Douglas Gibson | 02 March 2022Douglas Gibson says there are advantages to keeping demented pensioners in cabinet
2 March 2022
By Douglas Gibson[i]
Until a few days ago, I thought the ANC Youth League had died. The last time I heard about it was when leader Collen Maine (known as “Oros” because he resembled the rotund figure advertising the orange drink) disappeared from view. Suddenly a fighting statement was issued by very important ANCYL members, Stanley “AK 47” Letsoalo, the provincial co-ordinator and Ntsako Mogobe, provincial convenor.
Letsoalo’s nickname is surely intended to convey the impression is that he is a warrior of some note. If he is young enough to be in the ANCYL, then he hardly qualifies as a war veteran. Perhaps he is another faux soldier like Julius Malema, who risibly styles himself the “Commander-in-Chief,” to the amusement of around 90% of South Africans.
Be that as it may, these young warriors certainly declared war – against their party, the ANC. The leaders of the ANC, the cabinet members, according to them are a bunch of pensioners who are not doing their stuff. They even referred to some ministers as being “demented pensioners.” Amusingly enough the ANCYL seemed to be echoing the call by John Steenhuisen, leader of the opposition, for a motion of no confidence in the cabinet. Steenhuisen certainly did not go so far as to refer to ministers as “demented pensioners” but he might be tempted to do so when the parliamentary debate on his motion takes place. He could always quote the ANCYL and these young heroes as the authority.
The main target of the ANCYL was Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations. She dared to issue a follow-up statement that ever so gently requested the Russians to stop the invasion of Ukraine. This was after our president politely suggested the United Nations should mediate, knowing full well that Russia has a veto on the Security Council and nothing would happen. In his inimitable way, Tony Leon wrote about her first statement in Parliament: “Naledi Pandor’s contribution was a stupefying concoction of clichés untethered from even a vague appreciation of the crisis.”
And it was Pandor’s mealy-mouthed and contradictory statements that caused these warriors of the ANCYL to go to war. How dare she not support Russia. “The ANC-led government of South Africa must always stand on the side of Russian people…The inclusion of South Africa in BRIGS (sic) ought to be the guiding path towards our country fully supporting Russia.” Their best statement is the following: “they have forgotten the training from the KGB which contributed significantly to the liberation of the people of South Africa.” (Now we know what is wrong with our State Security Agency).
It is telling that these silly, ignorant little chaps should idolise the KGB. This is what one expects from products of ANC education, supervised by the showman, Panyaza Lesufi. They do not know that the KGB was abolished when the Soviet ended and that it had a fearsome record wildly out of touch with anything democratic or anything that could possibly be wished for in a constitutional democracy like South Africa.
It is chilling that young people, the flower of the ANC, care nothing for the rights of the people of Ukraine, a democracy, and care only about some romantic attachment to Communist Soviet Russia of 30 and 40 years ago and worse still a totalitarian force like the KGB.
Perhaps South Africa should at all costs retain the demented pensioners in the cabinet and prevent the next generation of the ANC from getting anywhere near power and influence?
Douglas Gibson is a former opposition chief whip and a former ambassador to Thailand. His website is douglasgibsonsouthafrica.com. His email address is: email@example.com