How are you South Africa? How are you coping? Are you healthy and virus free? Are you safe? Have you got food? Are you able to work? Are you able to study? I can only guess that in most instances, the answer is, ‘No’. #WhatWouldMandelaSay?
My dear South African. You have been through so much this past week and as I wrap up the media on this Thursday afternoon, I feel real pain. As I read the statistics; they reflect 26 000 results mentioning #RebuildSA and 28 000 results mentioning #Mandela Day. Combined, these stories have 200 000 people engaging. I’m so sorry my South African friend. I know you are tired, scared and pushing hard to make it through another 24 hours. I’m sorry. I’m sorry a force turned our country upside down. I’m sorry you jumped into the looting without a thought. I’m sorry you have no bread today. I’m sorry you are tasked with rebuilding without any support. I’m sorry we are on our own. #WhatWouldMandelaSay
This week, our President stood up for the first time in a long time and called a #coupdetat an #insurrection. I don’t how you feel, but this noun has been interrogated harder than Jacob Zuma ever will be. So let me break it down for you: Insurrection is a noun; it means “a violent uprising against an authority or government”. That’s according to Professor Google. A #CoupAttempt. We called it, South Africa, and we called it long before the President stood up. In fact, by that time, we were resurrecting!
I’ve seen so many images of South Africans coming together in a display of magnificent solidarity that can only be compared to 1994 and 2010, except this time we didn’t need sport, or politicians. We were doing this ourselves, for ourselves. Food started appearing in the streets of Durban, home baked bread was being handed out on street corners. We will not stand by and watch our brothers and sisters starving, despite the fact that #WeWerePlayed. #RebuildSA and #CleanUpSA included the frail, the old and differently abled all joining together and clearing the streets of the horror of the #insurrection. #WhatWouldMandelaSay
I saw people learning very quickly how to barricade and protect themselves and their neighbours. We saw #Shoprite turning #CanolaOil into a very effective anti-looter mechanism. We also learnt that people can forward unverified voice notes and misinformation faster than you can slide across Shoprite’s entrance. My phone was filled with nameless voice notes with the caption “forwarded many times” and all of them referring to impending doom. Fake news became so bad that I almost had empathy for Trump, almost. After a little lie down, I was ok again.
#MandelaDay came upon us during our clean up, fitting, not fitting at all. This was not us; we didn’t make the mess – we fixed the old mess on #MandelaDay – but today? #Thisisus, tired but not demotivated. #Thisisus, we have no choice. We will rise from this carnage sent to divide us. I watched as the SAPS and the SANDF moved into action, very late out of the gate, but arrests were made and we saw images of #Cele shouting through loud speakers across the hardest hit parts of KwaZulu-Natal, stepping over those being arrested, his eyes heavy with South Africa’s crushed dreams.
We heard that as many as 500 bodies were lying in the mortuary, unidentified. #CollateralDamage hey, #Duduzane? We should have looted “responsibly”! The next thing we are told by #Dlodlo is that the Minister of Police knew all along what was coming. Who cares? Sleeping or not sleeping, South Africa was speaking while you were muttering among yourselves.
The teal blue couch
Enter the most embarrassing moment and believe me, there have been many, including a R67 000 couch in teal blue sitting outside a shack. We have certainly had some pearlers, but this one takes the cake. #Mbaks lost all of his #Razzmataz and he is certainly scared of the #BBC, especially after he was badly beaten by a journalist sitting in London who called his “faceless insurrection a farce” and that the truth was #zuma and his cadres had caused this chaos.
#HardTalk indeed as #MrFix was told the #ANC was at war with itself and had accomplished nothing in a quarter of a century. I even winced at that bit because I like MinisterFF. But Stephen Sackur is right in many respects, not all, because he missed the point that ordinary South Africans are actually in charge. He was not alone; I think the ANC missed it too.
I wish someone would just show a lot of bottle and say it: “Zuma and his cronies tried to take over the government because finally after more than a decade they are backed into a corner.” They don’t like it at all, and they came out with a bunch of terrorists and social media instigators that drove these provinces to their knees in less than 24 hours.
That was their intention (well, the intention was bigger of course) but, and here’s the thing, wind the clock forward 24 hours and South Africans said “NO!”. Now they need to say, “We suffered huge damage and we are financially buckled as it is; the poorest of the poor have been hammered and it’s time someone paid for this heinous crime. We are, with immediate effect, arresting the Zuma family, those that were witnessed instigating violence on social media.
“We are putting Ace, Carl and the many others on the list behind bars, in remand if you will. We are taking a broom and sweeping up the filth. And once we’ve corralled them up, we’re going to dress them in orange. We’re going to paint them with the colour orange, so bold, #Mandela would be proud.”
We have heard you South Africa, we will not be played and if we have to defend ourselves in battle, we will.
