Blade and Floyd share a common love
I’m baffled by the whole screaming match about Blade’s struggle credentials
Wednesday. I’m freezing my arse off in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, with Tebza (photographer Tebogo Letsie), the shooter who joined us a couple of weeks back.
The cold is insane. We’ve spent the day moving around the town talking to teachers about how promotion posts are being swung in favour of predetermined candidates by school governing bodies, union representatives and dodgy education officials.
It’s a familiar story, and one that sadly keeps repeating itself. Qualified teachers are being frustrated and kept out of promotion posts in favour of their more connected and less-competent colleagues. Kids’ futures are being screwed with for cash, comradeship, clan loyalties, cronies, a knee trembler in a storeroom. This needs to be stopped.
It’s dark by the time we start wrapping up. The temperature drops even faster than the light disappears.
We head back into town in search of a bottle to warm us up.
It takes forever to get sorted. Queenstown’s in darkness courtesy of Eskom. So is the Jesus guesthouse we’re stuck in for the night.
Half an hour later, my mind’s wandering. I start thinking about Cabinet minister and SA Communist Party (SACP) boss Blade Nzimande – not something I do too often.
I’m baffled by the screaming match about Blade’s struggle credentials.
From what I remember, Blade was very much around in the Mass Democratic Movement in the late 1980s in Pietermaritzburg and Durban before ending up in the ANC’s regional leadership in the Midlands in the early 1990s.
Maybe it’s the fact that Blade’s been boss of the SACP for nearly as long as the Grumpy Chief (that’s Mangosuthu Buthelezi to you) has been president of the Inkatha Freedom Party that has confused Floyd Shivambu. That and Blade’s uncanny ability to speak for hours without saying very much at all.
Factor in Blade’s propensity to order people to start things all over again because he’s arrived late, and there are certainly reasons to think that he may once have played for the other team, as it were.
Maybe Floyd’s right about what went on at Ongoye (then University of Zululand) when Blade was a student.
It could explain their common love for what looks like lifetime party leadership. Then again, does it matter, given the number of former ANC members in the Economic Freedom Fighters and the number of former Nats in the ANC?
The lights come back on. We’re surrounded by religious paraphernalia. Hallelujah.