Sunday, 25 September 2011

I Give you Che Juju


I can remember the moment exactly, the moment when my suspicion of Nelson Mandela, the former terrorist who became South Africa’s living saint, spilled over into outright dislike. It was 2005, at the end of a Make Poverty History rally in London’s Trafalgar Square, where Bob Geldof, the boom town rat and abject acolyte, declared him to be president of the world. Seemingly the world agrees, at least in the shape of the United Nations, which launched 18 July, Saint Nelson’s birthday, as an international day in his honour.

If only Mandela could have done for the world what he and his cohorts in the African National Congress (ANC), a party seemingly set to rule in perpetuity, have done for South Africa. What did they do, what have they done? Why, drawing on the observation of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, they stopped the gravy train of corruption only long enough for them to get on.

If anything the situation for a great many in the black community is even worse than it was in the days of the old apartheid state. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but that’s OK because a lot of the rich now have black faces, so it must be better, this inequality of opportunity, this rainbow kleptocracy.

Yes, just as life gets better for President Jacob Zuma and his ANC cronies it gets worse for the majority of ordinary South Africans, black and white alike. Under the old regime infrastructural services for the black majority were bad, that’s true, but that has to be better than virtually no services at all; for no service is what they are getting.

Amazingly some 80% of South African municipalities are now bankrupt due to misspending spurred on by the demon of corruption. Power shortages and the abysmal state of repair of many of the public roads have made the problem even worse, all this in a country with crippling rates of personal taxation.

Somebody has to be blamed for this; some scapegoat has to be found. Not the corrupt, inefficient and venal ANC, absolutely not; rather there is an easier target, the target favoured by Julius Malema, head of the ANC’s Youth Wing. It is they who are to blame. Who are they, you may wonder? They are the whites, the people, according to Malema, who “stole our land”, who are “criminals and should be treated that way.”

Malema, widely known as Juju, was not so long ago the butt of national humour, after the school results of the ANC’s leadership were leaked on the internet, showing him to be particularly dim. Bad Juju may be an academic dud but he is not stupid. He’s managed to carve a nice little niche for himself as the ANC’s number one demagogue and rabble-rouser. He is the new voice of the townships, the voice of the dispossessed, labouring under the burden of frustrated hopes, labouring under the disappointments of a rainbow nation that has made them even poorer than they were under apartheid.

It’s no longer possible to blame past injustices for present wrongs; no, present wrongs are all the fault of white people, or those white people who still own businesses and farms. Malema, looking to the example of Zimbabwe, where his hero Robert Mugabe has all but destroyed a once flourishing economy, is calling for the expropriation of white-owned mines and land without compensation.

Some may consider this as all so much verbiage, but Malema, a power to be reckoned with, has been suggested as a future president of South Africa, even by the present incumbent. So, if you want to know South Africa’s future look to Zimbabwe’s present, look to the viscera of a goose, plundered in a futile search for a horde of golden eggs.

This radical, this darling of the masses, recently took to sporting a Che Guevara-style beret, declaring that “Cuban revolutionaries should be saluted. Because of their ideological clarity and willingness to fight, millions were released from colonial subjugation”. The huddled masses yearning for more of the good life, any of the good life, lap up this kind of stuff. But, as Rian Malan wrote recently in the Spectator, they are poorly educated and unlikely to know that an illiterate Johannesburg gardener earns more in a day than the average Cuban does in a month

Let’s look a little more closely at Che Juju, racist and revolutionary. Beret or not he is no aesthete, no paragon of virtue, no sea-green incorruptible. “He poses as such a figure”, Malan writes, “but in person he resembles nothing so much as a capitalist porker grown fat on shady dealings” Pretty much in keeping, then, with the tone being set by the rest of the ANC, South Africa’s oligarchy in perpetuity.

Apparently he earns around $5000 a month as president of the Youth League, a decent income, beyond the dreams of his rag-tag army, but nowhere near enough to explain his lavish life-style. Fiona Forde, an Irish journalist, recently published An Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema and the ‘New’ ANC, in which she details his considerable assets. He has more than eight known properties, including a farm and a $2million mansion in Johannesburg. He recently demolished one house valued at $700,000, to be replaced with one at an estimated cost of $2.8million, complete with a bunker (Hitler style?)

