February 23, 2010

The Opening Monologue – Tuesday the 23rd of February 2010
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

It is truly an amazing thing to watch the political machine’s gears grind away. The week began with a barrage of criticism, a veritable carpet-bombing of disapproval burying President Zuma after what many would describe as his Challengeresque State of The Nation address. Politicians fried him with all sorts of spicy zingers and barbed quips. They stopped short of saying “You’re ugly and your wives dress you funny!”

But then something strange happened.

Something we should’ve seen coming.

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a tender? Is it a debacle? No! It’s Designated Distraction Man!! Yes, Designated Distraction Man who swoops in to save the ruling party whenever the water gets too hot for them. Disguised as mad-mannered politician Julius Malema, Designated Distraction Man continues his never-ending quest to draw attention away from important issues and focus us securely on the rantings of the incoherent.

It began with the post-State of The Nation address roasting of our president.

Julius Malema is a “jewel” and other parties are jealous they don’t have Malema as a member of their youth leagues. Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula told MPs this last Monday apparently trying to lighten the mood after the lambasting of the president. The main show had been spectacular. Great one-liners included the DA’s Mike Ellis and Athol Trollip thought bombs:

“The ANC have made no attempt to defend you today. They have abandoned you in this debate.”


“Your first year in office has hardly been stellar and your call for 2010 to be a year of action really rings hollow in our ears,”


However, the finishing blow came with this howler from African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe:

“As you know, honourable president, the ACDP objected to the opening of Parliament at night, something that is not done in any democratic country in the world.

“I nevertheless believe that what happened on Thursday night was prophetic. The sun is setting on you and the ANC.”


Unconfirmed reports say that the president responded by saying: “Huh? Oh I’m sorry. All I heard was blah, blah, blah, no one voted for you, Kenneth and R.E.M. isn’t singing about you either.”

And just when things looked to be at their most dire, JZ impressed us all by flexing his presidential muscle… and arresting a jogger. In a move that has made Robert Mugabe say “He’s stealing my act!” the Presidential VIP Protection Nazis decided to have a snatch and grab drill while steaming through the Western Cape.

The story goes that Chumani Maxwele – a UCT student and active member of the ANC – was waiting for the presidential cavalcade to pass when disaster struck. He lost control of his thoughts, his senses and finally his arms and allegedly “waved” the procession on.

This was his lucky day because just then, a black BMW pulled up, grabbed Maxwele, put a bag over his head and offered him a free tour of the presidential residence. How could he refuse? And why did they put a bag over his head? Well, the car’s interior was in a mess and the VIP Protection unit didn’t want to embarrass themselves any further.

After re-arranging his apartment and giving him a 24 hour marathon session of Trivial Pursuit: Gestapo Edition, Chumani was released.

As a parting gift we all learned a valuable lesson: Don’t wave at the presidential pitbulls!

After this incident, DA leader Helen Zille decided to issue a Blue-Light-Ban in the Western Cape saying that no government motorcades of any kind can use their blue lights and sirens unless its a true emergency. However, red lights are still okay. Greenpoint’s streetwalkers and all girls named Roxanne can therefore breathe a sigh of relief.

And just when it looked like the president might put another foot wrong, in stepped Designated Distraction Man!

Julius Malema got caught in The Tender Trap!! A report in the Sunday Times claimed that Julius Malema was making money. Lots of it. Great big heaps of it. The problem is that he’s making money out of companies he says he’s resigned from. And yet the cash continues to flow in. Clearly they didn’t get the email his lawyers apparently sent but can find no record of. It seems that having a famous face does pay for itself.

To befuddle the media, Julius called a press conference where he was doing well till his Tourettes started acting up. He accused the press of accepting “brown envelopes”, sleeping with people and drinking with politicians to get information.

“We know who receives brown envelopes where, who sleeps with who where, who drinks with who until seven in the morning revealing everything,” he said.

He closed his act with his usual line when backed into a corner – Designated Distraction Man’s secret weapon: The Race Card!

“This car I own is nothing compared to the cars of white kids, sports cars they play with in Sandton every Sunday. If you want to see people who are playing with money, go to Sandton.

“There’s no corruption because they are white, if they are to be driven by any African child all of them will be investigated, all of them would be front pages.

“You don’t want a black diamond to shine… you’ll never succeed with us.”

And lo, with that, focus is off the president once more. Thank you Designated Distraction Man.

As a side note, Julius Malema was one of the most vocal to oppose a call by Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi wanting politicians’ lifestyles to be audited to expose their stacks of lovely lolly.

Coincidence much?

One comment that was commendable this past week was made by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. Speaking to councilors in Khayalitsha outside Cape Town he warned them to keep politics out of the war on crime:

“I don’t care if the problems are with the ANC or anyone else, I will not allow the police to get involved in politics. I don’t give a damn about political disputes when children and grannies are being raped.”

However one has to ask, if a politician then commits a crime, should they really be left alone?

This concludes this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue. See you next week and remember, you haven’t heard it all till you’ve heard The Last Say On Sunday.