Protest

Bit of a weird one, this. Weird because I’m writing something about a very fluid situation and I’m writing it four days ago*. So it might not make any sense by the time you read it. Hell, it might not make any sense by the time I’ve written it. I’m struggling already and we’re only 50-odd words in.

Today is supposed to be a day of national protest in South Africa. Well, as I’m writing this (four days ago), it is. It’s also a normal day of work (except it obviously won’t be) and right now no-one seems to know what to expect, save maybe for the Presidency and chums ignoring whatever protests do occur.

The thing is, South Africa is such a diverse and divided nation that any coherent mass protest action is terribly difficult to organise. While individual political parties and organisations can raise their own demos, no-one has really managed to successfully mobilise across all racial, political and social classes. And that’s why JZ and friends have happily got away with it all so far. It’s also why things need to change if today’s action is to have any effect.

Look, there’s enough support for the protest, but it’s completely fragmented. Already, as I am writing this (four days ago, remember) people – supposedly on the ‘same side’ – are questioning the basis for people’s anger, arguing and fighting about the legitimacy of some protesters with superb logic like: “if you didn’t protest against (a) then you can’t protest against (b)”. Because obviously there are rules for being allowed to express your viewpoint on any given subject.

It’s a phat, public mess and Zuma must be loving every minute of it.

Obviously, people need to look past their individual grievances and try to find common ground if this is to have any chance of working. And I do recognise that that is much easier to say than to do.

I believe that there are many reasons for getting rid of this rotten, corrupt regime. Whatever yours is, today is a day – even more than any other – when you need to recognise and respect that others may have their own reasons too.

 

* All will become clear on this bit tomorrow. 

Those SONA protests & road closures

That time of year again when hits can be garnered from repeating helpful information that people should have got from elsewhere, but didn’t. This year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) is on Thursday, but the rehearsals begin this evening, disrupting your drive home and reminding you of the pomp our President so richly deserves.

Basically, anything around Parliament is going to be closed from 5pm each evening, while roads around JZ’s Cape Town place in Newlands will be shut only on Thursday evening. Here’s a helpful link to a helpful PDF with all the details:

Helpful PDF

BUT! In addition to the official SONA thing, there are three – count them and weep – THREE separate protest marches on Thursday too! And they start early:

sonademos

First off is the DA, starting at Gardens Centre Woolies Mill Street at 9am. Then Ses’Khona (minus currently jailed poo-flinger Andile Lili) from Kaizersgracht at 10.
Later (1pm) is the #ZMF movement, heading from Greenmarket Square down to the Grand Parade.
For the record, the #ZumaMustFall group has applied for 5000 marchers, Ses’Khona has applied for 1500 marchers, and the DA has applied for 500.

Look, the smart thing to do is to avoid the CBD altogether on Thursday. But if you really can’t, then plan carefully and pack adequate supplies for a night in your car.

Coincidence?

DA leader Mmusi Maimane makes “a keynote speech” on Race and Identity in his party and in South Africa, and suddenly Twitter is “mysteriously” unavailable?

Fullscreen capture 2016-01-19 102748 AM.bmp

Could it be that the ANC have blocked access so that no-one was able to hear or engage with this landmark address?

Fullscreen capture 2016-01-19 103820 AM.bmp

Probably not, to be honest.

UPDATE: Still, the fact that this was a worldwide outage hasn’t stopped some people (namely Mmusi’s wife) from thinking the worst:

Do you really think they’re that bothered? Really?
Eish. Bit of a stretch.

But… How…?

As I write, the results from yesterday’s national and provincial elections are beginning to come through. “It’s early days”, as every TV and radio commentator has been repeatedly telling us, but at the present time, it’s all “as you were”, with the ANC comfortably holding the country and Gauteng, and the DA strengthening its position in the Western Cape.
No surprises with those first two, but frankly, I’m left utterly bewildered by the ANC’s disappointing showing locally. Not because their record on service delivery elsewhere is particularly good (it’s not) or because the stats show that the DA isn’t doing a relatively good job of running the Western Cape (they are), but because the DA never released anything quite like this ANC election ad:

Yes. Quite.