His expensive tastes run to designer suits, several Breitling wristwatches at $17,000 each and Luis Vuitton manbags. All gifts from friends, who also offer him the use of several luxury cars, he told Forde. Not friends and comrades from the townships, one assumes. This self-styled “economic freedom fighter” is now being investigated by the revenue services, the office of the public protector and the elite crime-fighting unit known as the Hawks.

On this evidence, and other examples like it, South Africa is a predatory state on its way to becoming a banana republic. That’s not my view, well it is, but they are not my words. They are the words of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Ironically, while he makes life better for himself, Malema’s power-hungry demagogy is making life even worse for his benighted and resentful supporters. His rhetoric about nationalisation and property seizures is frightening off foreign investment. According to a recent UN report, South Africa’s share of foreign direct investment fell 70% last year from 2009. That same year it overtook Brazil as the country with the widest gap between rich and poor. Unemployment increases still further, particularly among the young; resentment increases, hatred increases; Juju, the ‘saviour’ of the poor, waxes fat and wealthy on the results

Meanwhile, at rallies, Malema and his supporters like a rousing chorus or two of Shoot the Boer, a song from former days which incites ‘hate speech’, so South Africa’s Equality Court ruled recently. But the singing goes on as, sadly, does the practice. In one of the most horrific examples, Attie Potgieter, a white farm manager, was stabbed and slashed more than 150 times, with implements as varied as a machete and a garden fork. The pathologist concluded that he had been “tortured to death.” His wife and three-year-old daughter were killed with a single bullet in the backs of their heads.

Potgieter and his family now join more than a 1000 others from white farming families who have been killed since the end of the apartheid regime in 1994, on average 70 a year. These are the official figures. The true number is calculated to be closer to 3000. But that’s just part of the picture in a country that now has one of the worst crime rates in the world, a country were 21,000 people are murdered and 52,000 women raped every year.

That’s the world Nelson Mandela was president of in time past; that’s the world that Julius Malema may be president of in time to come. You may care to think of that next July when you celebrate, at the behest of the UN, the achievements of Geldof’s tawdry saint.

This is no time to talk of hedges and fields, or the beauties of any country. . . . Cry for the broken tribe, for the law and the custom that is gone. Aye, and cry aloud for the man who is dead, for the woman and children bereaved. Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

13 comments:

  1. Typical socialist workers' paradise.

    The Kremlin won the Cold War. It wasn't really about military dominance; it was a war of ideas, and the West became indelibly tainted with the socialist viewpoint. In Europe, in the US, in Africa, Asia, and South America the vile legacy is the growth of statism and the loss of personal liberty and personal responsibility. Corruption follows automatically.

    And guess who's going to be president of Russia again?

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  2. Anastasia, the commentary "I Give You Che Juju" was very, very well written (as always).

    And as always your enlightening commentary accurately typifies the political climate we find in the surrealistic bawdy light of the 'twilight zone' in which South Africa has been ummmm, "operating" since Apartheids' evolution into a somewhat morphed but ill-defined "NEW" political entity.

    That morphed political entity I shall compare to a pig that has been extremely happy in a soured wallow. One day the pig is removed from his wallow with a great deal of protest from the pig.

    The pig is then hosed off of the nasty filth, brushed, then washed, shampooed, put in a hot tub of aromatic bathing salts. Then he is toweled with luxurious towels, blow dried, rubbed and massaged with scented lotion for softening the skin, his feet manicured, and his hooves carefully dressed, scraped, oiled and shined.

    His teeth are then carefully cleaned and brushed, and a high quality antiseptic Mouthwash with Flouride and Enamel Whiteners is used to freshen his breath and brighten his teeth.

    Then he is powdered with Baby Powder, and sprayed liberally with Clive Christian Imperial Perfume, one of the finest perfumes on the market today.

    One then takes the pig, ties a pretty pink ribbon with a curly bow, all lovely, shiny, and pearlescent around the pigs neck. On the ribbon is a pretty little 4 ounce 20 carat gold bell and a little music box which plays a snazzy little lullaby.

    Then the pig is given a name, Mandy, and a gold nameplate is made for the pig, beautifully engraved his name. the nameplate is hung on a beautiful serpentine two tone gold necklace around his neck with the pink ribbon.

    Then the pig is taken out on the lawn and paraded in front of the orchestra and guests, who all remark: "What a lovely pig. He looks good, he smells good, he feels soft when we pat him, he is not like any pig we have ever seen."

