Maverick Life


Lindiwe Sisulu is the spiritual leader South Africa needs

Lindiwe Sisulu is the spiritual leader South Africa needs
Image composite: Maverick Life. Original photo: Lindiwe Sisulu during the launch of the John Dube Village housing project in Duduza on October 10, 2017 in Ekurhuleni, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thulani Mbele)

All hail South Africa’s RET Kween!!

Dearest Most Honourable Minister Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu,

I trust this email finds you decolonised.

Please do excuse my timing; I have no doubt it’s been a busy week for you since your opinion piece was published on 7 January, from the home of the #Tembisa10, IOL. I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to put your many many, oh so many, thoughts down for us to read. That you had so many thoughts so early in the year is nothing short of inspirational. Your words were a spiritual revelation for me.

However, I must confess that at first, I almost missed said spiritual revelation. I had heard around the office that you were into something called RET, and after reading the opening paragraph of your opinion piece, challenging the validity of the very laws of our country, I suspected that this RET might be some sort of illicit substance.

“Apartheid was ‘legal’. Jim Crow laws in the United States were ‘legal’. Colonialism was ‘legal’. Even the Nazis were ‘legal’. So, what does it mean to have the rule of law? And whose law is it anyway?” you wrote. Later, in the final paragraph, you drove your point home, as you asked: “We have a neo-liberal constitution with foreign inspiration, but who are the interpreters? And where is the African value system of this constitution and the rule of law? If the law does not work for Africans in Africa, then what is the use of the rule of law?”

RET is one helluva drug, I thought, and I want to try it at least twice. Still, I was baffled by your words and I found myself asking out loud: “What in the Julius Malema circular reasoning am I reading? Has this person not been a minister sworn to uphold the law since 1994? Has she not held a ministerial post every year for the past 27 years? What kind of plot twist is this? This really must be the season finale of the South Africa show”.

But slowly, as I continued reading your word-thingamajig-compilation, I began to realise my mistake, that RET was no mere street drug, but rather a spiritual path. The epiphany came to me as I read the more confessional parts of your letter, as you seemingly came clean about what life has been like for you and your class over the past 27 years, writing: “What we have instead witnessed under a supreme constitution and the rule of law since 1994 has been the co-option and invitation of political power brokers to the dinner table, whose job is to keep the masses quiet in their sufferance while they dine caviar with colonised capital (CC). After dinner, many things take place under the table and around the table. Some call it stomach politics. The politicians take care of themselves and their families while those who put them there go to bed hungry, waiting for crumbs from the table.” I wept. And a couple of paragraphs later, I could imagine the tears of mascara rolling down your ministerial face as you sat in a Carrie Bradshaw pose and typed: “What happened to us?”

Once I had accepted that, indeed, I was reading the enlightened words of a fellow spiritual traveller, rather than the words of a pampered member on an incompetent governing class riding on the coattails of their parents’ good name and snorting too many lines of RET, your words grew in my estimation and in their sagacity.

This line in particular spoke to me, healed me: “The most dangerous African today is the mentally colonised African. And when you put them in leadership positions or as interpreters of the law, they are worse than your oppressor. They have no African or Pan African inspired ideological grounding. Some are confused by foreign belief systems.”

I felt this Sis, I felt it deep in me like a lost condom. You nailed it and you’ve given me such great inspo for my New Year’s Resolution. I typically don’t like setting myself up for failure by participating in practices rooted in foreign belief systems, such as making New Year’s Resolutions, but I am currently on holiday in the rural Eastern Cape and I’ve run out of my Decoloniserex® pill prescription and the nearest pharmacy which is an hour away has no stock. So my mental situation is feeling a touch colonised. I’m not sure if you’ve been to these parts but the infrastructure here is a bit of a mess, probably because our government’s only had 27 years to do something about it. Ag shame, poor things.

