Putin: Double trouble for SA – OPINION

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Putin: double trouble for SA

Andrew Donaldson |

29 March 2023

Andrew Donaldson on arresting, or not arresting, the peace-loving Russian president during his upcoming visit

a famous grouse

It’s been a while since we paid much attention to the actions of EFF Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema. However, his pledge this week that Vladimir Putin would not be arrested if he visited South Africa regularly gives pause for thought, here at Slaughter Lamb (“Finest Ales and Pies”).

By now it should be fairly clear that Pretoria intends to ignore the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against the Russian President for alleged war crimes. South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC and is thus bound to execute the warrant if Putin arrives for the BRICS summit in August.

But the government is reportedly consulting lawyers To shirk his responsibilities. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naldei Pandor told SABC: “We are waiting for a fresh legal opinion on this matter. We are concerned about the situation of the people of Ukraine. What we want to do is to be in a situation where Where we can continue talks with both the countries and persuade them towards peace.”

A “fresh” legal opinion, incidentally, is one that lines up neatly with your own expert intuition. You may have to scratch around a bit until you find one. But that’s bye bye. Malema’s announcement is a ploy to “save” the Russian war enforcer from the ICC, which wants to prosecute him for his alleged involvement in the deportation of nearly 14 000 children from Ukraine.

Putin is welcomed on a visit to South Africa citizen Quoted Malema is saying. “No one is going to arrest Putin. If need be, we will go and bring Putin from the airport to his meetings. He will address, complete all his meetings and we will take him back to the airport. we are not being told [what to do] By these hypocrites of ICC.


Thus the farce from the leader of an organisation, which failed to arrange transport for its supporters to participate in the so-called nationwide bandh. A more imaginative leader might have argued that the low turnout was due to the fact that his call for a national shutdown was so successful that even bus companies failed to pitch in for work.

But suppose a Russian delegation pitches in for the BRICS bash in Durban. Will the “real” Vladimir Putin be among them?

Recent video footage of Putin making a surprise visit to the occupied city of Mariupol prompted reports that the Russian leader may be using one or more body doubles.

Major General Kirill Budanov, chief of military intelligence of Ukraine, gave this information. daily Mail That the deployment of body doubles started as soon as Putin’s influence in the Kremlin diminished. The couple became known, Budanov said, when they stood in for Putin on “special occasions”. However, following the invasion of Ukraine, their deployment has become more common.


“We know of three people in particular who keep appearing,” Budanov said, “but how many, we don’t know.” Everyone got plastic surgery done to look alike. The one thing that gives him away is his height. This is visible in the video and pictures. Even gestures, body language and ear lobes, as they are unique to each person.

According to ITV, a video Body double theory has now gone viral. In addition to speculation about his ears, there is much chatter about a mole on the Russian leader’s face that is constantly changing position. There is also talk that surgical procedures for body doubles are now showing age-related strains, and comments about rogue goiters, double chins and dewlaps are not uncommon.

However, the good news about body doubles is that they provide a convenient way for the ANC government to circumvent ICC arrest warrants. South Africa may, with much fanfare, hand over a fake Putin to court for trial in The Hague.

This will do little to repair the damage to the country’s reputation following the Zuma administration’s refusal to execute the ICC’s arrest warrant against Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir. It was in 2015, when Genocide-accused Bashir was speaking at the Sandton Convention Center at the African Union summit. The government claimed that it was not obliged to arrest those accused of crimes against humanity as long as they were the head of state.


Disdain and derision from the international community came swiftly and being a hyper-vulnerable group, Ramaphosa’s government clearly does not want a repeat of that diplomatic horror. But arresting a Putin body double would give Squirrel’s Nutjob the opportunity for a perfect reverse ferret.

True, tough questions were asked when the true identity of the body double was revealed, perhaps after examination of the earlobe and mole. But the ANC are experts at feigning innocence and without batting an eyelid can protest that they acted in good faith.

Obviously, the real Vladimir Putin would have to be involved in the scheme. Nothing, after all, should be allowed to compromise Pretoria’s neutral stance with regard to its “historic” ally’s brutal war in Europe.

As far as Malema is concerned… well, this man can’t get his supporters together to hire a few buses in a bid to paralyze the country. So how will he manage to pick someone up at the airport?


Return to Heart of Dickens

I once wrote a little book, a tract on Brett Murray’s accused number one and the controversial painting of his penis. I’m not sure many people read Heart of Dickness: Jacob Zuma and the Spear (Tafelberg, 2012), as it was only available in a digital format,

It was hoped at the time that the eBook “short”, as it was called, would become a popular format for longer-form journalism. It was a short-lived idea; Most South Africans are notoriously illiterate and among those who are not, there remains a widespread reluctance to pay for “news” content.

