Guest Column

On Zumencism and racist protesters

2017-04-11 18:11

Jacob Zuma: Last week's marches show that racism is real

2017-04-10 14:53

During his address at the Chris Hani memorial, President Jacob Zuma used the platform to speak out against purported racism at last week's countrywide anti-Zuma marches, where there were allegedly 'black people being called baboons'.WATCH

Kay Sexwale

There is a phenomenon in the relationship between animals and humans, where the lines of sense and species cross. I don’t know whether we can give it a name, but a typical example is a dog whistle that can be heard by dogs but is too high pitched for humans. 

It also happens sometimes in politics (not to say that people are dogs, lest I be accused of being something I am not) when an idea is simply ahead of its time or when a certain truth is being ignored and those who hear it are characterised in a certain way. 

For example, someone speaks a certain fact and we hear the truth behind it, while others simply refuse and admit themselves into another species of political animal, solely to carry on like nothing is happening. 

Perhaps the truth could be that Comrade Pravin is correct or that the marchers are right for demanding that a compromised president step down or that former President Mbeki is right for calling on MPs to vote with their conscience and not their heart or mind.

Let’s give this phenomenon a name in the political sphere: Zumencism (a defence of Zuma to the point where those who differ with you are speaking a complete new species of language or are deemed other-worldly). Adherents of the Zumencic kind are those who are now favouring the argument put forward by the president that all of us who were marching on Friday are somehow racist. 

Utter nonsense! 

Apart from a plethora of likeminded people across the races gathering around a common good – getting rid of a kleptocratic bunch of the Pied Pipers and the rats who are their enablers – these are people like this disrupting speakers at the memorial service of our beloved Uncle Kathy. 

South Africans complaining through protest is not new and should never be boxed in. Is that not one of the tactics used by our very own ANC during the struggle? Not only in this country but through the anti-apartheid movement globally. I fear we will soon see an uprising unless something gives. 

For the president to insinuate that those who were gathered at various marches across South Africa on Friday 7 April are a bunch of racists is disingenuous. Yes, racists used this opportunity of an unhappy country to further their agendas, as did our political opponents. To classify the protests and marches means that our message has just flown over his head and he suffers from Zumencism himself!

I get it that our people have been called monkeys and other horrific names by the enemies of a non-racial South Africa. Our unapologetic stance of rolling out ANC policies such as Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment has left many a bitter racist in our midst. These people, like Penny Sparrow and recently Helen Zille were racist anyway, long before the rot seeped into the very soul of our country. 

Similarly, the fight around radical socio-economic transformation is fraught with many Zumencics who are total adherents of the BRICS ideology to doing things, even though the economies in the BRIC group of nations are all significantly larger than us, as South Africa. 

Despite the very real observation, drawn by young activist Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh in a series of tweets, that the BRICS way is the political lie of the decade, the Zumencics would argue that we are not open to seeing the benefits and are being stubborn because we are beholden to capital – white monopoly capital. 

What happened to the intra-Africa trade that would unleash very real possibilities for the continent and South Africa? South-South trade that made it possible for us to keep dreaming about industrialisation beyond just talk?

The Zumencics would argue that we are headed in that direction, despite “Brazil having an all-white conservative cabinet, China-US ties, and the yellow cake nuclear deal that Russia wants to give us.” Again, Sizwe summed it up very nicely for me on Twitter, but the Zumencism is deep you see.

It is the same Zumencism that reared its ugly head when some of us were screaming at the top of our lungs and hoped that what we thought were fellow feminists to join us in calling out a rape-accused. The cohorts of this person made the accuser's life a living hell from 2005 until she had had enough and died in the arms of loved ones in October 2016. Fezeka will not be remembered as the sweet, loving and gentle human being she was. 

The Woman's League did the unthinkable then when she cried out for help – and continues to defend the indefensible Zumencism today. I won't waste my breath commenting about the "Youth" League run by people pushing 40, howling. 

It is the same Zumencism that deludes itself into thinking that the complete capture of the state will lead to the betterment of South Africa and its poor. This Zumencism keeps popping up its ugly head when those whom we are told to regard as leaders continue to disappoint us by bum-defences and dropping rands to pick them up. The Zumencism is deep, you see.

Perhaps we will get to the place where comrades of the ANC will go to the sense doctor and allow for a fact and research injection that would show them that the true result of Zumencism is the death of our beloved ANC. 

Comrades need to know that ANC member of Parliament Dr Makhosi Khoza speaking out is not a sign of anything wrong with her, but their inability to hear her out is a classic symptom of Zumencism. 

It is my plea that the condition I have just created is one that only exists on this column but my fear is that too many comrades have drunk at the well of Zuma and suffer from this disease – with the only thing that will wake them up is when he is all well and at home in Nkandla. 

We simply cannot stand by to watch the ANC as an opposition party for the next general election. We cannot stay silent and watch it broken down irretrievably until it is no more.

So yes, I will continue to protest outside the Gupta compound that symbolises the gluttony and pure greed that has taken hold of our beloved land. But to classify me as a racist for it? I don't think so. 

- Kay Sexwale is a communication strategist and a political advisor.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  national day of action  |  racism


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