Interview with Evita on 18 May Municipal Elections
Mrs Bezuidenhout, will you be voting in this year's municipal elections in Darling?
Why should other people vote?
Tell us about your experience with your current municipality.
What is Evita Bezuidenhout's role during these elections?
|Comment on the campaigns of the parties running this year.
“They are all doing their best. The ANC is realizing that they have very little legs to stand on. 16 years in power and no delivery? Pathetic. The DA have realized they have a dancing queen and a few other successes, like delivery. Except for no walls round toilets. And shame, there's Cope which is two halves without a whole. The others escape my memory.”
Mention the good aspects you have noticed in the current campaigns.
Mention any faults have you spotted in some campaigns.
Do you have any advice for the parties running in this election?
Any advice for specific candidates?
What is your advice for voters this year?
Comment on the removal of Verwoerd's statue in the Midvaal.
Comment on the ANC’s recent release of an Afrikaans CD in the Western Cape to win over voters from the coloured and white Afrikaans community.
Comment on the accusations of nepotism against Patricia De Lille.
What are your hopes for "after the elections"?
Any other comments or opinions you would like to make known regarding the elections as a whole, a specific party, any candidates or news events that have concerned the elections?
DATE: 25 January 2009 The leader of Evita's People's Party, Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout, presents a prelude to the manifesto of her party:
Some South Africans are scared to vote in our pending General Election in case something bad happens to them. Believe me, the bad things only happen if we don't vote. 'Yes Tannie Evita, but if someone asks me if I am going to vote for the new Congress of the People, and I say yes, maybe I'll lose my job? My friends might be upset? I don't know what to do!'
Why do so few South African voters know the most important detail of our democratic election process: the vote is secret. Which simply means, don't tell anyone who you will vote for! Keep your secret. If anyone comes to you and says: 'Vote for our party, or else we burn down your house.' Lie! Say: 'Of course I will vote for you! Amandla! Viva!' And then on election day, when you are in that voting booth away from the eyes of the world, you decide. You make your cross next to your choice. No one need to know.
The problem is that if we hide our votes, we buckle to intimidation. We're still too scared to say upfront whom we support. It could lead to the rigging of ballot boxes, which will be difficult to counteract because no one will admit they voted for the opposition. Yes, ideally we should tell the bullies to get lost if they can't tolerate democracy. Weg is jy, Malema! Some people will and must do it. Diversity and tolerance of opinion is better than kowtowing to thuggery. I think we are on the right path. But for those who need secrecy to protect the exercising of their opinion, don't be scared to use it.
Many of our people have also approached the EPP with confusing comments about the fact that they don't know who to vote for. Why should you already have made up your mind? Each party is still presenting their plans and intentions, roughly called a manifesto. Some parties are detailed and thorough. Others fly familiar flags of fashion and don't really tell you anything new. The point is, once the election date has been announced by President Motlanthe, probably at the Opening of Parliament on 5th February, the fun really starts. Out of the 400+ political parties registered with the IEC, the real contenders will then step forward. In order to get onto the final ballot, the party has to have a definite commitment of intent and a huge financial deposit to be paid. That cuts most out. The Cat and Dog Party in Goedehoop will not be on the ballot. But the ANC will, if they remember to register in time. We will see COPE, the DA, ID, IFP, UDM, ACDC, and FF+. I doubt if any of the other minor fleas on the flank of the democratic elephant will be able to afford the struggle to Parliament. Proportional representation means that if you get that handful of votes that qualify the first name on your list for a seat, your financial troubles are over. There's lots of money in the golden pot at the end of that rainbow. Politics and governing have very little do with it. The real competition to find the winners, our political version of 'Idols', will be between the ruling ANC and the potential opposition. That will either be one party in coalition with others, or a massive swing behind a specific alternative to what the present government offers.
I always go back to the kitchen. We have a democratic dining room called South Africa. It has many kitchens serving the voting customers. So be a fussy shopper. Go into each kitchen: the ANC one, DA, ID, IFP etc – and look into their pots. Taste their starters, their main courses and their just desserts. Choose your dish. Decide what will be right for your children and family. Find what you want for your rosy future and for the rainy day after tomorrow. Expose the struggle tsotsis and political pirates who are hiding behind their Constitutional rights to demean our freedoms and avoid strengthening them with your support.
