Gentle Reminder: What’s at Stake is Always Our Common Humanity

A Jewish philosopher named Martin Buber described two kinds of relationships that inform our experience of reality: I-Thou and I-It.

Where an I-Thou relationship is characterised by its participant’s (theoretically mutual) awareness of each other’s personhood, an I-It relationship is more utilitarian: there’s a subject and an object, an actor and an acted-upon.  The person half of the relationship has a purpose for the thing half that goes beyond that thing’s existence, unless it is art.

Speaking of art, the film critic Laura Mulvey popularised a corresponding idea in the consumption of art: the “male gaze”, which is a way of depicting women and the world as existing primarily to augment male personhood through the promise of pleasure and dominance.  Put differently, a man was the number of women he bedded.

Heterosexism is the default assumption of heterosexual superiority and normality.  But it further breaks down to “hetero” and “sexism”: hetero meaning “other” and sexism being a form of oppression that, systemically speaking, targets women.  It’s patriarchy.  Heteronormativity is not just the normalisation of heterosexuality but also the normalisation of women’s sexual objectification as “the other”.

How did women become an “It” to men’s “I”?  Society first positioned itself as an “I” and turned each man into an “It”, seeing those men’s value in what (and who) they did more than in who they were (and in the fact that they were).  Traditional masculinity rewards men for being warriors, using the glory of self-sacrifice to eclipse the military/athletic disposability of their bodies.

This societal I that relegates men to “It” status is big, being the collective, while that “It” status is rendered astonishing to observers because these men are rewarded for their dominance over women.  How can they be objects even as they objectify?  It does not make sense!  Until it does: people do unto others what has been done unto them.

It seems counterintuitive to propose that the root of patriarchy is men’s insecurity on measuring up to this greater “I’s” expectations.  Even a Donald Trump’s brashness would be him turning all measures of competence so completely on their head that it is no longer he, but anyone who expects that he will aspire to genuinely great leadership, who seems crazy and foolish.  The paradox of patriarchy is that as the Republicans’ prize and scandal, Trump is patriarchy’s product precisely in how he makes a mockery of all the values patriarchy ever promised the world.  He models it by exemplifying its un-self-aware insecurity and therefore its emptiness.  The Emperor has no clothes on.  Woeful, this thought, that it is not only possible to be history’s biggest example of what a non-man is, but to also be how history decisively proves that aiming to be a man is aiming too low. 

I titled my first book You Have To Be Gay To Know God because there is no authentic I-Thou relationship with a transcendent “I” unless that “I” has no conditions to recognising and celebrating your personhood except that you’re human.  Set over-and-against our unconditional personhood, society tells men they’re not real men unless (fill in the blank): even the message, “real men don’t rape”, simply shifts the problem that caused rape — the need to prove one’s personhood in terms of what society recognises men for, which is dominance — into a more hetero-expectant and hetero-respectable picture.

To be authentically embraced as a “Thou” and have the capacity to do the same for others, the “I” you look to for your personhood’s validation has to be genuinely okay with you rejecting all (especially society’s) unreasonable expectations for you as its “It” beyond what is necessary to live well with others.  You have to know experientially that this super-I sees you as its Thou even if the societal I sees you as a defective “It” against its needless rules.  If you can’t know God while being gay, you can’t know God while straight either.  If your God can’t love a version of you that’s homosexual, there’s no way in hell he genuinely loves the version of you that’s heterosexual.  Is God really a God who reduces people to elemental systems designed for things and not people?  Then religion was not made for the living but for the dead; its God deals in lifeless things, not live humans.

Harry Hay and Matthew Fox have argued that homosexual relationships are necessary: they challenge the notion that sex is power and must therefore be had across, and reinforce, power differentials (instead of being had along and not along power equalisers).  Heteronormativity is the cultural normalisation of othering.  Let us not pretend rape culture and femicide appeared out of thin air when we cultivated them.

I used to walk through the world as an “It” under the scrutiny of a bigger societal “I” that declared me a failure because I did not meet hetero-respectable hetero-expectations.  But I realised that I was not the only person who failed to be the correct sort of “It” to this greater “I”: every day, the number of people walking beside me increased.  Women realised they were being beaten and killed because they failed to be obedient “It” units to men’s “I” subjectivities, which, in turn, were degraded by society’s dehumanising expectations of “real men”.  The tragedy was those men could never relinquish the rewards for participating in this existential slavery because, as one of the authors of #FeminismIs quipped at its Rosebank launch, “Privilege is niiiiiiiiiiiice.”

The people walking beside me included white men who’d been conscripted, and who’d known at some level that they, too, were “It” soldiers to a government that promised to bestow their humanity some breathing room only if they succeeded at stealing humanity from others; at its fulfilment, this promise turned out to have been a complete lie.  You cannot dine with the devil without becoming the meal and all that.

The theme for this year’s Walk on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is Solidarity and Alliances.  Same-Love Toti is running Durban’s leg of it on May the 12th —Saturday, 10am — and I’m walking.  The reason I think you should support this kind of activism is that your personhood is only safe from conditionality to the extent that other people’s is.

Being apathetic towards the struggles of “the other” (when they don’t resemble those we immediately prioritise) is the passive aspect, the flip-side, of using those others to further our egos’ agendas.  I am not saying that failing to participate in activism recommended by myself or another feminist is failing to be a decent human being, for then I would be furthering my ego’s agenda through you.

I am saying that those times we absolve ourselves from the responsibility to defend others just because we are not actively inflicting oppression, let alone watching the coats of those who are, is when we fool ourselves into seeing indifference as something other than the insidious violence it always turns out to be.

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987; please also look out (or use!) the hashtag #YouHaveToBeGayToKnowGod

(Kwela Books, 2018)

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Listeria Monocytogenes: South African business’s dirty little secret

People’s feelings about a company govern the extent to which they’ll “forgive” its transgressions.

On Monday 5 March 2018 the CEO of Tiger Brands, Lawrence MacDougall, spent an hour insisting its subsidiary, Enterprise, was not responsible for the listeriosis outbreak that claimed 180 lives. Yet by 15:00, the business’s market capitalisation had fallen by R5.7-billion and the share price by 7.9% to R391.47.

