Consecutive editorials in The Mercury this week on Malema’s July 29 rally and its significance are perturbing because they fail to recognise the seeds and symptoms of what the EFF portends for South Africa.
Claiming on August 2 that the EFF rally is symptomatic of “a maturing democracy” is myopic and naïve in the extreme. How can the “shoot to kill” and “kill the farmer; kill the Boer” exhortations made by Malema be regarded as democratic and mature? And how does Malema’s 2019 statement that “you must never be scared to kill” in response to the SAHRC’s slap on the wrist for threatening to “slaughter white people,” equate with democratic maturity? Would The Mercury express similar tolerance if John Steenhuizen exhorted DA members to shoot tenderpreneurs because they are exploiting economic welfare at the expense of the masses?
History shows that excessive tolerance leads to anarchy and the demise of order.
Far from being perceived as “a sign of a maturing democracy,” Malema’s July 29 Nuremberg-style demagoguery should be recognised for what it is: a stark indication of the demise of democracy in South Africa unless checked by hobbling the EFF’s financial sources and punishing violations of the constitution.
Instead of focusing on the fight the EFF is taking to the ANC, The Mercury should project what lies beyond that point and consider how South Africa would fare under a communist totalitarian EFF dispensation. The price of tolerating a demagogue, as Germany found out in the 1930s, is tyranny.