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Who turned JZ into Mr Min?

Ok, who turned the world upside down? Who turned the bad guys into the good guys and the good guys into the bad guys? Who turned the ANC into the old Nats and The Arch into PW Botha? Who turned the Dalai Lama into Pol Pot and Jacob Zuma into Mr Min? April Fool’s Day is over. Can we get some reality back please?

Hearing the ANC attack Desmond Tutu rings with bewildering irony for any of us who lived through the eighties and the so many occasions when the same voice who now criticises this government lambasted the National Party and then premier PW Botha when they were in government.

He attacked them here and abroad. He attacked them when newspapers in this country could not report his words, his words nevertheless being reported abroad so that we could hear his ringing condemnation of apartheid and its atrocities despite the best efforts of the Nats to quieten us and block our ears and minds to the truth.

The ANC now dares to round on this great man of peace, one of the world’s greatest 20th century voices for what is right and against what is wrong. Listen up, you in the now governing ANC who would attack such luminous voices as those of Tutu and the Dalai Lama. We have the vote. We know how to use it. And sure as hell will never freeze over, we will we use our vote to oust the dark voice you seem to have found in these bizarre times. We have a democracy and we have your organisation to thank for that in large measure, and the ANC we once knew will always have our respect for having achieved that.

But right now you are making us very, very angry with your draconian attitude to great men of peace. So hear this in your palaces of untouchable, unspeakable arrogance: we can vote you out of power, this new ANC that is not the ANC that I, for one, once voted for. Hear that it is not only voices from the opposition that you are offending by attacking Tutu and the Dalai Lama and by riding rough shod over any voice of reason that dares to speak up and decry your present ways.
How bitterly sweet, or sweetly bitter, would it be if the democracy the ANC supposedly sought — and I’m not sure that the jury’s in on that one just yet — were to be used to chuck out an ANC government that is offending its electorate by behaving alarmingly like PW Botha’s final government. How unexpectedly, ironically mad would that be? And how unwarranted and unwanted.

Hear this: nobody wants this. Nobody wants to have to throw out a bad government, because all we really want is a good one. South Africans, all South Africans — this has nothing to do with race — proved in April 1994 and have proved so many times since that all most of us really want is a thriving, well-run country where we can all live in peace, harmony and have a free and fair shot at wealth and prosperity.

Give us that South Africa and you can have enough of our votes to stay in power. Is that too much to ask?

And that includes not pissing us off by attacking our true heroes. We said it 20 years ago and I for one say it now. If ever — ever in my life time — you want my vote again: HANDS OFF THE ARCH.


  • Tony Jackman is a journalist, budding playwright and sometime chef. He's written two plays, An Influence of Ghosts and Blue Train Coming, and back in the day wrote loads of songs. He paints a bit in watercolours when he remembers to, and apart from that he massages words and pushes grammar for a nice little magazine called myweek. Follow me on Twitter


  1. Siobhan Siobhan 3 April 2009

    Thank you, Tony!

    As one who lived overseas in the 80s I can attest to the Archbishop’s activism against apartheid. When Tambo, Sisulu, and Mandela were silenced in prison, Tutu took up the torch and ran with it.

    According to the present leadership of the ANC Tutu’s great ‘sin’ is in not being a member of any political party. It seems to be beyond the comprehension of the likes of Mantashe, Malema, et al that in order to be an effective voice for justice and human rights, Tutu must remain independent. One cannot speak truth to power if one is shackled by ‘party discipline’. Tutu is respected around the world specifically because he is an independent voice for right.

    I am frankly appalled at the vitriolic attacks on a man who has said nothing remotely ‘sacreligious or blasphemus’ . It is the ANC that equated ZUMA WITH JESUS CHRIST AND THE ANC THAT KEEPS TELLING US IT WILL RULE UNTIL ‘THE SECOND COMING’. THAT IS BLASPHEMY.

    I wish 3rd Degree and Carrte Blanche would both re-broadcast the Debra Patta interview with the Archbishop so that those who missed it can hear for themselves what the rest of us heard: that the ‘Bish’ warned the ANC NOT TO THINK OF THEMSELVES AS GODS. HE DID NOT AT ANY TIME COMPARE THE ANC TO GOD AS HIS ACCUSERS MAINTAIN.

