Comedy moments

Today in politics:

Firstly, Sports Minister Fikile “Fickle” Mbalula (see blog passim) reacted to the FIFAgate scandal and the allegation that the SA Government had paid a $10m bribe to bring the 2010 World Cup to South Africa, with this gem:

David Smith on Twitter Mbalula As a nation we will be the first to endorse the fight against corruption wherever it is found. Media is casting aspersions. - Google Chrome 2015-05-28 014812 PM.bmp

Yep. No corruption in this nation. Absolutely not. None.
Here are some other ridiculous things he said, helpfully illustrated by high class rag The Times.

Glad we’ve got that sorted.

Then, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko told us that the R250m upgrades to the President’s residence in KZN were necessary for security purposes and therefore, JZ doesn’t have to pay for them.

CGFpkGnUMAAOBOF

You might think that this is fair enough, but let’s just see how much they had to stretch to get some of the less obvious “security” upgrades into the “security upgrade” bracket:

nkand

And good job too, because those chickens could obviously pose a definite danger to Number 1. And in the event of an emergency, where else are you going to be able to assemble if not in an amphitheatre?

It does rather make you think that they’re taking the piss now. I mean, the signs that they’ve been taking the piss have been there for a while, but we definitely do seem to have crossed yet another line of pisstakery with today’s events.

Quoth Tom Eaton (in a post/column written (I think) ahead of the FIFA or Nkandla developments mentioned above):

They know we’re watching, but they don’t care. We’re just scenery to them now, a fleeting impression to be remembered one day when they’re lying on their private beach, laughing about the old days when they were making their pile.

Yes.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get off home to build an animal enclosure next to the firepool to stop the beagle crapping in my amphitheatre.

What a difference a year makes…

…52 little weeks.

On 20th January last year, South Africa woke up to read what our Sports Minister had said about the national football team’s defeat the previous evening:

“The mediocrity we saw yesterday is disgraceful. Last night, we saw a bunch of losers who conceded two useless goals. We must never wake up to this situation ever again,” said Mbalula.

But then guess what happened last night?
Oops.

On 20th January this year, South Africa woke up to the words of a somewhat different Fikile Mbalula:

But that’s politics for you isn’t it? A short-term, shiny surface popularity contest (see yesterday’s post) with no real substance behind it. I’d love to think that Mbalula felt differently about the South African football team, but deep down, I think he’s just trying to look good in front of his legion of twitter fans after the kicking his reputation took for those 2014 comments.

So, while I’m all for this “new approach”, while we’re a whole 365 days on from Fikile’s extraordinary outburst, while he tells us how we must react to last night’s rubbish with dignity and while we’re all not calling Bafana Bafana names, let’s not allow ourselves to conveniently forget exactly who was the most famous name caller of all.

Say Sorry, Fikile!

Ah yes, the bizarre world of South African politics. How we love it. And how we especially love Fikile Mbalula and his regular nonsensical verbosity. Oh stop it, of course we do.

First off, he told us about… this… the… something…:

We were aware of the ultra-leftist tendencies that were aimed at uplifting pseudo-Marxist predispositions at the expense of the revolutionary recognition of the symbiotic link between national liberation and social emancipation; born out of the acknowledgement of the inter-play between the national oppression and class exploitation.

Yep, us too, Fikile. Us too.
And then there was the time that Bafana beat Angola, nudging Fikile into a 1,162 word rallying speech of note, which began thus:

We stand here this morning as a proud and confident nation imbued by the resounding thrashing, walloping and gregarious defeat of the Angolan national football Team in Ethekwini by the our astonishing and call-heeding warriors Bafana-Bafana, the crown jewel of the nation of the most popular sport in our country and the world over.

José Eduardo dos Santos. José Eduardo dos Santos, do you hear me?
Your boys took a hell of a beating.

Compare and contrast that with his ranty outburst in Jaunary this year, when he described the team as “useless” and “a bunch of losers”. Yes, he remains our Minister of Sport.
And that latter fact may be due to his unfaltering allegiance to Number One – President Jacob Zuma. He’s even gone as far as calling those who booed JZ as being “infused by Satanism”, which makes them sound like a posh dish in a smart restaurant, to me. I would half expect him to add “…and served with a raspberry jus”. The rest of his quote compares Zuma to powerful elemental forces which cause widespread damage and misery, so perhaps we’re on the same page after all:

They will be defeated because President Jacob Zuma will not diminish because of the booing. He is a tsunami, more than a hurricane. All of their plans, infused in Satanism at best, will never succeed in the future because their plans are nothing else but filled with evil.

