Effluent society gears up for the holidays
CAPE Town’s end-of-year looting season got off to a robust start on Wednesday, as ruling party supporters helped themselves to goods from CBD street vendors whose stalls they trashed and vandalised.
Items that flew off the shelves included top fashion knock- offs by Nikke, Addiddas, Louise Vitonn and other leading Fong Kong labels as the hip firebrands “geared up” for the holidays.
Those who missed the free-for-all needn’t worry – defiant poo fighters, as we now refer to them, have promised an even larger beano later this month with at least 250 00 marchers. Retailers, take note: November 29, it’s going to be a Kwanzaa bonanza.
Andile Lili, the former ANC city councillor who is now literally the city’s chief shit-stirrer, has warned that the protest would go ahead with or without permission from the authorities, and there would be fun and games for all – although perhaps not for the Western Cape premier.
Lili told the Cape Times that he was “very angry” with Helen Zille and that she should be careful when entering informal settlements around the city.
“All of them (shack dwellers) must attack Helen Zille wherever she goes. Helen Zille knows there is a crisis. But she does not respond.” The lack of response, Lili added, meant she was responsible for the chaos. Still, he had good news for the DA leader. “We don’t hate Helen Zille as a person,” he said. “We hate her for her actions.”
The city intends suing for damages. Legal action is to be taken against various poo fighters in their personal capacity. This includes Lili and – if we may put it this way – his number two, ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla.
In this regard, the mayor, Patricia de Lille, has urged vendors whose businesses were trashed to press charges against Lili, Nkohla and others, adding that the city would assist with the provision of CCTV footage to help identify perpetrators.
“Nobody is above the law,” she said. “The expression of our constitutional rights should not be used as a tool to launch illegal activities.”
While we agree in principle with the sentiment, here at the Mahogany Ridge we’re not altogether convinced that the customer relations department – or whatever they call the charge office these days – at Caledon Square is soon to be swamped by aggrieved Congolese traders demanding justice.
Call us bluff old cynics, but we are of the opinion that foreigners, especially those who trade here, do not have all that much confidence in the police. Regrettable, I know, but there it is.
This is not to suggest that nothing is been done about the matter. Far from it. There has been ultra-rapid blame-shifting. Marius Fransman, ANC Western Cape leader and deputy minister of international relations and co-operation, has said it was “mostly” members of the Economic Freedom Fighters who caused all the trouble. Denouncing the looting and attacks on bystanders, he added: “The ANC calls on all youth to remain disciplined and not be dragged into anarchy by a few people with red berets.”
As an aside, I should add that Fransman has been the cause of much mirth here at the Ridge since he announced he wanted to take on Zille for the premiership next year. He was asked if this was quite a risk, as he could end up as opposition leader in the provincial legislature instead of a cabinet minister. “No and yes,” he replied. “But you know, I’m a man who likes to gamble.” And who likes to answer a direct question with a direct answer.
But back to the looting. Ivan Meyer, the DA’s Western Cape leader, promptly dismissed Fransman’s claims about the EFF. “It is obvious for all to see that the march was planned, organised and led by the ANC,” he said.
Meyer also noted that Nkohla was “widely quoted ( in the Daily Sun) encouraging people to loot the Cape Town CBD”, and has duly laid a charge of public violence against him.
Nkohla, in turn, has declared, rather hollowly, that he will now sue the Daily Sun for defamation. What’s far more likely is that, like Lili, Nkohla could soon be an ex-councillor.
He bunked a council meeting on Wednesday, and sent a sick note to excuse himself. But as news of the mayhem reached the council chamber so, too, did social media video footage. De Lille and others were able to see for themselves how Nkohla was spending the day in bed.
He has already been suspended from the ANC for poo-fighting. With more time on his hands – not to mention the brown stuff – Nkolah could get up to no end of kak. We have been warned.