Lessons from the Demise of Dlamini
‘’There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor popular, but he must take it because his conscious tells him it is right.’’ – Mcebo Dlamini
Controversial former Wits University SRC President Mcebo Freedom Dlamini has vacated his presidential office on July 27 2015, after a series of legal battles and disciplinary charges filed against him.
Dlamini (27) rose to national prominence in April this year after he sparked controversy following a Facebook post were he declared his love for the fascist Nazi German leader – Adolf Hitler. Hitler was responsible for sending millions of Jews to their deaths and is solely responsible for igniting World War II. The post went on to say that he loved Hitler for his charisma and organisational skills and that every white person has an element of Adolf Hitler in them – hate.
Dlamini’s comments were met with mixed reactions from fellow students across the country and also by scathing widespread criticism. While some admired Dlamini for his feisty and unapologetic character, others condemned his actions as shameful and very inappropriate, most notably the South African Board of Jewish.
Dlamini, born in Swaziland on December 17 1986, but grew up in Soweto, is no stranger to controversy. On May 7 2014, when South Africa hosted its fifth democratic elections, Wits Vuvuvzela, the Wits student newspaper, interviewed Dlamini, the then head of the Wits Junction Residence house committee and claimed to be struggle icon Walter Sisulu’s lost grandson. He later admitted that he was lying after the Sisulus were contacted pertaining his claims, the family denied knowing Dlamini.
In a recent, two-part explosive radio interview on Power FM, Dlamini finally set the record straight as to why he was removed as President. He said the decision to remove him from his post and charge him came after he was involved in a physical altercation with a fellow student at the university’s dining hall. The university charged him with misconduct and was therefore declared unfit to hold his position as President. This is also the interview were he referred to the Wits VC and the Jewish community at large as ‘’devils’’ and ‘’uncircumcised at heart.’’
What lessons can one take from Dlamini’s impeachment?
Mcebo Dlamini proved to be a failure of leadership but not of intelligence, as we have witnessed through the media. As a varsity student and campus leader, he should have done the honourable thing and apologise. It would have saved him plenty of trouble. He also exudes passion and well-founded anger about social and economic injustices young people continue to face two decades into democracy.
I believe there are many other Mcebo Dlaminis; young, misguided people, full of enthusiasm out there to challenge the everyday issues we continue to face as young people.