The dying days of ANC rule

Jeremy Gordin |

19 August 2022

Jeremy Gordin writes that the air is permeated with scuttlebutt and ungravitas

I notice, mes enfants, that 19 August 1944 – a mere 78 years ago – was the date on which the (successful) battle for the liberation of Paris (Libération de Paris) began.

I’m more upset, however, that I’m probably also going to miss the liberation of the beloved country from the ANC. I have of course read reports of how the ANC – founded on 8 January 1912 in Bloemfontein and the oldest and certainly most moribund liberation movement in Africa – might not score so well in the next national general elections.

Even the SA Communist Party predicted – three months ago – that the ANC will fail to get 50% of the vote in 2024.

So, shall I see the heat-warming sight of the DA’s Helen Zille, standing up straight next to the gear shift of her blue jeep, calmly holding on to the vehicle’s windscreen, her face jutting forward, eyes hidden by the requisite shades, as she leads her column of troops along Upper Park Drive?

I hope so – but fear I might not live long enough. Either way, at least Ms. Zille would have the necessary gravitas, wouldn’t she? Yes, she would, as long as she doesn’t start trying to dance with the locals when she alights outside Croft & Co. in Tyrone avenue.

Yes, gravitas: “seriousness and importance of manner, causing feelings of respect and trust in others” – you know, the sort of manner that our president, Cyril Ramaphosa, used to adopt and exude when starting his family meetings on TV.


Of course, this was in the days before nearly everyone in Seffrica had a picture in their minds of Cyril, qua teletubby, bouncing on his Phala Phala sofa, throwing greenbacks in the air, and screaming ‘Wheeeee ….’ 

I’ve been cogitating about “gravitas” because I note that the DA has pulled yet another of their let’s-pull-down-our-pants-in-public stunts. The party’s leaders – or its politburo, or whoever calls the shots there, maybe it’s just John Steenhuisen, a fellow not yet with the requisite gravitas, but he’s got promise – the decision-makers have decided to take the post of chief whip away from Natasha Mazzone.___STEADY_PAYWALL___

I’m one of those rare Seffricans who believes the DA and its duly-elected office bearers can do what they like for the “improvement” of the party. Far as I’m concerned, it’s their call.

But I’m in a minority. And now my heart sinks almost as low as my belly button – because henceforth we’re going to be deluged by a legion of so-called political journalists and radio commentators, like 702’s Bongani Bingwa (who used to be a sweet fellow), gaaning aan about how the DA – having just changed chief whips – is therefore not capable of running a spaza shop. That genius among political thinkers, Makhudu Sefara of the Sunday Times, has already begun a round of such articles.