Politicians’ hyena talk is a big laugh

2010-10-02 10:27

By using the term “hyena state” to describe the descent into corruption and corruptibility, politicians are giving an undeserving animal a bad rap.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi should spend more time in the bush observing hyenas.

Vavi first coined the term when he ­likened “tenderpreneurs” to hyena clan leaders who ate first, forgetting about the rest.

This week, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said Vavi should be disciplined for his ­hyena talk.

He was pointing to an apposite pattern where politicians were increasingly choosing public life not to offer their services, but for access to resources and as a get-rich-quick scheme.

But he chose incorrectly when he used the ­hyena as a metaphor.

The matriarchal hyenas are highly intelligent and ­socialised animals.

In their hierarchical systems the youngest ­female can dominate the most senior male, but the predators reveal highly complex social forms of organisation.

They care for their young and live and hunt in supportive groups.

Like the human species, hyenas have big brains.

They appear to put it to better use than us, though.

And it appears, too, that a tenderpreneur is a ­tenderpreneur and not a hyena.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.