The Moment the DA wished the SABC was absent !

                                  – be careful what you wish for, you might just get it….. –

Thank God for the public broadcaster. Sunday a week ago, South Africa’s opposition party the DA had its weekend in the sun. It was the weekend of legacy handover, the entire Saturday was dedicated to its former leader Helen Zille. Speaker after speaker singing her praise.

“We would like to thank all media represented here today, in particular the SABC whom we had to drag to court tobe here today”, these were the words of Ethel Trollip, the comeback kid of DA election party politics.
Indeed the SABC was there be it dragged through a court order or not it was there. The intention was clear the DA wanted to use the weekend’s internal elections as its first major rally for the 2016 Municipal Elections. The choice of Port Elizabeth was no mistake or coincidence, it is as clear as the opposition could make it, there next aim is the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan node as the second DA political power spot – securing the Cape west to east. With this in mind an event was put together. It therefore was important to get all the publicity andmileage from this event – no resources were spared to achieve this aim.
Cut forward to the Sunday, then there came the moment for the announcement yes the announcement scripted, of the former leader in typical Sepp Blatter style asking for the envelope, to announce a ‘winner’ of the host of the proverbial world-cup two ‘worlds cups’ away.
Cut back to Saturday evening at the induction of Helen Zille into the pantheon of smart leadersby Allister Sparks. Sparks then becomes the nightmare of the spin doctors, since in a moment, all the time, money, resources and effort spent on is witnessed going up in smoke and no amount of spin can undo it, because we saw it, we heard it since the SABC was dragged to court to be there, fortunately.
The case can thus me made that Maimane was handed the baton not by Zille, neither by any of the DA leaders but a dead, buried and now resurrected Verwoerd as eulogized by Sparks.

It becomes important to ask who is Allister Sparks, Sparks is the embodiment of a lifetime of journalism, public commentary, political analysis starting from Malan to this present Zuma era, in his own words. So Sparks was around in 1948 with the establishment of the Apartheid State. Sparks was around with the Defiance Campaign, the banning of the ANC, the start of MK. Sparks lived through the arrests at Lilliesfarm and the subsequent Rivonia Trial. He was present plying his trade during the strangled – deaths of the organizations in the 1960’s, the forced removals of black people, be it in Sophiatown or District Six.
Sparks was around at the height of Black Consciousness, the student uprise in 76, the forming of COSATU, the formation and launch of the UDF, the activities of the MDM, the Tri-Cameral system experiment to bamboozle the people of South Africa in acceptance of half-baked solution as the alternate to the Apartheid State. Sparks was around in the mid-to late 80’s student uprise as led by the Cape, Sparks was there when the Talks about Talks took place.

Sparks, he was around when millions voted for the first time in claim of democratic franchise. Sparks lived through all of the 21 years of democracy. He commented, he opined and articulated meticulously and authoritatively from Malan to Zuma, hence when he took the podium and was handed the microphone, it was to give stature this moment of oppositionpolitics.
No one thus was more qualified, none more erudite than Allister Sparks, handpicked to give credence to this moment, on his shoulders and illustrious career a Helen Zille would leave and a Maimane will emerge. Niklos the emerging philosopher contends ‘there is something infants and old folk have in common, they speak the truth innocently’, Sparks clearly spoke the truth innocently and could not even understand why there was such a fuss made of his Verwoerd admiration.
What happened next no analyst,soothsayer or modern day prophet could preempt, no choreographer could design and clearly no spindoctor can now fix, because the SABC was there, and we the public saw this for ourselves in real time. Fortunately. We saw, we heard him go through a list of smart politicians who happened to all be white politicians. This list was dovetailed with the guest of honour, Helen Zille, the person of the hour.
The only problem is that somewhere among the listed ones, was a strange fellow, the epicentre of apartheid, the force behind segregation, the embodiment of black – hate, who was inspired by Adolf Hitler in claim of white supremacy.

