The VF: Not your average assholes

Here in South Africa, we’re currently in the grip of the election season. Which means election fever, or at least as close a simulcrum as is possible given the 24/7 soap opera that is politics of late. Hence, the time for bloggy political point-scoring is nigh. Unfortunately, before I can get down to this vital task, some explanations are in order for the non-South African readers out there…

South Africa is currently controlled almost entirely by the ANC party and its allies, who have been in charge since the first truly democratic elections back in ’94. This has not by any means been a bad state of affairs; but it does begin to become problematic if the ANC ever decides to use its current two-thirds parliamentary majority (which gives it the power to vote in essentially any measures it feels like) to do something naughty. Like, say, changing the constitution to make the President immune from prosecution. Or allowing the president to sit for three or more terms. It would not be hard to plot a slide in dictatorship, however unlikely it may seem, given the current lopsided power-structure.

Now, it’s all but certain that the ANC will win this thing (again). However, if a parliamentary majority can be avoided (and this is looking increasingly likely), a viable opposition alliance would be in position to undertake the necessary task of holding the ANC to account. So, what does the opposition look like?

Well, there’s the DA. And there’s COPE, the new kids on the block. They’re currently about the most active around where I live. There’s also the UDM, the IFP, the ID and a bunch of others too numerous to exhaustively link to. Finally, there is the VF (who apparently don’t know enough about technology to even edit up a puff piece on wiki).

Now, usually I just don’t care about loud-mouth minority parties. Similarly, whiners merely annoy me. I also hate the right-wing, but not enough to go on a long rant. However, the VF (that’s Vryheids Front for all you Afrikaans speakers out there) managers to arouse my ire by being all of these things and more. They are a small-town party catering to a select demographic (right wing Afrikaaners) with a constant barrage of thinly-veiled racism and negativism. They are constantly hypocrites; using the very processes (ie: a free electoral system) that the ruling majority party set up to promote the views of the very people who most actively supported the Apartheid policies that denied the majority of South Africans any say at all. This was the basic scenario:

VF (during apartheid): Nope, nothing to see here. No problems at all…

VF(post-apartheid): Aiiieeee; affirmative action and Black Economic Empowerment! White Afrikaaners may be in danger! Of losing their inalienable right to easy jobs! We must complain loudly!

Merely to illustrate this, I present a few of the slogans they have been running with:

“Jou stem tel (your vote counts)”. Background is exclusively made up of grinning white kids.

“Te wit vir werk? (Too white to work?)”

“Skeer almal oor de selfde klam (lit: treat everyone equally)” background shows a black and white sheep facing off.

“Ons veg vir JOU regte (We fight for YOUR rights)”

Taken individually, these aren’t so bad (except the second one, which always raises my blood pressure). Taken both together and in conjunction with VF press releases, however, and the racist undertones seem overwhelming. All in all, these guys just get my goat. Which sucks, because their posters are everywhere.

And sadly, I know for sure that there are enough bigoted white kids out there to keep these guys in the ‘ruin my day’ business forever.


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