But this time, he’s gone too far. Because this time, he’s offended the South African Pagan Rights Alliance, and it’s never good to offend a Pagan Rights Alliance from any country. Apparently, it was this part of his speech in Nyanga last week that was particularly hurtful:

This thing of witchcraft is when a witch does nothing for the people but they still get re-elected. This is what we find ourselves in here in the Western Cape. We are being governed by witches. These witches are oppressing us, they are trampling on us. Where are the tokoloshes and the sangomas so that we can chase these witches away?

Helen Zille and the DA-led Provincial Government pretty much ignored him, as per usual, but SAPRA is up in arms, because – in what must come as a bit of a body blow to Premier Zille – they apparently find it rather demeaning to be compared to her. Here’s SAPRA director Damon Leff:

South African witches object strongly to inflammatory and offensive accusations of ‘witchcraft’ uttered by Mbalula and ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile.
SAPRA calls on the African National Congress and the ANC-led government to cease making accusations of witchcraft and to desist from using a political platform to incite witch-hunts against opposition political parties by denigrating the dignity and standing witches of South African citizens who are witches.

Riiiight, But there’s a serious side to this too, apparently, says Leff:

For a politician to make such a statement in a public platform could incite violence. A simple thing like that led to mass killings in Rwanda.

Well, no. Actually, it was the President’s plane being shot down, not the hyperbolic utterances of some loony communist one weekend. And given that SAPRA claims to represent around 100 individuals countrywide, and conservative estimates suggest that the Rwandan genocide claimed the lives of over 1,000,000, I’m not sure you can use it as a valid analogy anyway. For a start, the SAPRA members will be far more thinly spread across the country and surely no-one could afford the petrol to go and pay them each a visit.

Leff said SAPRA would like to remind Mbalula and Mjongile that according to the Witchcraft Suppression Act, accusations of witchcraft are punishable by a fine of up to R400 000 or up to 10 years imprisonment.

Right, so we have an Act to aimed at suppressing witchcraft (yes we do – and it’s hilarious), but under that Act you can’t actually say that someone is a witch. Anyone with me in thinking that this could be problematic when Constable Jacobs brings in an individual to his Warrant Officer?

“Yes, Jacobs. What is it?”
“I’ve brought this… lady in, Sir.”
“Right. And why have you brought her in?”
“Under the 1957 Act, Sir. She’s a… a… I mean, I have reason to believe that… well, you know…”
“No Jacobs, I don’t know. What are you on about?”
“She’s… I can’t say what I think she is, Sir. Legally, I mean.”
“What? Spit it out, Constable. I have doughnuts to eat.”
“You know, Sir. Eye of newt, toe of bat… Broomsticks. Black cats. [Whispers] Spells!”
“[Enlightened] Oh! You think she’s a wi… one of those! Right! Why didn’t you just say so? Oh, that’s right, you can’t. OK, put her in cell 4.”

Meanwhile, SAPRA claims to advocate for those 100 individuals who “identify their religion as witchcraft” – an admission that immediately puts them in breach of Section 1(d) of the above-mentioned Act. (See Barry, anyone can be like a lawyer.)

Colour me confused.

Anyway, Fikile isn’t going to apologise and says that his comments “should not be taken literally”.
Presumably, the populace is supposed to assume that this doesn’t extend quite as far as his “…so go and vote for the ANC next month” bit.

When We Win

In the lead up to the World Cup in 2010, Bafana Bafana (the local name for the South African national football team) were undeniably brilliant. They won friendlies against everyone, and suddenly the nation believed we had a chance. Even in the competition, they played well: beating France and drawing with Mexico (including “that goal”). They went out in the first round, but they went out with their heads held high.

