My f*k, Belinda! DA is another tweet closer to oblivion

Ideas

My f*k, Belinda! DA is another tweet closer to oblivion

The new DA shadow minister's pick-your-nose-and-eat-it-on-camera stupidity was mind boggling

Columnist


Belinda Bozzoli is the DA’s shadow minister of higher education and training, a professor of sociology, and, it turns out, a time-bending superhero in the mould of Doctor Strange. Because on Wednesday, she wrapped us all up in her magic cloak made of interwoven stupid tweets and transported us back to a braai in Boksburg in 1993.
The DA has been tweeting itself in the foot for some time now, and it must be increasingly difficult to find new ways to alienate black voters. Which is why Bozzoli did the obvious thing: instead of trying something new, she went straight for the tried and tested, early 1990s stalwart, Obviously I Respect Their Right To Be In Public Places But Why Must They Be So Loud?
“ANC trying to ‘claim’ Parliament as their own by using a recess to dominate the Chamber through sound,” she tweeted from inside the National Assembly. “Their persistent and relentlessly deafening singing of struggle songs is really irritating.”
Soon afterwards she provided an update: “Now they are exchanging gestures during song with the EFF. You can see how irresistible the call of nationalism is. Its symbolic and non literate forms (songs, dance, gestures) seem to matter more than clever words and well crafted arguments.”
My f*k, Belinda.
It wasn’t the historical crassness or tone-deafness of the tweet that amazed me, or her attempt to cover up a purely emotional outburst by invoking “clever words and well-crafted arguments”. It wasn’t even the excruciatingly revealing description of an African celebration as a “non-literate form”. Many South Africans have similar thoughts every day.
No, what boggled my mind was the staggering, pick-your-nose-and-eat-it-on-camera, light-it-and-see-what-happens stupidity of dredging up those thoughts and publishing them for the whole country to read – on the same day you’re being sworn in as an MP for a party that just had its worst showing ever.
I don’t know what gets said in DA caucuses. It’s possible they all just lie back and bliss out on the Obama Lite being secreted by Mmusi Maimane. But I would have thought that, given their performance in the election, there might have been some sort of subtle message to senior officials to not, you know, go out of their way to broadcast their intolerance of and disdain for African celebrations.
Then again, perhaps Maimane didn’t think it needed saying because it’s so bleedingly goddamned obvious. He probably didn’t think he needed to remind his team not to actively ship tons of ammunition to the ANC and EFF, or explain that Wednesday marked the symbolic and legal end of the Zuma administration, and that from here on, things get much, much harder for the DA, what with facing down a president who is eloquent, likeable, has the ear of business and is, even his critics agree, presidential.
The DA is reportedly trying to figure out its future. Perhaps it should first get a handle on the present. Bozzoli may be able to hop effortlessly between 2019 and 1993, but time runs only one way for the DA. And the clock is ticking.

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