Anyway the wind blows, nothing really matters to Vavi

Ideas

Anyway the wind blows, nothing really matters to Vavi

Veteran flip-flopper has always been willing to stand up for what other people think is right, including Zuma

Columnist


Zwelinzima Vavi was having none of it.
On Wednesday afternoon the veteran flip-flopper was flopping hard, taking to Twitter to lambaste Tito Mboweni’s mini-budget speech.
Vavi is a man of strong political convictions, or at least he will be if any of the people he helped into power ever get convicted. Certainly he’s always been willing to stand up for what other people think is right.
I don’t know what his opinion of Mboweni was on Tuesday morning, or how it had changed by Tuesday evening, or if he’d changed his mind again by Wednesday morning, or had recanted and apologised by Wednesday lunchtime. But at least for a few minutes on Wednesday afternoon, Vavi was disgusted.
Highlighting some promises made by Thabo Mbeki in 2004, he showed that Mboweni had promised exactly the same things in his speech. “There has been no new government!” he exclaimed. “It’s the same people! You decide who is fooling who (sic).”
We’ve seen some epic buck-passing, historical revisionism, hand-washing and political lobotomising in the past year or two, but I think Vavi’s tweet – “It’s the same people!” – must surely be the most fantastically hypocritical of them all.
Because, as anyone with a fraction of a brain remembers, this is the same Zwelinzima Vavi who told us that Jacob Zuma was a “tsunami” that couldn’t and really shouldn’t be resisted. The same enabling kowtower who stood by Zuma during his corruption trial; who, in 2005, stood up in front of the country and said: “Irrespective of what the media is saying, I support him becoming the next president ... But we have to remember that he is a human being, and human beings make mistakes. His mistakes should not be politicised.”
Of course, in the past few years Vavi has gone out of his way to shake off his past as one of the men who forced Zuma onto us and enabled the theft of R100bn from the poor he claims to champion. He has apologised for his “mistake” (the ones we shouldn’t politicise) and spends most of his time these days attacking the corrupted half of the ANC.
But why anyone still cares what he thinks, is beyond me.
Still, the media need their soundbytes, and Vavi will continue to be interviewed about this and that. But here’s a tip for journalists: the next time you want to find out what Zwelinzima Vavi believes, just stick your finger in your mouth, wet it, and then hold it up in the air. Whichever way the wind is blowing, that’s where he’s headed.

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