Bhekisisa Mncube
5 minute read
20 May 2022
06:05

Opinion | Monumental flop

Bhekisisa Mncube

Chief Dwasaho! My leader, I am excited that the perennial underperformer Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has finally had a “big idea” — a monumental 100-metre tall flag pole and flag to be installed at Freedom Park Heritage Site and Museum.

OPINION:


Chief Dwasaho! My leader, I am excited that the perennial underperformer Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has finally had a “big idea” — a monumental 100-metre tall flag pole and flag to be installed at Freedom Park Heritage Site and Museum.

According to the Sports, Arts and Culture Department, such flags become sites for commemorative events such as Freedom Day. The department insists that the flag site will become a landmark and a tourist attraction.

Despite the outcry by South African citizens, Mthethwa is keen on his R22 million monumental (flop) flag vanity project. It is a tall order to pull off a project of this magnitude with a minuscule budget of R22 million. Perhaps the monumental (flop) flag project is a tall tale designed to siphon public funds to germander political outcomes. ANC December conference, anyone?

Despite the outcry by South African citizens, Mthethwa is keen on his R22 million monumental (flop) flag vanity project. It is a tall order to pull off a project of this magnitude with a minuscule budget of R22 million. Perhaps the monumental (flop) flag project is a tall tale designed to siphon public funds to germander political outcomes.
Bhekisisa Mncube

Truth be told, our heroes like Mthethwa and his spokesperson Masechaba Khumalo hide in plain sight. In justifying the fanciful project, Khumalo stunned journalists by revealing that the monumental (flop) flag project has Parliament’s stamp of approval. Perhaps.

In his infinite wisdom, Mthethwa told a parliamentary committee that the giant (flop) flag project would become a “constant marker of our break with the colonial and apartheid past”. Wow.

In the bigger scheme of things, the budget of R22 million being bandied about is small change. You can’t put a price on social cohesion, rent-seeking and political folly.

The simplicity of Mthethwa’s thinking belies his public posture as a man bereft of ideas. A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of a child, as the Chinese saying goes.

Let them admire their national flag, the symbol of “nationhood” and “common identity”, and all troubles that bedevil their homeland, such as hunger, poverty of ideas, racism, low economic growth and corruption will disappear. Genius. Mthethwa should be commended, not derided, for his ground-breaking, revolutionary thinking to lure foreign tourists to our shores to admire our magnificent national flag.

Only great men (like Mthethwa) may have great faults, as the French would have it. His only drawback is telling us about this project before it hit the proverbial ground. We should have been told by the head of state about this project on its launch date. Due to the multifaceted nature of the monumental (flop) flag project, the stunted children will also have something to look up to as they feed on the sand. The poor and marginalised will know that the national flag promises a better tomorrow. The possibilities are endless. Masterstroke.

Due to the multifaceted nature of the monumental (flop) flag project, the stunted children will also have something to look up to as they feed on the sand. The poor and marginalised will know that the national flag promises a better tomorrow. The possibilities are endless. Masterstroke.
Bhekisisa Mncube

Mr President, some among us with dubious university degrees full of Western liberal concoctions have opined that Mthethwa’s intellectual standing is only outweighed by his foibles. They accuse the doyen of our freedom of speaking about social cohesion from the deeper depth of his ignorance. In other words, they charge that Mthethwa’s ignorance is only exceeded by his arrogance. Ouch!

My leader, I am convinced that the moral outrage against the monumental (flop) flag project is driven by the graduates of phoney universities of Twitter and Facebook, who must be ignored. The pack instincts of the anti-flag warriors are aimed at stemming the flow of taxpayers’ money to the rightful owners, the aristocrats of the revolution.

My President, despite the critics, the South African National Monumental (flop) Flag scheme has (all) the makings of an epic project. By design, it seeks to remind South Africans that they share a common identity through vanity projects and other national symbols such as crime and corruption.

Suppose we already had this visionary project completed; in that case, the Stellenbosch University saga of student Theuns du Toit, the peeing warrior, could have been avoided. Du Toit would have thought twice about what he did and would rather have done the right thing by our flag. He must be sentenced to 18 months working with Mthethwa on the monumental (flop) flag project as part of his rehabilitation. If not, it will be a missed opportunity for nation-building.

My President, despite the critics, the South African National Monumental (flop) Flag scheme has (all) the makings of an epic project. By design, it seeks to remind South Africans that they share a common identity through vanity projects and other national symbols such as crime and corruption.
Bhekisisa Mncube

I posit that this project is rolled out in all nine provinces, with each monumental (flop) flag’s budget to be increased to Digital Vibes tender standards of R150 million per province. This would allow the project to attract rent-seekers, fraudsters and racketeering masterminds. To avoid the repeat of the peeing warrior saga, each university student must qualify for a miniature SA flag upon registration as a reminder of our nationhood bonded by thievery, poverty of the mind and vanity.

Till next week, my man. “Send me nowhere near the monumental (flop) flag station.”

• Bhekisisa Mncube is a former senior Witness political journalist, award-winning columnist, and author. His latest book is The Ramaphosa Chronicles.

Bheki Mncube
Bheki Mncube.