We are sick of lies. We are tired of corruption. We are bored with excuses. Barack Obama enthused an entire American Nation with three simple words: 'Yes we can!' Evita's Peoples Party wants to inspire the South African voter by reminding all our politicians: 'No, you can't!'
You can't go to Parliament with a criminal record. You can't get away with crime and fraud. You can't ignore your responsibilities to the communities that voted for your party. You can't hide behind the word 'racism'. You can't think that just because you're a cadre on a list you can rule the world without rules. You are not our royal family. You are more important: chosen by the people to work for the people.
Let us do our homework and make sure we audition these Idols properly. Make them sing for their supper. Question their intentions and their commitments. Force them into the spotlight of fame and watch them sweat out their talents, some small, some great. And then we will also be able to say: 'Yes, we did!' Let the people lead and the government can follow.
So don't feel panicked. It's still early days. Jacob Zuma has a few more wives to marry before we go to the polls. No one can predict who will win, because for the first time in our history, we have the possibility of a healthy balance of potential political power.
The vote is secret. The vote is sacred. Each one of us has it, like a key to the door to the future. Know that you could be that one citizen who with your vote can change the future of our country. For better, or for worse."
LOOKING AT A NEW YEAR 2009
The great thing we learnt about democracy in 2008 is: it is misuser-unfriendly. If you decide that politics is the only way to get rich quickly, the strain of living an honest life will probably kill you after a few years. No one wants to know a politician who is only after personal gain. Politicians are supposed to be servants of the people, working for the people and caring for the people. So they have to lie and pretend that they do care and hope no one finds out that they couldn't give a damn about the people. And believe me, having gone through some decades of National Party rule, I can see a 'skynheilige' façade a mile off.
Today with a hungry media poised to pounce on the slightest suggestion of rumour, politicians can no longer get away with a moral high ground tucked away in their official briefcase. BEE does not help either. For even though to white eyes all black names start with M and look alike, the proof of that Butibond corruption is in the width of the seat. Compare the pictures of the majority of our leading political energies. Mandela's cabinet of 1994 was trim, slim, elegant and looked their age of hope and optimism. The same people today are so wobbly and bulbous, they can scarcely move without an entourage of underlings there to bounce them along. I pity those ministers who have had to admit to hiring private jets to fly around the world. The width of their bums won't allow them to fit into economy class seats. To get into their private Fokker 456s they need a hoist that costs the taxpayer a few million extra rand.
Of course during the apartheid regime there were no checks and balances. Ironically today there are just cheques in bank balances. But please make no mistake: the Broeders enriched themselves thoroughly while working for 'Volk en Vaderland'. And with God on their side. I see Jacob Zuma is now bringing the Almighty into his election campaign as a junior partner. Beware Mshowerlosi. The Lord doesn't take second billing to anyone, even when that person, in desperation to attract votes, pretends to suffer as much as His Son did.
As leader of Evita's Peoples Party (EPP) I find myself very much on the sidelines. But I get on very well with all leaders of other parties because no matter how we might differ on issues, they deserve the respect that I expect from them. Sadly, in the panic of preparation they don't have time to even look after themselves. I watch the chaos and confusion swirling round the foundations of this fragile democracy. My trump card is the fact that there is only one member of my party. Me.
I don't have to tolerate a barrage of dropouts, suddenly appearing in their best suits and CVs, drooling over the possibility of wealth, contracts and power. I see it happening with COPE as old rubbish hits the new fan. It's impossible to even think of supporting a new party, when the windscreen to the future is so encrusted with the garbage of the past. I saw it happen to the Democratic Party, when they greedily embraced the worst of the defunct New National Party and welcomed them into the inner circle. Inviting the cholera germs into the water supply.
I saw it happen when my favourite political whirlwind, Patricia de Lille, stood bravely alone and serene in the knowledge that if she alone could lead, the country would follow. A David in her pantsuit and sling, ready to take on the Goliath of ANC bla-bla. So much made sense with the ID, a new party that crossed political borders to speak loudly for the millions that are still voiceless, and in many areas like the Western Cape, also toothless. But soon the 'kakkerlakke' and 'goggas' came out of the political garbage. Loyalties depended not on passionate care and commitment, but insistence on 'my kar, my huis, my geld, my kantoor'! The good in each party is being suffocated by the flotsam and jetsam of failed movements of a failed yesterday.