    It truly sickens me when an honourable person is attacked by dishonourable hordes. Shame on the ANC.

    Bless Archbishop Tutu.

  2. Dawn Dawn 3 April 2009

    Hear! Hear!
    I worry that Malema and his acolytes cannot see that this ANC is simply the new black Nats. The similarities are so startling.

  3. Peter Win Peter Win 4 April 2009

    Hear, hear !

    Well said !

    Cruel irony indeed. All those years when the ANC supported the Bish’s stance – and the moment they are in the firing line, it’s inappropriate.

    Time for this government to go – but how many times was that not said of the Nats too… Please God it does not take SA another 40 years…

  4. Sipho Sipho 4 April 2009

    From Emory University Newspaper:

    South Africa’s Dalai Lama debacle only serves as the latest diplomatic human rights spectacle to embarrass the country. South African influence perpetuates Robert Mugabe’s tyrannical rule of Zimbabwe and Omar al-Bashir’s genocidal regime in Sudan. As a matter of fact, South Africa maintains full diplomatic relations with the economically-sanctioned Sudanese regime, an international pariah whose president stands indicted by the International Criminal Court.

    How could South Africa, which emerged from its own pariah status just 15 years ago, so quickly lose its moral standing? The then-outlawed African National Congress (ANC) greatly benefited from the international advocacy of the Dalai Lama in its struggle against apartheid, yet the Dalai Lama cannot attend a non-political peace conference with two heroes of South Africa’s democratic transition today. South Africa works to subvert popular independence movements that threaten its friends, but wags its finger at the West for accommodating the apartheid regime for too long.

    Who are the true hero’s of the world? Worshipping money and oppression instead of humanity will be the undoing of us all. It didn’t work in the USSR, East Germany or the old SA. How much longer do we think the CCP can maintain it’s oppression over a billion people who are tasting the fruits of freedom? The USSR fell with lightning speed; the same signs are there in China now. History shows, people will die for liberty, not for money.

  5. sirjay jonson sirjay jonson 4 April 2009

    I’m certain your well expressed feelings are being felt with growing anger across South Africa within all those who admire Tutu and who see in him the highest possible goodness representative of our dreams and aspirations.

    To attack such renown spiritual leaders revered around the world, regardless of our varied religious identities which in itself is unique, while the Arch and Dalai Lama are held in the highest possible regard, is demonstrative of the ANC’s absolute and seemingly unstoppable degeneration. The ANC’s shameful attack on both Tutu and His Holiness IS the true blasphemy.

    In a sense the ANC is circling the wagons. My God, my God, what will we have to live through under a Zuma government? More bathless and waterless shacks for those who vote for him is likely the least of the damage they’ll do. However, it is not God who has forsaken us. Its the Zuma gang. What a disaster! And what a disappointment!

  6. Paul Whelan Paul Whelan 4 April 2009

    Reads like more anxious pleading for the govt. to be nice to us rather than any real intention by the wroter to use his vote against it.

  7. Paul Whelan Paul Whelan 4 April 2009

    Peter Win

    It seems to me that your forty years are always needed for fundamental change in society – 40 while the present generation, its mind (broadly) made up by its experiences, goes from, say, 30 to 70, and the same 40 for the next generation to grow into true independence and its own maturity of political thought and action.

    The record of this govt. is bad for more important reasons than it is rude to Tutu.

    It is not that the ANC is inherently incompetent or corrupt, as is said so often. It is that there is no alternative to it, and therefore finally no need for it to do much more than carry on as before. In any case it cannot do much more than that. No unchallenged party/govt. can change itself without outside opposition to provide the motive – otherwise ‘reform’ will simply split it. And to make the situation worse, the ANC has become very afraid.

    But there are dramatic and fast-moving changes among SAns, which is the only way genuine change can come. In some ways these are startling if you think back only a year/18 months, let alone 5 years.

    There is still room to hope I am wrong on April 22.

  8. Peter Peter 4 April 2009

    Good one Tony. I have always thought that JZ and his gang will one day get what they deserve. They mastered the foot in mouth routine a while back and all they seem to do these days is swop feet. Give them enough rope…

  9. Siphiwo Siphiwo Siphiwo Siphiwo 4 April 2009

    S T E N C H

    -is the name of what you’ve just written.

