zuma is a self-confessed womaniser with deeply sexist views, who put all his wives at risk by having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman.”

As part of her argument in defense of her all pale-male cabinet in the Western Cape. An inflammatory remark, certainly, but not one that is wrong considering the evidence that came to light during Zuma’s rape trial.

Now into the fray flies ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, no spell check required:
“We are disgusted by remarks attributed to the racist girl Helen Zille, who when failing to defend her stupid and sexist decision to appoint predominantly white males into her Cabinet, attacks the president of the Republic of South Africa (sic)”.

“Zille has appointed an all male Cabinet of useless people, majority of whom are her boyfriends and concubines so that she can continue to sleep around with them, yet she claims to have the moral authority to question our president (sic).”

“If the fake racist girl Zille continues to speak hogwash like she has been doing during elections, we will take militant action against her, and demonstrate to her that she does not have monopoly over the Western Cape (sic).” 

“The fake racist girl who was dropped on a head as child should understand that South Africa will never be a Mickey-mouse republic like she wants to portray it (sic).”

“An absolute majority of South Africans support President Jacob Zuma and will find it very disgusting for a fake racist apartheid agent to continue undermining the highest office in South Africa (sic).”

Now, I’m not sure if it’s a result of the Global Economic Meltdown, but the ANC Youth League seems to be missing a few checks and balances in their media department. And surely someone at the Mother Ship (aka Luthuli House) should read this stuff before they just launch it on the public. Credit to the Mother Ship, they did send Gwede Mantashe to mop up after Julius, saying: “these comments are deeply embarrassing to the ANC, and reflect a marked departure from the ANC’s approach to political engagement.”

Yes folks, it’s really hard to believe that Julius Malema follows in the footsteps of Youth League leaders such as Lembede, Sisulu, Mandela and Tambo. Even the ANC is embarassed. 

Thanks for the image Zap.

Pic Credit: Zapiro

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  1. Zoe says:

    What’s scarier than the behaviour of the president of the ANC Youth League is the amount of support he still gets, despite his clear stupidity. At the presidential inauguration, the only person to receive a cheer bigger than that for Malema was Madiba himself. Now that’s some scary shit.

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  2. Andy says:

    Theoretically by calling Helen Zille a ‘fake racist girl’ she is neither racist, nor a girl… hmmm

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  3. loyiso gola says:

    Don’t think its cool to depict any black person as a monkey………… in any context.

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  4. Andy says:

    You raise an interesting point… but I don’t agree, Loyiso. This cartoon is not racist. Zapiro is not comparing black people to monkeys. He’s talking about the devolution of the ANCYL from the heyday of Tambo, Mandela and Sisulu. Leaders with character, intelligence and moral rectitude. He’s commenting on the steady dumbing down of the youth league starting with Mokaba and ending with Malema. He’s depicting three specific, individuals as monkeys – based on their statements and actions in the very public sphere of South African politics.

    Oppressed people the world over have been subjugated based on the obviously false justification that they are closer to the apes than their oppressors. It’s a basic, default argument for prejudice. Now if all black people are exempt from fair comment that depicts specific individuals with more melanin in their skin as monkeys as a satirical comment, then Jews, Muslims, Christian minorities in the Middle East, Tibetans, the Irish, the Scottish, the Flemish, Tutsis, Eritreans, Tamils and any other group that has been on the receiving end of oppression and prejudice at some stage in human history (basically everyone) should also be exempt from being depicted as a monkey in a satirical cartoon.

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  5. Teddy says:

    i definitely agree with Loyiso, under no circumstances should any black person be called or be likened to a monkey!!! no matter how one can cleverly substantiate and try to possibly remedy the situation by going back in the past… I don’t by any chance believe that oppression of any nation/creed or society can be likened with the any other. (that goes to you Andy). Malema is not stupid, maybe too exppresive, maybe he does not know his place as a black man in a white man’s world or maybe just maybe for the 1st time in the history of South Africa a black person can stand up to any white person…. Zoe to the applause and appreciation Malema got during the inauguration, maybe this says a lot about how people feel about people like Malema in this country… maybe just maybe, people are tired of being “oppressed” although we are more than 15years in what we want to call Freedom.. some of us have not really fully enjoyed the benefits of the same kind of Freedom that the White people experienced during the apartheid era! ………

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  6. Teddy says:

    Zille sucks…>!