People’s feelings about a company govern the extent to which they’ll “forgive” its transgressions. The Facebook post of a man from Kimberley cataloguing Tiger Brands’ sins — which included bread price-fixing and carcinogens in Tastic rice — was typical of a growing public outcry against the accounting and operational “irregularities” that big businesses like Steinhoff are seen as getting away with. Last year, Tiger Brands’ black woman ownership was at 4.56%, prompting a post by a black mother to fellow black mothers:

“We can’t achieve Radical Economic Transformation without you as a consumer and it starts with you loving only the brands that love you.”

The CEO of Tiger Brands refrained from apologising for legal reasons. It’s probably just as well: the bottom line linked to Tiger Brands’ social capital faces a terrible prognosis because this crisis is proxy for an instance of retribution many black people feel never happened, but should have: for the role they believe was played by “white monopoly capital” under apartheid. Those black people eat and trade in the inexpensive processed protein product that’s now killing them and their township street “kota” businesses.

Had Tiger Brands been broadly perceived as reciprocating its customer loyalty by substantively and visibly developing those township enterprises, its share price would have a better prognosis (instead of being exposed to a possible lawsuit).

What they saw in place of this support — of an apology — was power on the defensive; this, from a business that purportedly knew about the pathogenic bacteria a month before the product recall. Now, the tribalistic psychology behind why business hegemonically empowers people and enterprises from the same race as its existing people is being projected as racism over everything Tiger Brands says about the importance of its consumers’ health. Those consumers have no memory of the brand caring for them beyond memories they themselves made as its unloved customers.

The captains of industry tend to associate with men like themselves and cover one another’s insecurities by not introducing “different” people into those spaces — “others” whose unexpected competencies would call into question the legitimacy of those hierarchies and groups. The members of these groups mutually reward one another’s cultural “sameness” by systemically extracting wealth from those not in those groups, for redistribution amongst those within that group. Those inside these old boys’ clubs then use that wealth to back an appearance of accomplishment that exceeds more than what they’ve truly pulled off. They’re using attributes they never worked for (skin colour) to distinguish those they’ll reward from those they’ll exploit in exchange for having more power behind that skin colour. Then they only work with those who look like themselves to hide from having to face the black embodiments of their scam.

Anyone from within these groups who considers fighting for justice and organisational sustainability by bringing “the other” in has to first overcome the fear of being punished by his colleagues. But on 5 March, the owners of Tiger Brands were given 5.7-billion reasons to rethink.

For Tiger Brands now exists, in part, at the mercy of black stakeholders. They’re about to show whether they believe they consumed a product whose price-point and availability in townships represented their exclusion from privilege. Are they sick to their stomachs with the status quo because Listeria Monocytogenes is the corpo-realisation of South African business’s dirty little secret — that it treats black people like (and so feeds them) dirt?

Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

Listeriosis may have been the final proof black stakeholders needed.

Is transformation the answer? Yes, but the danger with box-tick B-BBEE is when a business starts with its “what” (making lots of money that members of the old boys’ club can wrap their inadequacies up in) instead of a good “why” (serving the societies they do business among through shared value while making big profits), it’s doomed to lose both. Any accounting report that says otherwise is lying about how such businesses accomplished this pro-hegemony “what” without resorting to an anti-everyone-outside-the-group “how”.

This means all “white monopoly capital” share prices (not just of the baloney monopoly on polony) are exposed to the same risk. These businesses’ operational, reputational and managerial “deep-cleans” call for transformation.

The correlation between the unsustainability of enterprise development through hegemonic tribalism, and operational compromises that lead to whole industries suffering like South Africa’s processed meat industry, is why BEE Novation tweeted, “Don’t compromise: serve enterprise development that doesn’t kill your whole industry.”

The business’s MD, Lee du Preez, explained that when businesses participate in proper Enterprise Development (an element on the BEE scorecard) of supply chains in compliance with BEE, instead of the rules of the old boys’ club, they tend to straighten out the rest of their governance requirements too.

Don’t compromise: your enterprise will soon worship you for unpacking its need for a transformation strategy.

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints, title You Have to Be Gay to Know God

Love of Power Vs Power of Love: A Tale of Two Stories – Inxeba and Black Panther

If a movie’s success is its audience’s agreement that it’s delivered on its makers’ artistic promises, then the respective viewers of Inxeba and Black Panther seem to have started this year on a cultural high note. So why, in the absence of complaints from its actual intended audiences, has the Films and Publications Board upgraded Inxeba (or downgraded it, depending on your perspective) to an X-rating?
We saw the state recoil from the backlash when Generation’s Jason and Senzo kissed; we saw the outcry when We The Brave ran an ad with a same-sex kiss. I submit we’re more comfortable, as society, with violent men than we are with vulnerable men.

That’s not a dig at Black Panther: I haven’t watched the Marvel creation yet, and I’m quite looking forward to it. But I have questions about some reviewers’ overtones of, not quite black triumphalism, but indomitability. I find startling the contrast between those and reactions to Inxeba’sexplicit depiction of something that scares us more than the choice between explicit sex and explicit violence: “the wound” of human vulnerability.

Judging by reviews, one could be forgiven for concluding that unlike InxebaBlack Panther is the undisputed Truth — with a capital-letter T — about the black identity that colonialism otherwise mutilated and continues mutilating in its mutilated depictions of mutilated black men — black men who, by starring in said stories, are willingly co-opted into colonialism’s accusation that their own culture has scarred them in ways colonialism never could have without their cultural treachery.

Black Panther, on the other hand, is consumed as a story about untouched, self-realised black society. But history never happens in a vacuum, and not even in our inconvenient reality is indomitability the restful given of having never been colonised: it’s the result of non-stop performativity imposed by the custodians of our cultures, and that performativity is in the same WhatsApp group as toxic masculinity.

If you don’t think Black Panther has inadvertently catered to that social appetite, then imagine how its black audiences would have reacted to seeing Black Pantherdepicting Wakanda’s sons playing with dolls. Would it have received the same treatment as Inxeba?

Think boys with dolls are gay? Consider this: what if, as children, we develop our capacity for tuning into other people’s feelings when we role-play with dolls and humanise objects? When we imaginatively project human feelings onto them so we may practice how we’d react in those scenarios?

Has it occurred to us that we can talk about the nuanced similarities and distinctions between robust and ongoing sexual consent a hundred billion times, but without thatexperiential foundation in childhood, all that talking will never, ever land with the seriousness that a serious confrontation with rape culture requires?

