Smocks cocked with Kurt Darren and Cardinal Pillar

Did you know the word “manifesto” comes from the Greek ‘mani’ meaning ‘shameless’ and ‘festo’ meaning ‘lies’? Of course you did. The word has featured a lot over the last few days and we haven’t heard the last of it.

I tried watching the news but it wasn’t easy. The SABC reminded me it was Day 549 of the lockdown, which caused me to start drinking earlier than necessary. eNCA’s Election 2021 logo had the strap-line, “The moment of truth.” Ha ha, good one.

The ANC went knocking on doors like disgraced Jehovah’s Witnesses begging for absolution in exchange for a cheap T-shirt, only to be confronted by the great unwashed demanding luxuries like electricity and water. How dare they. Damn their selfish eyes. The party’s manifesto launch on Monday night, under the disapproving gaze of Paul Kruger, was like a Shakespearian tragedy without the clever plot devices or any kind of redemptive arc whatsoever.

As for the DA’s launch, I laughed at the poppies in tight jeans gyrating to Kurt Darren belting out Kaptein Span Die Seile but then I started crying and had to neck a Xanax.

On Sunday it was over to the EFF at Gandhi Square. They were having a three-for-one. Manifesto launch, superspreader event and the unveiling of their new building, which has been named in honour of the ex-wife of an icon from a rival political party. Unusual, especially when it’s the party that booted your leader out. Then again, nothing is particularly odd when it comes to local politics. It’s all a filthy mess of opportunism, treachery and greed. The only way to get a vague idea of what might possibly be true is by reversing everything that comes out of our politicians’ mouths. It’s a depressing exercise and I wouldn’t recommend it.

“The EFF is not a paper tiger, but a roaring lion!” shouted Julius Malema. He had obviously been shouting for some time, because his voice chose that very moment to crack and the roaring lion bit came out as more of a squeak.

He was wearing a smock with a vibrant red stripe down the front. Not something Che Guevara would have chosen, but quite fetching, nevertheless. Smocks were worn by workers in parts of rural England in the 18th century, so there was a distant connection to the proletariat.

After more shouting and calls for long leave, the MC said it was time for the “cutting of the cake”. I assumed this was a euphemism and expected to see a goat representing colonialism led onto the stage to have its throat slit. Disappointingly, a real cake was cut. A cake that Juju pointed out would be donated to a charity in Soweto. He didn’t say which one. Nor did we get to see the cake. It was hidden behind a miniature cardboard cutout of the facade of the new building. I suppose it could’ve been hiding a very small goat. More likely a sponge cake from Checkers, though.

I had intended to listen to the commander-in-chief read his party’s manifesto but, on closer reflection, it turned out that I was lying to myself and had different intentions altogether. Later, I tried to check it out on the EFF website and got this message, “Forbidden. You don’t have permission to access this resource.” I’ve been sent to Facebook jail before, but getting blacklisted by a website was something new.

Much like Floyd Shivambu’s appreciation for the finer things in life, the party’s “seven cardinal pillars” haven’t changed in years. Pillar 3 is, “Building state and government capacity, which will lead to abolishment of tenders.” This is brilliant. With universal insourcing, nobody need rely on government tenders because everyone will already be on the payroll. Lunch breaks, sick days and offline systems notwithstanding, 30 million civil servants should fix this country in no time at all.

I love all the free stuff in the fourth pillar. Education, healthcare, houses, sanitation. There’s no mention of who will pay for this massive bonsella. Perhaps they plan on doing away with the concept of currency and will use stones instead. The Karoo could be the new Treasury. People could simply drive out there, fill their boot and be rich right away. Pebbles could buy takeaways and beer while rocks could be exchanged for shinier things like tumble dryers and plasma televisions. A Mercedes would cost a small boulder, of which we have plenty.

Juju once warned that the EFF’s policies might cause an “imperial backlash”. I wouldn’t worry about that, comrade. When the Mau Mau did their thing in Kenya, the backlash entailed the madams of Happy Valley firing the servants and pouring their own gin and tonics. I expect our imperialists would do the same – right after they’ve shut down their companies and repatriated the profits.

And I imagine the rampant expropriation of land and the nationalisation of mines and banks without compensation would ensure that white monopoly capital was on the last flight out.

Finally, Nirvana.

