When Will They Ever Learn?

Perhaps I am revealing my age when the latest incidents of “foot-in-mouth” disease went viral. In what can only be described as serendipity, I recalled these words in the first verse of an old classic by Peter, Paul and Mary entitled “Where have all the Flowers Gone?”

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Young girls have picked them everyone.

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Oh, when will they ever learn?

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Mampara of 2015: Zuma – a Man out of his Depth

Jacob Zuma’s election by the ANC as President was never going to bode well for South Africa. His rise to being the only candidate to stand against Thabo Mbeki despite two latent but revealing moral flaws – unresolved charges of rape and corruption – was extremely worrisome for clear thinking people. Zuma has revealed himself to be every bit as corrupt and venal as was expected but his seminal decision to fire yet another competent minister, Nhlanhla Nene, and replace him with an incompetent epitomised a man out of his death.

Main picture: Jacob Zuma (2ndR) poses for photographs with his three wives Sizakele Khumalo (R), Nompumelo Ntuli (L), and Thobeka Mabhija (2-L) after the State of The Union Address
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Hlaudi Motsoeneng awarded a Permanent Number as a Mampara

In the running fraternity in South Africa, one is awarded a Permanent Number for completing a certain number of a specific race. In the case of the Comrades, it is 10 finishes within the cut-off time. For the runner it is regarded as a prestigious award and an honour which is conferred on one. It is indicative of one’s dedication and hard work in obtaining this exalted award. Similarly with Hlaudi. He has gone beyond the call of duty in his management and leadership of the SABC. Thus he is a worthy recipient of this illustrious award for 2015. It requires a particular breed of ignoramus and imbecile to be awarded this noteworthy prize.

Firstly a brief look at Hlaudi’s stellar academic achievements. As far as can be ascertained, Hlaudi distinguished himself by obtaining a Standard 3 pass. It is still unclear whether this was a first class pass with distinctions or whether he obtained an F for Woodworking like another eminent colleague, Juju aka Julius Malema.

Main picture: The teflon coated man in his armour plated suit escapes yet again

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Mampara of the Week: Nathi Nhleko, South African Minister of Police

Does the Minister of Police take the South African public for idiots? Clearly he does. In attempting to justify the indefensible, he has clearly treated the rest of us as imbeciles.

Ultimately the sordid Nkandlagate saga will define Zuma’s legacy much like Watergate defined Tricky Dicky Nixon’s and Monica underscored Clinton’s term as president.

Mampara – Afrikaans for supreme idiot, an imbecile. Its onomatopoeic property especially when pronounced gutturally engenders it with more potency than the English idiot; hence my usage.

Let us recapitulate for those that have been in a coma for the past 5 years. Zuma’s personal homestead is located in the backwoods of KwaZulu Natal, a nondescript quintessential African village called Nkandla. This fact would have remained in obscurity and a footnote to history had it not been that this private residence required a security upgrade.

Main picture: The Nkandla “compound” from MyBroadband

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Mampara of the Week: Mcebo “I Love Hitler” Dlamini

One wonders what level of general knowledge that the average university student in South Africa possesses today? Look no further than the Wits University SRC President and fifth year law student, Mcebo Dlamini with his contentious comment “I Love Hitler”.

Earlier this week the SRC President posted a photo on Facebook comparing the Israeli Government to the Nazi Regime. As if the ire the Jewish Students were not sufficiently incensed by that photo, he added “I Love Hitler” in the comments section.

Main picture: The Mampara himelf – Mcebo Dlamini
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Mamparas for the week ended 11th January 2015

The Al-Qaeda Islamic militants in Paris might have been the recipients of the award for the most centimetres of newspaper space across the globe devoted to their dastardy deeds this week, but Boko Haram – meaning literally Western Education is Forbidden – indisputably won the prize for the Mamparas of the week.

An explosive vest was strapped to the body of a 10 year old girl who was then sent to saunter through a crowded market in Gambaru, Nigeria. It is not certain whether this girl herself set off the explosives or whether they were linked to a Cellphone so that her leader could set it off at the appropriate time. Whatever it was, the result was 16 deaths.

Classifying this terrorist group as Mamparas is not harsh enough. They are worse than cold-blooded killers as the use of impressionable callow youngsters is despicable.

Main picture: Attack by Boko Haram

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The Mampara of the Year: 2014

In South Africa at the moment, it is not difficult to pick a Mampara as we are spoilt for choice. Of course our beloved country is not the only one that has its prominent citizens involved in half-witted and mindless actions. In the forefront of these imbecilic actions, as if to be in the limelight albeit for 5 minutes, are mainly politicians or political appointees.

The candidates for this prestigious award are not only politicians as non-politicians have also tried exceptionally hard to clasp this award. The first such person who springs to mind is Steve Hofmeyer who should have stuck to music. Instead he ventured into the realms of politics which is known to dull one’s thought processes. In one such memorable comment and reverse logic so beloved of politicians, he claimed that the Blacks in South Africa were responsible for Apartheid!

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COSAS & Students: Mamparas of 30th July 2014

In a certain sense I expected some inane reasoning when COSAS embarked on a march to the MEC’s Office to hand over a memorandum of grievances. But the level of the fatuous, puerile and imbecilic response left me flabbergasted.

Here were mainly Grade 12 Pupils – learners would be a too inappropriate term – on the cusp of tertiary education or employment looting the wares from hawkers eking out a living on the streets of Joburg and smashing up shops en route as if such wanton acts of destruction were commonplace and not subject to the laws of the land. What this had to do with the resolution of their grievances other than some stolen property, I will never try and comprehend.

To his credit, the MEC, Mr Panyaza Lesufi did admonish the thugs & thieves during a radio interview but it was a muted admonishment.


More importantly perhaps for those at such a high level in the schooling system were the reasons provided. These were immature and nonsensical. Foremost amongst those was the demand that the MEC must prevent them from falling pregnant and taking drugs!

Guys, how about just saying no and instead of experimenting with drugs and sex, actually doing some studying. There is a better than average chances that your grades would improve that way instead of insisting that the MEC treat you like children and expect him to be your keeper.

Student March 300720142

If that is the case, then you should rather be called what you are: scholars and not young adults and treated accordingly.

Mamparas of July 2014: The EFF’s Revolt over the Dress Code

The EFF has launched a new Liberation Struggle. It is not as inspiring and noble as the ANC fight for democracy.

I never did agree with the ANC’s methods for obtaining freedom such as necklacing and the destruction of property, but at least they had a noble cause.

In marked contrast the EFF have now discovered a much more worthy reason to commence a revolution: the latest fashion as decreed by themselves. On Friday [4th July 2014], Julius Malema declared with great verve on SABC that because the EFF members were barred from wearing overalls and maid’s uniforms to the Gauteng Legislature, they would make Gauteng ungovernable. He expounded that all 500,000 EFF voters in Gauteng would embark on mass action to obtain this sacred right.

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Mampara for July 2014: Minister of Agriculture Senzeni Zokwana

Despite heading up NUM and the SACP, this Mampara only paid his own workers one third of the minimum rate for working seven days a week

In case I am castigated for misstating the formal job title of this Month’s Mampara, Senzeni Zokwana is the recently appointed Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. This Mampara is currently the National Chairperson of the South African Communist Party and was formerly the President of NUM – The National Union of Mineworkers.

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