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Simon Lincoln Reader offers his thoughts on why politicians should stay away from social media. In particular, Reader makes an example of South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Minister Mboweni isn’t a stranger to Twitter and enjoys posting pictures of his meals for his audience. The minister has proudly posted pictures of his thriving Marijuana plants, with the caption ‘arrest me then! it’s growing on my farm!!” Occasionally the minister’s musings about matters of governance spill onto his Twitter feed. He has previously debated the need for the country’s national airline, asking followers for their opinion, shortly after approving a R10.5bn bailout for the defunct carrier. This week Mboweni made a string of racially charged statements on Twitter, which Reader argues, were aimed at placating some and ended up irking others. – Melani Nathan
Mboweni needs a psychopathy test
By Simon Lincoln Reader*
In the same week that Rand Merchant Bank’s CEO James Formby warned that the country’s recovery will be beset by another wave of skills immigration, South Africa’s erratic Minister of Finance decided to belch into Twitter. “Increasingly,” the strange fellow started, “it seems to me, but maybe obvious, that our non-racial dream is not embraced by the majority of white South Africans. True or not? If true, what is the substitute of non-racialism? Philosophically and politically.”
I have long argued that politicians should be subjected to a Levenson Psychopathy test before they are issued with Twitter accounts – and one of my examples has been this oddball. But are his remarks about whitey true?
If it were the case that earlier in the afternoon Karen had driven past him in her 2005 white BMW X3 screaming in a demented rage “are you stupid or something” into her handsfree, at, I don’t know, the supervisor of BEE, he could have approached her somehow and ascertained whether the crime of racism had been committed. As with all these kinds of things, there are prescripts.
If it were the case that white people were making remarks on Internet forums such as “Ja, well, this lot has nation building-ed me out, to be honest, so now I’m going to meet Garth at Turtle Creek” – then he could get them banned, or fined, depending. Just as before, there is recourse.
But if it were the case that Tito’s comments were just the result of a carefree scotch and Twitter evening, in which what “seems to him” were in fact just some of the frequent complaints about white people on the platform (complaints that could, in his view, not have surfaced without some kind of aggravation), then perhaps he doesn’t understand Twitter very well.
Twitter was designed to hate white people. The only white people who actually like it are so mental they don’t even know they’re white anymore – the enraged intersectional grievance lobby, the tampon sommelier and ass-goblin academic fraternity – and last but not least, members of Joe Biden’s administration, who owe more favours to their political allies than Jacob Zuma did to his post Polokwane 2008. Its male founders are all gimps, who like making weirdo dresses and its moderators don’t know any other human behaviour than cancellation or taking photographs of their cats. Its offices are a vegan shithole; to bump up what are increasingly disappointing revenues (a loss of $1.4b in 2020 refers), they are now offering two transgender reassignment surgeries at their HQ for the price of one. If you can convince a minor to purchase its line of hormone therapy, its referral program ensures you get a blue tick on your own account and that you will never get tossed off for saying “KILL ALL WHITE PEOPLE”.
It’s not unreasonable to suspect that interracial relationships, outside of Nazeer Paulsen and Vuyani Pambo’s honking reach, are faring better than the editorial cucks at Beijing24 would have you believe. Most young white South Africans are loathe to leave the country they love but feel that the nine wasted years has given them no choice. They are not alone: one of the most jarring letters that has ever appeared in a newspaper was composed by a young black man grappling with the idea of leaving. His anger at the Zuma administration ultimately won, and he left.
Tito is being careless here, toying with his own wild assumptions like they were a certain late gossip columnist from the Sunday Times he once forced to perform tricks at Katzy’s in Rosebank in the early 2000s. It’s a form of power cruelty wrapped up in pseudo-philosophy bluster, lubricated with a dozen Jamesons, and worse, there is a stratagem. You see, in the same week, Tito declared “The ANC must rid itself of rats and snakes,” which irritates the criminal and radical trolls aligned to the ANC/EFF occupying Twitter. To placate them, he moans about whitey – a conclusion which brings the Minister of Finance’s contribution this week to precisely zero.
- Simon Lincoln Reader works and lives in London. You can follow him on Substack.
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