Tuesday's Great Confidence Trick

Dear Honourable and Dishonourable ANC Members of Parliament,
So, a big day for you on Tuesday. You get to tell the nation that you have confidence in Jacob Zuma as our president. At the same time, you’re also allowed to express your real feelings. That’s the beauty of democracy.
So I hope you’re all feeling strong and healthy and ready to do your bit for the motherland. It would be a terrible shame if some of you – 51 should do it – fell violently ill on Monday and called in sick on the day of the vote, thereby allowing the opposition to unseat the greatest leader the world has ever seen.
Nobody in their right mind would vote against a president who is one hundred percent committed to destroying the country, presumably so that it may be rebuilt stronger than ever. But let us not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s get the destroying part done first. Our leader is under enough pressure as it is without his representatives in the legislature joining the counterrevolutionary proletariat in their irrational demands. There is a natural order to these things. Visions aren’t accomplished in a day.
Many of you have worked long and hard to help President Zuma succeed with Project Destroy. This is to your eternal credit and you will be richly rewarded, on top of the rewards you have already received. This is a project that never runs out of rewards. It’s like having timeshare in the Treasury.
This is your turn to eat. Unless, of course, you’re one of those MPs who weigh more than 150kg. In which case it’s your turn to buy a new car. Hell, buy two. Three. Spoil yourself. You’ve earned it. You have shown remarkable loyalty to a leader who works so selflessly and tirelessly to take money away from taxpayers to save them from themselves. Taxpayers drink and smoke and take drugs. They have casual sex and park on yellow lines. They gamble on the horses and in the casinos. They cannot be trusted with money. This is why our noble president must do what he does. Take their money and put in safekeeping. Not here, obviously. Large sums of money are best kept outside South Africa. Fortunately, the United Arab Emirates has made special provisions in this regard.
A vote of no confidence in the president would be a vote of no confidence in his humanitarian project. What kind self-respecting nationalist would do such a thing? American President Donald Trump has a similar plan, but he lacks our benevolent commander-in-chief’s intellect and ambition. Trump only wants to repeal Obamacare. Zuma wants to repeal the entire economy. I like a man who dreams big.
A massive 33% of voters approve of Trump’s performance in office. With the exception of one or two renegades who have clearly gone insane, every one of you slumped on an ANC bench approves of our noble president’s dream of uplifting the poor, even if it is only an impoverished family of humble Indian immigrants squatting in a shebeen in Saxonwold. Small steps.
Members of parliament who don’t have a blesser for a leader will vote against the president on Tuesday. This unpatriotic behaviour must be condemned. And when I say condemned, I mean they must be taken outside and shot. It’s the only language liberals and democrats understand.
At the time of writing this, Speaker Baleka Mbete was still trying to decide whether she should allow a secret ballot. I think voting should be open. Secrets are for governments with something to hide. Ours is a firm believer in transparency, even going so far as to loot and pillage in broad daylight right under our noses. We, the people, appreciate that kind of openness.
It’s only been 45 days since the Constitutional Court ruled that Mbete had the power to make the ballot a secret one. These things are not to be rushed. I once took a year to decide whether I should give my second marriage a third shot. The answer, of course, doesn’t lie in the decision ipso facto. It lies in the consequences.
Speaking of lies, ANC secretary-general Greedy Mantashe has made it clear that none of you is allowed to vote according to your conscience. And rightly so. Your membership fee entitles you to a T-shirt, a cap and unlimited access to the party’s free website. Also, if you know the right people, wealth beyond your wildest imaginings. It does not entitle you to a conscience. You are lawmakers and the business of making laws would be severely compromised if you had to start differentiating between right and wrong. That nonsense is the exclusive preserve of bong-puffing philosophers, kiddie fiddler priests and judges of the high court who spend more time on Tinder than on writing up judgements.
Mantashe emphasised that the ANC is not a party of free agents. It is a party of captured agents. And also travel agents, because you guys are always somewhere else. The DA is a party of bloody agents. The EFF is a party of secret agents. The Freedom Front Plus is a party of estate agents (willing buyer, willing seller or death). And so on.
By the way, have you heard about this new coalition called FutureSA? Members include – Sipho Pityana, Sydney Mufamadi, Kumi Naidoo, Terence Nombembe, Zac Yakoob and Bruce Fordyce – now apparently running against the comrades. Heavy hitters, but not as heavy as you. They get to bring Cape Town to a standstill on Tuesday, but if you vote as I expect you will, the entire country will eventually grind to a standstill. That’s what I call real power. And, as they say in Cuba, with real power comes real money.
Our angelic president has survived at least six votes of no confidence. This makes him a winner in anyone’s book. Don’t spoil his unblemished record. He will still lead us to the promised land. Maybe keep some money aside for a visa. Dubai charges R1 370 for 30 days. And, remember, no singing, dancing, drinking, swearing, gayness or public displays of affection. It’s not that kind of promised land.