  10. Perplexed Perplexed 4 April 2009

    What a arrogant government.
    The Dalai Lama..then Tutu..mark my words..we are to be shocked more by this “ANC Circus”, driven by a bunch of they continue to represent, all that is the average decent South African.

    They, are now just starting to get into “The groove”..there is more to follow…!!

    And Tony, you want them to “reform” you feel better about giving them a vote !!?? Lol.

    They are on “self-destruct”, and like a Kamakazi pilot..his “vision and mind” is made up.

    All one ,as the common voter, can make sure he self-destructs by himself..and doesnt take everyone else down along with them.

  11. Coleen Jaftha Coleen Jaftha 5 April 2009

    Dear TJ

    Seems we are now living in a “right is wrong and wrong is right” South Afica. See the devastating effect on our type of leadership, justice sytem, international relations, interpersonal communication, our values, our children, the economy…Do you have any solutions? I am out of ideas to salvage the situation.

    Yours sincerely
    Very concerned South African

  12. Jon Story Jon Story 5 April 2009

    In the eighties PW Botha was executive president not premier. He and Tutu clashed on many occasions specially when Tutu advocated sanctions by foreign companies, sanctions which hurt the blacks more than the whites. Mr Tutu himself was hardly affected at the time, living at Bishopscourt in relative luxery and his children studying overseas. What Tutu said in this country was duly reported by the newspapers. Utterances by black leaders like Oliver Thambo who lived overseas were banned from the local newspapers. So we in this country did not know what they said. If you draw on the past, at least try to be truthful. Now back to Mr Tutu and his criticism of the ANC an JZ. Way back in 1994 there were many who predicted what would happen, not because they were clainvoyant but only by looking at other African nations and their corrupt governments. The big question is, will a non-ANC government be a better deal for the people of South Africa? Vote them out and see.

  13. ian shaw ian shaw 5 April 2009

    Hoqw can the present complement of voters throw out the ANC from power as long as the masses driven not by facts but emotions, false promiese and demagoguery vote for them? Remember that even in Zimbabwe about 45% of voters voted for Mugabe even in the last election hen Tsvangirai won, despite famine, general economic collapse, governmet dictatorship, alck of resources of any kind? We constantly hear and read from ANC supporters who seem to be blind to corruption, nepotism, embezzlement scandals, mockery opf teh legal system and the Constitution. Why?

  14. henri henri 6 April 2009

    The (ANCY-)league said it was “disgusted” by Tutu’s “rantings” and although it respected the cloth, it realised the need to impart some advice to him while he mixed religion and politics.

    The irony of these statements would be absolutely hilarious if not so tragic….

  15. MFB MFB 6 April 2009

    Whyte conservative worshippers of foreign corporate icons are not a sufficiently large group for their votes to be significant to the ANC.

    Even if they ever voted ANC before, which judging by this rant, they probably didn’t.

    Nice title, by the way. Shame the article was not about it.

  16. Phillipa Lipinsky Phillipa Lipinsky 6 April 2009

    Comparing the AND to the NATS is the most disgusting, most despicable and lowest thing one can do. It shows your eagerness to trivialise that humiliating, dehumanising and brutal system that the majority of white South Africans keenly endorsed by voting the NATS into government. Ironically, the same people who want to “forget” Apartheid or pretend it never existed are the quickest to compare the present government to it. It’s like comparing George Bush to Hitler. There are no events in this world that can be compared to either the Holocaust or Apartheid. It might make you feel good about yourself since you never suffered in either of these two cases but I suggest you show a little compassion-as a fellow human being. Yes, Zuma is the most unsuitable politician, yes a disturbing number of ANC members are corrupt but have they electrocuted, mutilated, castrated, jailed without trial anybody who has criticised them. Have they humiliated an entire people by reducing them to servants of a “superior” race so they raise other people’s children while theirs languish in poverty and are left unattended. Please, be a little respectful Mr Jackman. Granted you will never suffer nearly as much as the blacks of this country have but that doesn’t give you the right to turn Apatheid into a bloody joke!

