An open letter to Julius Malema…

Dear Julius Malema, First Marshal of the Empire and Supreme Commander of the Underclass,

Congratulations on the epic piece of revolutionary theatre you put on over the weekend at FNB Stadium. Speaking of which, a bank doesn’t deserve to be associated with a movement as venereal, I beg your pardon, as venerable as yours. Banks exist to be looted, not honoured. I suggest you rename it the People’s Stadium at once. Then again, the people, literalists at the best of times, will take it to mean that it really is theirs. I’m all for livening up local soccer, but Kaizer Chiefs might take a dim view of having to dribble through the shacks, cooking fires and chickens.

How did you get that many people to come to your party? The preferred means of encouragement in South Africa are extortion and violent coercion, but you couldn’t possibly have blackmailed or literally twisted that many arms. Perhaps the party’s bouncer-in-chief, Marshall Dlamini, had been busy.

It was a smart move to insist that everyone wears red and then you turn up dressed all in black. The colour of fascism will never go out of fashion. Fashionism. I don’t want to be a suck-up, but I do think you wore it better than Mussolini. He was a tiny man with a penchant for homoerotic hats and thigh-high bondage boots. Topping off your outfit with a beret the colour of fresh blood, worn with a delightful insouciance, was a nice touch. It really brought out your eyes.

I don’t think the sound quality was the best for your footsoldiers in the nosebleed section. Shouting in English in a strong Pedi accent heavy with hubris through stacks of overstressed speakers leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation. A bit like the Sermon on the Mount scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian where people at the back think Jesus said, “Blessed are the cheesemakers” and “The Greek shall inherit the earth.”

On the other hand, your message is not easily confused. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Two cars good, four cars better. That kind of thing.

When you left the main stage and sashayed down the catwalk like an insurgent male model from the Fidel Castro School of Couture and Combat, I felt a stirring in my loins.

“The revolution in SA is guaranteed that under the EFF the country will be the better,” you shouted. Yes! Grammar is a colonialist construct and must be stamped out! I half rose to my feet, then slumped back in my chair, exhausted.

“Nothing can make me tired!” Comrade commander, how I wish I had what you have. And I don’t mean your R1.3 million a year salary, R2 million watch and close ties to Italian cigarette smugglers, although I wouldn’t mind having the head of Crime Intelligence in my pocket. No, I’m talking about your unflagging energy. I even had to have a little lie-down at half-time. In my defence, I had been drinking. I blame your man, Floyd. Every time I see his face, I feel an overpowering urge to reach for a bottle. Formaldehyde, pills, lighter fluid. It doesn’t matter. It’s a weird Pavlovian thing and could well be the death of me.

Then again, you did issue a veiled threat at your banquet that he shouldn’t try to usurp you so maybe he won’t be around for much longer. As a Putinista, you must have picked up some tricks. Floyd was quick to say you and he would be “together forever”. Oddly enough, my first wife and I had those very words engraved inside our wedding rings. That turned out well.

Midway down the ramp, you stopped and shouted, “Rise up, South Africa!” Oh, man. What perfect timing as you ascended on some kind of hydraulic jack used by mechanics wanting to sniff around a car’s undercarriage.

Then came your golden buzzer moment. I’m not ashamed to admit I broke down in tears when you raised your chubby little fist in the air and shiny confetti made from counterfeit banknotes rained down on your small but perfectly formed head.

Even your adorably inept turkey of a lawyer, Dali Mpofu, was weeping at the sight of you astride your working-class pedestal, glittering gently in the afternoon light, the elegant swell of your well-fed tummy composing an image that will one day be replicated in bronze across this fine land.

Ripping his garments asunder, Dali sob-tweeted: “In years to come, generations will ask: Where were you on 29 July 2023 when the people of South Africa demonstrated that power had shifted irreversibly and rejected neo-apartheid and its rent-seeking black security guards in office?”

I understand your man was emotional, but I’m not sure that’s right. Cyril Ramaphosa would make the worst security guard ever. For starters, he’d fall asleep on the job. Or get Wally Rhoode to stand in for him, then deny knowing Wally or anything about a robbery.

Anyway, well done on turning 10. You’ll be losing your baby teeth soon. Can’t wait to see if your bite is worse than your bark.


21 thoughts on “An open letter to Julius Malema…

  1. Paddy Smuts says:

    Fanbloodytastic! Like a gourmet meal, amazing start, funny and filling Main and the best ending possible. Loved reading this, one of your masterpieces!

  2. Malinda Nel says:

    As always, I bellowed with laughter! Or is it screamed… or shouted… anyway, I wish I could pay you for every word!

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      Well, Malinda, on my site there are a couple of ways to make your wish come true. Glad I could help…

  3. Carole Edmunds says:

    Satire at its best – you are, Ben, without doubt, the king of the comedic punch … where it hurts! Thank you for making me laugh when I would otherwise cry at our national political theatre of the absurd … a plethora of style, a paucity of substance.

  4. Peter Davidson says:

    Pin pointedly accurate!
    How many of them exist?

  5. Daniela Kaindl says:

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Thank you for making my day!!!

  6. Steve Desmond says:

    Classic Trovato as usual, can’t wait for the next instalment!

  7. Patricia says:

    Please get an AI to translate these excellent satirical articles into all the languages in use in South Africa so that all can enjoy and consider the reality of your very real subjects

  8. GARY WAKELING says:

    Another classic 😂 thanks Ben.

  9. Alan Paterson says:

    Wonderful, one of your best ever. Laughed till I cried. Or was I just crying at the thought that Foolius could be our next President?

  10. geoff says:

    …veluptuos, vexatious, vegetative, verginal..

  11. Stumcq says:

    As brilliant as ever!

  12. Heidi Slot says:

    Oh Ben. What joy you bring!
    (*wiping tears of laughter from my eyes*)

  13. Cliff McCormick says:

    Hilarious. Don’t worry about sound in the nosebleed section. If they were not cardboard cutouts, they were probably only there for the KFC and t-shirt. It reminds me of those old time share cons where you were promised free accommodation as long as you went to listen to some boring salesman.

  14. Charlotte says:

    Joking apart (and your jocularity is as sublime as usual) – this is actually pretty scary stuff.

  15. Keith says:

    Never laughed so much for ages

  16. Bill Oosthuizen says:

    Thank you Ben
    Again! you remind me so much of Gary Larson. Have a good week

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      High praise indeed. Thanks, Bill

  17. Tim Bester says:


  18. Alan Kennedy says:

    Venereal, venerable, … venal (?)

    1. Louis Fourie says:

      Love the sarcastic dry arrid sense of pin pointed humor. Went down well but whether dim wit lights up or comprehends it may be above his fire place where one flew over the cuckoos nest in wander and wonderland.

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