Anyway, about my New Year’s Resolution; I’ve been feeling lost of late, and in desperate need of spiritual decolonisation. I still meditate regularly; I continue to practice numerology; my collection of crystals continues to grow; I keep an open heart and remain acquainted even with misguided old friends who’ve chosen to move to Noordhoek, Kommetjie or Scarborough.  Yet, even as spiritually superior to most as I know myself to be, I find myself overwhelmed by a feeling of spiritual homelessness, a spiritual bergie as it were. But as I read your various musings, my chakras were progressively decolonised and I came to realise that the Church of RET had indeed transformed you into a being of exceptional spiritual enlightenment. I want this for myself in 2022. I want a conversion as Damascene as yours. Lead me to the enlightened path of the RET.

As one who doesn’t keep up with the news, up until I read your piece I still viewed you through the lens of that awkward 2007 drama, when you were Minister of Housing, and you had a bit of an apartheid-y moment where you wanted to forcibly remove some 6,000 residents from Joe Slovo informal settlement in Cape Town. I believe it was reported that you wanted to move them even further away from the city centre, which was being refurbished and gentrified for the 2010 Soccer World Cup at the time, all the way out to infamously dangerous Delft township, so you could build 1,000 houses for people you said “were higher up on the housing list”. I remember the reports of how they blocked the N2 and protested outside parliament and demanded that you at least come meet and consult with them and hear their ideas about the “land”.

Back then you refused to hear these landless Africans out, you accused them of being “unwilling to accept that communities of the future would cut across race and class.” And in Parliament, you said that “If they choose not to cooperate with government, they will be completely removed from all housing waiting lists.”

And now look at you, a champion of the masses! A RET Kween! Honestly, at first, I was surprised when I read your 2022 thoughts on land and property ownership: “When it comes to crucial economic issues and property matters, the same African cosies up with their elitist colleagues to sing from the same hymn book, spouting the Roman-Dutch law of property. But where is the indigenous law? It has been reduced to a footnote in your law schools. Where are the African value systems and customs of land, wealth, and property?”

At first, I thought your fresh new outlook on land and property might be a side-effect of the vaccine, but eventually, it became clear that I was witnessing a true RET miracle. Give me that RETex® or whatever it is they feed you for communion at the Church of RET, my mentally colonised brain is in desperate need!

I’m a huge proponent of alternative ways of knowing, and the path of the RET and perpetual discourse about colonialism is obviously one to follow. It is the only spiritual path that makes sense for a country such as ours. Personally, I don’t think it would be good for the nation’s perception of well-being for us to view ourselves as a post-colonial failed state, a failed African state whose leaders are corrupt, and whose voters are daredevils. 

Through the Church of RET, and by following the Path of the RET, we can realise that the real problem is not just corruption, crime, greed, incompetence and spectacular failure to lead. But rather as you say in different parts of your ‘Greatest Discourse Hits’ compilation: a poorly conceived constitution, Roman-Dutchy laws, “black politicians [who] have become black assets for colonised capital.”, “mentally colonised African[s]”, “House Negroes”.

I thank you my RET Kween. I now realise that the path of the RET tells us to ‘look over there’ as a caring gesture, for the sake of our spiritual and mental well-being. That sure beats taking a long look at the material truth of our country, our present-day reality, and the pampered ministers who’ve been in power for all 27 years of a progressive march towards abject failure and broken promises.

Yours in #RETlife



Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Terry Pearse says:

    Many thanks for that Malibongwe – these refreshing appraisals are a much-needed tonic.

    • Kenneth Jeenes Jeenes says:

      Excellent as usual Malibongwe!
      Ps. Noordhoek is a lovely time place to live, thankfully and seemingly, still free of the Church of RET 😀

  • Joe Soap says:

    Great article Malibongwe, thank you. Are you ready for the reply, my guess is it will start something like ‘I don’t usually respond to this sort of thing, but …’. It is also what RET spiritualism brings on, flexibility in one’s own mind.

    We have heard it many times before. ‘I am looking forward to my day in court to clear my name’ and then years of appeals, even trying to appeal a ConCourt judgement in the high court. ‘I am not scared of jail’ and then a reused sick note.

