Well lads, you seem to be in a fine mess, and we’re all right behind you. As South Africans, we love to polarise. As you know, we come from a place of black and white and, as much as we say we want to, we’re just not ready for the mental exercise required to build grey areas into our national consciousness.

So it’s much easier for us to sit back in our corners and use you guys as the poster children for our own rainbow laziness. We find it comforting to default back to “blacks are this” and “whites are that”, “women are that way and men are this” as it is the simplest way to go about our day.

So thank you all for your contribution to the building of our nation, you fine upstanding stereotypes. Your collective recent behaviour has done much to reinforce our national sense of misguided outrage.

Darren, your lending money to a no-good, lazy and ungrateful black man showed infinite patience and gracious generosity, and he repaid you with insolence and larceny, so you felt justified to use a bad word that is either in someone’s vocabulary or not.

I understand you were drunk, and alcohol is such an evil hallucinogen, that plucks words from the Devil’s mouth and hurls them from yours. We are all relieved that they will be banning alcohol adverts, as I often find I get drunk just from watching them. Then I develop an aggressive attitude that isn’t my own toward the television, as it is a colour one.

You say you are not a racist, we can only take you at your word … which in this case, seems to start with a k. Perhaps that is not the issue — are you a good South African? Have you tried to give back? Or are you resolute, as many privileged are, that the debts of our history are not yours? Perhaps you should reflect on the radical idea that the present is simply on loan from our children. When you fail to pay your daughter back, what will she call you?

The word you used is one that provokes anger, hatred and violence, it was wrong and you should know better. The fact that people have rushed to your defence and condemnation is exactly why it is a word to be left behind us and never used again as we move forward together.

I can only agree with Redi Tlhabi, who was sad that you were allowed to resign before your were fired. None of us is perfect, but many of us are trying to go in the right direction.

I read now that you have parted ways with SuperSport — that was inevitable, they won’t even tolerate the nipples of an employee being visible … I hope you do something concrete soon to show that you are interested in being a better South African, as it may nudge other people along a good road.

Then there’s Julius — proof that a movement can become it’s own antithesis, given enough rope, some power and the greedy eyes of a man who has seen the full potential of freedom to become a monetary prize. Your crime is not against white people at all, Mr Junior President — although you would prefer it to seem that way as you move to amass more wealth. No, the white folks you lump together are just the vehicle you rev as you ride over those who really put you in the driver’s seat, their bones ground up to make your fuel, their bodies pave your road to power.

You claim your start as a domestic worker’s son gives you extra rights in an equal society … only because, other than that, you have no real claim to struggle credentials, and so you have formulated and marketed a new struggle … “economic freedom fighter” is such an elegant term for fraudster …

You use songs held sacred by some people, not to celebrate your own past, but to rile people into handing you more power, so that you can continue to pour money into your own plainly improper business affairs.

You’ve started to tear chunks out of the foundations of a once-noble organisation, and allow your hoodwinked congregation to burn its own flag. If they fail to hold you accountable, their once raised spear really is nothing more than dull shtick.

Your motivation is at best questionable, at worst, criminal, and encourages the world at large to maintain its image of African leaders as fickle, self-serving, unpredictable and unreliable. This is not to say that African leaders are this way — any more than any other nation’s politicians.

When the time comes and the world singles you out as an enemy of your own people, you will form a laager, we have seen this all before. You will turn on your own and bully them into blind devotion.

You must be careful not to forget — we are not a party, but a nation — and none of us is irreplaceable.

Quite simply — the new nation was called into being under the auspices of a great document, the preamble to which I have reproduced here for your recollection:

“We, the people of South Africa,

Recognise the injustices of our past;

Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and

Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.

We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to ­

* Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
* Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;
* Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and
* Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

May God protect our people.

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso.

God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa.

Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.

Nowhere does this document (in its entirety) mention that certain individuals or groups will be given more equal rights than others. Nowhere does it say that history will take precedence over the rights of citizens living currently — and most importantly, this document is reflective of the intention of our government, not the ruling party. The rules of the ANC, as I’m sure you are by now painfully aware, are different.

You sir, present yourself as a child of the party, not the state, and you should always remember that your inclusion as a citizen is like us all, via the Constitution, not the ANC.

The indefensible position is always the most defensive, and followers with nothing have exactly that to lose — your strategy to keep them in that state is clear to those beyond your curious magic show.

I hope that of all the things you lose, their fanatical belief in you is first.

And then Gareth. Dear Gareth — why do you insist on lying on your mental back, with your mouth so wide open? Many people want to know what you think. To the point that your TWEETS are for sale. This says a lot about your motivation, see JULIUS above. I understand that you are an educated man, and your knowledge of French history is said to be encyclopedic, which must be very useful and comforting to you.

Why do you knowingly flout the terms and conditions of our contract? The Constitution has asked you very nicely to treat people with respect and dignity, in the hope that we can pick up the pieces of our past and fashion something constructive. Is it necessary to stand at the window of your privileged tower and hurl verbal excrement at passers-by? Surely, as an intelligent person you possess the awareness to support the Constitution?

Sadly, your defence of yourself over this incident is just spin mongering, trying to deflect the blame onto others, after you first denied that you even said it. A bit silly with millions of witnesses … you lied at first, hoping this would blow over. When it didn’t, you decided that maybe the public wasn’t as stupid as you hoped, and decided to up your game, publishing a heap of steaming words.

Finally, AfriForum — you have slogged away, spending huge amounts of time and money to ensure that the rights of certain South Africans are protected. Your next move will tell us a lot about whether you are indeed a beacon of hope, or just a protector of white rights — in which case, you are not a rights group, but a litigious, right-wing lobby-group, whose ongoing selective efforts will only dig us all into a deeper long-term hole. Please stop what you are doing in the name of South Africans and clarify that you have only certain groups in mind, so we can all adjust ourselves accordingly.

Perhaps we need to change the last few lines of the preamble to: “God — on second thought — perhaps you’d like to pass this nation by as we seem hell-bent on bitching and fighting, and we’re sure you have better things to do?”


  • You can follow John on Twitter if you like @fortyshort. John Vlismas is an increasingly reclusive former hell-raising coke fiend and fall-down drunk. Now a scuba teacher and far better father; he is an award-winning anti-socialite, has played The Royal Albert Hall and has been described as "blunt" but also as "sharp". He has little regard for team sports and his name is very often mispronounced. He is also the co-owner of a company called "Whacked", which does good things for local comedy.


John Vlismas

You can follow John on Twitter if you like @fortyshort. John Vlismas is an increasingly reclusive former hell-raising coke fiend and fall-down drunk. Now a scuba teacher and far better father; he is...

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