Oh yes, they have come to me too. 'Tannie Evita? Do you remember me? I was the one who fought the Struggle. I freed Mandela.I voted for democracy. I will kill for you.' And I have to put on my sweetest face of remorse and through tears of regret, tell them that in my party there is no democratic freedom to make them rich and a burden. There is only the freedom to protect democracy from chancers like them.
Various party manifestos are being rolled out, from ANC, through COPE to DA, ID, IFP, UDM and the other little noises. They all sound the same. 'Poverty' is once again the beach ball of the next election. As in the past, each party will catch it, run with it and then score a few goals. And once the votes have been counted, the ball will be deflated and left to lie in the gutter, along with the many promises that simple people clutched at and voted for. More lies, but chillingly less façade.
The president of the African National Congress, a superstar in the mould of a Michael Jackson (though not ashamed of his colour,) sweeps through communities with his promises to all. 'Yes to you, okay to you, definitely to you.' Death penalty on Monday. Amnesty on Tuesday. God on Wednesday. A fifth wife on Thursday. Honest man on Friday. Umshini wami on Saturday. And on Sunday he rests. Every time this nice man (and he has treated me with great respect - always. Well granted, I've never been in a room alone with him for more than a minute. But Jacob still allows me to call him by his Zulu name: Innocent!) opens his mouth, a thousand votes fly to some other destination. Julius Malema (could he be a DA mole?) could make a career in Idols singing 'I did it my way'. He threatens to become a cabinet minister in a 2009 ANC government. Is this not a reason to vote in the next general election?
No. The reason to vote is because you want to be part of the future of the most extraordinary country in the world. The 2009 election is not about power or politics. It's about the grandchild who is still trying to work out if Harry Potter is a cousin of Liewe Heksie. It's about the teenager who doesn't think he (or she) will ever get a job. It's about the raped child, the abused wife, the jobless father, the sick gogo and the dying matriarch. It is about the future five years from now. For if we don't vote in 2009, our children and grandchildren might not have that luxury.
Time to say stop to the greedy chancers. Time to say enough of the reality-TV show called 'Party Politics'. We know these people. They have nothing to offer. It's time we focused on those who did. So, voters? Do you homework. Evita's Peoples Party wants you to see our democracy as a dining room for all people. But there are many kitchens: the ANC kitchen, the DA, the ID, the IFP, UDM, ACDP, PAC, FF+, COPE. Demand to see their menus. What dish do you want? Because whatever you choose, you will have to eat it for the next five years. Democracy is not a picnic. No takeaways. It's a sit down dinner for a nation and it takes 48 months. What you eat you will become. A fat wobbly greedy comrade who grabs whatever they can? Or an honest citizen who somehow believes that people must lead and the government can follow.
'So what's all this about, Tannie?' you might ask. It's about you. Do you care? If you don't care, don't complain. It's your choice. But if you do care, make sure you are registered as a voter. Tell everyone that the light on the edge of the hill ahead is not the end of the world. It is the rest of the world. And they have the key to that door. Barack Obama shows us that anything is possible. We did it in 1994. So let us keep influencing the rest of our world, now and beyond the end of a troubled 2008. Maybe beyond is where the rainbow is hiding.
MEDIA RELEASE: WEDNESDAY 8th OCTOBER 2008
Evita Bezuidenhout calls an international press conference
The Most Famous White Woman in South Africa launches Evita's Peoples Party at an international press conference at the CTICC in Cape Town at 10h00 on Friday 17th October 2008.
Evita Bezuidenhout, the Most Famous White Woman in South Africa, will launch Evita's Peoples Party on Friday 17th October at 10h00 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
Evita will meet and greet the media and VIP guests over koeksisters and coffee from 09h50 until 10h00 sharp. She will then elaborate about Evita's Peoples Party and hand over the Party's registration documents to Belinda Mbeleni, the Western Cape's deputy manager for operational matters of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Evita will then introduce her guests- Her Worship the Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille, ANC Spokesperson and NEC Member Jessie Duarte and the Leader of the Independent Democrats Patricia de Lille who will each be granted an opportunity to comment on these new developments.
