Siyahleba | The weird world of pol­i­tics

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The hard­est word

The an­nual com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Marikana mas­sacre is not just a painful episode for the wid­ows and sur­viv­ing mine work­ers of that area.

As we know, the ANC has been strug­gling to call the Marikana mas­sacre ex­actly what it is – a mas­sacre.

In­stead, the party prefers to choose the more neu­tral term, “tragedy”.

But in its eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment re­leased this week, the party takes de­nial to a lu­di­crous level.

It calls the mass killings “the deeply dis­turb­ing Marikana in­ci­dent”.

Tense joke

Some may say Botswana’s pres­i­dent, Ian Khama, has no sense of hu­mour. As he rose to the podium to speak as the new SADC chair­per­son in Botswana this week, a group of ex­cited women in the au­di­ence ul­u­lated.

“Oh, those are my min­is­ters who want to keep their jobs. Bootlick­ers,” he quipped.

Since he said it with the same straight face he’s known for, no­body knew whether to laugh or be afraid. Khama’s “joke” didn’t put off King Mswati III, whose praise singer fol­lowed him ev­ery­where at the SADC sum­mit.

Drink up, kids

You can never ac­cuse Min­is­ter Razzmatazz of run­ning out of words.

This week, wear­ing his ANC Youth League (ANCYL) con­vener hat, Fikile Mbalula used an in­ter­est­ing anal­ogy to ex­plain why it was im­por­tant to al­low ANCYL mem­bers to have open dis­cus­sions on the lead­er­ship is­sue.

“What we don’t want is to tell peo­ple that al­co­hol is bad and we think they should stop. They will still drink it. We can’t tell the league not to dis­cuss lead­er­ship, be­cause they will still cau­cus.”

On that note, Razzmatazz went back to his day job, em­brac­ing all the journos he only knows from Twit­ter.

POKER FACE New SADC chair­per­son Pres­i­dent Ian Khama of Botswana

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