Hendrik Verwoerd the nightmare of every African, now would define the finalmoment of the final chapter of Zille’s leadership. The stench from this sparked emissions enveloped the room, settling on the evening gown of Helen Zille forthese were words to eternalize her. And didn’t it? Yet she is associated not with Mandela, not with Biko but with Verwoerd and by implication with Hitler. All this in her finest moment.
We the public saw this, we heard it because the SABC was there. Fortunately. Because no spin-doctor can ever challenge what we have heard. Neither can a belated claim of senility as attempted by the DA’s usual spin.
Zille, eternalized into that pantheon of “SMART POLITICIANS” and no amount, of her protesting with audible NO, NO, NO – Nee, Nee, Nee could alter her induction in this pantheon. The SABC showed how Zille in moment of induction into this legacy of smart politicians is whisked away from the cameras and microphones of SABC for she was audible and there was no pre-approved or vetted script from the forever spin-doctor politics of the DA.
If Zille’s induction came at the un-vetted remarks of a Sparks in admiration of a Verwoerd and by extension Hitler, Mmusi Maimane’s coronation to high office in opposition politics did not escape the resurrected Verwoerd’s crown, cloak and scepter, because the public broadcaster was there and we are all duly informed.
Clyde N. S. Ramalaine


Zille & Ramphele: The KISS that left more than a betrayal smudge!

 Helen & Mamphela

It is all in a kiss, be it love or betrayal !

Through generations and times, a kiss was used to convey affection, love, friendship, peace, and unity. Equally, a kiss was used the night of the betrayal of Jesus Christ as the sign for his detractors. We have seen how disgraced leaders in full view would embrace and kiss their partners as a sign of unity after infidelity was confirmed, despite the known true reality of the hell behind closed doors.

This week was one of drama for some unsuspecting Mzantsites who decried the mess of ‘unification’ of claimed two parties or the blatant renting of a ‘black’ academic turned politician. In the hullabaloo of denials early on Monday and the Tuesday huddled press conference jointly attended by Dr. Ramphele and DA Leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, some are left in proverbial sixes and sevens to make of this matrimony of convenience in election pact signet.

I like many have shared my views a long time ago on Dr. Ramphele as it was carried in an earlier article captured in February 2013 of the Citypress “Inside a flawed political ambitious mind.” Yet I thought perhaps I could opine on the actual kiss that was blazoned on the news media purporting to be the ultimate sign of the ‘unity’ of Agang- SA and the DA.

The kiss thus has a dubious and multi-layered meaning depending what society, time, and situation one finds oneself. This week Ramphele and Zille kissed in unity of a ‘black’ presidential candidacy for a ‘white’ party. It is time to ask what this kiss meant.

This kiss, for Ramphele was a kiss of betrayal to an Agang-SA she informed the world and all who wanted to hear is the answer for ANC opposition. The same Ramphele opined the DA was a ‘white’ party who can never articulate or speak on behalf of what is commonly termed ‘black’ people.

It was a kiss in betrayal of those who for a variety of reasons found Ramphele what the claimed a fresh breath and new entrant self-made and need no one’s money. It was a betrayal to the staff compliment of Agang-SA who was clearly shell-shocked by this announcement as they were readying for an elections showdown as promised by its leader.

Ramphele’s kiss with Zille was also a betrayal of ideology. Yet this ideology aspect in my assessment is perhaps not true because Ramphele though in extramarital relation -association of a Black Consciousness icon Steve Biko has not practiced these strong BC ideological principles. For the greater part of her post – Apartheid context, Ramphele has proven very comfortable in the various positions she held in dictate of a liberalist conviction. Ramphele betrayed some who considered her perhaps wrongly the hope of the black middle class. Mamphela betrayed Biko’s famous  ‘black’  unit construct philosophy.

Ramphele also betrayed herself because it appears one cannot take her morning and evening talks but with a cup of salt. She betrayed some who considered her as an academic astute and above this political muck of personalities and self-interest.