  • Peter Tuffin says:

    What can I say? Absolutely brilliant. I wish we ANC voters could all get that RET drug. Oh, wait…

  • David Bristow says:

    Wahahahahaha! After Housing she went on to worse things as Min of Water and Sanitation, really made a shit-show of that one.

  • John Traas says:

    Give that man a decolonised Bell’s!!

  • Warren Banks says:

    Marvellously vicious. The image of ‘snorting lines of RET’ will live with me for a long time. Thanks for brightening my morning!

  • Hiram C Potts says:

    Great article to start the day with Malibongwe, made me chuckle. Thank you.

  • Alan Paterson says:

    Be careful Malibongwe, the Lady is already consulting her lawyer(s) and guess who that lawyer will be. He will give you the proberbial “snotklap” by telling you to shut up in no uncertain terms. Be afraid, be very afraid!

  • Just Me says:

    the ANC, were it is all about Party First, RET above all else, and the true transformation model is economic wealth for the few (RET or other factions) and misery for the many and where we will use your ignorance for voting fodder.

    Lindiwe Sisulu is no more spiritual leader South Africa needs than Cornel Ghaddafi was Africa’s King.

    Our democracy needs to change to quickly weed out African tribalism, ANC cadre deployment, ANC looting, ANC mismanagement, ANC dynasties and the ANC itself.

  • Miles Japhet says:

    Please remind Sisulu that her forefathers also “stole” the land from the San and the Khoi – and no they didn’t say “that’s fine you are a black African” !!
    No supposed moral high ground here. Simply an attempt to adopt a populist stance in order to make a run for the Presidency. Law abiding South Africans will prevent her and her kind from destroying our country further.

    • John Gosling says:

      Whoa…Miles! You spiked a much neglected hot potato there – never mentioned, ever, as far as my memory stretches. This factoid is conveniently “cancelled” from all discourse about land. The Khoi/San – which Khoi/San again?

  • Quinton van Eeden says:

    brilliant 🙂

  • Gerrie Pretorius Pretorius says:

    Well said!

  • Lorinda Winter says:

    Brilliant. Thank you.

  • Jimbo Smith says:

    Brilliant article! It highlights the true state of SA when you one of these so called “Ministers of whatever” shooting the breeze with unadulterated crap and again, ZERO CONSEQUENCE. Frogboiler will simply follow the script…DO NOTHING, SAY NOTHING.

  • Chris Reed says:

    Amazing article. Thank you Malibongwe.
    Although obviously satirical, it does put the whole thing in perspective.

  • divin43 says:

    “I felt this Sis, I felt it deep in me like a lost condom”.
    Great satirical article. Now I can relax and enjoy my day

  • Thinker and Doer says:

    Thank you very much for this scathing rebuke to the RET crowd! I particularly found pertinent your reference to deteriorating conditions in the rural Eastern Cape, which we have just returned from. Each time we visit family there, the roads and other infrastructure have deteriorated further, with the exception of a brief flurry of activity to repair a small stretch of road just before the local government elections. Trying shift the blame for the devastation created by corruption and maladministration onto the Constitution and the judiciary is really beyond the pale.

    • John Gosling says:

      Though you have to admit, JB, a clever pivot…many will fall for her ploy.

      • Glyn Morgan says:

        Only those who WANT to fall for her ploy WILL fall for her ploy! Ordinary thinking people will not. It will put them off from the anc.

      • Thinker and Doer says:

        Yes indeed, it does seem that there are a number of people who seem to buy her arguments that the Constitition is a foreign construct, and the legal system as a whole. She seems to know the particular constituency she is seeking to reach, and tailoring her message carefully to reach them!

  • Rob Lovemore says:

    Bravo Mali. Don’t worry about sending me any RET, we have plenty here in KZN

  • brian.dke says:

    Hehe. Wonderful stuff. More please.

