Vuyo Mvoko | The SA fanatics out in full force
With drama and pure farce, they were out in full force this week, hogging headlines, not only here in the Nelson Mandela Bay but countrywide.
Outside the Port Elizabeth High Court they sang and danced to the tune of their own drum majorettes.
This as their blouse-adorning pastor sat emotionlessly in the dock, laughing heartily at times, as the court was hearing from the first of his many [alleged] victims recounting the horrific details of abuse she suffered under his reign of terror.
To the people who’ve stood firmly behind the accused, evangelist Timothy Omotoso, since his arrest last year, he’s still their spiritual leader, the one who will deliver them to their lord.
To them the ordeal 21-year-old Cheryl Zondi says she’s been through over the past eight years is nothing but a smear campaign against their beloved “Papa”.
Very few of the accuser’s former fellow congregants at the Jesus Dominion International church want to believe her, or even give her the benefit of the doubt, let alone accept that their “man of God” may well be a personality cult based on a perverse mixture of religious dogma, financial greed, materialism and all known forms of predatory behaviour.
A few kilometres from the high court, outside the ANC’s Bay regional headquarters, police had to be called in as a group of “comrades” supporting councillor Andile Lungisa blocked the entrance to the Florence Matomela building.
The ANC national leadership wants Lungisa to step down as a member of the mayoral committee.
And the fanatics who went to protest against the demand aren’t asking the more germane question – if he is good enough to be a councillor, why is he not good enough to be in the mayoral committee.
No, the protestors unthinkingly accept Lungisa’s rather ridiculous explanation, that all he did, and for which he went to jail, was defend himself against an opposition councillor.
In other words, it’s OK to “moer” the opposition, it’s not really crime.
A “fanatic”, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a person filled with excessive and singleminded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause”.
I’m still looking for the difference between Omotoso and Lungisa’s die-hard supporters, and the tyrannical little commissars who have been trolling social media platforms in defence of EFF leaders following the release of a forensic report into the massive looting that collapsed the Venda Building Society (VBS).
From the word go insults were hurled at anyone and everyone who dared to ask obvious questions, from mundane ones such as whether Brian Shivambu, who was implicated in the report, was indeed Floyd Shivambu’s brother, to more pertinent ones such as whether the proceeds of crime really flew into the EFF deputy leader’s personal bank account.
The EFF national leadership’s monastic silence on real matters was loud.
It was more worried about how looting, under the guise of operating a bank, will hamper “efforts to increase black participation in the financial sector”.
It didn’t matter to the EFF that, as the man in charge of the VBS investigation explained, the very acquisition and model of the bank was fraudulent.
Interestingly, the day before skeletons tumbled out of the VBS cupboard Shivambu was on my show not only correctly claiming credit for keeping the pressure on former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to resign, but claiming matter-offactly that Nene intervened improperly on behalf of his son.
He said the son then subsequently benefited unduly from the Public Investment Corporation, a state entity Nene chaired at the time, while he was finance deputy minister.
Yet Nene fell on his sword, not because there’s evidence he acted improperly for the material benefit of his son, nor because there is proof that he gave the notorious Gupta family what it wanted.
But Shivambu doesn’t want to be held to the same standards.
Soon as the salacious allegations emerged yesterday morning, that Shivambu pocketed R10m, some disgruntled EFF supporters started talking about how they saw it coming, detailing what they claim are Shivambu and CIC Julius Malema’s contributions to the party’s slow death.
Unfortunate indeed it would be – if the peeved members of the EFF’s allegations are true.
The party has done some admirable work in parliament, holding the executive accountable at a critical time in SA.
For example, it played a critical role of holding Jacob Zuma and his cabinet accountable, forcing him to pay back some of the money that was unjustifiably spent on him, and preventing him and his cabinet from compromising the future of generations of South Africans by agreeing with the Russians to a nuclear deal we never needed.
No one should bow to the EFF’s fanatical social media hitmen and women, though.
Riled as they are right now, they will soon realise that when they stood for the right things, they too annoyed the hell out of the ANC, yet ironically also helped the governing party salvage what was left of its own integrity and pride.
So the EFF, too, has to be saved from itself, for its own sake, but also for the sake of all those hitherto faceless and voiceless men and women whose savings have lined the pockets of the elite, as well as the communities that are poorer today because the money meant to deliver services to them was illegally diverted to bankroll extravagant lifestyles of kings, mayors, politicians and their hangers-on.