Well on the other side, what does this kiss mean for Zille? Helen Zille came to prominence when she took over from Tony Leon in what was considered a bruising battle, which left perhaps eternal scars on Leon. Zille got working on her now crystallised ideal of moving a Democratic Party to a Democratic Alliance. You cannot falter her for consistency in creating an alliance of what was a party. She had meticulously set cause conscious or unconscious of the reality of what comprised the Democratic Party and now the Democratic Alliance. Helen knows how to fight her wars inside the organisation. She even used a young Lindiwe Mazibuko to stave off some challenges from the DA constituency. Yet what Helen who had a stormy year in organisational setting with inconclusive policy positions on empowerment for previously disadvantaged groups defines coupled with the simmering tensions of those who have increasingly have become uncomfortable with her leadership for  divergent reasons. The only problem with alliances is that they bring together conflicting doctrines on a subject and they can tear any time. The DA is hardly a singular group of similar doctrine,

Helen in her persistent and obsessed need to unseat the ANC had political one-night stands, dates, flings, and some courtships with a variety of personalities from a crossbreed of SA political and labour context. She portends forever in love with anything and everyone that says something bad of the ANC. Helen has politically bedded the dead ID of a once vocal Patricia De Lille, until she chained De Lille into a silence with a Mayoral Chain rendering the ID into brief existence but a long death.

Hats off – to Helen Zille for knowing how to take them down in which she remains the male dominant one. She had a proposed date with the now suspended COSATU representative Zwelinzima Vavi that came out when Vavi told all how he was pursued by a feisty Zille. She flirted with Mosioua Lekota of COPE, until their competing ego’s killed the fling. Zille may have had some politically speaking one – nightstands with a Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP and with Bantu Holomisa of the UDM but these were brief ones. 

Yet Helen kissed in this season Ramphele, in what I shall call a kiss of betrayal on her part for she betrayed the ultra-conservative DA members who came to the DA as a fall out of and old NP remnant. Zille betrayed the organisation’s policy context in letting an outside person be proposed for the DA’s presidential contest.

She betrayed a growing group of internal unhappy  constituency with her leadership who sees her latest half cooked quick to media press conference as in defiance of the DA stance. Zille, in her kiss betrayed even those who are considered liberal, for liberality is not naturally translating to an absence of conservatism. The DA cannot claim it was ready for this surprise of a ‘black’ leader as Helen sprung this on them. It is therefore not correct to assume that all the so-called liberals agree with a Ramphele as DA presidential candidate. Helen on lighter note potentially betrayed South African males, confirming an undying obsession to show female dominance over males as her Western Cape cabinet attests.

Helen Zille with this barely kiss, also betrayed Ramphele, for the truth is knowing that the DA will never have the seat of president in SA constituency, it is an easy  offering thing to a  megalomaniac Goggo who hallucinates of a place and time in Tuynhuis as president of SA. She offers Mamphela literally a moment in the sun of claim of face on ballot paper in the only true opposition fold, but nothing more than that because come June 2014 Ramphele will be an ordinary DA member with  a record of accomplishment of failure as evidence and  sign of no future.

Helen betrayed, her own protégé and crowned successor, Lindiwe Mazibuko . The truth is  the young Mazibuko was never an option she was a decoy of youth claim, whom  Helen Zille preferred at a time when she needed to deal with some in the DA who were challenging her base and leadership. Mazibuko has therefore outlived her stay and served her “purpose” you could see that with all the mess of policy confusion caused by her ineptness.

Also  because Mmusi Maimane is a much more complete DA future leader than her. Ramphele gives Helen a chance to fix the wrong of Mazibuko appointment. My  unsolicited advice to Lindiwe go back to university and study further girl!  It is time we acknowledge Zille’s uncanny knack to attempt greatness in SA political platform. Her moves are all in self-sustaining almost intoxicated to unseat the ANC regardless who she must flirt with, when and where even how.

Lastly, Helen betrayed herself for she acknowledged that she would never qualify to be the SA president for who she is and for what she can bring. She with this last stroke of bedding told SA the DA still believes in fronting when every law in democracy convulses at the thought of such.

Helen’s lips met Mamphela’s lips in a sanitised embrace of kiss in which hardly the make-up smudged, but the betrayal proved real. Perhaps this kiss was rehearsed, perhaps this kiss is a more true reflection of what this charade of potential political prostitution dictates, for it is no semblance of unity as we are told in abuse of Mandela legacy, it is the calculated and callous desires of two politicians who have betrayed their parties and themselves.

In the end, it appears the  famous song ….Let’s just kiss and say goodbye…  of the Manhattans that vintage soul-train voice group, will be the song cometh the hour after the 2014 elections results are announced.

Until then the stench of betrayal pollutes our political canvas attesting a sanitised kiss that left  an indelible betrayal smudge.

Clyde N.S. Ramalaine

Independent Observer