/ 9 June 2023

Is it moonshot or money shot in South Africa’s coalition land

Parties Picket At Public Protector�s Office In Pretoria Over Phala Phala
Doing a Pep Guardiola?: The DA could have a pre-season wishlist and R500 million for the moonshot team. Photo: Papi Morake/Gallo Images


Another day, another political conspiracy theory.

This time, word on the political street has it that the tail may be wagging the dog and that the pre-election coalition pact being talked up among opposition parties may be driven not by them, but by their donors.

The opposition parties are set to meet to finally agree on which of them will be allowed to participate in the moonshot in line with preconditions set by Democratic Alliance (DA) when its leader, John Steenhuisen, announced the initiative after being re-elected at the start of April.

With the ANC polling at less than 50% and DA falling far short of anything that resembles a majority, word has it that the money-men and -women want a unified opposition going into the elections — rather than the snakepit it currently is — to keep khongi from teaming up with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) after next year’s poll.

There’s talk of a R500 million election fund, complete with polling and other assistance in kind,  being set up to divide among the parties buying into the pre-election agreement and taking the DA’s lead.

Word has it that it’s more of a money shot than a moonshot and that the newfound drive for unity among parties who can’t agree among themselves on a mayoral candidate to field against the ANC, let alone a presidential one, is being orchestrated from abroad. It’s not the most outlandish of theories, particularly in a Republic like ours where literally anything can — and does — happen, and given the attitude of many of our well-heeled expatriates towards the black, green and gold.

There’s one snag

Two months on, the parties haven’t agreed on who can shoot the moon and who can’t. 

Surely if there really was a share of R500 million involved, they would have stopped fighting among each other by now?

Perhaps the division is the real cause of their disagreement?

Speaking of astronauts, will Manchester City, like Mzwanele Manyi, complete the treble on Saturday and win the Uefa Champions League?

Will Pep Guardiola’s team take the treble, having already won the league and cup domestically, or will they once more fall short at the final hurdle, despite having the budget of an oil-rich nation at their disposal?

The heart — and history — says Inter Milan, who did the treble themselves under Jose Mourinho in 2010 and won back-to-back titles in 1964 and 1965, but recent form — and money — dictate that City will do the full Manyi.

The former ANN7 head honcho emerged this week as the latest celebrity to join the EFF parliamentary contingent, having ticked off the ANC and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) along the political way.

From Comrade to Servant to Fighter, Manyi has owned another transfer window, swapping the ATM’s white golf shirt for a set of red overalls within weeks of formally saying goodbye to Vuyo Zungula’s outfit.

It’s not clear at this stage whether the ATM ran out of Manyi, or the Manyi ran out of the ATM — or whether this is the final destination on the artist formerly known as Jimmy’s political journey.

Did Malema turn up — like Guardiola — with a pre-season wish list and a Gucci full of money, in search of his own special player identified ahead of the 2024 elections, a matchwinner brought in for the season ahead?

Or did Manyi leave with the blessings of Zungula and the ATM on a free transfer, more Rob Holding than Erling Haaland, a suspect, not a superstar, with his previous team only too happy to see the back of him? 

So long, and thanks for all the Tweets.

One wonders whether Manyi will focus on his day job, of representing the EFF in parliament, or whether he will carry on moonlighting for the Jacob G Zuma Foundation, Tweeting on behalf of The Patron after work, or during the boring parts in the House.

Perhaps The Patron will follow Manyi into the ranks of the EFF, now that he’s no longer treasurer of one of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) factions in KwaZulu-Natal.

Giving uBaba the keys to anybody’s till, even an empty one like Sanco’s, was always, like his presidency, destined to end in tears — and bankruptcy..

Perhaps the old man will accept Malema’s invitation to join the Fighters — he’s at a loose end now that his career as a self-appointed prosecutor has been ended by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The former president also needs some cash to pay other people’s legal bills, in addition to his own, so a parliamentary seat in red would help.

I just don’t see Malema letting him anywhere near the cash register.