There will be an opportunity for a Q&A session for the media from 10h45 to 11h00. Any ladies and gentlemen of the media who would like a brief interview with Mrs Bezuidenhout, immediately thereafter, should please contact Allison Foat at DIVA PR on 083 635 6312 to make the necessary arrangements.
Please confirm your attendance at this event that will take place at the CTICC, on the second floor, in Rooms 2.41 and 2.42. All local and international media are welcome.
Evita's State of the Nation Address
1 October 2008: President Thabo Mbeki has been recalled by the African National Congress. A caretaker president, Kgalema Motlanthe will replace him till the 2009 election, when it is believed that the president of the ANC, Jacob Zuma, will become president of South Africa. Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout, former South African ambassador to the Homeland Republic of Bapetikosweti and known to Dutch theatre audiences, has released her impressions of the State of her Nation.
Let me start by sharing a State Secret with you about the State of the Nation. The nation is fine. There is no crisis. It is business most unusual, but not surprising. One would expect this fourteen-year-old democracy to once again prove itself to be unique.
We do not follow some blueprint for survival. We are the blueprint. Only we would swop a former president with a degree in economics and the vision of an African Renaissance, for a possible future president with a grade six education and a machinegun in his song. Jacob Zuma still has a few months in which to find his missing 'umshini wami'. Meanwhile: the nation is fine.
In a democracy it is normal to be surprised by change. As the great Greek philosopher Daelius Hertus said: "If democracy is too good to share with just anyone, it is time to ask the question: Quo Vadis." So where to? Apartheid was democracy for the few. So South Africa did ask that question. "Quo Vadis? So where to?"
In 1976, Soweto shook the foundations of the land. "Liberation before Education" became the war cry of the Struggle and eventually we got liberation at the cost of a generation without education. Nineteen ninety was another sinkhole that swallowed up a bad political mistake called seperate development and replaced it with an impossible dream come true. Reconciliation.
We whites got away with apartheid. There was no Nuremburg Trial. None of us was hung like Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity. In fact President Nelson Mandela even invited some of us to join his Government of National Unity. Nineteen ninety-four became the first year in the life of this new chance for all called Rainbow Nation. Then after a glorious five years with Nelson Mandela as our first democratically elected president, he stepped down - which is very un-African - and made way for the vision of Thabo Mbeki.
Once I got over the shock that the name "Thabo" was an anagram for "Botha", I realized that this was not just politics as usual. It was a calling. Thabo Mbeki had been planning his campaign for 30 years, sipping whisky in a Brighton hotel during his many years of exile. He was not the favourite to succeed Madiba. But as an eventual graduate from the University of Moscow and a Stalinist Cum Laude, he soon cut our democratic foot to fit his authoritarian shoe. The rich got richer and the poor just became a statistic. "Ignore them and they will go away" was the shrug of commitment from the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and the countless sufferers of the HI-virus did go away in spite of the generous helpings of beetroot, African potatoes and garlic from Mbeki's minister of health.
I was always very impressed by Thabo Mbeki. Not only did he look so nice in his little suits, his hair was always neat and even though we had to put Tipex in his beard to make him look older and more distinguished, he eventually grew into the image of leader and visionary. His speeches were legendary. They overwhelmed me with their brilliance. I never knew what he meant, but he said it so nicely, quoting from Shakespeare, Woolworths and Thesaurus. But he was never here. On the few occasions when Thabo Mbeki came to South Africa on his short state visits, it was usually only before an election to show a human side to his Mbekivellian designs. He would hug children, kiss old ladies and shake hands. He became a man of the people. What we didn't know was that after the cameras left, he would vomit for hours, allergic to the touch of the common populace.
In Afrikaans we say: "wat jy saai, sal jy maai" - what you sow you will reap. Whereas in Shakespeare, enemies were dispatched by knife, sword or pike, in Thabo's world they were either swallowed up by the ANC's collective leadership, sent to Taiwan as ambassador, or elbowed out into the real world of business and commerce. Then came the party congress in Polokwane, the ANC's Rubicon. Like P.W. Botha, who was eventually washed off his pedestal by the waves of farewell after his famous speech, Thabo was spectacularly stranded on the sandbank of irrelevance by the recent Zunami. It brought home that fatal lesson: never take democracy for granted.
