Just another ANCYL press release

I swear, you can’t make this sort of thing up. But someone does.
This one goes out to all those overseas people who will think that it was me that made it up.

First came this, from ANCYL President Julius Malema at the pre-opening party of the ZAR nightclub in Cape Town:

Helen Zille will not close ZAR at 2am, like she does to other clubs in Cape Town. The ANC owns ZAR and we will party until the morning.

Then came the rebuke from ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe here:

The ANC would like to state categorically that it has no interest in running a nightclub or in endorsing its owners. The ANC is not into nightclubs or partying, it is a revolutionary movement.
We reiterate our condemnation of serving sushi on a woman’s body, as this act is anti-ANC and anti-revolutionary. This act is defamatory, insensitive and undermining of woman’s integrity.

How many other political parties worldwide have had to distance themselves from the practice of running nightclubs and serving raw fish on a woman’s body? They may have back-tracked on tuition fees, but I don’t think the Tories or the LibDems ever have.
Look, to be honest, Saddam Hussein was a pretty nasty bloke if those stories are to be believed, but at no point did his Ba’ath party ever have to tell us that they’d checked their party manual and they weren’t able to condone snacks being eaten from a half-naked model’s belly button.
It’s these sort of things that keep politics interesting in SA.

But it gets better, because then the ANCYL released this re-rebuke and slight retraction in reply to the earlier rebuke from Mantashe.

And it’s this one which for me contains one of the best lines in any press release ever:

We further do not agree with serving of any kind of food on human bodies and have in expressed this sentiment publicly in the past. This should however not undermine and rubbish that successful, young black entrepreneurs are breaking new ground and engaging in efforts that will lead to greater social relations across racial lines.

Brilliant. See how they’ve gone beyond sushi to include any kind of food? See how they’ve gone beyond women to include any kind of human? Sure – they’ll still happily scoff prawn sashimi off the head of a well-trained Jack Russell terrier, but they’re not going to even so much as touch a vol-au-vent that’s been on some bloke’s knee.

Of course, the only issue with that blanket ban on foodstuffs being served on human platters is that apparently, successful, young black entrepreneurs were kind of relying on the whole eating sushi from half-naked (and presumably white) models in order to improve social relations across racial lines.

Now they’re going to have to, y’know, talk to them and stuff – and this without the “you’ve got bits of maki roll on your bikini top, pet” icebreaker. Can’t the elders in the ANC see how this is going to set back social relations across racial lines for years to come?

The party’s stance on the serving of sushi from women’s bodies to successful, young black entrepreneurs and the effect that it may have on greater social relations across racial lines must, must be top priority at the next ANC Conference.

The future of our country depends upon it, Comrade.

Good value?

Much anger this week in South Africa as it emerged that the cost of police protection for ANCYL President Julius Malema for 12 months to October 2010 was R886,668.54 – once again, people are ranting first and then (not) thinking later.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question by Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the VIP protection was provided from October 23 last year to October 11 this year.
Two close protectors at a time were provided, and the cost totalled R886 668,54, he said.

Now, I’m not saying that R886,668.54 isn’t a lot of wonga – it’s equivalent to $128,500 or £80,460 – and that sort of money can do a lot of good in a country like South Africa. But then, it’s not simply the amount of outlay that determines worth: one must also take into account the value which that service provides.

…at which point every angry whitey in the country dives in and tells us it’s worth nothing – you only have to check out some of the comments on that article:

Utter waste. As a taxpayer I am beginning to get more and more upset at the way this government wastes money; perhaps a tax revolt is in order?

Waste of money yes, perhaps not quite as popular as he thinks he is.

etc etc etc…

But let’s stop and think about the moment that some angry Afrikaner (or any other) is finally pushed over the edge by the latest instalment of Julius’ seemingly constant inflammatory chatter, goes to his gun safe, takes out his legally-owned firearm and heads down to the ANCYL roadshow as it passes through his Free State town to show his displeasure in a very public, very final way.

And then let’s consider the consequences of that for this country. Unpretty.

There would be those who would say that Malema has put himself in that position with his style of speech and I wouldn’t disagree. There will be still others who argue that because he puts himself in that position, he should pay for his own protection. I don’t think that’s such a bad idea either.
But because of his public nature and the implications were he offed by unhappy person, I think the government has a responsibility to protect him.
And that responsibility is to the country, not to Mr Malema.

I recognise that this is probably a pretty unpopular viewpoint, but there was the perfect example of this situation in the UK just yesterday with the violence at the student protest in London. Had the police initially come out in force, they would have been criticised for their unnecessary over the top reaction and the consequent “waste of taxpayers’ money”. But now they find themselves in a worse situation: having to explain why they were seemingly unprepared for the apparently unforeseen violence which accompanied the demonstrations – and why they failed to prevent it.

