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Madly in love — Valentine’s hugs and kisses from the hearts of kleptocrats to you, lovely fools

Madly in love — Valentine’s hugs and kisses from the hearts of kleptocrats to you, lovely fools
Illustrative image | EFF leader Julius Malema | Russian President Vladimir Putin | Former South African president Jacob Zuma (Photos: EPA-EFE / Kim Ludbrook | EPA-EFE / Valery Sharifulin / Kremlin / Pool | EPA-EFE / Phil Magakoe)

Who says it’s all about romance? This year, Cupid’s little arrow will be fired from the bows of dictators, despots and the desperate, who will hope it strikes their intended target and gives them much love in return.

Valentine’s Day is not just about the expression of love between romantic partners, or aspirant romantic partners. No. It can also be of relevance to all other kinds of love and romance: public, political, economic and so forth.

To give you a sense of how broad a church Valentine’s Day can be, and to encourage you to express your love right across the full spectrum, here are some Valentine’s Day cards we believe should be sent.

ANC to the People of SA

Oh, you the people, we love you so much! Well, we love the masses the most, but we can squeeze out another droplet or two of love for the various mafias that really run South Africa.

In fact, as a party that identifies itself with the masses (that is, anyone earning under R10,000 a month), and regards itself as the sole legitimate voice of the masses of South Africa, we should perhaps be sending this Valentine’s Day card to ourselves.

We haven’t built enough houses for those still living in shacks and holes in the ground, and we haven’t halted the decline of the education system or taught our cops to do much except take bribes and “cooldrink money” from members of the public, but please be assured – we love you.

There’s an election coming up about two to three months after Valentine’s Day, so that love we have for the masses, and for ourselves, is now supercharged.

We, along with our allies in the SACP (if there are any members left) and Cosatu, will be crisscrossing the country, and possibly getting in each other’s way, but we will be doing it in the name of our great love for the masses, sorry, All the People, of this glorious nation of ours.

We will express our undying love of your unthinking, blind support for the Glorious Party of Liberation™ throughout this campaign, and we will continue to loot and fail to fix infrastructure problems in the name of the People of South Africa, whom we of course love nearly as much as we love ourselves.

Please reciprocate by voting us back into power so we can hang on to our big salaries, luxury cars and blue-light brigades. Thank you. Kisses!

Julius Malema to Money

Hi, Money, this is Juju signing this card, which expresses in ridiculously florid language my undying love for you, Money, in all your forms.

I love you when you come to me in the form of EFF members’ subscription fees. I love you when you come to me from VBS, trailing clouds of rip-off, as the municipalities that invested in the bank suffer and ordinary people lose their life’s savings.

In fact, I love you even more if you come to me in this way, because it demonstrates that, despite themselves, the ordinary people of South Africa really love me – they just can’t help themselves!

They’re willing to give up so much to feather my nest, and that makes me feel really really good inside. I don’t really have much inside, except the Pulsating Void of Ego, but I assure you that your hard-earned money is not wasted if it makes its way from your bank account to mine.

I have a lovely big house in the plush formerly whites-only northern suburbs of Johannesburg, which is a triumph for egalitarianism in itself, and I’ve been able to give houses as gifts to various relatives; if you add in the garnishees from the parliamentary salaries of EFF MPs, I feel I have really risen to the plutocratic position for which nature intended me!

Remember, I am a child of the ANC, so I didn’t struggle to be poor. Some may say I am in love only with power, but you have to realise that power, apart from the passing pleasures it provides, is the one secure route to a lot of money in the South Africa of today.

When we’re in coalition with the ANC after the next general election, you will see how much the EFF, although it’s my personal plaything, is able to express our love for the People of South Africa, if, of course, they show some love for the EFF by giving us more than 10% of the vote so we can be kingmakers – and kings!

Kings get a lot of money, right?

ANC-in-government to Vlad Putin

Dear Vlad, you are so wonderful. This is just a brief note, inserted in this beautiful blood-red card, to say that officially the ANC-in-government adores you.

Well, we have to, don’t we? You’re the only one who can cure our former presidents and former deputy presidents when they’ve been poisoned, so you clearly have magical powers. For that, we are eternally grateful.

We have shown our love by embarking on a fake “peace mission” that was really intended to plead that you would loosen up your blockade on Ukraine and let Africa get some grain. Okay, that mission failed, but we hope that if we keep telling you we love you, you will let some grain through, or redirect the grain you’ve stolen from Ukraine.

We hope that the people of Russia, with whom we feel such brotherly and sisterly and non-gender-specific solidarity, won’t need it badly as your economy tanks and you kill off or scare away so many people who are actually capable of doing a day’s work. 

Oh, and we love you too for getting your oligarch Whatisnamesky involved in our mineral extraction business, thereby funnelling a whole lot of Russian cash into the coffers of the Glorious Party of Liberation™ in South Africa. We feel a great deal better now that we can actually pay the people who work at our party headquarters.

This is particularly important as we head into a general election, because we had many a long month when there was nobody at HQ to answer the phone. Okay, it was mostly creditors calling, but still. Now we can hold our heads up high in the knowledge that it will be at least six months before we hit the financial wall again.

Thanks, Vlad, we love you!

Jacob Zuma to the People of KZN

Oh, my people, my people, how much I love you. You are members of the great Zulu nation, which conquered a swath of this country in King Shaka’s day, and we all hope we will soon be able to do so again.

I love you so much that I started a new party. No need to bother the ANC any more with your votes, though I am still a loyal member of the Glorious Party of Liberation™. It’s just going through a phase in which it wants great leaders like me to pay our legal bills ourselves – imagine that!

Read more in Daily Maverick: MK is here — and it’s going to be a moerse party… heh heh

And it’s run by that mealymouthed capitalist Cyril, who’d like to jail all the hardline paternalist tribalists like me. And we wouldn’t want that, would we? I mean, I spent a few days in jail and, believe me, it wasn’t fun. No concubines, for one thing.

So, gird your loins, put on your ocelot-tail hat and vote MK – the New Improved MK, that is. We could even vote out the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, and our looting will make the ANC’s look like petty pilfering from the cash box. Bayethe! DM

Shaun de Waal is a writer and editor.

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.

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