Max du Preez: Has the ANC gone mad?

Cape Town - Max du Preez has, in a manner of speaking, shaken his head in disbelief over the ANC's vehement reaction to him using the word "maaifoedies" with regard to its leadership.

The ANC had demanded and apology after Du Preez in a Facebook posting had explained the etymology of the word "maaifoedies", which an old ANC comrade had used to refer to the party in an e-mail about the Dalai Lama debacle.

In a Facebook response, Du Preez asks if the party has gone "completely and utterly mad", and says that it "thinks the people of SA are complete imbeciles".

"Maaifoedie is a perfectably acceptable word in good company, but I explained via an old book on Afrikaans etymology that originally it actually meant the same as the American swear word. I did NOT call the ANC 'motherfuckers'," he wrote.

Du Preez had traced it back to being the Afrikaans version of the American word "motherfucker".

He also referred to a previous occasion where the ANC took him to the press ombudsman "who laughed them out of court".

"The ANC really thinks the people of SA are complete imbeciles," he wrote.

The ANC had taken great exception to a Facebook post by du Preez, where he referred to ANC leaders as "maaifoedies".

He goes on to explain that it's derived from Malay and Portuguese words, and the Malay-Portuguese language used by slaves in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in South Africa - a major influence of early Afrikaans.

English-Afrikaans dictionaries give the English of maaifoedie as rascal, or scoundrel.

Du Preez then ends off his post by also calling the ANC-leadership "maaifoedies".

"So ek se ook aan die ANC-leierskap vanoggend: Julle maaifoedies!"


The ANC, however, condemned "in the strongest terms as totally unacceptable" what they deemed to be an "outburst" by Du Preez calling ANC leaders "you motherfuckers".

"Du Preez, also a public figure, a former journalist and a political commentator, should know better than to publicly get entangled in using an expletive like that, stooping to gutter level and not just insulting, but also defaming all leaders of the ANC," the party said.

"Using profanity published in a public space like this doesn’t add any feather to his cap, but casts a shadow over his reputation."

"If Du Preez wishes to differ on opinion with any person in the ANC, it is his right to do just that.

"But, that does not give him a right to use such language [no matter how he tries to explain, repeat and even translate it into English] or to be the bully of the block attempting to hurt people with words," the statement said.
Those associating with Du Preez or have syndicated his writings, should take note of his abhorable action, the party said, adding that he owes all South Africans an apology.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 275 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
81% - 3550 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 533 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.