Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lindiwe Mazibuko - fighting way above her weight

Dear Lindiwe Mazibuko,

         You’ve really got South Africa’s ruling party the African National Congress (ANC) in a twitter, especially its male Members of Parliament.
         They can’t stand the fact that you are cleverer and more articulate than they are.
Worse still you are a Black woman who is supposed to know her place as subservient to them.
         Worst of all at 33 you are the Parliamentary leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the ANC’s main opposition party and its sworn enemy.
         It’s a sure sign of mental inadequacy when a person has to resort to insults in a debate when they are being outwitted by their opponent. And that’s just what has been happening to certain ANC members who have found you too quick witted for comfort.
         How many of these loud mouths would have dared to appear on BBC’s Hard Talk. None of them I bet, least of all South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. It’s not called that for nothing as you know because the interviewer pulls no punches.

         Yet you came through the cut and thrust of that encounter superbly. Nobody, except your brainless ANC opponents, could have been anything else but impressed by your self assurance and political nous.

        You must have been delighted with all the praise you got on social media.

         Of course it’s nothing new for you to be personally insulted by members of the ANC. One of the first was that uneducated upstart Julius Malema when he was President of the ANC’s Youth League.
         As you know he delighted in saying of you, "She’s the tea girl of the Madam, and her role must remain there." He was talking about your relationship with Helen Zille, the White leader of the DA.
         But while your star has continued to rise higher and higher in South African politics he has been kicked out of the ANC and is struggling for recognition in the wilderness.
Lindiwe with the Madam by her side
More recently, when you were highlighting the many flaws in President Zuma’s leadership during his budget speech in Parliament, some of his underlings felt they had to come to the rescue of Number 1.
         The best John Jeffery could think of was, "While the Honourable Mazibuko may be a person of substantial weight, her stature is questionable."
         Encouraged by this Buti Manamela piped up with; "Honourable Mazibuko has bad fashion taste and has been arrested by the Fashion Police. Blame Zuma, everything must be blamed on Zuma."
         I accept you could improve your dress sense but what you were wearing – a red jacket over a black and white dress with black tights – was by no means the worst fashion crime in the house. In any case all that the dress code stipulates is that it must be in accordance with the dignity of Parliament, something that would be hard to fathom at times.
         The ANC subsequently refused to withdraw its claim that you were inappropriately dressed but apologised for saying you were overweight.
No Books Angie
No wonder, it has had heavyweight problems of its own. And boy did the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and her ANC get their knickers in a twist when a very large pair labelled
Angie’s knickers was carried through the streets by protesting teachers.
         The members of the South African Teachers Union were threatened with "the full wrath of our justice system" (Toothless at the best of times). Quite justifiably they want the Minister, who is in charge of the worst education shambles in the world, to resign.
         It was ironic that in a letter to the Union she wrote that the panty protest "signified that women cannot be fully human and so society has every right to poke fun at women in very denigrating ways."
South Africa's new National Flag
        Of course that’s exactly what the two faced ANC has been doing to you.
         Ever the optimist Angie maintained, "Not only do they owe an apology to me, but the rest of South African women."
         Lindiwe there are lots of other ANC members who would tip the scales in their favour with you on the other side. But when it comes to well articulated, intelligent debating ability they would have a job finding someone in your league.
         So laugh off these ANC barbs because far from diminishing your stature they are actually enhancing it and getting your name up in lights, which is just what you need in politics.
Inappropriately dressed
         Keep punching well above your weight and those ANC smart alecs could have egg on their faces if your Star performer and Black, young and gifted tags eventually help to ensure that your DA becomes the champion that governs the entire country.
         Best wishes from a Huge Admirer,
         VIVA LA DA (I speak isiZulu)

P.S. I see you went to St Mary’s that posh school in Durban. Isn’t that another one of the ANC’s gripes, that you speak English too well to be one of us Blacks? St Mary’s schools produce real class. I should know. I am lucky enough to be married to an old girl (she’ll kill me for saying that) of the Johannesburg St Mary’s where Helen Zille went to school (Nothing like name dropping to enhance my career).


  1. Beautifully written. To add; her being called "unAfrican" because of her posh accent is not only a tactic to deflect from accountability, but it is a backlash that reinforces what was said during apartheid "blacks are English incompetent and thus stupid" so power to mazibuko!