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Politics Can Be Fun

Coen van Wyk

Posted on May 3, 2019 08:12

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The South African 2019 elections are scheduled for next week, 25 years after the advent of inclusive democracy. The electoral rhetoric is, as usual, quite passionate. So here’s a lighter look at the situation. Yes, I know, this is a hoary old joke, but just for the gentle reader I re-treaded and upgraded it. And I am sure you would have a version for your own political situation. If not let me know, I will make up one!

It’s a strange election. The ANC, like its ally the SA Communist party, is wracked by internal dissent and even murder, fighting these battles while contesting the opposition. The President, Cyril Ramaphosa, is seen as a reformer. He is trying to wrest control of the party from followers of the previous President, Jacob Zuma, who hopes to stage a comeback and prevent further investigation of corruption during his administration. The major opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, seems unable to decide on their identity, policy and leadership. And the other populist opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, revels in conspiracy theories, hankering back to the days of the struggle (when most of them were children). Claims that the EFF leadership benefited from corruption in a major bank at the expense of pensioners and widows are poo-poohed, as the amounts were small, only a million dollars or so.

President Ramaphosa with his Ankole cattle. Photo IOL/Daniel Naudé


Now, President Ramaphosa owns several ranches, and prides himself on his herd of Ankole long horn cattle. Likewise the Commander in Chief of the EFF, Julius Malema, claims to be a ‘son of the soil’ and vaunts his deep farming roots.

Farming is in the blood. Photo EFF


So the story goes that Julius Malema arrives on a farm of an influential farmer early one morning. Despite the EFF’s proposed policy of nationalising farmland, Mr. Malema greets the old man enthusiastically, and starts explaining his farming policies. The old man holds up a hand and says: “Sorry, son, I can’t talk now, I have to get the cows milked. But I hear you claim to be a farm boy. See the cows in the shed there? Why don’t you show me how good you are at milking, and maybe I’ll vote for you. Start at the left.”

Mr Malema looks at his followers and scratches his head, but his branch organiser whispers: “He is very influential, sir. If you convince him it will mean many votes for us.”

Commander in Chief Julius Malema. Poster EFF


Malema settles on a stool with a bucket between his Cardin-clad knees and tries to remember how this is done. Then he asks: “President Ramaphosa has not been here yet?”

The old farmer points to the right of the shed and says: “Yes, he’s on his second cow now.”

Coen van Wyk

Posted on May 3, 2019 08:12

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Source: Al Jazeera

South Africa’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has launched its manifesto ahead of elections due to...

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