By Andile Mngxitama
Conspicuous consumption is a consequence of a post-colonial disorder. When decolonization fails, the formerly colonized (who are now decolonized by name only) take to vulgar consumption. In South Africa, the disorder of big houses in Sandton, looting for Gucci and Louis Vuitton, the madness that led to the destruction of VBS bank is a direct outcome of the economic order created by Johann Rupert.
Black professionals are terrorised Monday to Friday by white monopoly capital. They are then given debt to access fancy cars like BMW’s and a house. They are worked to death and undermined at every turn. The only respite they get is to look at the BMW every morning and binge at Taboo every weekend.
The black politician is not exempt. The black politician is a pompous, powerless creature who finds importance in designer clothes and watches. She or he needs a fleet of cars and bodyguards. They feel powerful addressing a stadium full of clapping poor followers. The real power is with Johann Rupert.
The petty corruption to fund consumption of Johann Rupert’s products (I hear he even owns Louis Vuitton) is the creation of Johann Rupert himself. If we had real access to economic power we would, like all truly free people, engage in productive pursuits.
The irony, if not cruelty of it all, is that when President Jacob Zuma tried to break Rupert’s monopoly over the economy so that we can stop being consumers and instead be manufacturers, Rupert hired some black politicians, both inside the ANC and in the opposition, to get rid of Zuma. We all remember how Rupert came out and said Zuma must go. We all remember Julius Malema publicly asking Rupert to employ him for the task of removing Jacob Zuma. Rupert came out guns blazing against radical economic transformation because he wanted blacks to remain consumers, now he turns around and insults us for being the thing he has ensured we become.
Conspicuous consumption is a disease that can be cured only by radical economic transformation led by a leadership that follows Thomas Sankara. The Louis Vuitton obsessed politician is too compromised and their soul too corrupted to lead a new renewal and reconstruction for the economic revival of the black majority.
We need a new breed of leadership driven by a strong pro-black ethics and guided by Black Consciousness to drive the radical economic transformation agenda as a minimum program of unity in action. One of the tasks of radical economic transformation is to expropriate the wealth amassed by Johann Rupert through his father’s association with apartheid. Rupert is a thug who made his money through criminal means and the oppression of black people.
We shall not listen to the creator of the deplorable conditions that drive blacks with access to credit to go to Taboo and get BMW’s. Johann Rupert is not talking the truth, he is insulting us. He has bought all the political parties in South Africa, hence he can be so arrogant. Only Black First Land First (BLF) is not under his control and therefore better placed to fight him to the bitter end.
I will address a rally in Ikageng Stadium, Tlokwe on Saturday the 8th where I will address this matter further. We can no longer continue while Rupert insults us daily. #RupertMustFall