TONGUE IN CHEEK
In the Stink African Republic, we might get Carl or Ace in the president’s seat
Coalition politics could find Stink African Republic under the rule of an interesting character after next year’s election. It could be anyone, from Carl Niehaus or Ace Magashule to Prophet Mboro or Shepherd Bushiri.
The reality of coalition politics today means you could wake up one day in the not-so-distant future to find that Carl Niehaus is your new state president. Yes, Carl of the recently formed African Radical Economic Transformation Alliance (Areta).
If you haven’t heard of this new formation that seeks to liberate Africans from economic oppression, then surely you must remember Carl.
This is the guy who, it was reported, claimed that his mother had died when, in fact, she was very much alive.
Reports by the Sunday Times suggested Carl had gone to such lengths as part of a ploy to dribble his way out of a R4.3-million debt accumulated from outstanding rental and damage to expensive furnishings and artwork at two properties in upmarket Joburg suburbs.
Now, imagine if we end up with a guy who can go to such lengths to get himself out of debt as the country’s first citizen. You might switch on your TV one night to be met by president Carl delivering a speech to the United Nations, telling the world that all South Africans are in ICU as a result of a mysterious illness and that the country needs a few billion dollars in aid to save our souls.
By the way, Carl’s old pal Ace Magashule has also established an alleged political party, something called the African Congress for Transformation (ACT). I honestly believe all Africans should be grateful for having such a great bunch of “leaders” who care about us.
Everyone has these great ambitions of liberating us, using our collective name to sell their alleged vision. If it’s not the African National Congress, it’s the African Christian Democratic Party, or the African Congress for Transformation or the African Radical Economic Transformation Alliance…
I, at least, respect the Economic Freedom Fighters because, although the party declares to be fighting for economic freedom, it has never claimed to be representing all Africans like the rest have done.
It’s still not clear if Bushiri made his way past the borders disguised as a packet of illicit cigarettes or an AK-47. Still, he beat Bheki Cele’s men and is safely back home in Malawi.
Now we have an election looming on the horizon sometime in the new year. It’s going to be a battle of African Congresses and Alliances and Parties. And with new electoral laws allowing for independent candidates to stand for election, who knows – we might end up with an independent as president.
It’s a somewhat scary thought to think that even a character like the self-proclaimed pastor and miracle man Prophet Mboro, were he to decide to stand for election, could find himself occupying the hot seat in the Union Buildings.
It’s not that far-fetched, given South African citizens’ love affair with miracle men.
Remember Shepherd Bushiri, who used his powers to escape South Africa’s tight security and fled back to his home village in Malawi a few years ago? It’s still not clear if Bushiri made his way past the borders disguised as a packet of illicit cigarettes or an AK-47. Still, he beat Bheki Cele’s men and is safely back home in Malawi.
The reality of coalition politics, though driven by spineless politicians’ endless thirst for power and money, could well result in Carl and Ace as president and deputy president, or vice versa, next year.
If you can’t stomach this thought, you only have to look at what befell the citizens of the alleged world-class City of Joburg a few months ago. They woke up to find they had a new mayor in the form of a virtually unknown political novice from an equally untested, untried and unknown party.
To make matters worse, when the newly elected mayor stepped up to deliver his inaugural address to a packed council chamber, he turned out like a highly dispirited social grant recipient coming to express displeasure at not receiving his grant on time.
No offence to the chap, but he ain’t got style, man. No character, no charisma, no charm. There’s just nothing mayoral about him. It even seems he might collapse under the weight of the 5kg mayoral chain.
Well, it is what it is. I guess that’s the price we all have to pay for handing over too much power to politicians. They literally make decisions about every aspect of our lives these days.
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In Tshwane they have even decided that, no, the streets look better with piles of rubbish on them, replacing the once-renowned jacaranda trees that made the city the darling of flora enthusiasts from all over the world. Even the citizens of the city were so much in love with their jacarandas that after one particular newspaper reported that the City had decided to do away with the trees, there was an uproar, with the citizens threatening to force a full-grown jacaranda down the mayor’s throat.
But sanity prevailed when it turned out the whole thing had been the result of some fantastic psychological prank, an April Fool’s joke by the okes at Pretoria News. It would make perfect sense now, though, if someone were to suggest residents force the piles of rubbish down the throats of those overfed Tshwane politicians.
Hey, that city stinks like the mouths of some sloganeering politicians these days. And before we know it, this whole country could become one big stinking republic. What with municipalities all over failing to deliver basic services such as refuse collection, and sewerage and water treatment, among others, it’s a Stink African Republic. Not so stylish, maaaan… DM
Mr Styles is the former president of the Organisation for Stylish People of South Africa (Osposa). He is against anything and anyone unstylish.
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.