Evita: Democracy worth fighting for
South Africans could face sanctions 20 years from now for being the only democracy left in the world—if the country looks after its democracy, Evita Bezuidenhout said in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
“And that’s worth fighting for,” she said in announcing her candidature for the presidency in 2009 at a press conference at which koeksisters were served, ahead of her performance Pieter Dirk: Eish!.
The “Afrikaner gogo [granny]”, who in real life is acclaimed satirist and actor Pieter Dirk Uys, pointed out that apartheid South Africa was 20 years ahead of the United States.
US President George Bush is acting just as apartheid leader PW Botha had behaved.
On crime, Bezuidenhout said: “Fear is out of control. The more frightened we are, the easier it is [for leaders such as Botha and Bush] to frighten us more.”
She suggested the solution for Zimbabwe would be to put Valium tablets in President Robert Mugabe’s orange juice and let him retire to watch television.
“They do fly away, you know, to the same place ... PW Botha will be washing feet and Mugabe will be building houses.”
Bezuidenhout, who will deliver her manifesto at her performance at the Market Theatre throughout the coming month, stressed that her standing for the presidency is “purely as a ‘gogo’”.
“Every dysfunctional family needs a grandmother.”
Bezuidenhout, best known as the former South African ambassadress to Bapetikosweti, is a stalwart of the Market Theatre.
She added that US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton had phoned her to say: “If you can do it, so can I.”
Among her plans would be to send African National Congress deputy president Jacob Zuma to Somalia as ambassador, “where there are many Umshini wami’s” and Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang to Mongolia “to grow plantations of beetroot”.
Bezuidenhout would replace President Thabo Mbeki’s weekly internet letter—no one in the townships has access to it, anyway—with a weekly radio talk.
“And we’ll bring back the wind-up radio now that we’re back to having no electricity 24 hours a day.”
While maintaining anti-death penalty stance she would introduce a special prison for all murderers, rapists and hijackers, where they could rule themselves.
“I will give them their democratic rights. They will rule themselves in their country.”
Asked how an Afrikaner gogo could lead a young African democracy, Bezuidenhout said: “I am liberated from all those things”, adding that she would not stand for any party, but as an independent candidate.
“But if the smile goes back on South Africans’ faces, then this gogo will have done her job.”—Sapa