JUJU’S TRANSPARENT TRICKERY
During Pravin Gordhan’s appearance as a witness at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture last week, we who work in the building where it is being held were subjected to a barrage of noise, shouting and music by people wearing red berets and T-shirts.
Having been a young person living in the townships in the dying days of apartheid, I must admit that not all the music and slogans were bad. In fact, a lot of it was plucked right out of that volatile period.
But that was the only entertainment.
There followed verbal diarrhoea of a magnitude that has not assaulted my ears since Jacob Zuma’s final speech as president to an SABC journalist. For more than 40 minutes Julius Malema spewed incoherent nonsense that bordered on contempt for the commission.
The tragedy was not the excreta that Malema spouted, which included apparent incitement of violence against Gordhan and journalists. For me the real tragedy was that some 300 mostly young people were reduced to a useless army of thoughtless hecklers blindly following a leadership with an agenda they’re ignorant of.
For three days, these young people were bused into Joburg to stand and sing in the sun, stripped of any dignity. A few kilometres away the leadership was sitting in an airconditioned office, maybe even enjoying the finer things life has to offer.
Fast-forward to this week and the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria, where a few dozen more young people — probably unemployed — provided an audience for a slightly more cautious Malema diatribe as his party lodged corruption complaints against Gordhan.
One of the results of SA’S abnormally high unemployment rate is that anyone can recruit a group of idle people as fodder for nefarious ends.
Of course there are also other pressing matters facing EFF leaders; money stolen from the impoverished depositors of the VBS Mutual Bank is said to have found its way into the pockets of some of them.
Not that that should surprise anyone. Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, have always had an interesting and warm relationship with other people’s money.
Juju’s voodoo politics
To divert attention from all of this, Malema and his crew will employ all sorts of nasty tactics to shift attention from the real issue, which is their alleged corruption.
Hence people such as Gordhan, and others who have stood firm against corruption, will continue to be harassed and called many nasty epithets. Nor will journalists be spared. This is a tired old trick that all corrupt despots employ when cornered.
But the lack of creativity must have surprised even the EFF’S most ardent believers. Wholly embracing such discredited scarecrows as “white monopoly capital” and “radical economic transformation”, the party has carried on exactly where Bell Pottinger, Zuma and the Black First Land First thugs left off.
We have said this several times before, and we will say it again: Zuma’s departure was always going to expose the fraudsters and pretenders who masqueraded as statesmen and constitutionalists during his ruinous time as head of state.
With Zuma gone, many of these have been left gasping for the oxygen of relevance.
Of course, they would not be competent despots had they not found a whipping boy to divert attention from their current and future troubles.
Expect more violent diversionary tactics if and when the police and prosecutors finally start doing the jobs we pay them to do.
With Zuma gone, many of these have been left gasping for the oxygen of relevance