These views are sponsored by God

2008-07-05 00:00

God, whoever and however he or she is conceived to be, has become the favoured running mate of local politicians. Whether it is in constitutionally secular South Africa or in socialist Zimbabwe, the ruling classes regularly invoke the Christian deity.

The call mostly is sounded when a sceptical populace won’t swallow the intellectual swill dumped before them. Claiming the presence of God on the politico’s team is apparently the ultimate clincher, like having the referee playing striker for one’s soccer side.

African National Congress president Jacob Zuma some time back revealed that the opposition parties might as well pack up and go home. The ANC had secured the backing of the Trinity, giving it the right to govern, Zuma informed them, until Jesus’ second coming.

More recently, it was Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe who drew on his Jesuit upbringing. There was no need for him to take any notice of the fickle will of the voters, Mugabe declaimed, since he had the ultimate endorsement.

God had appointed him to office and “only God will remove me, not the MDC, not the British”. Especially not the British who have, we all know, reverted to being heathens who allow gays to run their country and hold high office in the churches of their official religion.

This week it was Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the 2010 Soccer World Cup’s Local Organising Committee. Jordaan is furious about media reports quoting international soccer boss Sepp Blatter as saying he had a Plan B in case South Africa couldn’t host the 2010 showpiece.

It is utter rubbish, insists Jordaan. “Only God can prevent South Africa from hosting the 2010 World Cup. The only likelihood that can trigger reconsideration is if there is a national disaster — like an earthquake.”

Well, since South Africa doesn’t suffer earthquakes, that’s okay then. Or is it? There are other seismic events endemic to our unique political geography that might yet be reckoned a “national disaster” by those squeamish European types.

The problem is not necessarily high levels of violent crime by the deprived underclass, nor the fatal hospitality that we show to

Zimbabwean refugees and Mozambican job seekers. Also germane is a growing international nervousness about the rediscovered enthusiasm of the ANC Youth League and its Zuma-supporting allies for killing so-called “counter-revolutionaries”.

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema recently pledged that the ANCYL would “take up arms and kill” if the corruption case against Zuma was not dropped. He thumbed his nose at an SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) injunction that he withdraw the remark.

Congress of SA Trade Unions’ leader Zwelinzima Vavi echoed Malema, saying that Cosatu, too, would “shoot and kill” for Zuma. He, too, has rejected a SAHRC order to retract.

Despite a boastfulness about the potency of its military wing, the ANC did not have many battlefield successes, unless one counts the bombing of various shopping centres and pubs. But under intelligence chief Zuma it was proficient at torturing and executing supposed “counter-revolutionaries” who had infiltrated the ranks.

Zuma,a lay pastor, has been resolutely silent about the death pledges made by his comrades. Perhaps his God is different from the one of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has pointed to the “horrid nightmare” in

Zimbabwe to illustrate what happens when people are prepared to kill for their leaders.

One is unsure whether the celestial deal Zuma’s closed regarding the ANC ruling until the second coming, includes him as president of the country for the interregnum.

One can only hope that even as we speak, President Thabo Mbeki is involved in whatever Faustian negotiations are necessary to thwart Jacob’s ladder to heaven.

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