SLR: A chronicle of Zuma’s conspiracies

‘Conspiracies were in the ANC even before Thabo Mbeki’s time, and they followed Mbeki and the exiles – and there’s good reason for that’, said Simon Lincoln Reader on the BizNews Power Hour this week. Reader, a popular columnist at BizNews, discussed his latest column in which he unpacks conspiracy theories – with Jacob Zuma as one of the greatest protagonists. Reader calls a spade a spade and provides a refreshing and entertaining perspective on bizarre and outrageous events. – Nadya Swart

A brief history of conspiracies

By Simon Lincoln Reader*

Hot take from Jacob Zuma: former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy is CIA. Shithouse! But what is Msholozi’s latest excuse for stealing – conspiracy – is enjoying an extended run of attention. If you are to take seriously groups like Africa Check and people like the BBC’s Marianna Spring and Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler (and you should never, ever do that), the most dangerous conspiracy in recent history was QAnon, the peripatetic leak inside Donald Trump’s administration detailing efforts to dismantle an organised child trafficking network linking Hollywood to the Pentagon. About as convincing as the Boeremag manifesto that accompanied the bombs across Johannesburg in 2002, it was non-the-less QAnon, Spring and Kessler and prominent Democrats urge, that was partially responsible for the riot on January 6th.

As precursor to the uncertainty that would plague South Africa post Polokwane 2007, the arrival of ‘The Special Browse Mole’ revealed that the one consistency of Jacob Zuma’s rise and crash would be an endless circulation of conspiracies. Whilst Browse Mole contained some claims that would ring true, the arrival of Project Spider Web in 2015 was clearly orchestrated toward buying Zuma time by disrupting the emphasis on his relationship with the Guptas. This conspiracy, which managed to be simultaneously anti-white and anti-Semitic, suggested that oligarchs had, in the vestigial tail of apartheid, executed a secret plan to retain control of South Africa’s finances using sleepers such as Maria Ramos. Even for an organisation as paranoid as the ANC – who had once entertained runny crap about prominent ANC personalities ganging up to knock off Thabo Mbeki – this was pushing it.

Following the dismantling of QAnon, much of the attention of people like Spring and Kessler is absorbed by anti-vaccination conspiracies. Here they courageously take to their sofas, ‘live blog’ marches, compose a series of condescending tweets then apply misleading titles to columns such as ‘my time down the rabbit hole – implying intriguing reporting. A few weeks ago Kessler, the Washington Post’s supposed ‘chief fact-checker’, posted a blatant lie on his Twitter feed. It took him 7 hours to delete it, during which time remaining doubt he wasn’t a compromised, pathetic Bezos cuck imploded.

Prestige’s media’s favourite conspiracy whipping boy is the American shock jock Alex Jones. But where he was right on organised pedophile rings (Jeffrey Epstein) and human-monkey research, he was unforgivably wrong on the Sandy Hook massacre and in successfully pressuring big tech to ban him, reporters at household legacy media titles discovered a useful formula to silence their opponents.

Now a new cult has rocked up – happily with the approval of everyone who ever warned you about QAnon. BlueAnon is more dangerous than QAnon because it is propaganda more than conspiracy – supported by the influence of America’s liberal corporate media networks and their tech allies. Some of its prominent tentacles: Joe Biden is absolutely not in any stage of cognitive decline, that, in addition to subverting the 2016 Presidential election, Russian hackers also managed to sabotage Biden’s son Hunter’s laptop with digitally enhanced images of the former crack addict engaged in sex with minors. According to these geniuses, the most dangerous threat to America is white supremacy, the Southern Poverty Law Centre is a virtuous institution – and double-masking is essential. Although Donald Trump was a Russian asset (and the Mueller Report means nothing), Biden is right to keep Trump’s Ambassador to Moscow and more – to suspend its sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s Nord Stream 2. Joe Biden’s America: nothing quite like punishing Russia by enabling its greatest resource.

There is moral hierarchy to contemporary conspiracy too. If you believe that Putin interfered with both the 2016 US election and the UK’s EU referendum, you are noble and wise. If you believe that Hillary Clinton and her beautiful daughter off’d one of her campaign staffers in 2016 – or that the Podesta brothers (prominent Democrats) were at the house of the late pedophile Sir Clement Freud in Praia du Luz at the same time Madeleine McCann went missing, then you’re a deplorable sicko. And if you’re in South Africa and believe that white farmers are being killed, then Pierre Omidyar’s fangirl at Africa Check would like you prosecuted as a racist (and will personally phone Vodacom to get you kicked off the network).

  • Simon Lincoln Reader works and lives in London. You can follow him on Substack.

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