  • Marianne McKay says:

    RET Kweef, more like.

    Thanks Malibongwe. Cheered up my morning no end.

  • Allauddin Thobani Thobani says:

    Lindiwe Sisulu has as advisor Ms Susan Shabangu paid by the Government and partners like Watsons and other gang of Eastern Cape

  • Michiel Heyns says:

    Absolutely brilliant. I loved it — and then the terrible thought struck me that it’s based on a reality that shrugs off brilliance, indeed any evidence of cerebral activity. And then I read it again, just to cheer me up. As they say, our country sure produces good satire. As they also used to say on LM Radio, out of the blackest mud grows the whitest lily. Or have I got my black and white mixed up here? Oh hell, nothing is the same any more. Anyway, all hail Malibongwe.

  • Barbara Mommen says:

    Still don’t understand why sarcasm is regarded as the lowest form of wit. Brilliant stuff Malibongwe Tyilo! Need me some of that RETex® so that I can become properly decolonised.

  • Johannes Nel says:


    • Elroy Parkinson says:

      Why do you DM writers ALWAYS bash the DA so relentlessly in EVERY satire piece and never say anything about … Oh wait. Never mind.

      • Glyn Morgan says:

        Elroy Parkinson – Maybe they have finally realised that when the anc goes, something must take it’s place. The DA is the only option.

  • Jeannine Ibbotson Ibbotson says:

    Brilliant , no more can be said

  • DONALD MOORE says:

    Ok I now know that hair straightening is part of traditional African culture. Lindiwe’s hair is proof positive of this. And bright red lipstick too. All Ret people should drive the same (decolonised African) motor car(s?) that Lindiwe does too.

  • Theart Korsten says:

    Malibongwe Brilliant piece. I get the feeling she has started her campaign for President of the ANC early. Underlying EFF vibes I’m getting from her. Tumpian even. Start the negative narrative and let the people gather behind her. Mmmm. And from a position of privilege, failure and her own personal ins into the ANC arisoctacy! Looking forward to your next piece. A luta continua.

  • Peter Dexter says:

    Brilliant! I wonder if she will “get it?”

  • Cliff McCormick says:

    Excellent. What a wonderful way with words.

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    Loved that! Laughter is the best reality check!

  • Frans Ferreira says:

    Thanks Malibongwe for your opinion just wonder if the Minister and the IOL guys will understand that they must change the brand they smoke at present. In afrikaans : “Julle maak julle naam gat”

  • Johann Eybers says:

    Spot-on. Maybe the poor little rich girl will get it, or not?

  • John Gosling says:

    Beyond brilliant, Malibongwe! I almost choked on my coffee several times! Neither she nor her RET sect will get it – they will scoff and assign you to the scrap heap of brainwashed colonialists while hoisting their RET banner on high (Carl Niehaus can hold up one side, if he is able…with Ace holding the other side – though that may be infra dig…) while she is paraded in a beautiful expensive limo wearing her crown, singing Nkosi sikilele iRET!

  • Rg Bolleurs says:

    Gee, brilliant. It would be far more funny if it weren’t so true

  • Gerrit Marais says:

    When LS stops using the language and written word introduced by colonists, I may just begin to take her seriously.

  • Kanu Sukha says:

    Not only is she the ‘spiritual’ leader this country needs … she has firmly cemented her role as comedian -in-chief of the country … just ask Chester Missing, who is applying for a disability grant … now he had become unemployed !

  • Sam Shu says:

    😂. “Let them eat cake – Lindiwe”

  • Tanneke Bosma says:

    Malibongwe. you are a virtuoso ! Your first line already had me laughing. And then laughing right to the end. Brilliant !

  • Michael Forsyth says:

    “ I felt this Sis, I felt it deep in me like a lost condom.” Just brilliant.

  • Yagyanand Maharaj says:

    Brilliant piece! So far the support for the “Kween” has come from EFF, Manyi and Zumas Daughter; the company she keeps says it all. Somewhere I read that it could be IOL promoting the RET champion. Sounds very likely…..

