CityPress - - Front Page - Mondli Makhanya voices@ city­press. co. za

Dear Com­rade Nathi

Igreet you in the name of our om­nipresent and mag­nif­i­cent leader, His Ex­cel­lency Ja­cob Ged­ley’hlek­isa Zuma, He Who Thinks with the First Head and De­cides with the Sec­ond Head.

The ti­tle might come as some­thing of a sur­prise to those who are out of touch with cur­rent af­fairs, but you and I know that this ti­tle is fully de­served and is in keep­ing with other great lead­ers. Greats like “The all-pow­er­ful war­rior who, be­cause of his en­durance and in­flex­i­ble will to win, will go from con­quest to con­quest, leav­ing fire in his wake”, or Mobutu Sese Seko to the un­in­formed. Or His Ex­cel­lency Sheikh Pro­fes­sor Al­haji Dr Yahya AJJ Jam­meh, Ba­bili Mansa, the “Great Bridge Builder” to his friends. And Pres­i­dent Félix Houphouët-Boigny, “the doyen of African heads of state and tire­less ad­vo­cate of peace, concord, fel­low­ship and di­a­logue”.

These great men also looked af­ter their vil­lages very well. Houphouët-Boigny made his the cap­i­tal and built the world’s sec­ond-big­gest cathe­dral there. The Great Bridge Builder named his home town af­ter him­self and ploughed money into it and “the all-pow­er­ful war­rior” built highways that led to his home.

In line with them, our great leader is bring­ing bling to his vil­lage.

And so com­rade, as I watch the an­ti­ma­jori­tar­ian media, the right wing lib­eral op­po­si­tion and red-clad proto­fas­cists tear you apart, I shake my head and think about how so out of touch they all are. Ev­ery­where I go, I see peo­ple break into rau­cous laugh­ter at the very men­tion of your name. I have even heard some of them say that you have taken the no­tion of vil­lage idiot to a na­tional scale.

I ask my­self why they do not ap­pre­ci­ate the re­mark­able work you are do­ing in ex­plain­ing the rights of the Dancer of Mahlamba Nd­lopfu’s cat­tle and chick­ens to a bet­ter life. What do they think the ANC meant with the slo­gan A bet­ter life for all? Nowhere was there ever a qual­i­fi­ca­tion that the bet­ter life was for two­legged crea­tures only.

I have watched in amaze­ment as your de­trac­tors have de­rided your film-mak­ing skills. I have been deeply of­fended as they laughed at the act­ing abil­i­ties of the Nkandla po­lice force and the fire brigade. I think it is elit­ist for peo­ple to think that only ac­tors should act. Why then would we have act­ing peo­ple run­ning gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and paras­tatals?

But what I have found most dis­turb­ing is the pa­tro­n­is­ing tone of those who are ask­ing why you are do­ing this to your­self. Clearly, they have no idea of the or­deal you went through when Mil­dred Oliphant ran you out of the depart­ment of labour when you dared to stand up to her.

If you ask me, I think you were ab­so­lutely right to stand up to that Mil­dred per­son. Who in this day and age calls her­self Mil­dred?

But I di­gress. Those who are ridi­cul­ing you, Com­rade Nathi, do not know you were lan­guish­ing in some in­signif­i­cant po­si­tion on the ANC’s elec­tion lists and would have prob­a­bly been a back­bencher in Par­lia­ment had His Mag­nif­i­cence not plucked you out of ob­scu­rity.

Who wouldn’t be grate­ful for be­ing taken out of the un­em­ploy­ment queue and given one of the most pow­er­ful de­part­ments in gov­ern­ment? If they were in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion, would they scoff at the lux­ury sedans, body­guards and a car to pick them up at the bot­tom of the aero­plane stairs so they did not have to en­dure look­ing at armpits on the bus to the main ter­mi­nus?

That is why you must not be dis­cour­aged from tak­ing your movie to all corners of the land – from Beau­fort West to De Aar to Nkowankowa to Ba­banango to Koster.

That is why the par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the glo­ri­ous move­ment of our peo­ple must stand firm and never al­low the right wing lib­er­als and red-clad proto­fas­cists to ask pesky ques­tions about pay­ing back the money.

If they do not de­fend The Om­nipresent you can imag­ine what would hap­pen. They would be on the streets in hours and, given that most of their CVs are anaemic, would find them­selves scrawl­ing mes­sages on card­board plac­ards.

So I just want you to know that I stand with you and all the other com­rades. Do not be de­terred by the fact that next week and the week af­ter, next month and the month af­ter, next year and af­ter, things will get worse.

As the voices shout­ing at you will grow louder and in­crease in num­ber, you must keep fo­cused and know that you are do­ing this for your­self and your loved ones who have be­come ac­cus­tomed to a cer­tain stan­dard of liv­ing and im­por­tance. You must stay on course as the nasty laughs spread, fully know­ing that prin­ci­ple and moral­ity do not fill the stom­ach.

And when the hun­gry and an­gry mobs storm the palace, and turf out the king and lynch those who buffered him, you will at least be con­tent that you made hay while the sun shone.

Yours in the Sec­ond Phase of the Con­tin­u­ous Tran­si­tion of the Na­tional Demo­cratic Revo­lu­tion to­wards the re­al­i­sa­tion of a na­tional demo­cratic so­ci­ety

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