Editors note: The B*tch Mode is a new series of opinion pieces that feature light-hearted, cheeky commentary on South African politics. Thanks us later!
So apparently, the Democratic Alliance’s National spokesperson and MP, Miss Phumzile van Damme is not a born South African. But who actually cares?
Yep! There’s another political “scandal” being shoved in our faces by local news outlets and this time it’s about what constitutes being a South African MP! Of course one has to be born a South African to represent the interests of the people of this beautiful land but surely that can’t be the only attribute to it?
Whether Miss Van Damme is a fraud or not remains to be seen but I’m sure all the couch critics (including myself) will be entertained for the next coming weeks with the latest developments around this “tittle-tattle”. I have been thinking (as I sip on a cup of coffee), ya’ll know the infamous Inkatha Freedom party MP, Mario Oriani- Ambrosini? He’s the guy who championed the use of medical marijuana in our parliament sometime earlier this year. Well… Mr Ambrosini was born in Rome, Italy to a heavily-political dynasty that helped to shape the political landscape of his home land and subsequently that of South Africa because of their strong relationship with Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. One of his notable works is when he was part of the Inkatha Freedom Party delegation at the CODESA negotiations that helped South Africa transition to a democracy.
You may wonder why I am “yada-yadaing” about Mr Ambrosini. Well it’s easy: I think the fundamental issue here, should always be about one’s service to humanity at the end of the day and not where one was born. Why should the Italian-accented Ambrosini be seen in the public eye as a South African while Miss Van Damme, a fellow African, is not because of a piece of paper? Surely, Miss Van Damme and every other MP was elected by their respective parties (and constituents) to represent their interests because of their leadership qualities and not where they were born.
For South Africa’s poorest people this is a non issue and they probably wouldn’t give as much of a f*ck about this issue as they would about seeing themselves with decent housing with electricity, flushing toilets and a safe environment to raise their kids in and be merry. If Miss Van Damme is doing the noble work of advocating and improving the living conditions of South African citizens, then let her be. If she isn’t, then let her voetsek to where she comes from. Yes? No? Maybe?
This is definitely a polarising issue in many quarters of society and deservedly so, but let’s not forget that we are all Africans that are merely divided according to colonial borders. Africans should be proud of helping each other where we can and in this case Miss Van Damme is doing that in “our” Parliament.
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