Siyahleba | The weird world of politics
Eat your hat
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe stopped in the middle of his press briefing about this week’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting to chastise NEC member Enoch Godongwana for wearing a hat indoors – a no-no in African culture.
Mantashe’s attention was diverted to Godongwana as he walked in, sporting a Kofifi-style hat with a feather on the side. “Take off your hat!” he ordered. To which a confused Godongwana replied: “Ndiphendule ntoni, uba uPresident uyawalker? [What for – is the president walking around?]”
Did the confused one intend to bow down to Number 1 as well?
During the passing of the Immigration Amendment Bill, which makes provision for adequate sanctions for foreigners who remain in the country beyond the time limit stipulated in their visa, ANC MP Dineo Raphuthi couldn’t help but mention one foreigner’s name who had overstayed his welcome: Jan van Riebeeck.
“Two thousand years ago, a person named Van Riebeeck overstayed. Their intention, when they came, was to build a refreshment station. But they stole everything – even our dignity – because they took advantage of our kindness.”
The rest is history
In response to Dineo Raphuthi’s observation about Van Riebeeck, wily DA MP Cameron Mackenzie rose quickly to his feet, citing a point of order: “The honourable member is misleading the House,” he said.
“She said that Van Riebeeck arrived 2 000 years ago – I think she is confusing Jesus Christ with Van Riebeeck.”
Raphuthi carried on regardless: “Whatever date they came here – 2 000 years or whatever – they took, they stole our land. That is the reason the ANC brought our dignity back.”
Which just goes to show the importance of history as she is told.
KEEPING HIS HAT ON Enoch Godongwana