Max du Preez

The Zuma Dobermans

2008-02-06 09:04

Max du Preez

So the 37-year olds of the ANC's so-called Youth League want to deny the rest of us the privilege of being able to buy a glass of wine with our Sunday lunch in future, and they expect "their" Parliament to write that into legislation in the next few months.

The Youth Leaguers do these things because they can. They're the Zuma Dobermans. They were the first to stand up on a stage and call the country's president ugly names. They were the ones who heckled and booed one of the stalwarts of the struggle against apartheid, Mosioua Lekota, at the Polokwane jamboree.

Jacob Zuma and his sidekicks owe the Youth League. Zuma even snubbed his parliamentary caucus to be able to speak at a Youth League function last week.

But we don't, we being the rest of South Africa. We owe the Youth League nothing but scorn. Zuma might need political hooligans to get into power, but we don't have to tolerate their childish antics and take them seriously.


The leader of the Youth League, an ageing yuppie called April Mbalula (he calls himself Fikile nowadays), sees himself as a "king-maker" and has high ambitions of cabinet positions (and a fat black car and other perks) once the Zuma faction has completed their power grab.

I think it is time for the mantle of "Kortbroek" to be passed from Marthinus van Schalkwyk to Mbalula. Van Schalkwyk is, after all, one of the more hard-working and efficient (and quiet) members in the cabinet. But if "Kortbroek Mbalula" doesn't roll off the tongue, how about "Snotkop"?

Mbalula is also one of the forces behind the ANC demand for a media tribunal that would control all newspapers. Last week the Youth League demanded that the ownership of the media be broadened, and no doubt they will insist that it be pushed through parliament.

I have been watching the Youth League and listening to their leader's crazy utterings for a while now and I have to say that they don't have the vaguest idea of the nature, composition or role of the media in South Africa.

No serious politicians

Ironically, the Youth League would not exist if it weren't for the media. Mbalula and his cronies are always good for an outrageous statement and too often inexperienced and/or lazy journalists fall for the temptation to give them publicity - not because they're a legitimate or significant voice, but because their statements are fun or sensational to read.

The Youth League always parades as champions of democracy. If only the understood the basics of the concept. They clearly still think democracy means if you have 50 percent plus 1 of the vote (in the party or in an election), you can call all the shots. Thus their silly call for parliament to quickly implement their demand of no liquor on Sundays. (By the way, when did the Youth League become a Christian organisation so concerned about the Day of the Lord?)

What is next? Are they going to demand that parliament abolish Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika and replace it with Umshini Wam as our new national anthem? Are they going to force the education department to introduce toyi-toyi classes instead of maths?

The time has come for the serious politicians in the ANC to whip these wannabe politicians back into line. They're an embarrassment to the ruling party. Give them all jobs at Eskom, I say.

Send your comments to Max.

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