Two centres of power emerged: the Mbekivellians to the right and the Jacobians to the left. In an upside-down political turmoil the lowest common denominator tends to float on top. The nation was appalled to see the likes of a Julius Malema and his ANC Youth League annexing the media headlines with cries to kill and eliminate. The tripartite alliance (from apartheid to tripartite? Does history always repeat itself in rhyme and rhythm?) from Communist to trade unionist was demanding pieces of the milktart of power. But democracy is not the motionless stone statue of a roaring lion. It is a shaggy old dog that needs to give itself a good shake every now and then so that the fleas can fall off. In the last week the fattest fleas have flown in all directions. The Angel of Death, formerly minister of health, is now in the Presidency as minister, having taken over from the eminence gris, Essop the Dour. I once met Comrade Pahad in a dark passage and thought I'd be catapulted into the underworld of "The Lord of the Rings." The King of the Orcs! But Manto Tshabalala-Msimang is happy away from health. She will now always be near the cabinet!
The minister of intelligence is also gone. Ronnie Kasrils was always more the one and less of the other. They say he was better off with his former portfolio where he could smoke examples of his forestry. Terror Lekota, the minister of war, is gone and left us with expensive boats that don't sail, priceless submarines that won't submerge, state-of-the-art fighter planes that rust on the ground and a wish list of a few more billion rands worth of heavy-muscle armaments. We still don't know who the enemy is. Maybe we the people were seen as the greatest enemy and we have paid the price in hard-earned rands as a result?
While the crown prince of the ANC dances in his feathers and rare and protected animal skins and assegais and spears, the party managed to stop the roundabout of chaos and take stock. ANC no longer stood for 'African National Congress' but 'A Nice Cheque'. Was this the liberation movement of Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela that came out of the darkness in 1994 to give us light? Had we all forgotten the legacy of Madiba who proved that if you love your enemy, you will ruin his reputation? Was there someone with a brain in ANC Luthuli House who was listening to the instinct of survival and reconciliation? Or would the struggle tsotsis and political pirates take over the ship of state?
Our former high commissioner in London, Comrade Cheryl Carolus, once said to me when I was nervous about what the future would give us as we drifted further away from the optimism of 1994: "Tannie Evita, the ANC will always explore every cul-de-sac before we find the freeway."
Behold the new Kgalema Motlanthe Boulevard! Taking up where the National Party left off, the NEC of the ANC removed the latest obstacle. Thabo Mbeki was recalled. I remember how we recalled John Vorster by kicking him upstairs to keep him out of jail during the Information Scandal. Then in 1989, we kicked President P.W. Botha into the Wilderness to keep us all out of jail. Then in 1990 F.W. de Klerk kicked open a cell door and let out the terrorist who turned out to be the hope for our future.
Imagine where we would have been today if Nelson Mandela had come out of jail angry? How would you have felt? In jail for 27 years for what you believe in? Away from your children? Your wife goes mad? Nelson Mandela could so easily have come out of jail and spoken like Robert Mugabe. Nelson Mandela could so easily have said: "To hell with democracy! Take the wealth and kill the whites!" And yes, hundreds upon hundreds of whites could have been killed and no one in the world or on CNN would have looked in our direction. But he didn't say that. None of them said that. Nelson Mandela came out of 27 years in jail with that beautiful smile and said: "Tannie Evita? Give me another koeksister!"
And so once again South Africa survives its own brand of coup d'etat. Getting rid of what clogs the sewerage pipes of political progress. But we don't do it with guns and blood, shock and awe. We get rid of our leader with embrace, gratitude and compassion, smiling with flowers in one hand and a bottle of red wine in the other, pushing them gently to the edge of the cliff and then with a final Amandla/ Vrystaat, dropping them out of the spotlight of power, usually without a legacy to stand on.
The nation is fine. President Kgalema Motlanthe is a man of few press clippings. I have always been relieved to be able to call him by his third name 'Petrus'. That's the only headache for me. After months of twisting my tongue round Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Nonzizwe Madlala-Routledge, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, I now have to work on Buyelwa Sonjica, Siyabonga Cwele, Nathi Mthethwao. .