Even if it does land, later on, it will still be incorporated not into a commitment to treat women as human equals, but to help them feel less conquered in what’s still fundamentally their conquest. Think “pick-up artists”. The relational, empathetic core, however well it’s imitated later on, must be developed from much earlier than puberty.

Or look at our political landscape: the danger with triumphalism is it’s a lot like nationalism and tribalism. In his article on “the dangers of Zulu Nationalism”, Mondli Makhanya reminds readers of ANC KZN’s responsiveness to Zulu ethnicism.

“We know [Zuma] will not hesitate to pull the Zulu nationalism trigger as the cantankerous chief from that province loved to do. We should prepare for that eventuality once his fraud and corruption trial begins and the State Capture commission implicates him in more criminal activities.”

And unless ANC KZN splits away from the mother body — a possibility with a set of terrifying implications of its own — KZN’s tribalism will be inveigled in the party’s messaging to voters in its build-up to national elections next year.

This is all to say we must enjoy Black Panther and whatever good comes from Cyril Ramaphosa’s term the way we should have enjoyed the good in Mbeki’s term: with eyes open to the dangers likely to be around the corner.

This is especially important when ratings are changed, seemingly, in response to public pressure.

This all also means keeping our hearts open. For any triumphalist black self-representation as martially indomitable, there may, accidentally, be the repression of those whose likelihood to yield to the power of love makes them less likely to be lovers of power. Inxeba is a story about a person dying to be a person. Who are the black movie superheroes supposed to save, if not exactly such?

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints, title You Have to Be Gay to Know God

Inxeba: Ripping the Wounds right open

The value of the film Inxeba’s gay storyline against a backdrop defined by traditional masculinity is not exclusively for gay men: it’s for everyone. Many of the social media comments about the backlash against its airing question why those who’d suppress the movie haven’t been as vocal against rape culture. In view of Inxeba’s focus on homophobia, this line of questioning can be taken further.

 

Men nowadays are rightly asked to confront rape culture, but this request often stops short of asking heterosexual people to examine their consumption of heterosexism. As I previously pointed out: “When a lesbian is murdered, or raped, or burned, or mutilated, the #MenAreTrash brigade is nowhere to be found.”

“Corrective rape” is when a lesbian is raped for saying no to every man’s sexual advances, making it an attack against every woman’s right to say no to any man’s sexual advances. There is no point at which the battle against rape culture should be more focused. But because we live in a heterosexist society, there is no point at which it receives less attention.

Where there should be a focus on the “corrective rape” of lesbians, we instead see that anger at rape culture is coloured by the consumeristic demand that men live up to straight women’s Ken-and-Barbie fantasies as loyal, romantic, door-opening, bill-settling partners, as well as disappointment that they bring to life women’s worst nightmares instead.

For while many of the Hollywood-type Valentine’s Day “Ken” behaviours expected of men are admirable, their proximity to pre-existing gender roles is their proximity to traditional heteronormative masculinity — and it’s that masculinity that rapes.

Traditional masculinity’s essence is performativity. There’s nothing sustainable or consistent in basing social norms on the pursuit of the desirable outcomes of that non-stop performativity, while stomping out its less desirable outcomes — masculinity as power-over, as validation-seeking through dominance and as forced access to women’s bodies. Far from being an aberration of heterosexism, rape culture is what happens when heterosexism finally gets its way and dictates all romantic and sexual identities and behaviours.

Addressing rape culture without addressing homophobia isn’t confrontation: it’s negotiation. Because at the end of that negotiation there are no consequences for the “corrective rape” of lesbians, those lesbians’ bodies are the price society is willing to pay for the service rape culture renders — validating heterosexism and Old Testament tribalism.

The same black friends keep embracing definitions of black masculinity in which men are powerful providers — but these definitions only work if they make rape and domestic abuse the effects of landlessness and economic exclusion. The socialisation of boys and their consequent insecurity at having to continually live up to assumptions about masculinity (which sounds flattering so as to pass traditional masculinity off as more intoxicating than toxic) is never questioned. It sounds seductively convenient to lay the blame for male violence at the feet of colonialism and apartheid because then we never have to examine ourselves. But when structural racism becomes the explanation under which we sweep male violence without having to problematise male socialisation, neither structural racism nor male violence are solved on real terms.

We see that socialisation plays a more decisive role than economic displacement in breeding rape culture in that when black men do experience economic empowerment, a considerable number of them direct that newfound wealth not towards providing for their children but into further demonstrations of dominance and power, often through womanisation. The message that masculine value is tied to the power to provide simply compels men to prove that they have that power without deploying it into their children’s service.

If you think that sounds absurd, then tell me why some of the poorest kids in our townships will often have some of the richest fathers. I’ll tell you why: it’s because in its fear of feminising men by letting them nurture children, straight society has the nerve to leave the responsibility of fathering with mothers — and then it still turns around to say it is we, gay people, who have confused the gender agenda for everyone. Even rebuking rapists by saying “real men don’t rape!” reinforces the heterosexist box in dishing out its idea of “real men” without scrutinising it. When the black woman’s intimate partner insults gay people, she ought to pay attention: he is talking about her. Gay bodies are the price straight society is happy to pay for its lease on heterosexism. But what overthrows us, overthrows straight society also.

When they’re not being bashed by homophobes, gay men exist as straight women’s social accessories and entertainment; as their missed sexual and romantic opportunities. “What a waste,” they say. “A waste” because the moment a man ceases existing as a sexual and romantic prospect replete with the performative expectations of traditional masculinity, he ceases existing in the ways men have been trained to count on and believe in for their validation by the very society that acts all surprised by the down-side of traditional masculinity. Gay men are “a waste” for the same reasons straight men are “trash”.

Gavin de Becker wrote: “Most men fear getting laughed at or humiliated by a romantic prospect while most women fear rape and death.” The common denominator is the socialisation required by heterosexism. These are the wounds Inxeba has ripped wide open.

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints, title You Have to Be Gay to Know God

#NxasanaJudgment: Appealing will hurt Zuma – the days of disrespecting the NPA are over

This post first appeared on Daily Maverick on 11 December, 2017

When a court has to go to the unthinkable extreme of violating the Constitution’s visible expression in order to protect its invisible meaning to prevent said Constitution and itself from being complicit in crime, the president in question is a problem.

