The best of Mondli Makhanya: Good riddance to Bathabile; Let’s call King Zwelithini’s bluff; No country for white men?

Mondli Makhanya is editor in chief of City Press.
Mondli Makhanya is editor in chief of City Press.

From Bathabile Dlamini to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and late former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, no politician was safe from the sharp pen of City Press editor-in-chief Mondli Makhanya in 2019.

Here are some of Makhanya’s most read and most talked about columns this year:

• In June, former minister of women in the presidency and current ANC Women’s League president, Bathabile Dlamini, threw in the towel as a member of Parliament.

Hearing about Dlamini’s decision to resign was like getting news that a close relative or friend is relocating to another country and you will only be able to see them intermittently, wrote Makhanya.

The lowly newspaperman’s last close encounter with Dlamini was at February’s state of the nation address, where she was like an attentive student wanting the teacher to notice that she was hanging on to his every word.

Bathabile Dlamini Picture: Conrad Bornman/Nuus Rapport Suid

Dlamini now finds herself on the sidelines, bitter and twisted, and lashing out at the world. 

She truly cannot understand why any president in the world would not want to utilise her unique skills, superior intellect, leadership experience and abundant energy.

Read the column here: We’ll miss you Bathabile Dlamini, but please vanish

• What exactly is it about us humans that makes us feel compelled to tell glowing lies about dead people?

This was the question posed by Makhanya in a column following the death of Mugabe.

We should not be shocked by the sanctification of this evil man, he wrote, because it is what humans do, mostly in the spirit of it not being right to speak ill of the dead.

Which brings us to Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, who has been at pains to tell the world that he is the real architect of democratic South Africa.

But he should be reminded while he is alive that he was an apartheid collaborator, a Bantustan leader and a puppet of successive apartheid governments.

Read: From Mugabe to Buthelezi, why do we tell glowing lies about brutal legacies?

• Does the mere appointment of a white person reverse transformation and does the mere appointment of a black person advance transformation?

Does it follow that, when a black vice-chancellor of a university completes his or her term, no white academic should be considered?

These were the questions posed by Makhanya following the outcry over the appointment of André de Ruyter as Eskom’s new chief executive officer.

André de Ruyter
André de Ruyter

Read the column: No country for white men?

• Like a spoilt child who keeps demanding more attention and shinier toys from his parents, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has become very adept at the time-tested tactic of kicking and screaming.

The difference, though, is that, unlike a bratty toddler, Zwelithini’s demands are huge.

They include a massive salary, upkeep for six palaces, as well as endless amounts of money for travel and miscellaneous activities that he dreams up when he has consumed a certain recently decriminalised agricultural product.

King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: Jabulani Langa

This is what Makhanya wrote after the king’s latest tantrum about the Ingonyama Trust.

Read: End the kneeling. Let’s call King Zwelithini’s bluff

You can find more of Makhanya’s columns here.

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