COMMENT

How to respond to Malema

Flip Buys says stay calm, don't over-react, prepare, and carry on in peace

What do you say about Malema’s threats of slaughter, take-overs and seizures?

Friends, we are receiving many questions to this effect at the moment. I am going to deal with them by referring to the Spartans’ answer to King Philip II of Macedonia’s threats. Philip threatened that if he invaded Sparta he would destroy her with his formidable army, killing everyone.

The Spartans replied with one word: “If.” This typical Spartan reply alludes to the origin of the term “laconic”, meaning short, concise and wise. Laconia was the name of the region Sparta was situated in. The Spartans despised big talk and long-windedness. They kept their replies short and to the point, letting their actions speak louder than words.

With this I want to say that people should not get into a panic because of Malema’s crazy statements. His party took a heavy beating in the recent polls; his protest march held last week was a failure; and ranting and raving remains his only “weapon” in his bid to poach support. Do not let his Minibob and Boblite claims upset you. He cannot take the country in a democratic way, even less so by using violence. If it comes to the point where he tries to execute his threats, he will realise there is a huge difference between talking and putting your money where your mouth is.

Let us learn from the Spartans. Just say “if”. Don’t answer a fool according to his folly. Don’t panic. Don’t counter-swear. Hone your preparedness and carry on leading your life in peace.

Flip Buys
Chairman, Solidarity movement

Original Afrikaans

Moenie ‘n dwaas na sy sotheid antwoord nie – Solidariteit

Wat sê julle oor Malema se dreigemente van doodslag, oorvat en afvat as hy aan bewind kom?

Vriende, ons ontvang tans baie vrae met hierdie strekking. Ek gaan dit beantwoord deur na die Spartane se antwoord op Koning Philippus II van Macedonië se dreigemente te verwys. Philippus het gedreig om Sparta met sy gevreesde leër te verwoes en almal dood te maak as hy Sparta binneval.

Die Spartane het met een woord geantwoord: “As.” Hierdie kenmerkende Spartaanse antwoord dui op die oorsprong van die woord “lakonies” wat kort, kragtig en gevat beteken. Lakonië was die streek se naam waar Sparta geleë was. Die Spartane het grootpraat en lank praat geminag. Hulle het hul antwoorde kort gehou en eerder hul dade laat tel.

Hiermee wil ek sê dat mense nie op hol gejaag moet word deur Malema se mal uitsprake nie. Sy party het lelik pak gekry in die onlangse verkiesing; sy optog van verlede week het misluk; en raas en blaas bly sy enigste “wapen” om steun te probeer aas. Moet julle nie steur aan Minibob en sy Boblite-uitsprake nie. Hy kan nie die land demokraties oorneem nie, en nog minder met geweld. En as dit by die punt kom waar hy sy dreigemente probeer uitvoer, sal hy agterkom dat daar ’n groot verskil tussen praat en doen is.

Kom ons leer by die Spartane: Sê net “as.” Moenie ’n dwaas na sy sotheid antwoord nie. Moenie skrik nie. Moenie terugswets nie. Verskerp jul weerbaarheid en woon en werk rustig voort.

Flip Buys

Voorsitter van die Solidariteit Beweging