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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dear Comrade Thabo Mbeki, it’s me again


















By MUTUMA MATHIU

My dear comrade, I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it: Told you so!

Before you faced that terrible man, that walking block of malfeasance, at Polokwane last year, I wrote: “My own view is that in a country with such a deep sense of struggle and against a man whose campaign song is titled Bring Out My Machinegun, Mbeki’s little intellectual backside is crisp toast.”

In a letter titled Dear Comrade Mbeki, It’s about Bob, on June 29, I gave you very good advice. I wrote: “Now, you do know that you handled the Zuma issue quite awfully, don’t you? When you start fixing an African politician, you don’t stop. You keep at it until they are completely and utterly vanquished. Otherwise they rise from the political grave like vampires and come to bite your ascetic backside.”

What does this mean, apart, of course, from the fact that I am a great seer, a Laibon of the African people and a prophet (mostly of doom)? Sadly, by its nature, advice is available either to be used, or be unused.

But let’s not dwell on the past. That man has risen from the caverns of corruption and sexual malfeasance and he has dealt you a fatal blow. So let’s talk about the future.

Well, I have peered into that one, and it’s not looking good. Being a man of the brain (rather than of the groin, like that terrible man) you might be tempted to think that if you lie down and expose your weak underbelly, he will take pity on you and walk away. You will think that now he has “won”, he will leave you alone and the party will remain united and your nation safe. You are a dead snake, after all.

Poof! I want to promise you that before the end of 2009, you will be in a courtroom answering charges, among them corruption and sexual malfeasance. He will never rest until you are exterminated. My approach is simple: You too must rise from the grave — and bite him. So sit down, remove your dentures, put up your dapper feet and listen up. The way Africa works, dear comrade, politics is an extension of corruption. The purpose of politics in Africa is corruption. Power is merely an instrument of extending and facilitating corruption. If you could invent a means of corruptly enriching elites that is divorced from politics, the African political elite would disappear in one night.

Think about Angola, Nigeria, Zaire, Kenya; why do you think there is deadly political competition? It’s not about power per se, it’s about the villa on the Riviera. Your country is like a fat, juicy mongora, the queen of an anthill. With all that money from the Black Empowerment Programme and so on, I imagine every one-eyed idiot in the townships is fighting to get close to the inner sanctum of the ANC so that they can have a slice of the mongora.

After they have destroyed you, they will use the power of the party to destroy the country too. Once on the inside, they will fragment into tribal cabals and with the blood of the nation dripping from their fangs, they will devour the nation and its people — and you. You agreed to go to the slaughterhouse because you felt you needed to be seen to be submitting to the authority of a strong institution. The ANC is in your blood. To you, the ANC is not an instrumentalist construct, a means to riches and power; but a tool for the liberation and empowerment of the African people. But how many in the current leadership share that lofty view? A strong ANC, without principled, ideological and loyal leadership, is a danger to South Africa. It is just a good mattock with which to dig out the mongora. South African democracy is a sham, you are a one-party state with parliament, government, the people and the unions in the pocket of the ANC. Your salvation lies in getting the people and yourself out of ANC’s pocket – quickly. That, I am afraid, involves defecting from the party of Govan Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.

But you can do it in a clever way: gather around you men and women of popularity, integrity, vision and, more importantly, wealth. Money is always important, comrade. Declare, from the rooftops, that the new crowd of malfeasants has departed from the values of the founders, that to protect those values you need to deposit them in a new, safe vessel, which you can call ANC Democratic Movement, or New ANC or the Real ANC or whatever. In doing so, you will cut the ANC’s parliamentary majority. The possibility of losing power will frighten the fanged ones. It will force them to work, and listen to the people in government.

By forming a working coalition with other small parties, you will offer a credible opposition and keep alive the values of the liberation. And (don’t tell anyone I said this) it will give you a power base and the political strength to protect yourself from your enemies. You have spent your life fighting racism and its extensions in politics. Do you now have the courage to enter into a political alliance with its architects?

I know you won’t listen, but I have made my money. And when torn knickers litter government house, the hordes slaughter each other in the townships and you are breaking rock in prison, I’ll write you another — and make some more money. Isn’t life a bitch?

Your most loyal servant

(Revolutionary greetings involving the clasping of hands and wagging of goatees).

***

What is the IMF and what Mr Moi used to call the “Waal Benk” waiting for? Banks are collapsing in America, the economy has been mismanaged by a corrupt political elite, the Republicans, and the people are suffering. Take off the shelf the rescue package you did for Belize in 1962, on their word processor do a replace-all (Belize to USA) and go and rescue that suffering country.

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