However, one person who did read the book, I’m happy to report, was Nicola Barker, the famous English novelist. Ten years ago, in a satirical piece on his own sacrifices of Lent, he showered it with praise as a guest diary For financial Times,

“My sister… told me there was an excellent eBook published recently about the controversy, so [my partner] Ben immediately downloaded it onto my iPad (it’s Lent – I couldn’t download it, obviously. In fact, I couldn’t download it even if I could because I don’t have the requisite technical know-how) . the book is called heart of dickens (Classic Title!) by Andrew Donaldson. It’s only short, but a thoroughly engaging, dry, funny and at points serious investigation of the struggle between creative expression and human dignity in the post-apartheid era. It’s an absolute snip at just £2, and I’ve been feasting on it all week. Well, when I say feast…”

Barker’s comments were especially welcome. When the furore over Murray’s painting caused the ANC to rally against the Johannesburg gallery, there was a huge uproar about rights to freedom of expression. so much so, that it overshadowed the intentions and meanings of Glory Of Thief IIjis murray exhibition spear was only a minor, satirical work.

Zuma, his family and the ANC approached the courts to have the painting banned. In response to that the South Gauteng High Court AffidavitMurray explained why he considers satire to be “important entertainment”:

“While I am attacking and ridiculing specific targets, what I am really doing is articulating my vision of the ideal world in which I would like to live. In this instance, the preferred reference to South Africa. The ideal is the Freedom Charter. What satire can do in a political context is that it can be seen as a political contest because it opens up a political debate.

But not everyone agreed. Some commentators, considered progressive and scholarly, felt that a painting of the president and his penis was somehow too shabby a hill on which to defend artistic freedom.

Very scandalous and low fare, in other words, and there were uncomfortable accusations of racism to boot, a white man photographing a black man’s genitals. Not just any man, but a father who, like many black men, felt these humiliations deeply.

Of course, we forget that some of the most famous victories for freedom of expression have centered on actions that were considered downright outrageous at the time. For example, consider the watershed obscenity trial in 1960 against Penguin Books for publishing DH Lawrence. lady chatterley’s lover,

The book had been published privately more than 30 years earlier, but efforts to make it available to general readers were met with outright hostility by the British establishment, a working-class man and an upper-class man. was based on his graphic descriptions of physical relations between Class woman.

As the prosecutor in that case, Mervyn Griffith-Jones put it to the jury: “Is this a book you would want your wife or even the servants to read?” (The jurors laughed in response.)

I was reminded of all this by the current hubbub about “updating” Roald Dahl’s children’s books for more contemporary readers. Dahl was, of course, a notorious misogynist and anti-Semite. This hasn’t lessened the outrage that many feel about the balling up of her books and, indeed, works by other authors such as Agatha Christie.

perhaps the best take on the controversy came from his dark material writer, Philip Pullman, who Argument that Dahl’s books should be left alone and quietly allowed to go “out of print”, rather than being reworked to make them less “controversial”. Some of the changes are really funny. For example, the word “fat” has been removed from every single one of Dahl’s children’s books.

Pullman’s broader point is more telling, though, and that is that the recycling of Roald Dahl’s books suggests an industrial literary complex that exists to the detriment of more contemporary writers.

“If [Dahl] offends us,” he told the BBC, “let him become obsolete. That’s what I would say. Read Phil Earl, SF Said, Frances Harding, Michael Morpurgo, Mallory Blackman. Read Minnie Grey, Helen Cooper, Jacqueline Wilson, Beverly Naidu. Read all these amazing authors writing today who don’t get to see much because of the massive commercial gravitas of people like Roald Dahl.

That said, I can’t wait for troublemakers to rediscover the works of Herman Charles Boseman. That’s gonna be fun.

the Gospel

Meanwhile, my old friend Karl Niehaus, another Putin supporter, has exciting news: He’s working on his memoirs. Earlier this week he Tweeted: “Woke up at 04:00 this morning as usual to put in my 3 hours of daily work in completing my follow up autobiography which will be called: Ek Luta Continua! My first autobiography, Fighting for Hope, was published in 1993 It’s a very long book, and there will be no screwing it!

A “fist” autobiography? Not pulling punches? Ha! a sign, perhaps, that A Luta Continua! There may be some good jokes in it. Hopefully this is why the work is a much longer book than his first, painfully dreary, effort and not because it details all the close family members Carl had the misfortune to bury. No word yet on a publisher or publication date.

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