  17. Phillipa Lipinsky Phillipa Lipinsky 6 April 2009

    I meant to say :”Comparing the ANC to the NATS is the most disgusting, most despicable and lowest thing one can do”. not AND

  18. Michael Moore Michael Moore 6 April 2009

    The ANC is the ANC in name only. The old ANC is dead, Zuma and his team have stolen one of the most prestigious brands in the world. It will take a long time, and much suffering before the masses realize that the old ANC standards have gone. Lets hope JZ isn’t going to be our President for life!

  19. Mark Hobson Mark Hobson 6 April 2009

    The universe is all about balance…

  20. Gerry Gerry 6 April 2009

    “Comparing the AND to the NATS is the most disgusting, most despicable and lowest thing one can do. It shows your eagerness to trivialise that humiliating, dehumanising and brutal system that the majority of white South Africans keenly endorsed by voting the NATS into government.”

    Well said Phillippa! And you are right, because what the ANC is doing and getting away with is most despicable and lowest thing one can do. It trivialises the efforts of great people, dehumanises their own electorate, humiliates people who has compassion and common sense, and is keenly endorsed by the majority of black south Africans voting the ANC and their brutal policies into government.

    Same biscuit, just different icing.

  21. Coen Coen 6 April 2009

    @Siphiwo Siphiwo, very intelligent outlaid argument you put forward there. Nice seeing you being typical. It’s very surreal seeing the ANC followers not questioning this outburst against the Arch. If he’s worried and concerned I think it should make everyone pause and really think about the state of our next ‘president’ and cohorts.

  22. Phillipa Lipinsky Phillipa Lipinsky 6 April 2009

    George Bush might be a terrorist (according to some) but he did not kill 4million or so individuals. Likewise the ANC is, to a great degree, corrupt but they have not dehumanised people, forced them to carry passes, torture them in prisons, hack them to pieces for protesting against injustice. The government has allowed people to insult and ridicule its members without threatening their lives. Cartoonists have made fortunes selling books and being contracted to big newspaper establishments simply because of their willingness to ridicule and deride certain politicians (most notably Thabo Mbeki). Puppet commentators have advanced their careers. The problem with this approach is that we sacrifice a chance to hold the government to account and by making fun of Zuma and Malema, we also pass up a chance to criticise them earnestly so that they can see they are not wanted or needed here. That they are “unfit to govern”. Then again, making fun of Zuma and co is not nearly as base as making joking about Apartheid!

  23. Craig Craig 6 April 2009

    @Phillipa Lipinsky – “There are no events in this world that can be compared to either the Holocaust or Apartheid.”

    What about the Spanish colonisation of South America – I think that compares favorably to both the holocaust and apartheid (with some religious conversion thrown in to boot).

    Or Rwandan genocides – that compares to the holocaust.

    Or Pol Pot’s charming tenure in Cambodia -another holocaust contender.

    Did you keenly endorse the NATs? I know you are white (you are at pains to tell us all the time) so by the logic or your oft-repeated comments you must have endorsed them too. Shame on you.

  24. WillieS WillieS 6 April 2009

    Unfortunately, the ANC is acting more and more just like the NATS did in their heydays.

    We just have to look at the support for Robert Mugabe’s regime, the SA Gov’s human rights abuses with HIV/Aids, and how SAPS, VIP protection units and Metro Police make some arrests (= Police State),coupled with the political interference with Adv Pikoli, and the deplorable attitude with the Dali Lama issue, to name some.

    At least the NATS probably knew deep in their hearts, that they were nothing more than scoundrels abusing their power ………

  25. Tony Jackman Tony Jackman 6 April 2009

    Philippa, you entirely miss the point. I stand for certain things, and I stand against certain things. It matters nought what colour the perpetrators of any wrongdoing are. Wrong is wrong and must be opposed. It really is as simple as that.
    If Helen Zille or Patricia de Lille achieved power, and started abusing that power, I would oppose that abuse.
    The apartheid history is foul. I have stood against it from the moment I started to think as a young teenager. That in no way whatsover excuses any foul play or inappropriate governance by the ANC, nor gives anybody in an ANC goverment the right to behave in any old way they want to. We have a constitution which we must stand by. Otherwise, what the hell was the point of it all?
    The struggle against apartheid was a struggle against evil. We should now be focusing on creating a better South Africa for every citizen and yes, that means whiteys too. We’re all in this together, or we damn well should be.

