'Are you mockering me?'

2007-12-19 21:43

Johannesburg - ANC Youth League leader Fikile Mbalula is seldom at a loss for words, and on Wednesday he strung them together with cheerful disregard for the conventions of the English language.

Speaking to journalists at the ANC's policy conference in Polokwane, he labelled himself "spokesperson and chief campaigner lobbyist of the youth league".

As he got going with "all the lies and the rabble arousing (sic) has come to a point of reality", some head scratching was understandable.

"You are mockering around a political position," he said later.

The gobbledegook did not stop there.

"Corruption must be dealt with including in terms of its manifestation," Mbalula said.

Having previously referred to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel as a "drama queen", he took the opportunity to take a dig a Deputy Defence Minister Mluleki George.

George told a group of Mbeki supporters on Monday "at the moment, comrades, we are on top of them (ANC president Jacob Zuma's camp)".

Mbalula compared George to "comical Ali" - former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's spin doctor Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.

Al-Sahif was the man who insisted Iraq was winning the second Gulf War while the Americans were advancing on Baghdad and the city was crumbling around him.

In keeping with war metaphors, Mbalula compared the road to Zuma's triumph at the conference to the bloody street battles fought between the Germans and the Russians in Leningrad at the close of World War II, in the winter of 1945.

"We will deal with them street by street," he said, quoting a Russian general.

The first victory, said Mbalula, had been the triumph of manual over electronic vote counting. "We did not want a computer thing."

Next came the bombardment of ANC chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota with points of order. This was followed by the rejection of gender parity for the ANC's top six positions.

"It was a campaigning strategy, not an issue of principle," he said.

Finally, added Mbalula with unwavering glee, came Zuma's election as ANC president.