NOTE: This article is a satirical response to a viral essay by Helen Zille commenting on Jacob Zuma’s arrest and broader South African politics.
Not for the first time, Helen Zille has dived headfirst into controversial waters.
This time, she declares that African culture is more aligned with feudalism than it is with the traditions of constitutional democracy. And I only have one question in reply to that.
How dare she?
In her defense, she states that the esteemed former president Zuma believed that the concept of corruption was a western phenomenon. That she had to first ask the permission of a local chief if she wanted to campaign in a traditional area in South Africa. Apparently, Zuma even wondered out loud in one of his highly efficient cabinet meetings, “I was elected. The judges weren’t. How come they are in a position to tell me what to do?” When the DA marched to Nkandla to seek answers, their way was blocked by people streaming out of the shacks; the same individuals who were the hardest hit by Zuma’s corrupt presidency, who could have benefited the most from a capable state.
But that is all hearsay.
We haven’t had a Zulu king who has made outrageous statements on immigrants. We don’t have a National House of Traditional Leaders that seems to be accruing more power by the minute. We don’t have customary law that treats women abysmally and is in constant conflict with the Constitution. And the crowd who protested outside of Nkandla had read verbatim the court judgments against Zuma and were merely protesting on procedural grounds – not because they considered the former president to be a king.
So why does she believe this?
Let us look elsewhere in Africa, because South Africa is completely devoid of what Zille is prattling on about. And once again we find nothing to substantiate her theory. There is no indication of anti-gay sentiment in most of the African continent. Many African leaders have complete respect for their constitutions, and do not try to subvert democracies.
The issue is so moot, that a prominent black individual from another country, former US President Obama, once flew to Africa to address the entire African Union, congratulating them on their respect for the rule of law, due process and their willingness to only serve two terms.
So what if most of the opposition to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has disappeared? That is merely a coincidence. So what if many of the Zimbabwean elections have been tainted with fraud? That is because of European influence. So what if constant wars are being fought in places like the Congo, Nigeria, and Sudan. That is a result of the power of white international companies, and not because of the lack of true leadership, cultural influences, and the impact of socialist ideas and policies. After all, these international companies can orchestrate the same wars in their first-world home countries. They just want to see black people suffer.
And Helen Zille mentions feudalism. Why is that relevant? There is a massive difference between socialism or communism, which the governing party champions, and feudalism. The Minister of Sport has a very important role to play in all aspects of our society! He is not at all like the Dukes of old, who are only appointed because of family ties or political connections, and were merely in place to perform pointless ceremonies, being largely held unaccountable.
Her rational argument would be that she is peering past skin color and focusing on ideas. Even though all the evidence points to the contrary, let us hear her out! She would say that calling out these irrational ideas has nothing to do with racism, anti-Africanism, etc. After all, Eastern Europe, South America, and many countries in Asia have much the same problems – an affinity with authoritarianism instead of valuing individual rights. No, the real reason why she is pointing this out to us, is because as Ernest Becker in the classic novel, “The Denial Of Death” would say, stupid ideas should be called just that, stupid.
To shame bad ideas is the only way to move past them. After all, how can we improve if we cannot accept we have a problem? And our emotions are not that important if we are in the wrong, just as the emotions of a drug addict would be if someone told him he had a problem. He might be outraged, but he would have justification in doing so. And seeing it as a criticism of black people and not the culture and its ideas would be a wrong interpretation, as, after all, she was heavily critical of Apartheid – instituted by white individuals. Many of those white individuals who still long for the old days, and are equally guilty of the same cultural problems.
But I do not like this idea, because “Rationality” has a clear right-wing bias and is seeped in white privilege.
So why is really doing this? It is simple, and it has been staring us in the face this entire time: It is because she is a racist.
Helen Zille hid Apartheid leaders in her home not to help the fight against Apartheid, but to pull the wool over our eyes. Helen did not expose Steve Biko’s murder because she cared about justice for all, but because she wanted to insidiously plant herself between us.
Waiting for the right moment. A secret and last member of the Ossawabrandwag.
And here we have it at last. Exposed on Twitter, the home of dedicated and sophisticated journalism.
So be careful Helen. Twitter and I are on to you.
That is until we find something better to do.