Defenceless animals innocent victims in ANC war of words

If only animals could talk, they would be able to defend themselves verbally against their human counterparts who abuse their good names willy-nilly. I bet many lessons could be learnt from such discourse.

If only animals could talk, they would be able to defend themselves verbally against their human counterparts who abuse their good names willy-nilly. I bet many lessons could be learnt from such discourse.

Dogs are loyal friends even in the face of adversity. Were they endowed with the power of speech, I believe they would speak out against being slandered.

Apart from speech, what separates us from the four-legged kind, and the birds of course, is the power to reason and to distinguish between right and wrong, as opposed to animals who are said to rely only on raw beastly instinct.

For several weeks now South Africans have been subjected to political verbiage of mammoth proportions.

This is with specific reference to the two creatures that have featured so prominently on the ANC warpath.

These are the snake and the dog.

Both are so different, yet are slandered in the political arena.

Readers may still have been shocked by the booting of Thabo Mbeki as the country's president when the reference to the serpent hit the headlines.

We now all know what the SABC reported not so long ago.

It reported that Jacob Zuma, using isiZulu phrases to address an assembly of cadres at the Pretoria showgrounds, said: "This time in particular you have an opportunity that, as people say. there's an administration coming to an end, so if you do so, unjengomuntu oshaya inyoka esifile, ubhizi uyayishaya inyoka ife kudala, uyayishaya kodwa (you are like a person beating a dead snake), wasting energy."

Zuma arguably spoke figuratively, using African idiom.

So JZ might have convinced the hissing ones that he was not being personal were the serpents to send a python-led delegation for clarity.

Then entered the Terror factor and the mass exodus from the mighty ANC.

It is pretty foregone that Terror Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa have ignited the fuse and many (former) comrades are seething.

Said Angie Motshekga, who heads the ANC Women's League, just days ago: "Now that the dogs are leaving, there will be peace and we will be stronger. The dogs arrived in the ANC and they have left."

Motshekga was referring to the Lekota-Shilowa-(Mluleki) George dissidents.

Was hers also idiomatically expressed? Yes and no.

Yes, because she could have been stopping in their tracks those who thought the ANC had gone to the dogs, based on the old saying.

No, because there are too many angry people in the ANC.

Many names have been thrown at the group of dissident leaders. Apart from charlatans, cowards and right-wingers, some of these expletives are unprintable.

A dog is universally accepted as man's best friend. However, for some uncanny reason - and blame that on history - a dog can also be seen as man's worst enemy.

I get worried therefore, when Motshekga uses the word dog in her repertoire.

But I have to hurry now, lest I am labelled a tribalist. I am a Mosotho and so is Motshekga. We both know that when we are angry and refer to those who offend us as dogs, we mean it.

In this context, a dog would therefore mean cur, nyalasi or umgodoyi as the amaZulu would say.

Someone once said, "be afraid, very afraid".

I wonder now what poor animal is going to be implicated as the ANC's war for our souls rages within itself.

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