Julius Malema. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL
Julius Malema. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL

Just when people think Julius Malema has grown up and become what passes for a "respectable politician" in these parts, he illustrates again why his inclination is not that of a democrat with any respect for the constitution.

In an interview with Turkish-based TV network TRT World last week, Malema said: "We have not called for the killing of white people — at least for now. I can’t guarantee the future."

Asked by the interviewer whether this was not an invocation towards genocide, Malema’s dismissive response was "crybabies, crybabies". If things "continue the way they are", nothing is off the table.

This suggests Malema’s idea of the coming revolution — presumably against unemployment, inequality and the elites — takes as its launching point that those ills are entirely the fault of white people, and that genocide is a solution.

Those comments would surely see him lashed by SA’s equality court for hate speech. Coming so soon after his threat to "cut the throat of whiteness", it’s clear this isn’t just a regrettable throwaway line.

For the leader of SA’s third-largest political party, this is unacceptable. He has confounded supporters who have said that, with age and a leadership role, he would display greater responsibility. He remains a danger not to a single race but to everyone who believes in the rule of law and harmonious co-existence.