Although the African National Congress machine led by Jacob Zuma is headed for a victory in the upcoming elections, the people of South Africa are still able to laugh at the antics of its leaders including the beloved Nelson Mandela whose acceptance of the corrupt officials of his party are an insult to every thing he fought to achieve. A new play, “MacBeki: A Farce To Be Reckoned With” lampoons everyone with equal fervor. The Mandela character in the play is a remote Shakespeare quoting intellectual more concerned with power than with confronting the issues of his nation. Zuma, who three years ago was on trial for rape of an HIV positive woman, has his stage persona respond when asked: “Did you protect your penetrative member? Your machine gun?” with the comment: “I have no need of a plastic bag. After the act, I took a shower.”
Cartoonists like Jonathan Shapiro and young comedians are making fun of just about every aspect of the current corrupt political scene. Unfortunately, as the nation laughs, the incompetent and corrupt political leaders gain control of the government. Nelson Mandela was trotted out to give an endorsement to Zuma, the man who doesn’t believe in medicine or condoms to protect against HIV infections.
Cry the beloved country of South Africa. OK, if you can’t cry, at least laugh!