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Makate Rapulana
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ANCYL, Cosas, and the ‘nosey’ public protector

20 April 2014, 20:15

As the political fallout and the ensuing hostility between Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema culminated in the latter’s expulsion from the African National Congress (ANC); the ANCYL; the ruling party’s youth formation; which Malema lead, found itself in a political quandary.

Initially the youth formation seemed to rally behind its disgraced leader who many; regardless; still considered him president of the then embattled league in defiance to the matching orders issued against him by the mother body.

However the camaraderie was not to last, what transpired in the following weeks was captured aptly by Mark Twain when he said: “Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed”. Chinks began to appear on the solidarity armour as comrades jostled to fill the power vacuum.

Zuma, who has until then taken the onslaught directed at him with equanimity; capitalised on the resultant confusion to quell the menace that has for months tormented him. In a true Stalinist style; the ANC president condemned the renegade outfit to a political re-education camp. A few months later, the re-educated outfit, a hollow shell of its former self, was re-introduced into the political theatre.

The once vibrant and militant organisation was reduced to a yapping lapdog, eager to please its new master and hence the resultant fawning obsequiousness by its baby-sitting leadership.

It is then not surprising that in the aftermath of the storm created by the release of the now infamous Nkandla report; with opposition parties taking pot shots at Zuma; the lapdog had to come to its master’s defence if only to reaffirm its allegiance.

The ANCYL and its uncouth, lesser-known sidekick, Congress of South African Students (Cosas), having failed to read the voluminous public protector report thereby lacking in facts to interrogate her findings opted to instead remark on her aesthetic value.

The jury is out on whether the failure to read the report was due to an aversion by the ‘student’ congress to the written word or the lack of zeal to read 1000+ pages.

Cosas secretary-general Tshiamo Tsotetsi labelled Madonsela "that woman with the big, ugly nose" at a gathering near Brits.

The public protector as it is to be expected is not without her share of detractors, and most have shied away from attacking her person, though there has been some snide remarks made about her wig. At first glance the ‘nose’ remark seems to be nothing but the reckless aftermath of an extemporising speaker.

However the choice of the olfactory organ for ridicule cannot be dismissed as accidental given its main function and the context of the subject at hand.

The public protector; blessed or cursed with a big and ugly nose was able to pick up a rather rancid odour emanating from a feeding trough; with Zuma and his lieutenants, deep to the neck, munching away the spoils of corruption.

The duo was not just making a foolhardy remark; they were making a serious statement. The big and ugly nose of the public protector is causing their master sleepless nights. 

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