I know what you’re thinking: that Marius Fransman, right? Crappy politician, but brilliantly awkward dancer.

Suddenly, it’s no wonder he ignored all logic and reason when casting his vote yesterday:

“I can safely say now, we will, in this election, be trashing the Democratic Alliance in the rural communities… we will push up our vote in the black communities, and you’re going to have a big split vote in the coloured community… with that, we will definitely take the Western Cape this time around.”

HE KNEW ABOUT THIS VIDEO!!!!!1!

Marius, much like you are now, (assuming you made it through the entire thing unscathed) (which is unlikely), is completely flabbergasted that the ANC hasn’t swept to power in the Cape solely on the back of this astonishing musical performance. Indeed, the issue seems to be only that the ANC didn’t get enough people to see this video ahead of voting day. Because surely if they had done, we’d all be voting ANC. Even if we weren’t actually allowed to vote. Even if there wasn’t an election.
Yep, I’ve seen that video and now I want to go and vote ANC in the Western Cape, all day, every day. For year after confusing year, I’ve been wondering why I was here; why any of us are here. What is the purpose of life?

Well, having seen that video, now I know: it’s to vote ANC in the Western Cape.
Resistance is futile. Especially once you hear that cheeky little Orkees nod to Afrikaner culture at 3:11.

Mmm. Inclusive…

Helen Zille’s plans for DA rule in 2019 will now simply have become a pipe dream. Once this goes viral (which it surely will after being featured here), it’s Game Over for the DA. And for everyone else, too. EFF off. ACDP hee hee.
In fact, if this four and quarter minute euphonious extravaganza gets viewed beyond the borders of South Africa, I’d not be surprised to see the ANC achieving world domination within the next few weeks. It really is that good.

Vote ANC in the Western Cape!
Because if you don’t, they’re going to give us more kak like this next time…

Meanwhile, running our country…

Gotta love politicians, right? Right.

ANC MPs John Jeffrey and Buti Manamela are in trouble for comments they made regarding DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko.

During a parliamentary budget vote on Wednesday, Jeffrey said: “While the honourable Mazibuko may be a person of substantial weight, her stature is questionable”.

While Manamela used her attire as an example of how everything – EVERYTHING – is blamed on Jacob Zuma:

Manamela’s comment was a reference to Mazibuko’s dress sense, saying that if she was arrested by the fashion police, the DA would blame President Jacob Zuma.

Cue complaints to the ANC Chief Whip and Jeffery withdrawing and apologising for his remark.

Also cue the SACP issuing this statement, featuring more comedy gold:

 The SACP contends there is nothing inherently sexist in the example made by Cde Manamela in parliament when he sought to explain how opportunistically the opposition blamed the President for things he didn’t have control of and indeed it is true that the President doesn’t choose Lindiwe Mazibuko’s clothes. This has nothing to do with being a man or a woman but with the fact that Lindiwe Mazibuko leads the opposition in parliament, an opposition that has resorted to a blame game.

Well, ok. So maybe the remark was misinterpreted. They weren’t being nasty about Lindiwe at all.
But then it continues:

Lindiwe Mazibuko is nothing else but a disrespectful kid who has used every single parliamentary debate to treat the President with disrespect and with a condescending attitude. Her level of disrespect has reached completely unacceptable levels. Cde Zuma besides being president is an elderly citizen and struggle hero who deserves to be treated with respect especially by young ones like Lindiwe.

Oops.

Never mind. Just thank goodness these people aren’t in positions of authority and responsibility. Oh… wait…

But here come the ANC Women’s League, taking time away from praying for Madiba’s health with a very sensible statement on the whole matter:

We commend Jeffrey for acknowledging that his comments may have been misunderstood and for apologising. Parliament is no place for tit-for-tat games.

But then ruining it with:

the DA did it first and has not yet apologised: DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was yet to apologise for reportedly calling ANC MPL Zodwa Magwaza an elephant, neither had Theuns Botha, who likened Lynne Brown to a hippopotamus.

Zille’s was clever, referring to Magwaza as “the elephant in the room”, so actually technically not a direct insult and probably legit. Botha calling Lynne Brown a hippopotamus was slightly less defensible.

The playground will be open again after the long weekend.