(Hell, we were lucky with Tutu!) They say President Petrus is an interim leader till after the election of 2009. Interim is only a word you use in case you've made a wrong choice. If interim becomes impressive, inspirational and innovative, interim will happily become incumbent. No political party will want to fix something that is not broken. And as for Jacob Zuma? He is always there to remind us that democracy gives everyone a chance to enjoy the shower of acclaim. And also the downpour of disenchantment. Nelson Mandela proved that politicians first go jail and then into politics. Hopefully Jacob Zuma won't want to do it the other way round.
But that's politics. We are the people. In a healthy democracy the people must lead and the government can follow. Our focus must be on the future of our children and our grandchildren. My three grandchildren are my inspiration. They are not white. They are not black. They are a Barack Obama beige. And they demand a future, because they believe democracy will make their dreams come true. Winnie-Jeanne, who is 11 years old, said to me: "Gogo? Vukuzensele!" I said: "Sies! Wat is dit?" She said that is Xhosa for "Grannie, stand up and do something. Don't just sit there moaning and complaining and making white noise like so many others. If there is something about our politics that you don't like, stand up do something! Vukuzensele!" And so I thought: Yes. I may be an Afrikaans tannie. I might have supported apartheid for all those years only because I didn't know it was so horrible. Because no one told us. I knew nothing. Even though I am 73 years old today (and am still being impersonated by a third-rate comedian who is ten years younger than me but makes me look older and fatter) - in spite of all the things that should make me sit quietly in a chair and read Huisgenoot or watch Desperate Housewives (in the last week we've been glued to Desperate Comrades!) - I will get involved. I will make sure democracy stays in full working condition in spite of the struggle tsotsis and political pirates who want to rape our Constitution and then have a shower of celebration after the treasonous act.
The election of 2009 is not just between a ruling, mainly black party and an opposition that is mainly white and coloured. It is not about colour. It is not about power. It is not about cadres and comrades, or the opposition of Zille, De Lille en hulle. The election is about the future of my little grandchild Winnie-Jeanne Makoeloeli. Her dreams and her hopes. One child inspired, one child educated, one child saved could save the whole world. Remember this: in America there was a white woman who had a son. The father was a black man who didn't stay long. This white woman worked and sacrificed so that her small brown boy could be educated and believe that his dream could come true. On 4 November 2008 that dream might become a reality when Barack Obama becomes President of the USA. One child. One dream.
Launch Of Evita's Peoples Party
• Evita Bezuidenhout has announced the formation of a new political
• EVITA'S PEOPLES PARTY will be registered with the IEC in the next few days to fill the empty space left by infighting in the ruling African National Congress.
• Evita Bezuidenhout says: 'The major focus today should be on the importance of voting in the next election, on solving the problems of service delivery to people who have been waiting since 1994, on health, education, housing, transport - and not on who in the ANC is important. My question to them is: if you have a collective leadership and proportional representation, surely individuals don't count? Therefore EVITA'S PEOPLES PARTY will have me as leader and there will be no list. There will be people from all political persuasions who are committed to the protection of our Constitution, the enrichment of our youth and the celebration of our diversity.
Mosiuoa Lekota has served the ANC with divorce papers. There is talk of a National Democratic Convention in three weeks time to discuss the housekeeping problems within the ANC. What has this got to do with a subsiding economy, rising crime and violence, official corruption and political confusion? And yet all of this is good. No political party inherits power as a right. They have to work for it and be expected to answer to the people. The official opposition stands for transparency and accountability. The other political parties all are committed to a free and fair election by the people of South Africa, to decide who they want to represent them in a democratically elected future government. Not from lists. Not from an unelected rabble of struggle tsotsis and political pirates, but committed citizens who believe that the future of South Africa does not lie in the hands of a few, but in the hearts of many.
• EVITA'S PEOPLES PARTY has abided by all the rules of registration and will submit itself to the IEC to be acknowledged as a political movement for voter education, the protection of constitutional rights, and the celebration of what is good and optimistic in our legacy, and to underline the urgency for every South African citizen to use their vote in the 2009 election to protect our democracy. It's the only one we've got.
Let the people lead and the government can follow (and Archbishop Desmond Tutu will now have a party to vote for!)