/ 1 November 2022

If Brazil’s Lula did it, uBaba Zuma can do it too

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Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil's president-elect, celebrates with supporters on Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. (Tuane Fernandes/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


A two-day losing battle with technology or not, the sense of elation at Sunday’s results is still there, that internal giggle, that feeling that, for the moment, all is right in the universe.

A 5-0 for Arsenal will do that.

So will a 1-0 for humanity, decency, the people of Brazil — or at least just over half of those who voted — and, of course, for Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — over Jair Bolsonaro and his particular brand of right-wing insanity.

Granted, it would have been more gratifying to have seen Lula’s lot blitz the fascists 5-0 as well; smash them properly, send them whimpering, terrorised, back to the lower leagues — and for Gabriel Jesus to have put one in the back of the net against the Tricky Trees — but a result is a result.

It’s the scrappy, ugly 1-0s that win league titles — and cups — after all.

Bolsonaro, unsurprisingly, is still sulking and dodging the post-match interviews, working out who to blame for losing the presidential elections, but video-assisted refereeing — in the form of the United States — has made its final call and the referee’s decision will stand.

There are 58 million unhappy Brazilian Nazis nursing their wounds today — and undoubtedly plotting their version of a five years, comrades — or worse — but for now Brazil is having its second Lula Moment.

Back home, the few remaining adherents of the former president who allegedly gave us our Lula Moment in 2009 are already at it, likening Jacob Zuma to Brazil’s not so new head of state, calling for the old man’s return to Luthuli House — and the Union Buildings — another Zuma Moment, as it were.

It was always going to happen although those among us who convinced the nation — and themselves — that electing Zuma as ANC president in 2007 was our Lula Moment, a victory for the left, for the working class — Zwelinzima Vavi, Blade Nzimande most prominently — aren’t drawing any analogies between Da Silva and Da Zuma.

Within seconds of the Brazilian election result being announced, the Wenzenists were at it, chatting up a return of Nxamalala and a third term in the presidency for our man based on his impeccable credentials as a corruption accused; his advanced age and his short stint in the slammer for refusing to account for state capture at the Zondo commission.

A familiar, and totally expected refrain.

Predictable and pitiful.

If Lula did it, uBaba can do it too.