What do you do in a dysfunctional country with a flagging economy that has failed to shoot the lights out (or maybe it did just that)? You have run out of things to do like boxes to tick and stupid policy and name changes, so you propose a simple-to-execute pointless project that doesn’t involve difficult issues. As a bonus, you might get a legacy out of it and Nathi Mthethwa needs one. After all, it was under his watch as Minister of Police that the 2012 Marikana Massacre occurred. Having cocked that one up, he was demoted to Minister of Arts and Culture in 2014. As usual, he is hardly qualified for the post by any creative stretch of the imagination given that he holds a Diploma in Community Development, a Certificate in Mining Engineering and a Certificate in Communications and Leadership – in other words, he doesn’t know his arts from his elbow.
This Ministry is one of the slag heaps where they dump senior ANC politicians that they don’t know what to do with. After all in March 2010, a wholly unsuitable Arts and Culture Minister, one Lulu Xingwana, stormed out of an art exhibition that she was due to open. She objected to pictures of naked women embracing intimately, but not even so much as a nipple, erect or otherwise, was showing. She stated afterwards that “It was immoral, offensive and going against nation-building.” I suppose it would have been OK if they had been photos of African beadwork on naked-breasted, bare-footed virgins that don’t need Brazilian butt lifts – the ones that Zuma finds attractive.
The Sports Ministry was added in 2019 in an effort by Ramaphosa to streamline the cabinet. Again, like his predecessor, Fickle Mbalula, Nathi is hardly qualified in this area. This coxless pair couldn’t kick a ball between them. The fact that our soccer team cannot even beat minnow countries in the midst of a revolution (Equatorial Guinea), it is highly unlikely to help endow your legacy. That the Springboks lifted the Rugby World Cup for the third time in 2019 and that our swimmers have umpteen Olympic golds between them is meaningless – it’s got to be soccer and Caster Semenya.
What to do?
Ah, a moersa flagpole. Nation building and a legacy for only R22million – cheap at the price. Psst! Don’t tell him that Gqeberha (PE for the unliberated) already has a 68m one and I haven’t seen that contribute to nation building there.
Psst2 ! Flags don’t last long – they tend to flagellate themselves to death in about a year which becomes quite an expensive exercise given the required size of the flag. The Hearld reports that PE’s flag costs R200,000 p.a. Also it has to be raised every morning and lowered before sunrise and I’m sure that there are strict ceremonial requirements. If the wind gets up, then it must be replaced by a storm flag. If Gqeberha is any indication, the display of the flag will be highly random.