  26. Bongo Bongo 6 April 2009

    This drivel that you wrote hear about the greatness of Tutu will only find resonance with those that hate the ANC and its heroic President JZ! Tutu was never a card carrying member of the ANC, so his obsession with the ANC and Zuma is sickening. Instead of using his considerable time and dealing with the divisions in his beloved Anglican chuch, he spend it to bnad mouth Zuma and the ANC. He is selective in who he wants to forgive. The masses has turned their backs on him because he ventured into politics where he does not belong! How come that this noble churchman could forgive one of apartheid’s greatest leaders but hating a man that fought gallanly against apartheid and brought peace to KZN? Why does’nt this unforgiving churchman form his own party or publicly join the DA?

  27. Dave Harris Dave Harris 6 April 2009

    I agree with Phillipa here.

    Degrading black political figures like calling Malema an idiot and calling Zuma a rapist trivializes the bigger problem of Malema really being a dangerous hate monger and Zuma not being the best ANC candidate for president.
    The ANCYL saw beyond the BS and realized the injustice perpetrated against Zuma by Mbeki’s cohorts and media and are now even more determined to install Zuma as president since nobody likes to turn a blind eye to injustice. Even through Zuma has not been found guilty in a court of law, the media chose to crucify him anyway!

    This kind of humor simply creates deeper divisions in our already polarized society. This “win-at-all-costs” mentality from the SA whites is akin to the gutter politics used by US Republicans where character assassination of their opponents coupled with media manipulation the preferred mode of operation. These short-term, divisive strategies are EXTREMELY detrimental to a country on the long-term. Now Zuma is using similar tactics by creating divisions between Afrikaners and English-speaking whites. The politics of “divide and rule” is devastating – just see the devastation that GW Bush left behind for Obama to fix.

    BTW. Comparing the DA to the NP is more justifiable since most of the ex-NP voters ARE members of the DA. Why else would the DA be totally dominated by whites in the upper echelons of its power structure?

  28. You can imagine how happy I am, to hear that charges against Zuma are dropped. Congradulations Mr Zuma. God has set a banquet for you in front of the enemies, your cup is overflowing; even if you would walk in the valley of darkness, fear no evil for God is next to you.

    Thank you,

    Francisca ‘Mapitso Matsoha

  29. Rory Short Rory Short 6 April 2009

    @Phillipa I think what is being compared is the behaviour of the current ANC leadership elite and that of the old National party. With the passage of time the generations who populate an rganisation change. A succeeding generation might not in their heart of hearts actually espouse the values expressed by a preceeding generation and incorporated by them into the organisation, although they might still pay them lipservice. I think that is what has happened to the ANC the current leadership pays lipservice to values of the past but in its behaviour it tramples upon them.

  30. Neuren Neuren 6 April 2009

    Er, Dave, maybe you should check those nomination lists again. Most of the NATS that stayed in politics went to the ANC.

  31. Glenda Stanbury, Jimmy Stanbury Glenda Stanbury, Jimmy Stanbury 7 April 2009

    Oh you Voice of Unspeakable Reason… thank you,thank you. Where will all thinking SAfricans be on 22nd?? in a booth somewhere making a big, big mark next to something that doesn’t resemble ANC.

  32. Phillipa Lipinsky Phillipa Lipinsky 8 April 2009

    @ Craig: Thanks for the compliment but I did not endorse the NATS since I wasn’t in SA at the time. Pity, I missed a splendid opportunity to vote for those racist thieves and murderers.

    @ Dave; I keep wondering why the DA is forever the media’s sweetheart. Is Zille beyond reproach? I find it quite curious that when someone criticises Zille,for instance, certain people are quick to invoke her “struggle” history and yet when a black politician (or any black person for that matter) talks about their involvement in the struggle, that is ususally dismissed as being invalid.

  33. LostApe LostApe 16 April 2009

    Would they deny our Lord a visa if he decided to visit us? Without a doubt! Didn’t an enlightened being once say that the ANC’s rule would be terminated by Christ’s return?

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