24/7 National Hotline: 0860 163 272 info@neasa.co.za

By Gerhard Papenfus

This is a condensed version of the Open Letter published on 16 April 2018


23 April 2018

Dear Mr Malema

To set the tone for this ‘open letter’, I want you to know that I possess all the qualities which you despise: I am a landowner, businessman, proponent of the free market and, of course, I am white. I am also an Afrikaner. I mention this because I am not sure, when it comes to ‘whites’, whether you treasure special categories of hate.

Your incitement to murder, by being a proponent of the struggle song ‘kill the boer, kill the farmer’, and many other threats, is therefore also aimed at me.

There are many who believe you do not deserve the attention you get. However, my view is that you ‘deserve’ prominent attention – and do not perceive this as a compliment. Many demagogues before you have risen to political prominence – after they have been ignored or dismissed by many. You are already at the point where you, according to yourself, are now ‘in charge’, and no longer the ANC.

You have, after all, revived the political ‘doctrine’ which focusses and thrives on racial division, hatred, revenge and nationalisation – the ‘Malema-doctrine’.

This ‘doctrine’ isolates and demonises whites and calls for the killing of ‘boers’ and farmers, cleverly just falling short of calling for the slaughtering of whites and genocide. Unfortunately for you, you have already overstepped the boundary. You have already planted the seed for the creation of an environment conducive to genocide; and people have already suffered because of this.

It is of no concern to you that your policies will leave South Africa impoverished and devastated. For you it is all about yourself – and brute political power. Pretending to promote the interests of the underprivileged is merely a ploy to mislead the vulnerable.

Your deep resentment of whites is only a smokescreen – you resent all people. No person can reserve hatred for only some; you cannot compartmentalise the ‘heart’; a ‘fountain cannot bring forth sweet and bitter water’; similarly, ‘a tree cannot bear good and bad fruit’. You cannot reserve hatred for a particular group. Your true colours will be exposed over time.

Although you are politically very cunning, you possess no good judgement. You remain an admirer of the Mugabe economic model, notwithstanding the devastation it caused. Your role in the Zuma-fiasco will never be forgotten. Then there is your hero-worshiping of the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. On a dime he did to Venezuela what you want to do to South Africa – that is notwithstanding that he has brought this wealthy country to a state of financial collapse.

However, this is exactly what you want to achieve. Demagogues, like you, flourish in anarchy and poverty, where people are penniless, powerless, hungry and dependent on the state; weakened to an extent where they can no longer hold their rulers accountable.

You must be aware that the fortunes of all demagogues change for the worse – without exception. What they do to others, is eventually done to them; and it is never pretty. Should your current policies prosper, you will eventually suffer the same fate.

Or do you perhaps believe that, since you teach your followers to disregard others and the law, it will not come full circle and haunt you? What you now ‘take’ will later be taken from you, most likely by those who currently, in their ignorance, are following you – when they discover the price they have paid for following you. ‘He who takes up the sword, will die by the sword’.

The fact that you have followers, does not make you a leader. The demagogues of the world all had followers. But, like you, they were not leaders. Leaders take people to higher ground, empower them and bring out the best in them. On all counts you do exactly the opposite.

South Africa finds itself in a battle – fierce and protracted – for the soul of the country. There are those who want to make South Africa a better place; and then there are those who only act in self-interest – the destroyers. Race, economic and social status does not determine in which category a person falls. You, Mr Malema, have positioned yourself on the side of that which is destructive. Those with evil intentions and those being misled, follow you.

Firmly against you will be those who have sided with that which is ‘good’. These South Africans do not wait for you. They are all part of the constructive forces on the side opposite from where you find yourself. From your point of view, a formidable enemy.

These forces for ‘good’ are by far the majority; you just don’t see it. When you and your supporters assemble, when they come to listen to you where you rant and rave, when you threaten slaughter and genocide (‘but not yet’), the forces for ‘good’ are not present. They do not see any future in you, notwithstanding the fact that many of them are living in poverty. They know that, although they are impoverished, being faced with very dim prospects and hope, that the dispensation you wish to establish will be much worse.

You, Mr Malema, wish to destroy everything that is good, in order to advance your own cause. You know that in a prospering South Africa your policies and false propaganda will have no traction. It is only when South Africa perishes that your message will prosper, and you know this.

There is so much that needs to be done to make South Africa a better place. Attitudes need to change in respect of many issues – and that applies to everybody. Since the past is in the past, it is not possible to fix it; we can only learn from it in order not to repeat its mistakes.

The truth that ‘those who light fires … will lie down in torment’, stands. However, ‘the righteous will inherit the land’, also stands. It is up to us all to choose our destiny.


This is a press release of the open letter by Gerhard Papenfus, Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA). He writes this in his personal capacity.


For more information:

Marietha Thirion