The weird world of politics: The ANC’s embarrassment

2013-08-25 14:00

The ANC’s embarrassment

ANC spin doctor Jackson Mthembu accused Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele of having “izikhothane tendencies” for publicly declaring her wealth.

His own party, he tells us without any hint of irony, has been championing values of “humility” and discouraging people from flashing their cash in poverty’s face.

Mthembu seems to have overlooked some of his fellow leaders who drive around (allegedly drunkenly) in bling Maseratis and own rural homes in excess of R200 million, paid for in part by taxpayers. Or does the ANC’s sudden public humility mean it has succumbed to that French affliction “L’Embarras des richesses (the embarrassment of riches)”?

TV, on African time

Gupta TV, also known as ANN7, has experienced hilarious teething problems this week. But even before it went on air for the first time on Wednesday night, its reporters struggled to keep up. Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele started her wealth-disclosing presser at 10am, not thinking to hang on for a minute or 40 to give the Gupta TV crew time to arrive. After all, the ANC gladly does this for the SABC – and even eNCA sometimes. So when ANN7’s crew arrived at the end, at least Ramphele had the grace to repeat a few lines for them. Oscar: the prayer offensive

Reporters at Oscar Pistorius’ murder case were this week treated to a rare bit of insight into the legal strategy behind the case.

In court on Monday, a senior National Prosecuting Authority official failed to realise that a microphone in front of him was relaying comments he was making to prosecutor Gerrie Nel to an adjacent, overflow courtroom that had been set up for the media.

Talking about the fact that Pistorius said a lengthy prayer with his siblings before the appearance, the official said: “Gerrie, God is receiving conflicting prayers today.”

Bitch, please ...

The Rivonia Heroes branch of the ANC Youth League is a pretty creative bunch. Last week, they went to watch polo, and next week they will be celebrating Women’s Month with a discussion of Bitch, Please! I’m Khanyi Mbau, the biography of that well-established feminist celebrity.

The branch even found a way to bring the discussion around to the ANC’s strategy and tactics document by labelling it a discussion of how women fit into the latter-day culture of crass materialism.

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