A poor attempt at playing the man and the ball

2014-01-13 10:00

I was taken aback by Mondli Makhanya’s vitriol and bemused by his malignant attacks in his article about me last week (“The zealous passion of a political convert”, City Press, January 5 2014).

Now that he has decided to play the man and the ball, he must be responded to as such.

I will not apply textual criticism to the verbiage Makhanya penned as his article will be found very wanting.

I wish to begin by correcting some basic editorial and factual errors he makes. He should have known there is a basic and simple intellectual etiquette that must be observed at

all times – that basic research must precede any respectable writing – something Makhanya has failed to comply with.

I was never expelled from the PAC and if Makhanya thinks otherwise, he must produce the expulsion letter he refers to.I resigned not because “my followers turned against me”, as Makhanya suggests. He must proffer evidence in this regard.

Makhanya takes exception to the fact that I have joined the ANC, saying: “Ka Plaatjie was as crude as only a turncoat could be.” When Julius Malema, Terror Lekota and Bantu Holomisa left the ANC, they were not called turncoats. It seems it’s only for those who knock and are warmly received by the ANC that the appellation “turncoat” is reserved.

Makhanya comes to the defence of Oyama Mabandla and Malema. I stand by every word – I wrote about them – they were well deserved by both.

I cared less about Mabandla’s history in the ANC save that I dealt with him on the basis of what he said about it. His history in the ANC does not entitle him to rubbish it.

As for white South Africans on whose behalf he wishes to speak, I still emphasise that “Mandela was as ANC as the pope is Catholic, and that attempts to appropriate him away from the ANC are silly, repugnant and arrogant”.

I searched in vain for Makhanya’s thesis. I can only infer what his true intentions were in the article – he and his liberal troops are angry that there are other voices that have come to the ANC’s defence.

He is aggrieved that a counter-argument is fast making its way

into South African political and intellectual discourse. Now that these debates persist elsewhere, he is doing his night watchman bidding.

I regard Makhanya as a glorified affirmative action graduate doing the bidding of his imperial overlords.

I am not fazed by his petty envy nor am I irate at his noiseless tremors. Makhanya and his ilk have positioned themselves as the only voice or authority on the ANC. Any other voices are attacked. It has become fashionable for the ANC to be spoken about and not spoken to.

The ANC has become “otherised” in popular discourse. The likes of Makhanya wish to be the only authority and interpreters of the ANC and its glorious tradition.

If defending the ANC makes me a zealot then I will gladly wear the title. I don’t owe my life to liberal patronage as Makhanya?does. He is a political assassin sans bullets.

»?Ka Plaatjie is head of ANC research and adviser to Minister Lindiwe Sisulu

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