Corruption Watch‚ Freedom Under Law and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution asked the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to review the R17 million settlement paid to former National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mxolisi Nxasana.

Written by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo and judges Natvarlal Ranchod and Willem van der Linde, the judgment set aside Shaun Abraham’s appointment as Nxasana’s replacement, picked on the “pattern of the president’s conduct in litigation, of defending what ultimately turns out — on the president’s own concession — to have been the indefensible all along, banking on any advantage that the passage of the time may bring”, as well as Advocate Abrahams’s failure to retain prosecutorial independence “on all the material issues with the position of the president”. They also said the deputy president must appoint the next prosecutions’ authority director.

Zuma’s appeal will probably say the judgment violated the doctrine of the separation of powers. The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association likewise described the ruling as “judicial overreach”, a “judicial coup”. But the judgment has introduced an insight not even an appeal can erase. It could be argued that the judgment was the court’s protest against “the pattern” it spoke of.

Even allowing that the court went too far at any point, it could be said the alternative would have been the court’s failure to defend itself and the doctrine of the separation of powers from being inveigled into what its representatives justly saw, at the time (on the basis of what the president’s counsel conceded) as a pattern of defending the indefensible and undermining the rule of law.

The president’s counting too often on the doctrine has had the effect of undermining the purpose for and spirit in which it was formulated, making the court’s violation of the letter of the doctrine a stronger expression of its spirit than upholding the letter would have been.

When a court has to go to the unthinkable extreme of violating the Constitution’s visible expression in order to protect its invisible meaning to prevent said Constitution and itself from being complicit in crime, the president in question is a problem.

Because the High Court’s judgment said ignoring the possibility that Zuma uses court processes to subvert justice would be naïve, the next court he appears before has to give serious consideration to the possibility that the presidency’s professed hopes that the grounds of appeal will be “properly ventilated in the normal course in court proceedings”, is really dog-whistle messaging for, “this will buy us time”, corroborating the charge that the president’s broader view of the judiciary is contemptuous; that the legalese his legal team uses is a mockery of the “principle of the separation of powers‚ constitutional legality and the rule of law” he purports to be “minded by”.

If this judgment is legally weaponised by an interested party, any court (Supreme Court of Appeals [SCA], Constitutional Court) could legitimately take the initiative and contemplate the possibility that the president’s conceivable scorn towards the Constitution that sets out how it should serve the “we, the people” in its preamble is the flip-side to his seriousness towards serving the interests of someone other than “we, the people”. I’m no lawyer, but the circumstantial evidence for State Capture could emerge in future judgments against Zuma if a judge holds the president’s known conduct in litigation up to the light of the Constitution. Legally, the president’s failings will take on a “captured” shape.

The extent of the victory the SCA grants Zuma’s appeal will depend on its willingness to overturn the implicit finding that he bribed the former Director of Public Prosecutions to vacate his job, and its willingness to condone (for whatever given explanation) the illegality of the amount paid from the public purse for said bribe. Even if the complaint that the doctrine of the separation of powers was violated is accepted, the SCA would be expressing a preference for the presidency’s abuse of the doctrine of the separation of powers for evidently questionable ends, over the High Court’s violation of the letter of the doctrine so as to uphold its spirit.

The Constitutional Court would settle the matter to Zuma’s disadvantage unless his legal team’s success at proving the violation of the separation is coupled with successful contestation of the factual findings that informed the High Court’s judgment. Then, the extent to which the appeal overthrows the High Court in this case would overthrow their client in every future case. Zuma risks winning this battle by losing the overall war to stay out of jail until 2019 — which is a Pyrrhic victory.

Even before then, the president could be accused of leaving the judiciary (and Parliament, whose members are constitutionally mandated to act by conscience despite their party’s contrary belief) between a rock and a hard place: he could be accused of throwing them into constitutional crises that would most simply be resolved by his resignation. It’s too soon to tell the form and the platform such accusations would take, let alone the outcomes they would build to.

This much, we now know: the High Court agrees with Shaun Abrahams’ warning that the days of disrespecting the NPA are over.

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints, title You Have to Be Gay to Know God

Why I believe Nomvula Mokonyane

This post first appeared on Daily Maverick on 8 December, 2017

The Guptas’ skin colour pulled our collective attention to the place behind the curtain, forcing many of us to realise there was a curtain.

Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC NEC member and Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation, said “white monopoly capital” may lack “the brashness of the Gupta family”, but it definitely exists and its dealings with State-owned Enterprises escape “wider scrutiny”.

This adds weight to the idea that far from liberating black people and fighting corruption, the ruling party keeps black people poor as its members liberate tax money through unsavoury relationships between State-owned Enterprises and capital.

When western (political and economic) powers no longer had a red enemy to retain South Africa as an ally against, apartheid was dead. Former president FW de Klerk unbanned the ANC because the liberation movement would have realised it “could not achieve a revolutionary victory within the foreseeable future”.

We need to right-size efforts against apartheid with historical facts instead of measuring them by their emotive impact on us or by their cost to those who made those efforts, if we are to understand the ANC’s relationships with disgraced software companies, auditing firms and media conglomerates. Only by centring the explanation that the ANC was meant to help with looting all along can we contextualise the Zuma faction’s attempt at pre-arranging a December electoral outcome that will leave the party with some semblance of “unity”.

President Nelson Mandela’s term was the one time we suppressed our country’s “capturedness” — to let some pressure out of the valve, as it were — after which the ANC embraced its role as the visible fall guy with gusto. As long as there was a (black) government to blame, there was no need to scrutinise the private sector.

It’s as though the National Party’s negotiations with the ANC was its saying, “You may judge us for apartheid now, but once you’re in our shoes you’ll know it was the lesser of two evils.” The ANC “liberated” South Africa by cloaking the exchange of keys to the same car in a peace that cannot last and is therefore not peace at all. South Africa’s usefulness to the global economy lies in its openness for labour/resource extraction at low cost. If you hope to remain a politician in a world where they’re a dime a dozen, you have to set up a system that will allow you to keep some people desperately poor (with permission from your richer constituencies) otherwise the economy in your stewardship is useless to the Powers-That-Be. Think Arms Deal. The Guptas’ skin colour pulled our collective attention to the place behind the curtain, forcing many of us to realise there was a curtain.