  • Marisa Honey says:

    This is hysterically funny. Have not had so much fun reading something in quite a while. THANKS.

  • Solly Moeng says:

    I absolutely loved this!

  • Helga Puttick says:

    Mr Tyilo is absolutely brilliant, incisive and hilarious. Thank you for sharing your wit with us ordinary folk xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Smudger Smiff says:

    Malibongwe, your very fine appreciation of LS is much appreciated.
    Marvellous to see you supporting her cause.
    Thank you.

  • Peter Doble says:

    You, Sir are a satirical genius – in decolonised second language sort of way, of course. If only the cretins entrusted with the total decay of a fine country had one iota of your intrinsic insight then just perhaps we might not be faced with the curtains of doom. Instead we are confronted with floating s*** and used condoms.

  • Memphis Belle says:

    RET sounds a most wonderful drug. Where can I get it? Does it come with free shots for corruption, lying and stealing?

  • jairo.arrow says:

    Remedy against african colonised mind and negrohousemindedness available at your nearest RET spazashop. Contact Princess LS.

  • Bryan Macpherson says:

    Have you considered that the article attributed to Ms Sisulu’s is actually her audition to take over from Pieter Dirk Uys?
    She would make a wonderful, de-colonised, Evita Bezuidenhout.

  • Jennifer Hughes says:


    • Hanlie Louw says:

      What a great reply, thanks.
      Minister Sisulu conveniently forgets that Mr Zuma and his Gupta Masters also stole from Africans.
      Its not land that people need , but opportunities- ask the million Zimbabweans in SA.
      If land was the solution , Africa would be one of the richest continents in the world, and her children wouldn’t be taking perilous journeys to Europe in search of hope.
      Dishing out land is the last ditch attempt despotic leaders grasp at when they realize they have nothing more to offer – especially when they have squandered the nations opportunities .

    • Elsje Eastaugh says:

      Malibongwe, well done on finding a way to be funny regarding our fraught politics. Packs as much of a punch as Judge Zondo’s reprimand. I hope she reads it (but I don’t think she will).

  • Brian Chamberlain says:

    Lindiwe Sisulu bemoans the loss of African value systems. If we bring those values back, she would not be a cabinet minister, she would be in the kitchen cooking dinner. Is that what she wants? Our constitution was devised to extract the best values from all systems, wherever they came from.

  • Ian Callender-Easby says:

    Love this man’s mind – satire extraordinaire! Consistently.

  • waleed abrahams says:

    Hilarious but sadly, the truth. I often regret my lost student years of 1986- 1988. Did we really give up our youth for these RET peddling mavericks? Where are those voices now? Have we constructed so many ivory towers that they permanently block the reality? How long before the people rise again?

  • Malcolm Mitchell says:

    Brilliant, but my only concern is that it is read by rational thinking people in the main, the Maverick readers. Is there a possibility of the “article” being being distributed more widely amongst the irrational and easily influenced people in our country. As an example, I heard a person talking on the SABC radio this morning who bemoaned the fact that in KZN “blacks (as he put it) do not own any land for food production”. The obviously biased presenter made no attempt to correct him. The real facts which can easily be obtained on “google” are that people he calls blacks own 73% of the arable land in KZN and also that 40% of all land in KZN is owned by the Zulu King, administered by the Ingonyama Trust.
    With people like this we will never achieve a ‘united nation’.

  • Bruce Reid says:

    Excellent ‘Satirically Speaking’ article, Satire just has the ability to give the reader a more balanced view, rather than pure anger! A lighthearted view of dangerous mind games being portrayed by a long-standing government minister!
    I had a few chuckles, however the article left me angered at how this politician is doing nothing more than attempting to legitimize herself with the belief that her ‘loyal’ subjects will suck it up, based on her family name and political career! Thank you Malibongwe Tyilo, I thoroughly enjoyed the article.

  • Miles Japhet says:

    Said like it should be

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