Instead, the president thanked us for manning the ship while they were sleeping and picked up a broom on Mandela Day and swept up plastic. And we waited …
A couple of days later, on TV, defence minister #Mapisa #Nqakula, disagreed with the President saying this was no #coupdetat or #insurrection. About 12 seconds later she #Mantashed on that, and fully agreed that in fact there was indeed an “insurrection”. She played with the words until she herself didn’t understand what she was saying. Her 180-degree turn came shortly after # Ntshavheni (the President’s spokesperson) made it quite clear that it was an insurrection and that any other narrative would be contradicting the President. Ja nee, that must have burnt. A word on #Ntshavheni. I like her, she is straight to the point, has no need for pleasantries and you get what you’re given. I don’t mind grumpy people as long as they get stuff done.
Instigator of the insurrection
We saw arrests, among them, one was unique and captured our imagination, namely #NigizweMchunu. He was arrested and labelled an “instigator of the insurrection”. This was largely because of his influential media voice threatening that if #Zuma was not released in three days, there would be payback on the streets. He has been remanded in prison pending trial. In other words, he’s going down, you don’t just get “remanded” in this country. Come on guys, even uBaba was out on Thursday at a funeral; who gets remanded?
Maybe they are making an example of him but if #Mchunu is found guilty and put into the cells, then so will #DuduzaneZuma, #DuduzileZuma and many others. #AndileLungisa was also brought in to the station and, in his words, “harassed by police”. He went in as a suspected “instigator” and walked out as a person who broke #lockdown regulations. Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter, #siyavuma and even #Gumede herself made a sho’t left to the police station. The rats are starting to scurry. In fact, remember that guy who looted in a BMW? He lost his job, he was a CEO. A lifetime of work lost for a basket of goods he didn’t need. #Madness
I really loathe giving this man so much airtime, but I’m compelled to, because all media is on the #ZumaZipLine. We watched #Zuma get a postponement for the #ArmsDeal case because … I actually don’t know. what I do know is that #DaliMpofu argued that if you’re on Zoom you’re not actually “present”, and I can vouch for that. I’ feel like I’m not present in these endless webinars that have become part of our working day. For me the timing is off. We are awaiting #AceMagashule’s fate with his suspension, perhaps #ZoomingWithZuma will be acceptable once #MrTenPercent is taken to task.
Just when we thought there were only two provinces in this mess, enter the Western Cape, always a little late, but always willing to make a grand entrance. The #TaxiViolence has seen more than 80 people murdered in (what we are told is) a turf war. It’s more like gangsters running wild. Someone call #Bheki or #MrFix, ok wait … we learnt about that. Fix it yourselves #CapeTown but try to avoid 500 unidentified bodies piling up in a mortuary, okay?
My word, this report is depressing, and I’m not even done … Much to the dismay of #JuliusMalema the #CR17BankStatements remain sealed. What a farce that was, and an utter waste of money. Julius was so irritated that he said something that made me lose the very last bit of respect I had had for him. For those who know me well I’ve been known to call Juju a marketing genius and an exceptional orator, but even that was numbed when he said that he was glad #KarimaBrown was dead. You picked on her your whole career, and now that she is not here to see the hot mess you’ve become, you trample on her grave. How dare you #Malema. Your patriarchy and menace come shining through. #WhatWouldMandelaSay
#JudgeMosoeneke’s voice reminded me of the days I watched him grieve for the dead at #LifeEsidemeni. There is so much respect for this man. I wonder what he thinks now, witnessing the #LifeEsidemeni criminal case unfold. I’m sure, like you and I, he is hoping to lock them up! In the meantime, the good Judge told us the #SAElections should be postponed to next year February and not a moment sooner. Did you hear that, #MrPresident? You have six to seven months to turn this around. Did you hear that South Africa? We have half a year to find proper leaders, so rise up those heroes among us and put your face on that ballot paper. We need new leadership, someone tell #GiftOfTheGivers and #NhlanhlaLux to do it just for fun. I want to see something.
In other news The Dome shut its doors and we are told #CovidInfections are down, yet no one seems to have accounted for the fact that last week we were in a warzone and were unlikely to be having earbuds shoved up our throats. Imagine this country next week? When the looters awaken to the fact that they forgot about #Covid and all of that while they stampeded over each other for televisions no one needed. Let’s not deal with that today, okay?
Then #Ramaphosa and a bunch of elites’ phones were hacked in what’s being called the #PegasusProject. I wonder who comes up with these names? There’s a cold front that is barrelling its way up South Africa and there should be, it should snow because #BafanaBafana won the #CosafaCup. (Shh about the penalties guys) I’ll take it!
I started this as a letter to you my South African, so I will end it with this. Dear friend, take care of your health, your family and neighbours. Mandela feels like a lifetime ago, his legacy riddled with political footballing, but let us stick together. Rise my South African friend, rise.
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