    Then Mandy smells his soured, nasty wallow in the distance, and goes running through the guests, upsetting the lovely table with punch, champagne and hors' d'oeuvres, and runs back to his wallow. There at his wallow he gleefully rolls about in the mud, squealing with delight.

    After coating himself with mud, maggots and excrement, Mandy begins rooting for rotting corn husks in the mud, now all caked with the nasty mess. As he ate, he began to doze off in the warm sunshine with all the nasty flies buzzing about, and the pungent smell of filth that permeated the air.

    As Mandy dozes off, one of the guests, Ana, exclaims, "You can take the pig out of the wallow, but you cannot take the wallow out of the pig. After all, even such a pretty pig with all the ribbons, lipstick and finery, is STILL JUST A PIG."

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  3. Anastasia, that was very, very, very well written (as always)!!! (applause and standing ovation from all over the UN) LOL

    As always your enlightening but blistering commentary accurately typifies the political climate we find in the surrealistic bawdy light of the 'twilight zone' in which South Africa has been ummmm, "operating" since Apartheids' evolution into a somewhat morphed but ill-defined political entity.

    That morphed political entity I shall compare to a pig that has been extremely happy in a soured wallow, that has been removed with great protest from the pig.

    The pig is then hosed off of the nasty filth, brushed, then washed, shampooed, put in a hot tub of aromatic bathing salts, towelled with luxurious towels, blow dried, rubbed and massaged with scented lotion for softening the skin, his feet manicured, and his hooves carefully dressed, scraped, oiled and shined. We then carefully clean and brush, and use a high quality antiseptic Mouthwash to freshen his breath.

    Then he is powdered with Baby Powder, and sprayed liberally with Clive Christian Imperial Perfume, one of the finest perfumes on the market today.

    One then takes the pig, ties a pretty pink ribbon with a curly bow, all lovely, shiny, and pearlescent around the pigs neck. On the ribbon is a pretty little 50 gram 20 carat gold bell and a little music box which plays a snazzy little lullaby.

    Then the pig is given a name, Mandy, and a gold nameplate is made for the pig, beautifully engraved his name. the nameplate is hung on a beautiful serpentine two tone gold necklace around his neck with the pink ribbon.

    Then the pig is taken out on the lawn and paraded in front of the orchestra and guests, who all remark: "What a lovely pig. He looks good, he smells good, he feels soft when we pat him, he is not like any pig we have ever seen."

    Then Mandy smells his soured, nasty wallow in the distance, and goes running through the guests, upsetting the lovely table with punch, champagne and hors' d'oeuvres, and runs back to his wallow. There at his wallow he gleefully rolls about in the mud, squealing with delight.

    After coating himself with mud, maggots and excrement, Mandy begins rooting for rotting corn husks in the mud, now all caked with the nasty mess. As he ate, he began to doze off in the warm sunshine with all the nasty flies buzzing about, and the pungent smell of filth that permeated the air.

    As Mandy dozes off, one of the guests, Ana, exclaims, "You can take the pig out of the wallow, but you cannot take the wallow out of the pig. After all, even such a pretty pig with all the ribbons, lipstick and finery, is STILL JUST A PIG."

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  4. And of course, the blessed Mandela was a close friend of Ghadafi. And the TV reports this morning a mass grave next to a Libyan prison - an estimated 1200 people murdered and buried there.

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  5. Calvin, no need; that was decided long since. :-)

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  6. Michael, and also Idi Amin, I believe.

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  7. My first glimpse of your blog and I'm finding it a very satisfying read. Your writing skills are top-grade and your obviously high intellect oozes through each paragraph.

    Thanks for bringing to light (for me) the political situation with the dastardly acts and intentions of Malema. I'm interested to know your sources.

    As with most people who are power-mongers, Malema is probably a narcissistic sociopath--the most dangerous type of "leader". In frustration, I ask: Why don't people see through charisma to the perversion and sickness underneath? Repetition, ongoing repetition of history...

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  8. Yes, indeed, Psachno. Nice to see you here. :-)

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  9. Hi Anastasia

    I am the copyright holder of the photo used on this page. I have published the photo under the creative commons by-sa license. I am very happy for you to use this photo under the terms of that license. One of the terms of the license is:

    Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

    Please will you attribute the photo, to my full name, "Gary van der Merwe".

    Thanks,

    Gary

    ReplyDelete