My Open Letter to Russel Loubser

I am not sure whether to thank you or not for having took on former ANCYL President Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters Club in your recent outburst made at a public lecture at WitsUniversity on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

According to a Mail & Guardian Online report on Oct. 18, headlined “Former JSE chief tears into ‘racist’ Malema, ANCYL” – you criticised Malema and EFF (and the ANCYL) for comments they’ve always (if not most of the time) made about our rich minerals, the economy, the land, white people etc. As a former JSE chief executive and also former SAA board member, I expected you to have known better. By this I mean you should have known that Malema and EFF wouldn’t keep quiet and watched as you take a swipe at them. Not here. Not in this revolutionary country of ours where everyone – yourself included – has the right to freedom of expression and opinion. Oh, how can one forget what seems to be the right to freedom to offend – something I think you did when you made the comments you did when you mentioned Malema and EFF and the ANCYL.

In the M&G Online report you said “they [Malema, EFF and ANCYL] are racist” and that “He [Malema] is racist, supremely arrogant, greedy and has no real work ethic”. You were further quoted saying “today’s ANC Youth League is not the youth league of Nelson Mandela … and the like”. You also expressed your disappointment that the league (and probably its motherbody, the ANC) was doing nothing to contribute to the economic empowerment, if not only making empty claims (of economic freedom and emancipation in our lifetime?). Your reaction, Mr. Loubser, appears to follow the Zimbabwean Herald Online report that quoted Malema speaking at a wedding ceremony in that country about whites having robbed blacks of their minerals and land.

Malema allegedly told Zimbabweans that we, black South Africans, want you, white like yourself Mr. Loubser, to give up land which you and your great grandfathers/mothers had robbed us of hundreds of years ago because when you came from Europe you “did not carry any land into South Africa”. He said we need to won these, which I completely agree with. And I think here you’d agree with him, too. He claimed white people “did not come with any mineral” when they moved down to South of Africa and we therefore “want that land and those minerals for free because [they] never paid for those minerals”.

He goes on to accuse whites of having committed murder when they robbed cheated us of our land, saying: “Actually they killed people to get that land and those minerals”. It appears the man and the EFF Club are serious about their land redistribution without compensation campaign because, as he put it: “it will be like we are thanking them with money for killing our people”. “We will never do that, little did they know we are not scared of blood. We are scared of defeat. We don’t want to be defeated but seeing blood is not what we are scared of as long as that blood delivers what belongs to us we are prepared to go to that extent,” he said.

While I understand your fear of Malema’s and his club’s comments – it still boggles my mind whether your stupid response of calling them racists (like they always do to most whites) was any helpful. In fact, come to think of it, one gets the impression that your calling them racist was the worst thing a person of a “[board]room temperature IQ”, like yourself, could ever do. I mean did you really have to stoop that low to their levels? You accused them of nothing but a “consumer of value and destroyer of confidence”, and that one “won’t hear one idea from the youth league on how to create wealth … but you will [only] hear consistently about redistributing wealth”. You saw this bullshit, adding: “If you don’t add value, you are consuming value … this is basic economics”. And that’s how you saw both Malema and the EFF Club, assuming the M& Online report is a true reflection of your public lecture on 17 Oct.

Mr. Loubser, and not that it wasn’t expected or surprising, you also accused the ANC leadership of doing nothing else to stop Malema and or the league from making the ‘economic freedom in our lifetime’ comments. You asked: “Where’s the leadership that says to them ‘listen young man, if you can’t speak sense then shut up’?” That we experienced what has come to be known as the Marikana massacre “should come as no surprise to anyone, and won’t be the last either”, you claimed. By this, it is not clear (at least to me) whether – as President Jacob Zuma and the cabinet have been accused of – you imply Malema is to blame for having influenced people to turn violent. Assuming this is correct, you therefore said their “constant, emotional and brainless talk about the nationalisation of our mines by people of room temperature IQ” for the Marikana massacre which to you and many others, does destroy confidence led to “irresponsible actions” of our labour unions which have, to date, destroyed the economy and many jobs.

Of course the Club was not impressed at all with your criticism. It accused you of “spewing reckless rhetoric”, and that if “white monopoly capital” continued to “to treat [the poor] in the manner demonstrated by the shameful and reckless Mr Loubser, it may be necessary to speak to [you] in the only language understood by white supremacy in this country”. It went further to accuse you of making “derogatory remarks from [your] ivory tower, decorated with [your] of more than R14-million in 2011 alone, an increase of 14% from the previous year” – but later realised it shouldn’t expect you to “understand the suffering of those who have to die for a mere R12 500 per month”. In another statement, the club accused you of “intellectual hooliganism”.

Sitting here and reading your exchange with the EFF, I am reminded of last a month’s event which I thought – unfortunately not –would have taught you a thing or two about Malema and the club, but clearly did not. In case you’re lost, I am referring its statement in September which called ANC spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu, a “drunkard”.

This after Mthembu called Malema names, saying he’s “too factious” and “thinks he’s everything”. His comments came after Malema claimed in several interviews – including UK’s Sunday Telegraph,  the Zimbabwe Sunday Mail on June 26, and another with on July 31 – that he would return to the ruling party soon after Zuma will have been removed as president following a Mangaung elective conference scheduled for later this year, December 2012. This is because he’s convinced that the president is behind his being expelled from the party. Expressing shock at the former youth league president’s hope in hell of retuning to the later and probably become its future president, Mthembu, speaking to TV channel eNCA at the time, said: “Can you imagine Julius Malema becoming president of the country? Oh, dear God, may that day never dawn in our lifetime, or that of our children”.

This clearly did not sit down with Malema and the EFF. They accused as the worst drunkard who “produces more from his home and cannot even manage to keep them there”, adding, therefore that they would not take spokesperson seriously. This is in relation to a widely known fact that the Mthembu has a drug addict son who’s been in and out of rehab.

So, Mr. Loubser, responding to Malema and his EFF club as you did last week revealed a hell lot more about yourself and the kind of a leader you are than it revealed about them and even revealed more about you than we never knew. You did not have to repeat their name-callings like you did.

What I am actually trying to say here is that – just as I wished Mthembu had learned to know when to shut up especially that he is a member of the ruling party that Malema was until less than a year ago – you should sometimes just learn to shut up!



Akanyang Merementsi

An Economic Freedom Fighter supporter

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