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Mangaung Maskandi: Prisoner of conscience

Nkosi Luthuli

Nkosi Luthuli, Maskandi artist, branch delegate and M&G undercover diarist criticises Kgalema Motlanthe's lack of an election strategy.

Zuma supporters celebrate his second term. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

uJZ prepared for a re-election campaign. His deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, was preparing for five days of basket-weaving in Mangaung.

That much is apparent from Motlanthe’s Don Quixote-esque tilt at the windmills of factionalism and slates by neither lobbying nor compiling an election CD to get the masses gyrating behind him.

And it was evident well before Msholozi crushed Motlanthe with 2 986 votes to the latter’s 991. “Conscience” mchana, reminds me too much of science and rationality, which the ancestors tell me is a bit of a con.

The Nkandla brigade has known for a while now that this pillow fight was sewn up more tidily than any of Motlanthe’s needlework. But, you could sense it most palpably on Nelson Mandela Drive outside the University of Free State early on Monday afternoon once the voting began.

The 100-percenters were out on the jive as early as 3pm, and if you can get a group of people to seamlessly perform intricate dance steps to such banally composed songs as Zuma for Second Term, getting them to vote together is a breeze.

As I keep saying, these Flatulent Forces of Change just do not know how to break wind. If they did, they are so stuck-up, it would probably smell like the Forces of Change perfume one poor sucker was selling in the revolutionary market on the steps of the university. Even that market confirms Zuma as a street fighter and Motlanthe as the pyjama partier. I was cruising the market slugging Johnnie Walker Platinum from a polystyrene cup and did not see a single piece of Motlanthe paraphernalia. This while uJZ was rocking it with CDs, T-shirts, kangas, overalls and some trippy hologram frames.

The last one really was a pièce de résistance, or piece of chop, if you will: a picture of uTata Nelson Mandela surreally seguing into a picture of our grinning Nkandla homeboy. The similarities are so obvious: Almost everybody loves Madiba. Women love Msholozi and more than half of South Africa are women. You know what I mean?

I still can’t get  my head around Motlanthe’s strategy. I was at Stellenbosch and Polokwane. At both these conferences, Motlanthe, then ANC secretary general, bemoaned the type of ANC cadre the party was developing. He, much like Lenin (without JZ’s penis, mind you) warned against careerism, self-aggrandisement and the loud mouths that the party was attracting.

With the ANC yet to establish a political education school, what was he thinking? That the comrades would start quoting and understanding Bertolt Brecht by osmosis? M’chana, you, more than anyone, knew what sort of cadre to expect at Mangaung - yet you still tried to plead to our souls? Sucker.

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