Stirring Up A Hornet's Nest

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik

Image courtesy Zapiro (

It's a helluva thing, the reaction to this cartoon. The tripartite alliance partners have come out, guns blazing, as though someone had nicked their most treasured bottle of Johnny Blue. Overreaction, perhaps? Undoubtedly, but their fury has only served to highlight how thin skinned these guys really are. It's all good and well for them to lob incendiary comments at all and sundry in their blind obeisance to some ethereal 'revolution' (which, it goes without saying, they consider themselves the sole spokespersons for) but god forbid anyone takes aim at them, through legitimate channels or not. Their selective amnesia has wiped their minds clean of any concept of freedom of speech when it comes to criticism which shows them in a bad light. Tsk, tsk.

No-one can doubt the importance of the ANC in terms of the struggle, and the effects of their efforts to usher in a democratic dispensation. No-one in their right mind can question that. But the ANC, in its prime, prided itself on being a 'broad church of many opinions'. No longer. Now, in conjunction with COSATU and the SACP, it presents for all the world to see a narrow-minded clique of individuals who serve not the people but rather their own self-interest. A cartoon such as Zapiro's merely brought to the surface an undercurrent that has been running close to boiling point for some time. People in South Africa - black, white, pink, brown, whatever - are fed up with these pontificating fatcats. They're the bane of all our lives, running the civil service into the ground, getting off criminal charges, labelling anyone who dissents with their worldview a 'counter-revolutionary' and generally pissing on the freedoms that the struggle was fought over.

Perhaps maturity will come in time, and the successors to the bully boys will have the mien to take it on the chin when it is necessary to do so, for the sake of reasonable and responsible political discourse. But for now, we wait to see who the dogs snap at next.

For more poignant, hysterical and generally spot-on caricature and lampooning, get on over to Zapiro's website.

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