Shareef Blankenberg
Shareef Blankenberg

Malema, Malema, Malema

I must admit that I was never a fan of ANC Youth League President Julius Malema. I used to criticise many of his statements, both in private and in ANC circles. When I hear of another Malema dilemma, I tend to ask myself, “Oh God, what has he done now again?”

But I really fail to understand what the current debacle is about. According to news reports, the Sonke Gender advocacy group has taken Malema to the equality court for saying that:

“When a woman doesn’t enjoy it [sex], she leaves early in the morning. Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money. In the morning, the lady requested breakfast and taxi money. You can’t ask for money from somebody who raped you.”

Malema has admitted to making this statement at the time when President Zuma was accused of rape.

Now this blog is not about whether Zuma was innocent or guilty. I am trying to convey my utter dismay and confusion about why Malema is ostracised for the statement. Let’s examine the statement.

Firstly, Malema is clarifying what he understands of an actual rape incident. And here, I have to agree. A woman who was raped would try to get away from her rapist at the soonest opportunity. And seeing that she had ample opportunity to leave, why didn’t she? Instead, she stayed until the next morning.

Secondly, I would think that a woman just raped would be cold towards and wary of her attacker. Well, would a raped woman still ask her attacker for breakfast and taxi money? Or anything else, for that matter?

And the clincher to me, which Sonke and others seem to have conveniently forgotten, is that this was not part of the Zuma statement alone. In fact, the president just admitted what the woman said in her statement before the court. She was the one who told police originally that she went to bed after the “rape” and got up the next morning and requested breakfast and taxi money. From Zuma, not his guards, or the household staff, but from Zuma himself!

In my opinion, either a deranged woman or someone who had blissful consensual sex.

I fail to understand what Malema has done wrong here. Nothing in the quoted statement, the preceding part or the latter part of the statement suggests anything derogatory towards women in general, rape victims in particular. What Malema was commenting on, was the fact that the actions of the woman following the “rape” is highly inconsistent with what we understand about these situations. And though neither I nor Malema have ever been subjected to this horrible atrocity of rape, it is surely understandable that we would have doubts about the conduct of someone when there is no precedent for her behaviour.

Malema has become a good friend of the media. While the ANC and President Zuma have done a lot to ensure a more positive image of the party and government, Malema gives the media a lot of ammunition to shoot the ANC with. But surely, we are allowed to do that, if the occasion asks for it, or the opportunity presents itself. But to use these types of tactic is simply not on. He made a statement, honestly and innocently in my opinion and for that he is now made the biggest crook in history. Come on, please.