However, it’s been a different (or rather, indifferent) team since then. One miserable performance after another has left them the laughing stock of the nation. They slipped to 84th in the FIFA rankings (albeit with no lucrative Afcon qualifiers to play).
This year, nothing improved: a 0-1 defeat against Norway’s B team, followed by a goalless bore draw against Algeria further depressed and angered us. Then only managing another 0-0 against the Cape Verde Islands (population 500,000) in the first Afcon game had most of us reaching for the bottle. Again.

But suddenly, somehow, the nation believes once more. Because Bafana beat Angola 2-0 on Wednesday evening and suddenly everything is rosy again. Helpful results elsewhere mean that even a draw against Morocco will see us through tomorrow evening.

People are excited and none more so than our erstwhile Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Fikile April Mbalula, who… er… had this to say:
(Please excuse me for reproducing it in full, but really, you must read it in full for the “full” effect.)

We stand here this morning as a proud and confident nation imbued by the resounding thrashing, walloping and gregarious defeat of the Angolan national football Team in Ethekwini by the our astonishing and call-heading warriors Bafana- Bafana, the crown jewel of the nation of the most popular sport in our country and the world over.

Like true warriors and combat ready soldiers, our national Team turned the misfortune of being denied goals in the warm up matches and first game versus Cape Verde into a promising and pending festival of goals during our last game against Angola. You the people of South Africa headed the clarion call:

To support our Team in the spirit and dictum of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Seaparankwe) our national hero and international icon when he said that leaders and winners show the stripes of their true colours not in conditions of easiness but it is through difficult circumstances that a real leader emerges and survive. As we have come to know and acknowledge that social condition throw up concrete circumstance from which leaders emerge and chart a new a path into the future.

To this day we know that the nation was disappointed and dismayed that Bafana Bafana were not resolute and determined in our quest for excellence and for quality and thus succumbing to foreign tendencies of negative media reporting and being bullied on the social networks. Not that they were not patriotic, but, it was a sign of not accepting the fact that in sport there is lose, draw or win. But your characteristic of a leap of hope and faith in our national team and never die spirit gave rise to our deep understanding and personification of the adverb that – “birds of the same feather flock together” and which propelled our Team to the 2 – 0 victory in our last game against Angola.

After all you remain a constant reminder to the national Team never to abandon a sport code that is an oasis of hope, livelihood and symbol of nationhood to us and billions of people around the globe.

To this extent your wish and hope that Bafana Bafana must win came through two days ago and for the reason that prompted Chief Albert Luthuli to pronounce at his life time and age that the Tempo is quickening- Asijiki, Siyaya phambili.!!! The Cup will be hoisted aloft by President Jacob Zuma and will be delivered to our people as a symbol and meaningful contribution to the quest for peace and unity of purpose amongst Africans here at home and in the Diaspora.

Our Team has once and for all unequivocally demonstrated that there is neither room nor place for prophets of doom and unpatriotic Johnny-come-lately in our national fiber, constitution and make up. We are a unique brand! Born in struggle and baptised in revolutionary fires!

In defeat we show unreserved humility and in success we deservedly glow and shine amidst the thunderous ululations, passionate singing, salutations of endearment and deafening blowing of the Vuvuzela’s that have become a trade-mark of football culture in our mother-land South Africa.

As millions of our South Africans patriots, African compatriots and curios and friendly spectators are witnessing and bearing testimony to another African extravaganza and spectacle unfolding and beaming in front of their human and mortal eyes, we are re-assured by our own collective realisation and laudable foresight of our fore-bears that the time for the re-awakening of the embedded and God-given talent within the African continent and her people looms largely on our horizon.

The evolutionary and revolutionary duty lies with the current generation to discharge its historical mission of delivering human solidarity, social progress, peace and stability through-ought the nook and cranny of our beloved continent leveraging on sport, amongst others, as a platform and medium for peace and total emancipation of the toiling and down trodden peace-loving people of Africa.

It is in this context that our eyes are cast way beyond explosive celebrations and symbolic ceremonies to embarking on concrete steps for the realisation of the African dream of a meaningful transformation and impactful development. Our National Development Plan, of which the National Sport and Recreation Plan is an intrinsic part and the Millennium development goals, lends to us the possibility and ability to lay and consign the ghosts, of Jan Van Riebeek, of Cecil John Rhodes, and of Verwoerd to the dustbin of history as we unite and democratise our country through sport and recreation.