When millions of grown adults wage culture wars and overspend for the birth of a Saviour whom nothing in the New Testament connects to 25 December, is it so difficult to believe members of the ANC make money off the myth that the party exists for the liberation of black people when news headlines — and Mokonyane’s confession — show it more beholden to the cluster of businesses the old government was in bed with? The shamefulness of corruption exposés serves to embolden shameless politicians and their comrades. This fatigues the public’s sensitivity to scandal, which frees morepoliticians to do it.

One also wonders whether the Constitution was designed to make it difficult for the courts to force the Executive and Parliament to do their jobs. Though communism has blind spots, its adherents are correct when they describe corruption as the sport politicians play with private business. A corrupt businessperson wouldn’t need to know whether his ambitions would be most likely frustrated by scrutiny from courts or regulation from Parliament to know that divide and conquer alwaysworks. The separation of powers put in to save us can also drag processes out forever. Is it really an accident that our Executive is crooked, our Parliament is complicit in said crookery and our Judiciary can only serve to highlight the country’s impotence against those disembowelling it — further emboldening thievery? Have Russia in the US and Bell Pottinger in SA not taught us that nothing happens by accident?

With UBaba kaDuduzane’s ascent to the ANC’s pinnacle in Polokwane 10 years ago, the refined dining of white-collar criminals that this system was designed for was dragged down into the savage feeding frenzy of common, bare-faced thugs who’d decided it was their turn. This has decidedly focused our attention on every move government makes. One begins to wonder whether the reason ratings agencies (which have also been caught in scandals) don’t think South Africa is “safe” for investment is that under the penetrating gaze of our investigative journalists, our government will, willingly or not, “kiss and tell” as to which businesses have bedded it — ruining those businesses’ reputations abroad.

Never an organisation to miss a historical opportunity for self-enrichment, the ANC will use the elective conference to capitalise on its own shame and position itself as the only thing that can save us from its own role in the country’s demise. Whether it presents multiple faces for its branches to ostensibly choose from, or overtly prearranges deputy presidency compromises to blunt the blow to whichever faction loses, it’s playing for 2019 numbers because at its core, the ANC is more about securing permission to dine with “white monopoly capital” or the brash Gupta family than it is about anything else.

Dr Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” I believe Minister Mokonyane.

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints, title You Have to Be Gay to Know God

 

ANC Elective Conference

Cyril Ramaphosa would be a marvellous short-term solution to the ANC’s problems, but the party’s (and nation’s) role would remain fundamentally unchanged.

Stephen Grootes recently presented two possible scenarios for the ANC’s Elective Conference.  In the one, it’s derailed or dragged out on disputes about the provincial general councils.  In the other (contrary to what my political sources used to tell me), Cyril Ramaphosa wins ANC presidency, Zuma is possibly recalled and Ramaphosa is sworn in before year-end.

A look at the battle themes that have brought us here will reframe our perspective so even if the President Ramaphosa scenario plays out, we will not be taken off guard when this ANC conference cycle repeats itself in another 10 years.

State Capture versus White Monopoly Capital

This is South Africa’s favourite dance: a

  • Public Protector’s Report on Nkandla or State Capture,
  • Slew of emails (#GuptaLeaks) or
  • Book (#PresidentsKeepers)

is released.  In response, the anti-WMC brigade says, “If Zuma must pay for Nkandla, then white people must return the land” or ,“When it’s white people, it’s called business; when it’s people of colour, it’s ‘state capture’.”

At the July policy conference, the ANC seemed to favour the description “monopoly capital” over “white monopoly capital”. But economist, Dr. Dr Jason Musyoka, has pointed out that South Africa’s middle class has always initially been a “creation of the state”, making state capture in its latest manifestation a betrayal, especially, of black aspirations.

I would add that in view of race inequality statistics and the legacy of apartheid, taking the colour out of the monopoly capital descriptor in the name of shoring up political power against the facilitators of state capture foreshadows a subtler betrayal of black people. Why have the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act if the face of South African wealth is not white, unless B-BBEE exists to enrich a narrow, politically-connected base? And if BEE is “reverse apartheid” as many of my white friends complain it is, isn’t that a tacit admission that apartheid was unbearable? Far from arguing against the need for reparations, the complaint strengthens the case.

I digress.

This year has increasingly been characterised by the exposure of private sector involvement in government corruption; auditing, software and media/communications businesses have been implicated. When you connect the company names to National Party funders, you see we preserved the apartheid state’s capturedness, suppressed it through Nelson Mandela’s term, and afterwards used the ANC for what it was summoned from exile to do all along: clean up the old government’s mess by being the visible fall guy for increasingly visible business scandals. The ANC proved its ready corruptibility through the Arms Deal before fully embracing its role as the black slavetrader, pimping tax payers and black labour to the highest white bidder. Until the Guptas’ race pulled our attention behind the curtain.

The end of apartheid and transition into democracy were not miracles: they were a PR exercise. 1994ism was the world’s dog-whistled prerequisite for doing business with us while preserving some semblance of white innocence. The myth of white innocence was necessary because white South Africans would remain masters in what would essentially be a neocolonial setup. The exposure of the Guptas first concealed this system by focusing blame on blackness; then it exposed it because it focused attention on the private sector. Until the latter happened, as the shamefulness of the former exposés emboldened the shamelessness of exposed (black) politicians and their comrades in corruption. This fatigued the public’s sensitivity to scandal — and freed more black politicians to run into kickback deals. With this stampede, the curtain hiding the public sector’s participation ripped apart.

Until it ripped, the Constitution made it nigh impossible for courts to force the Executive and Parliament to do the jobs they were contracted to, forcing the Judiciary to further highlight the country’s impotence to do little more than yell, “Shame!” at the corrupt. The definition of “corruption” (which I have questioned before on this blog) made it appear the law was something more than trust-bait so voters would willingly give a contract-dishing, kickback-collecting mandate to some or another party and its funders.