And that was just a few broken windows, not a civil war.

Youth League concerned by creation of fake Twitter accounts in the name of Youth League President Julius Malema

Yes, they are.

And, just in case it disappears like a bloody agent into the night, I have decided to document their concern here:

3 November 2010

The ANC Youth League is concerned by the continuous creation of fake Twitter accounts in the name of ANC Youth League President Julius Malema. There are computer hackers who have created twitter accounts in the name of the President and recurrently posting [sic] misleading messages.

The ANC YL has in [sic] more than one occasion reported these impersonators and hackers, yet no action has been taken against them by the twitter administrators. We will now approach the relevant authorities to report these hackers and call for the closer [sic] of twitter if its administrators are not able to administer reports for violation of basic human rights and integrity.

Those who are hacking systems and impersonating the ANC YL leadership should immediately stop doing so because the laws of this country will come very hard on them [sic].

Issued by the ANC Youth League

Contact Floyd Shivambu, ANC Youth League Spokesperson

And no: no computer hackers have created fake ANCYL press releases – this is for real.

Such is the future of politics in South Africa.

SpeakZA – Bloggers for a Free Press

SpeakZA – Bloggers for a Free Press

Last week, shocking revelations concerning the activities of the ANC Youth League spokesperson Nyiko Floyd Shivambu came to the fore. According to a letter published in various news outlets, a complaint was laid by 19 political journalists with the Secretary General of the ANC, against Shivambu. This complaint letter detailed attempts by Shivambu to leak a dossier to certain journalists, purporting to expose the money laundering practices of Dumisani Lubisi, a journalist at the City Press. The letter also detailed the intimidation that followed when these journalists refused to publish these revelations.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the reprisals against journalists by Shivambu. His actions constitute a blatant attack on media freedom and a grave infringement on Constitutional rights. It is a disturbing step towards dictatorial rule in South Africa. We call on the ANC and the ANC Youth League to distance themselves from the actions of Shivambu. The media have, time and again, been a vital democratic safeguard by exposing the actions of individuals who have abused their positions of power for personal and political gain.

The press have played a vital role in the liberation struggle, operating under difficult and often dangerous conditions to document some of the most crucial moments in the struggle against apartheid. It is therefore distressing to note that certain people within the ruling party are willing to maliciously target journalists by invading their privacy and threatening their colleagues in a bid to silence them in their legitimate work.

We also note the breathtaking hubris displayed by Shivambu and the ANC Youth League President Julius Malema in their response to the letter of complaint. Shivambu and Malema clearly have no respect for the media and the rights afforded to the media by the Constitution of South Africa. Such a response serves only to reinforce the position that the motive for leaking the so-called dossier was not a legitimate concern, but an insolent effort to intimidate and bully a journalist who had exposed embarrassing information about the Youth League President.

We urge the ANC as a whole to reaffirm its commitment to media freedom and other Constitutional rights we enjoy as a country.

Blog Roll



Tomorrow, 6000 miles… will join many other South African blogs taking part in Sipho Hlongwane’s #SpeakZA campaign against the ANC Youth League’s recent attacks on media freedom.

On Thursday March 18, Sipho Hlongwane, a 21-year-old law student from the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, read a piece on the Daily Maverick news site entitled, “Political journalists complain to the boss about ANC Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu.” The piece, you may remember, republished a letter sent by nineteen of the country’s top political journalists to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. The journalists’ complaint was that Shivambu had threatened them when they questioned the authenticity of a dossier he’d attempted to leak. The subject of the dossier? The private life of City Press reporter Dumisani Lubisi, who, you may also remember, was instrumental in exposing Youth League president Julius Malema’s various business interests.

Hlongwane, on reading this and further concerns raised in the letter – for instance, Malema’s public warning that he’d personally “arrest” journalists caught breaking the law (ja, he said it) – realised he was being informed of a worrying new phenomenon.

“For the first time I got a shock,” he remembers. “I realised the lengths to which the ANC Youth League would go. This was the most blatant attack on media freedom I could remember. I thought, ‘What can I do?’ Social media seemed like a good answer.”


Word on the street is that the campaign post may well include the word “hubris”, and if you think that sounds a bit rude, maybe you need to go and look it up. Or you can just pretend you know what it means and giggle about Floyd Shivambu’s (apparently “breathtaking”) hubris, like I did.

UPDATE: Sipho’s thoughts are now up on 6000 miles… and a whole lot of other blogs, too.