NDZ, you ain’t no populist
Somebody, anybody – a sister, a brother, a friend, a daughter, a nephew, a niece, a cousin or even an ex-husband – please tell Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma that this populism thing is not for her. She is very, very poor at it. Embarrassingly so. Those who know the old Dlamini-Zuma are feeling deep pity for her as they watch her crisscrossing the country and being rendered a fool by her new friends and hangers on.
The pre-Addis Ababa Dlamini-Zuma was dull and boring, but hell, she was intellectual and sensible.
Ever grim and reluctant to flash a smile, she focused on her job and on serving her country and political party. There was something slightly scary about her, something that reminded you of someone in your childhood: the strict relative, the boarding school nun, the neighbour who made it her duty to police all the children in the ’hood.
This Dlamini-Zuma – or NDZ, as her cool new dawgs call her – is something different. It is as if she left her brain behind in that blingy Chinesebuilt African Union Commission head office for her successor to use as institutional memory.
In its place she appears to have had a new artificial brain implanted by the lot who want her to become president of the ANC and the republic, so that they can continue the looting they enjoyed under the presidency of the man she once loved (or may still love, if some are to be believed).
This new brain transmits to the mouth the gospel according to Bell Pottinger, that British spin-doctoring outfit that constructs truths for some of the world’s despicable regimes and despots.
In South Africa one of this outfit’s main clients was Oakbay Enterprises, the Gupta-owned parasitic company that has been sucking the South African public down to the marrow.
It is this company that is believed to have crafted, on behalf of the Guptas, the narrative of the South African crisis being a clash between the defenders of white monopoly capital and the proponents of radical economic transformation.
In this gospel the corrupt elements are the good guys, while the true revolutionaries who want economic emancipation for the downtrodden. Never mind the fact that they are doing all the stealing from the downtrodden. It is they who are supposed to radically transform our economy. Into what, you ask. Their feeding trough, is the answer. Those who stand opposed to state capture and corruption – real ANC activists, the communists, the religious leadership, civil society, business leadership and ordinary South Africans – are the enemies of radical economic transformation.
Even though there is no linear good versus evil tale here, what is clear is that there is an agenda to corrupt South Africa under the guise of transforming it. And, in a sick and twisted way, they seek to delude and use the masses, who are desperate for economic inclusion. Onto the stage steps Dlamini-Zuma. Desperate for the honour of being South Africa’s first female president – despite the fact that she has made a much greater historical mark on the continent – she has discarded her moral compass and thrown her lot in with the corruptors of our republic.
Dlamini-Zuma has joined her ex-husband as the joint champion of this flawed economic emancipation campaign. She believes that if she parrots the Gupta-sponsored line, she will emerge as a champion of the people.
Hence the populist posture, in which she is totally useless and unconvincing.
“We have done a lot. Where we have not done well is the economy. We want radical economic transformation!” Viva NDZ. “If we do not control the finance ministry, we do not control the economy!” How inspirational. “We must assist the mainstream economy to absorb black people in general and Africans in particular. The people who suffer most are black people if they want financial assistance.” To the barricades we go! “We are not going to have presidents who are elected through the streets when we have a Constitution that says how we should elect, how democracy says it should be done!”
You tell them, NDZ! How dare they exercise their rights to protest in a democratic country.
“If professors are white and your ambition is to have a PhD in chemistry‚ as an African woman trying to study‚ you begin to think perhaps you are in a wrong class.” Preach, sister, preach! “They are actually taught against the ANC ... It is not surprising that kids will think ANC is corrupt‚ ANC is useless ... because this is what they are fed at school and I think that must also be transformed.” Okay, it is time to bring out the sick bag now. Dlamini-Zuma is clearly enjoying the applause, the songs in her name and the new-found celebrity status. She seems happy to sacrifice her record in the service of the country and the continent on the altar of the corrupt, just so she has a chance to be called commander in chief.
For this she is prepared to play the populist she is not.
Well, we have news for you, NDZ: You are very bad at it. And it just makes you look foolish.