The moment for which the majority and caring South Africans have been waiting for have now arrived. South Africa this is your time, we must all seize the moment as we take on Morocco this Sunday at the magnificent and majestic Moses Mabhida stadium.

We must support our brothers as we did amidst thunderstorms and heavy rains as our peoples’ determination and soul were not deterred by the bad weather as they gathered at the national stadium in Johannesburg, in South Africa for the official opening of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2013. An African extravaganza and humdinger that was also observed and broadcast live through the nook and cranny of the African continent.

We ourselves as South Africans have been engrossed in the preparations to ensure sufficient readiness of our national team Bafana Bafana! Whilst at the same time extending our warm reception to our fellow African compatriots imbued by the spirit of Ubuntu, the highest state of humanity.

As the games progresses without any major hindrances, a sigh of relief beaconed our souls and fuel our patriotism and hope for the renaissance of the African Continent.

In the forthcoming games we need to ensure that our team score the requisite goals to reciprocate the good gesture of support from the Commander in Chief, President Zuma and from fellow South Africans. We must all play our part in ensuring that we all feel the stadiums in all the remaining and support all the teams and beat the drums for all the teams, right at the foot of the African Continent.

From now going forward we have it within ourselves to ensure that our national symbols such as our flag, the National Anthem and the Bafana Bafana jersey reign supreme in our consciousness and visibility throughout the length and breath of our country. We appeal to the host cites and all provinces to devise go to war plans and game plan campaigns that will sustain the current moment and lift us all to highest heights of the prestigious championship.

Government has also noted with shock the 419 scammers who are using the AFCON and Government respectable logos to attempt to solicit money from our soccer-loving nation. Please be warned that no Government Department is currently running any competition on the Afcon 2013. You would therefore not allow yourself to present any individual with your banking details or any personal information.

Wave the FLAG. We can see the colours of the rainbow.

Phambili Mawethu!! Ukwanda Kwaliwa ngumthakathi!!!

No. That’s actually genuine. Not a lost page of the pilot script for The Dictator.

There’s plenty to analyse and decrypt within that press release, but since I firmly believe that Bafana will get through to the quarter finals (thus succumbing to foreign tendencies of negative media etc etc.), I think I’ll save it to see what sort of reaction Fikile has then.

Expect fireworks.

Do try to keep up

Have you read Fikile Mbalula’s speech from the Economic Freedom in our Lifetime lecture last night?

If not, why not? You are lagging behind. Do try to keep up.

Speaking on the subject of the (proposed?) nationalisation of the mining industry and, in this excerpt, specifically on those who are against such a plan, he said:

It is of paramount importance that revolutionaries should soberly engage the ANC Youth League. This engagement should be based on answering the fundamental question:
“To what extent does the slogan ‘economic freedom in our lifetime’ link strategically to the slogan for ‘freedom in our lifetime’?”

These questions are of pivotal importance because if the entire mass democratic movement fails in its conviction to see a symbiotic link between the two slogans in this era of the National Democratic Revolution, and rather settle for isolating one at the expense of the other, this will, to my mind, be equal to an intellectual and ideological disservice on the side of the movement as a whole.

However, we are fully aware of a tendency that attempted to dislodge the content of the National Democratic Revolution by among other things, dismissing race as less important a social category in contemplating any social progress.

At the same time, we were aware of the ultra-leftist tendencies that were aimed at uplifting pseudo-Marxist predispositions at the expense of the revolutionary recognition of the symbiotic link between national liberation and social emancipation; born out of the acknowledgement of the inter-play between the national oppression and class exploitation; in the context of the National Democratic Revolution.

Yeah. What he said. You’d better believe it.
And extra points for getting the all important “tendency” in there.

Basically, for those of you at the back, I think that he’s having a bit of a pop at Blade Nzimande – “that bloke from the SA Communist Party”  – who, as we’ve seen before, isn’t adverse to a little bit of hyperverbosity (aimed right back at Fikile’s chums) himself.

It seems that when it comes to insulting one’s allies through the means of speeches or statements filled with ridiculously extreme,  hyphen-laden, politically-related adjectives, the members of the tripartite alliance have got it sorted.