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  7. Bhekizizwe says:

    Come on Teddy, get over yourself. Andy has a valid point. The ANC is embarrassed by the stuff Malema is saying and I agree. If someone acts like a monkey then they should be depicted as one. This has got nothing to do with race.

    If you cry ‘racism!’ the moment you don’t agree with someone’s argument then nobody will ever take you seriously. Andy’s argument is valid. What single thing makes a black person exempt from being depicted as a monkey? Are you allowed to depict a white person as a monkey? The question he is asking is whether past oppression makes you exempt, and whether that would then logically apply to all oppressed groups, past and current.

    Stop blaming the past for what you can’t do now. It is in your own hand. Take some responsibility man.

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  8. Oldtimer says:

    Small point, its not a monkey its an ape (no tail, you see). Creationists keep getting that wrong when trying to understand evolution. That’s why I brought it up. No matter, moving on.

    I see that Zapiro is trying to bring out the idea that the ANCYL is devolving, but he has gone over the top. He could have had Malema in tribal gear or simply as caveman. Much less controvesy, and people would still have gotten the point – suits to worker’s clothes to caveman. But he is a damn-fine satirist in my view and is entitled to hammer his point home.

    To all those chanting “racism”, I say its not about the race, but your culture. What type of culture was Malema raised in to have such a disdain for good taste and education? And what of those in the ANCYL that elected him to power?

    ANCYL-biters, snapping at the heels of democracy.

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  9. aMan says:

    Now, if I were running a political party and I wanted to test the waters of opinion, and maybe part them slightly, such as to extend the bounds of decency or enlarge the acceptible playing field, then I would have a set of firebrands who would make outrageous statements, and then I would judge the reactions of the public and the response of the media to those statements, and even if it were totally negative, the boundaries would have been extended and my agenda would have received some support that it otherwise would not have got. By accusing you of a crime, let’s say, I brand you a possible criminal. Brands don’t wash off. The media pays attention, even if to criticize or debate or even to villify. We, the people, are stuck with this manipulation, and our gullibility encourages it.

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  10. Anthony says:

    In response to Bhekizizwe, the question isn’t whether “past oppression” makes you exempt. And to Andy, the logic here isn’t about all formerly oppressed groups. The issue is about a very specific historical context, in which imagery particularly dovetails with an offensive colonial attitude. Africans and African-Americas, more so than other margins, have been at the receiving end of the ape/monkey slur for a few centuries – so it’s within this particular context that the image is inescapably injected with double the venom. Let me try and think of a parallel… It would be like satirising the Tutsi, by depicting him/her as a cockroach, and then saying: “But cockroaches are, generally speaking, a symbol of human disgust, and brandished about as a slur by everyone from Tony Montana in Scarface to the prejudiced attacking Iranian Azeries in 1996. So what makes the Tutsis exempt?” These things must be considered in their context, and unfortunately, the weight of history bears down mercilessly on the depiction of blacks as lesser evolved primates.

    I do want to make it completely clear however, that I don’t think this in itself can vindicate the point of view of Loyiso and Teddy (in fact, nothing can vindicate some of Teddy’s views). We just need to be mindful of that the fact that this imagery is problematic, and that it warrants more attention that a simple, “Oh yeah? How wide are we going to cast the net of exemption?”

    I myself am liable to support Zapiro, satirists and freedom of speech/expression on this issue. But it is tricky.

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  11. Andy says:

    Anthony… good to have your big brain weigh in on the debate. Eloquent, succinct and valid. Sums it up nicely. I have nothing more to add.

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  12. WoodworkMaster says:

    now we can see where the woodwork comes in handy….he has something to bang his head against everytime he hears the name Helen….

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  13. Bhekizizwe says:

    The is two typ of apardtheid fast apartheid from the black people to black people. Another Apartheid from the white to the black, black people are fool sametime, jz was supported buy julius malema when he was on prosecution. Whe after he subjugete he forgot that who is malema, and how i here, by whos support? The is stil a heartbite of apartheid “let go of julius malema” so he can have more ability to fight apartheid in south africa. SA majority inability to anderstand. Because they are a political toddler “viva julius malema viva, viva anc viva” what they do to malema will never be tolareted coz the people of the anc who garvin us they transforme from the Anc to the antie Anc they progres in stages to excteminate Anc, malema well be fine he will stop that movement.

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  14. malema of cosas says:


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  15. malema of cosas says:


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  16. Kyle says:

    I don’t agree, most of you look sooo much like baboons, how could we resist?

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