Let us be easy on Julius Malema, folks. Social media has excoriated him for discharging a ‘toy rifle’ in the air as he celebrated the Economic Freedom Fighter’s fifth birthday in East London a week or so ago. It’s all the fault of the Chinese. China is world leader in making toys and faking other stuff. It would seem that they have now decided to fake toys too! How was dear old Julius to know that the ‘toy rifle’ was not a fake?
You see, Juju has always had recurring dreams, since his young days back in Limpopo, of being a soldier who fights these imaginary battles and wars to free and rescue people in distress. Blame the telly and some comic books he picked up from friends for that. It transpires that he loved the goggle box and was an avid reader of comic books as he grew up. All these fired up his fecund imagination. The corollary has been the birth of his ‘toy army’ aptly named Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF. It was not an oversight that ‘fighters’ substituted ‘party’ for this ragtag band of radicals.
Look at the title that Juju is given: ‘Commander in Chief’ (CIC) and the executive of his party er army! is called ‘the Central Command Team’. What are they co-coordinating or commanding? Military strategies and maneuvers? Maybe and maybe not. Juju stated clearly his intention, during the era of one Jacob Zuma, to ‘take up arms and fight for freedom’. The ‘toy rifle’ was just the perfect opportunity for him to show how prepared he is to prove his dogged determination.
East London was to be the place where he thought it was time that he would show all and sundry he is ready for war. Apparently, as I heard tell, he grabbed the toy rifle from one of his bodyguards. Grabbing it without requesting it is a revolutionary act. It would have been craven to ask for it. How else should a revolutionary acquire a gadget of such a nature? Revolutionaries do not only seize power, it would seem, they also seize rifles from their bodyguards!
As a matter of fact, Juju just wanted to caress the darned thing and maybe smooch it and then return it to its rightful owner. He would not expropriate a rifle without compensation, would he? The silly device, its trigger to be precise, contrived to collide with his index finger and boom went shots. Not one, not two, but several of them as the commander danced on the stage. This after just a mild caress. And people are worried that a commander not renowned for his sharp shooting skills could have injured people with that ‘toy rifle’.
Are they serious? Juju could miss his toe even if it was in front of him! The bullets could have landed outside the stadium and grazed a few trees. I am somewhat concerned that with those shooting skills, which are not unlike the skills of Bafana Bafana strikers, our ‘freedom’ may be delayed. Ramaphosa should be snug as a bug in a rug as the revolution will not come soon.