Despite this, white supremacy feels justified in not hiring black people to its offices. Those black people are then left to entrepreneurship, which shouldn’t have to be for everyone. As I’ve pointed out previously, a new entrant threshold of R50 million means the most lucrative government contracts return to the same politically-connected (black) elites, who leverage having had that business to pick up private sector jobs as well.  This concentrates the country’s wealth and makes a mockery of trickle-down economics, forcing more black people to dependency on government.  And government is too busy looting to care that numerous small black-owned businesses do not get paid when they have done work for government (*looking at Minister Lindiwe Zulu*). No wonder Herman Mashaba is so superior: I would be too, if I had beaten the odds he did. The point is something everyone knows: employment and the level of education standards are inversely proportional to the ruling party’s likelihood to retain power. White supremacy is the ANC’s fuel but the ANC was never really that against it to begin with.

The problem, then, has been that with UBaba’s ascent to the ANC’s pinnacle in Polokwane ten years ago, the refined dining of white-collar criminals descended into the savage feeding frenzy of common, bare-faced thugs. This has forced investigations that debunk the white/business innocence myth. Though they had representation on the boards that should have seen the crookedness of the transactions they were signing off, these businesses are now trying to shove all the blame to subsidiaries with the greatest BEE representation (As I often say, BEE consultancies and verification agencies should be defending the integrity of their profession but this hardly ever happens). One begins to suspect the reason ratings agencies (which have also been caught in scandals) don’t think South Africa is “safe” for investment is that under the penetrating gaze of our investigative journalists, our government will, willingly or not, “kiss and tell” as to which businesses have bedded it.

The negotiated settlement may have neared Cyril Ramaphosa to immense wealth. But because what was being held together with those trade-offs was the legend of white innocence, black lives had to be cheapened in that no reparations were made for apartheid victims in 1994 — a decision that made Ramaphosa synonymous with Marikana in 2012 even as he’s presented as messiah in 2017.

Whether because of this or out of envy that he was invited to the white table while so few others were, Ramaphosa and the establishment he represents have attracted enemies he’ll have to overthrow using ju-jitsu type techniques in the next three weeks. These fighting styles are about leveraging assailants’ attacks as opposed to starting on the offensive. With the evolution of media, the legend of  white innocence has become incompatible with demonstrations of full-faced violence and naked ambition by its custodians. Ramaphosa has become one of those, and though he is black, he is counted upon to remain above stereotypical black fighting styles.

Nandos/Daily Maverick Gathering

At the Gathering last week, the ANC’s only cheerleaders were Mr. ANN7 (supports Dlamini-Zuma, last I checked) and Mr. Gordhan, whom I wanted to ask, “Do you support Ramaphosa as your ideal candidate, or as a compromise?” The Guptas are said to have said, “We can buy the Struggle”; we must know whether Luthuli House is selling it Left, Right or Centre. God knows the party capitalised on its own shame by positioning the ANC as the only thing that can save from the ANC. It presents two faces, one for your right-leaning economic appetite and another for your left-leaning social concerns. It is Shaka Zulu’s Bull’s Horns ambush tactic, and it could explain why even Julius Malema was as tame as he was at the Gathering where he all but admitted the ANC is the only game in town.

So, the party’s only weakness might be Dr. Dlamini-Zuma. Patriarchal societies are threatened by women in power: Robert Mugabe got more grace for his sins than even she whose name is Grace, and if Dlamini-Zuma wins and carries the party to 2019, she’ll be more likely cast down in mid-term than the two presidents before her.

As it is, she is not being forgiven for the sin of ever being a Zuma; how would she survive between the expectation that she will end racism by destroying the economy, and the expectation that she would preserve the economy by upholding racism?

Remember, 1994 was a PR exercise and South Africa will never know more racial equality than the global economy in which it trades. We may be one of the most unequal societies in the world but that is only when we are measured in isolation. In truth, we are a microcosm of the macrocosm: you will find former colonial powers’ opulent wealth in Clifton and the former colonised’s devastating unemployment in Khayelitsha. We are not a failed state; we are a failed world.

The Centrality of Racism 

As has been happening more frequently of late — almost daily — I saw this gem of a racist comment on Facebook. The post was about the possibility that EFF might return to ANC; this commenter said such treachery was part of “their blood”.

The other commenters automatically assumed “their” was a reference to black people. Said commenter’s subsequent behaviour (like deleting the comment without saying it meant anything other than what the others thought) indicates it was correctly read by the others as racist.

I wanted to reply, “Would you prefer black people had in their blood whatever white people had in theirs when they visited their hatred on us through history, or would that be too fair?”

There must be black ineptitude, treachery and corruption for narratives and campaigns to leverage towards ideologies that are racist enough to keep black labour cheap, but not too racist lest those of us buying into them recognise them for what they are.

These ideologies seem especially innocuous when they have a black face over them — a Woolworths-priced Cyril dressing to be drizzled over the hypocrisy salad so Maimane can yield high returns in the country Europe intended to have as its refreshment station but turned out to be a literal gold mine, “undiscovered” land and a cheap labour farm.

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints.

Post-script:

I got hold of the commenter. Her explanation for her comment was something I had initially believed (that “in their blood” was about political conditioning, not race) until she deleted her comment on the advice/instruction of those who thought it was about race. Her choice to delete her comment was not an admission that the racist reading was correct; it was simply the path of least resistance on her part. 

#MaritzburgCollege: How Behind the Education Curve Are We?

As problematic as Maritzburg College’s initial response to the students with the placards may have been, we must protect College’s right to its rules — before we tear into the rules it upholds through this right.

Former cricketer and Maritzburg College student, Kevin Pietersen, thrust the establishment and the students supporting the EFF (in school uniform, on school premises) into the public spotlight with a tweet that read, “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?  Total disrespect for a once GREAT school!  Are you joking?!?!”

Advocate Martin Williams responded that the Constitution frees the students to express their political opinions; the school’s code of conduct cannot limit this right.  No less an editor than Peter Bruce also replied, “Well, Kevin, if we as young men stood up to injustice like these guys we would not have become the country you had to leave.”  The freedoms of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion are hard to separate from the freedom of expression.

But once the Constitution trumps the rules of voluntary private clubs like schools, then the “equality clause” should force churches (also private voluntary clubs) to give same-sex couples the same rites they offer opposite-sex couples.  In 2015, Eusebius McKaiser argued that he would rather live in a world where Mmusi Maimane was allowed to think homosexuality is sinful than one where he was not.  I agreed, though I wondered whether children should be kept out of churches in which the preaching and practice deviate from what the Constitution says.

