SOUTH AFRICAN BUZZ: ITMA: It’s that man again

Now here in South Africa we have our own ITMA, none other than our venerable President Jacob Zuma.

February 11, 2016 21:49
4 minute read.
Jacob Zuma

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma. (photo credit: REUTERS)

ITMA was the acronym for an immensely popular weekly BBC radio program which ran from 1939 until 1949 featuring Tommy Handley, with him being “It’s That Man Again.” It is well-known for having played a major part is sustaining morale in the United Kingdom during the dark and unpleasant war years 1939-45. King George VI is quoted as remarking, “We always listened to it.”

Now here in South Africa we have our own ITMA, none other than our venerable President Jacob Zuma (although a comedian he isn’t).

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Last month, on January 8, the ruling African National Congress party celebrated it 104th anniversary with a party in a soccer stadium west of Johannesburg.

A short history: In 1912 black African people gathered in Bloemfontein, in the center of South Africa, where they founded the African National Congress.

This was just two years after the formation of the Union of South Africa by whites and it becoming a dominion under the British Empire. Blacks, of course, were excluded by any say in the Union. They were to be “drawers of water and hewers of wood,” third class citizens in perpetuity.

The aim of the African National Congress was to unite black and other discriminated persons to claim their rights and their heritage. From 1912 through until 1994 they were in opposition, but when all peoples were given the vote under Nelson Mandela the ANC became the governing party as it is today. So the 104th anniversary on January was led by Jacob Zuma, the current president.

So ITMA – Jacob Zuma.

Let us pause again while we look at our president’s name – Jacob. His name first appears in our Holy Scriptures in the Book of Genesis 25:19 as the progenitor of the Twelve Tribes. Due to a ”family quarrel” with his brother, Esau, he went to live with his uncle Laban, where he married Laban’s daughters, his cousins. With other women, he also fathered more children. Interesting? Now our Jacob has married five women and I believe he is still married to four of them, allowed under customary law, and fathered about 20 children. One wife has been banished from the family home for allegedly attempting to poison him.

Anyway, at the ANC celebrations, President Zuma was more the ANC spokesman than the South African president.

Incidentally, a while ago during a speech, Zuma maintained that the ANC was more important than South Africa. So at the celebrations Zuma said, “We reiterate that we discourage travel to Israel for ANC leaders, members and representatives, for business and leisure purposes.”

This is actually the first time Zuma has expressed this view in an official capacity. Guess who are going to be the losers? A story about Gaza and Johannesburg There was this young South African woman – 20-something – who made aliya. She was a freelance correspondent for SA media which took her to neighboring countries, even to Gaza.

Somehow, somewhere she made friends with a Colored girl from Cape Town. Shall we call her Liza? This is Liza’s story. In Cape Town, she met a Palestinian who came from Gaza, love at first sight etc, etc. They married and she went back to live with him in Gaza City where she met this South African girl. Let us call her Sybil.

Liza’s romance wasn’t what she hoped it would be, although she thought anything would be better than the near poverty on the Cape Flats. She lived in one house with her husband, two little boys, her mother-in-law and father-in-law, and three other brothers and their families. Sybil often visited Liza.

They spoke to each other in Afrikaans and the mother-in-law would berate them and tell them not to “speak in that language.” But anyway, Sybil gathered that Liza was very unhappy. She was not allowed to go out of the house unless with a male member of the family.

She was no more than a servant.

Washing and cleaning up. Her mother-in- law told her that if she was unhappy she could leave, but the children were not hers; they belonged to the Gazan family. She was no better off than if she had remained in Cape Town, and in addition in Gaza there was always shooting and bombing and she was terrified living there.

One day Sybil was leaving to go back to South Africa on a visit and she went to say goodbye to Liza. Her motherin- law was there, so of course, Sybil said goodbye to her as well. When the mother-in-law asked Sybil where she was going, Sybil replied innocently, “Johannesburg.” The mother-in-law was horrified, “How can you go there.

It is so dangerous!” Just another Facebook hate A Port Elizabeth woman lawyer commented on Facebook, amongst other things, “Jews are monsters who should be exterminated for the support they give, whether active or passive – to Israel.”

Same old story: People just love us!

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