POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE: Farmers should emulate the media and unify
EFF leader Julius Malema recently criticised members of the media for forming part of what he called the “Ramaphosa Defence Force”, while addressing a crowd of supporters outside the venue where the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture was conducting hearings.
During his address, Malema denounced members of the media for spreading false information or “fake news” on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minster Pravin Gordhan and “White Monopoly Capital”. He said that the EFF needed to “deal with them decisively”.
JOURNALISTS UNDER ATTACK
In a further development, Malema hit out at investigative journalist Pauli van Wyk in an angry tweet after she shared an editorial from the Mail & Guardian on social media that was critical of him. The article stated that Malema “has to take responsibility for violence meted out to journalists. He is stoking the flames of a campaign against journalists whose work he disputes … and ultimately endangers the lives of journalists”.
Many Twitter followers were appalled by the information presented in
Van Wyk’s investigation, published on the Daily Maverick website, of how at least R1,8 million in funds from the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank allegedly made its way to Malema, his deputy Floyd Shivambu and the EFF.
It also seems that Malema, who professes to be a fighter for the rights of the poor, sometimes lives in a house in a highsecurity Hyde Park estate, rented from the infamous cigarette “manufacturer” Adriano Mazzotti. The latter is a selfconfessed cigarette smuggler, who has also been accused of tax evasion. In 2013, Mazzotti reportedly donated R200 000 to the EFF, while fellow Carnilinx director, Kyle Phillips, allegedly lent Malema R1 million to help him settle his tax affairs.
VBS BANK SCANDAL
With regard to the VBS scandal, a common everyday bank where rich and poor invested and where loans were secured, it has been alleged that R1,8 billion disappeared into the hands of a few people. It has further been alleged that the EFF received R1,3 million, and that Floyd Shivambu and his brother Brian also benefitted.
This is why there was, and still is, such a battle for the control of the South African Revenue Service and the Reserve Bank, as these entities tend to become aware of such transgressions.
Since all this became public, the relationship between the EFF and the media has become somewhat strained. What does this have to do with agriculture? First of all, I admire journalists who take a stance. However, when confronted with animosity and violence, they can put up a united front and take a united position to protect themselves and their point of view.
This is something farmers can try to emulate. In the case of agriculture, we cannot even agree on the number of farm murders or attacks! There is not a single organisation in the farming environment that genuinely speaks for everyone.
IN AGRICULTURE WE CANNOT EVEN AGREE ON THE NUMBER OF FARM MURDERS
POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE BY DR JAN VENTERDr Jan Venter is a political analyst at Aginfo. Email him at [email protected]