De-toothing schools’ code of conduct on constitutional grounds (even if the Schools Act of 1996 supports those private club rules) could have unexpected ramifications also for businesses that don’t comply with the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.  Should private companies’ decisions on this be overridden by the Constitution’s recognition and redress of past injustices through positive discrimination?  Why have an opt-out option?

Even if we preach Constitutional supremacy, there is a danger that when we use it to take away others’ private club freedoms, we jeopardise our own.

Now, let’s criticize Maritzburg College’s initial stance on the placarded students (even if the charges against them were eventually dropped).

Many of our schools were formed under colonialism or apartheid; Maritzburg College has been “directing potential since 1863”.  Back then, a governmental power would have a system in place to educate white students for senior administrative and managerial jobs in the public sector, or for professions in the private sector that had a symbiotic relationship with said government.  Those who received what would later be called Bantu Education were limited to skills just a little more empowering than hewing wood and drawing water.  This system extracted labour from them through the administration of those from “nice” schools — thereby capitalising itself, paying salaries and assuring life-long jobs in the system.

The training and education of that day spoke to securing employment in that context, and rules against challenging educational establishments were how the system legitimized itself in the minds of its obedient children.

Today’s educational needs and economic background are different: the rules must be too.  In the absence of colonial powers extracting and exploiting black labour, entrepreneurialism and autonomous thought are as close to life-long job security with cushy salaries as many students will get.  This requires the antithesis of silence and compliance because the promises tied to “behaving” can no longer be kept any more than America and Maritzburg College can be made “great” again.

Today, managing one’s social media presence is part of self-marketing.  It must be, for the students’ only survival options will be radical entrepreneurship on their own or radical economic transformation engineered by the state.  When we condemn them for being self-expressive and bold, we’re condemning the characteristics that will be required by the liberalism which, if allowed to flourish, would make the EFF unnecessary as a “last hope”.

To avoid being accused of pandering to opinion just because it’s opinion, a school in College’s position could redeem its reputation as a place of relevant learning by challenging opinionated students to defend their views in the public square under the disclaimer that those opinions are not necessarily theirs.  What on earth could our schools possibly teach, today, other than how to think and substantiate thought?

Steven Sidley wrote an article saying our political parties aren’t prepared for the rise of technology and its ramifications.  Jobs will go to robots; financial institutions will be challenged by cryptocurrencies.  Presidents could start World War Three with a single tweet.  In this world, the airing and defending of a students’ views should not be so under-resourced and unexpected that visually, it’s aided only by hand-painted signs and socially, it is responded to with shock.

We cannot just wait until the end of the year to look for students’ names in newspapers, then lament at how the education system underprepares them for the world we condemn them for engaging.

Our youth deserves the benefit of the doubt — and educational challenges that match the world they’re growing in.  Leveraged well, the ability to defend one’s opinions on social media is the currency of tomorrow and one of the few tools we’ll have to shape humanity’s collective destiny.

Failing this, we’re preparing students for a past world, which the party these boys support claims to be dismantling precisely because many of us refuse to let it go.

Thank you

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints.

Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Has Upped the Stakes

If the ANC presidential hopeful’s words didn’t startle you like a sharp gunshot above the noise from the Eastern Cape conference, where were you?

We shouldn’t be apologetic.  And I take exception to what Johan Rupert said, that radical economic transformation means — is a code for theft.  I think we should condemn that in the strongest of terms.  Coming from people who took our land?  Coming from people who are monopolising the economy today?  And of course they’d say that because they want to resist.  So they want us to be scared that if we do it we’ll be seen as thieves.  We’re not thieves.  We are not thieves.  Where there are thieves they must be caught and arrested, but we are not thieves, as black people.

This was at the Interfaith Prayer in Phoenix, north of Durban.

As Dlamini-Zuma can be on the few topics she has some conviction on, she was actually presidential: the recklessness of her words legitimised and reined in by a gravitas that surpasses her physique, she commanded a transfixed silence from the audience.  People only interjected to offer fleeting but passionate shouts of approval where approval couldn’t be contained.

We are not thieves, as black people is a lot like black people can’t be racist — grading on the curve, where one merely must appear more innocent than one’s accuser.  This populism strengthens the probability, hitherto diminished among possible future scenarios, that she and the ANC will win this December and 2019 respectively.

To stop that, the opposition would have to talk-up an amended version of BEE.  Once the cat of “radical economic transformation” was out its bag, nothing could put it back: not even Bell Pottinger’s fall.

It doesn’t matter, for example, that the money looted by this administration could have accomplished or could still accomplish that: the perception (exacerbated by incidences that increasingly show “reconciliation” to have been a trick of the light, like a rainbow) is that South Africa remains divided and unequal because the ANC-led government skipped reparations.  Dlamini Zuma has demonstrated the ease with which she can promise to fix that and justify looting.

This is where an amended version of BEE could be used by other parties as drawcards.  The DA once suggested lowering the “new entrant” threshold for the ownership element of BEE from R15 million to R10 million; the DTI instead increased it to R50 million.  This threshold is the total asset net worth at which a black business-owner is considered “new” to the economy — R50 million.  For empowering a black person up until he exceeds that net worth in his or her personal capacity, the current BEE code rewards businesses with empowerment points.

Having R50 million in cash or assets when one’s debts are paid (that’s what total asset net worth in personal capacity means) should make BEE unnecessary unless one is giving kick-backs to politicians.  At R50 million, it should be possible to amass further wealth without the aid of a law created to effect redress.  If the new entrant threshold is lowered, the same wealth black billionaires make will, going forward, be less concentrated as a result of BEE; BEE will be accessible to a greater number of black people.

In theory, then, they would be absorbed into the mainstream economy, giving more of them and theirs a vested interest in voting with the economy in mind.  There would be more voters’ eyes keeping a direct line of sight on indicators like the exchange rate, our credit rating status and the like because their lives would be implicated even if it’s indirectly — through relatives and friends who’d have begun climbing the economic ladder.  Standing more firmly behind a thusly-amended BEE would also get the DA out of the land ownership debate because the agricultural BEE sector codes speak to that.

The other thing the official opposition would have to do to stop Dlamini-Zuma and the ANC is repeat its Bell Pottinger victory with other multi-national businesses.  I tweeted my social media friends to direct-message me the names of global companies they see as benefiting from black poverty (thanks, everyone!).

