True tales from the countryside

2014-02-10 10:00

The stories below are not fictional. They are based on real events and real characters. They all took place over the past six weeks.

A leader of a political party agreed to stand as a presidential candidate for another party without telling her own colleagues and party members.

When the shocked colleagues discovered this via a televised press conference, she declared she was taking her cue from Nelson Mandela, who initiated contact with the National Party while he was still in prison.

What she conveniently forgot, of course, was that Mandela only initiated contact with the Nats – he did not negotiate a political settlement and then present it to his constituency as a done deal.

Then the very same leader, when told she would have to take up membership of the party for which she was a presidential candidate, screeched a loud “hawu!”

She promptly stormed off and declared that over her dead body would she join that party because millions of South Africans would never vote for it. So millions would never vote for the party for which she had agreed to stand as a presidential candidate? Go figure.

She went back to her own party and the members who had screamed about her betrayal bizarrely welcomed her return with open arms.

The party for which this leader was supposed to stand as a presidential candidate declared it would march on the headquarters of the governing party to protest against its election manifesto.

Now, what happens in normal democracies is that the said party would produce a better election manifesto to outmanoeuvre its rival – not protest against the manifesto. But this is no normal democracy.

The black, green and gold party whose headquarters were to be marched on called this an “invasion” and battalions of supporters swore to “defend” the building. Sounding warnings of war, they fell just short of threatening to massacre the marchers.

In another province, the young leader of a new militant party went to visit a cantankerous octogenarian – his sworn enemy – to apologise for saying horrible things about him in the past. The cantankerous octogenarian, who has become increasingly thirsty for love and attention in his sunset years, sweetly embraced the young man.

They then proclaimed their common hatred of the black, green and gold party, and pledged to love each other until their next fallout.

Elsewhere, the country’s mining minister told investors not to “come here if they want to exploit us to earn high rates of return”. Err?...?isn’t that the reason investors go anywhere, to earn high rates of return?

Meanwhile, at the Faltering Towers, the public broadcaster’s deputy chair reacted to a damning skills audit by saying that “because the report was compiled by another company, we could not doctor the report before it was submitted to Parliament”.

Yes, he said it. The problem was not the damning audit. It was just that the audit could not be doctored.

The above stories are based on real events and real characters?...

» Makhanya is editor at large

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