Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuessday reassured the public that student l.
I am not a Jacob Zuma fan, and often find what he says not worth listening to, but almost entirely, the media have misinterpreted his comments.
The Zulu phrase Zuma used has nothing to do with snakes, but with redundancy. The statement equated the demand to the end the President Thabo Mbeki era with beating on a dead snake i.e. why waste energy when the benefit is removing something that cannot hurt anymore?
It's fascinating to see media in a country where 80 percent of the people speak African languages struggle to understand simple African phrases and figures of speech.
Is it lack of transformation that journalists are simply used for direct translations, without understanding the African language they interpret? Was the translation designed to create something where none existed?
Zuma might have chosen the phrase because he wanted to add insult to injury, but that requires understanding his intentions beyond the standard use of the term.
In English, the equivalent term is "flogging a dead horse". If he had used the English version, would we be calling the Mbeki administration horses?
Unfortunately, Zuma's statement does not defend or remove the feeling that he and Mbeki are long gone as comrades as he often wishes us to believe. But it requires extraordinary powers to say that he called Mbeki's men snakes.
Len van Heerden, Durban