If the Democratic Alliance could drag Bell Pottinger before the UK’s Public Relations and Communications Association for taking advantage of South Africa’s situation, then we’re ready to hear wonderful news on all the other exploitative and unethical international companies they’re working to discredit before their respective governing bodies for howsoever those businesses benefitted from the effects of apartheid the way Bell Pottinger did.

This register (titled “Arya Stark’s Kill List”, open for edits and comments) has been compiled from the social media responses.  Won’t it be wonderful to begin compiling evidence that the DA isn’t all the horrible things it’s often accused of being?

A lot of rich and powerful people will assume that our courts’ yet-strong stance against corruption will translate into legal victories for the likes of Johann Rupert against the likes of Dlamini-Zuma.  But our courts have an equally strong hatred of the exploitation or understating of apartheid’s effects.  Our courts are not alone: no statutory or regulatory body anywhere would, upon having the spotlight turned on it, tolerate the abuse of economic power by a firm under its jurisdiction.

The question is whether our official opposition believes enough in the rule of law to do unto other businesses what it did to Bell Pottinger.

Thank you

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints.

 

If Zuma Becomes Life President, There Won’t Be a Shower Afterwards

Notwithstanding arguments that the Western Cape government could have pre-empted the water crisis (allowing Premier Helen Zille the dignity of her daily shower), we must wonder whether Showerhead-appointed office-bearers would miss daily splashes if their constituents had water crises.  The answer to that is a no that strongly reeks of a third Zuma term.

The ANC’s elective conference could be postponed to let the party regroup regarding the KZN PEC, delaying the end of Zuma’s ANC presidency.  The party could also solve its factionalism the way the IFP keeps a lid on its succession issues — by not changing its leader.  Would Parliament remain above the fray, or would it also vote to change the Constitution and sanction a third Zuma term?

ANC MPs couldn’t stop sinking that low if they were thrown a secret ballot to pull themselves up with.  The DA got 99 problems, but that thief ain’t one.  And the EFF is fighting two enemies who have more a vested interest ganging up on it than in joining it.

At the end of its policy conference, the ANC dished up race-neutral descriptions of an economy cartelised by “monopoly capital”, showing that though Julius Malema EFF-ectively shaped the discourse on inequality, the ANC could still push a centrist, de-racialized, ANC+DA-coalition narrative ahead of 2019.  The local government elections, too, proved relevance more important than ideology.  For it is written: political parties shall not live by conviction alone, but by every voter, parliamentary seat, government position, and tender-for-friends that proceeds from the mouth of the ANC.

This tells me the EFF must trade one of its non-negotiable horses for one the ANC’s.  I more easily foresee it tolerate Zuma than turn down credit for re-centring Section 25 of the Constitution (Property).  The ANC won’t co-vote with the EFF on that motion until it has something worth gaining — or keeping — from voting for land expropriation without expropriation, and that’s Zuma.

A radical leftist could argue that by allowing a Zuma third term (read: life presidency), the EFF would block capitalists like Cyril Ramaphosa from challenging uncompensated land restitution from the Union Buildings.  Come 2019, the EFF can’t get credit for pushing back against capitalist Ramaphosa or the current land/economic situation unless it tolerates Zuma, who seems sympathetic to the EFF’s cause.  And the party won’t grow beyond 6% without the ANC agreeing to share its funders under the table — or its abundance of politically-motivated smear-campaigns and murders to silence uncooperative EFF members.

The ruling party’s continued existence depends not on “organizational renewal” but its playing dirtier than ever before.  Ramaphosa can’t become party president without causing fatal splits; Dr. Mkhize can’t without being a fatality; Dr. Dlamini-Zuma can’t without collapsing under the party’s sin because patriarchy empowers men to abuse while punishing women for behaving like men.  Mondli Zondo recently wrote articles on debates about whether South Africa is “ready for a female president” and the double-standards that disadvantage woman presidential candidates.

Besides misogyny, there are personality issues: Rebecca Davis has observed that Dlamini-Zuma less resembles “a revolutionary leader and more a rather strict headmistress addressing an unruly school”, so she doesn’t have “that thing” (*makes Hlaudi Motsoeneng gestures*).  Her school principal demeanour makes her more likely to be made Higher Education Minister to announce free education, in accordance with the rumoured prophecies.

If Zuma knows we know he’ll get amnesty or flee, he knows his enemies are already ahead of those strategies.  What we should have learned with the cabinet reshuffles is he tends towards the reckless and unexpected — where nobody is waiting to meet him.  The raw power of unending endurance is consistent with the patronage system, where a change in leadership is more consistent with actual “organizational renewal” — which the ANC is incapable of.

It’s easier to follow patrons than to negotiate systems.  Having fed the demon of tribalism the fodder of patronage, the ANC’s stability has become permanently dependent on its Prime Minister (to the Guptas, or whoever else is buying the country from him).  As August 8 2017 showed, the ANC no longer exists apart from JZ, for he has fashioned that century-old liberation movement into his personal concubinal slave.  “No, the ANC MPs were just letting him finish his term, not allowing a third one — let alone life presidency!” many say.  But how will they draw the line at a third term if they couldn’t say, “Thus far and no further!” on prior scandals?  The unmoved Duduzile Cynthia Myeni is an omen; just as pigs (not French airbuses) will fly before she steps down, Zuma’s likely to stay put.

Two prophetesses warned us: Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo (“Khwezi”) by alleging Showerhead was a rapist, and Unshowered Zille by alleging he facilitates state capture through patronage.  By saying no to them, we (like Zuma’s appointees) said a stinky yes to these last two terms being just the courtship.  Remember Cersei Lannister’s words: “Today?  You’re not going to die today.  You’re not going to die for quite a while.”

It was just the courtship!  We mustn’t be surprised to find ourselves at a KPMG-sponsored wedding kissing our freedoms goodbye.  The oft-married Zuma won’t be.

His name is ambusher, not ambushed Jacob, not Esau; Gedleyihlekisa, not Gedleyinhlekiso; Zuma, not Zunyiwe.  And it will be a long time before anyone gets to shower.

Thank you

Please comment, retweet and follow: @SKhumalo1987

Book coming courtesy of Kwela, one of NB Publisher’s seven imprints.