Home National An open letter to DA’s Natasha Mazzone by EFFSC President Sihle Lonzi

An open letter to DA’s Natasha Mazzone by EFFSC President Sihle Lonzi

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Dear Natasha Mazzone,

You signed your open letter to the president and commander-in-chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, as “Shadow Minister of State Security”. Perhaps that is fitting and aligned with the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) delusions of grandeur.


You just have a matric certificate, and benefit from the privileges which come with being white. No single black woman with your level of education would ever get the opportunities, positions and jobs you have been able to walk into so effortlessly.

Even the most qualified black women are excluded from positions because of mediocre, and underqualified, white people like yourself. Nevertheless, let me address the substance of your unsubstantial open letter to Malema.

When I first saw your post on the official Twitter account of the DA, I, for a moment, deceived myself into believing that you had the cognitive ability to present an advanced line of argument into the question of violence as a metaphysical feature and expression of political life, like some smart liberals do. I should have known that this would be a massive ask for someone like yourself.

You degenerated from the onset and started speaking about Malema’s invitation to a wedding in Ibiza, the clothes he wore and the food he ate. An old and tired case that many have tried to make against the leadership of the EFF.

Without spending too much time on it, it would be a missed opportunity not to mention that there is a racist undertone in the insistence that black leaders and professionals cannot enjoy their hard-earned money. That the only way to prove their loyalty to the people and their professions is to wear raggy clothes and live under a tree.

This nonsensical standard is not held against white leaders and white professionals. If a chief executive of a state-owned enterprise is black, their entire private life gets to be undressed for public consumption and judgment. We will all be informed about their big house, where they send their children to school, how many cars they have and what they eat for supper et cetera.

All this public indignity is intended to make a case that no black chief executive, living a relatively comfortable life, can have the moral and ethical filter to remember that they must provide for those less fortunate than them.

We do not see this level of social scrutiny against white people in similar positions of responsibility. To the irrational mind of a racist, it is only white people who must live in suburbs and still run and lead institutions that are meant to serve those who do not live in suburbs. As though luxury and comfort are and must be the sole preserve of white people. 

How dare black leaders want to enjoy the same privileges that white leaders enjoy, how dare a black chief executive want to drive a car similar to that of a white chief executive, is the question which lingers in the minds of many racists.

Had you been a reader, which you are clearly not, I was going to suggest that you read Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek’s book Violencia. Early in the book Zizek reflects on a Russian bourgeois idealist, philosopher and libertarian, Nikolai Lossky, who, alongside other anti-communist intellectuals, was forced into exile in 1922 by the Soviet government.

When Leninism took over the streets of Russia, mobilising all workers and the oppressed against the greedy and self-absorbed rich, Lossky and his family stood stunned at the threat of what Zizek calls “subjective violence” against their property and family.

Zizek writes: “While Lossky was, without doubt, a sincere and benevolent person, really caring for the poor and trying to civilise Russian life, such an attitude betrays a breathtaking insensitivity to the systemic violence that had to go on in order for such a comfortable life to be possible. We’re talking here of the violence inherent in a system: not only direct physical violence but also the more subtle forms of coercion that sustain relations of domination and exploitation.”

In other words, what Zizek is saying is that the anxiety and fear of those who benefit from the status quo undermines and ignores the objective reality that all their comfort, luxury and peace is at the expense of those they keep at the margins of social, cultural and economic life. 

White South Africans suffer from this ontological ignorance. They are stunned by service delivery protests, stunned by struggle songs and chants, stunned by any and all expressions of frustration by black people.

They view these acts of resistance as violent, while ignoring that their lives are funded by a system which inflicts violence on the black majority on a daily basis. This is what Zizek calls systemic violence, or “objective violence”. Landlessness, social and economic exclusion, township life, unemployment, gangsterism, and the drug and alcohol abuse that our people are subjected to are all products of objective violence.

Therefore, any reading of the comments by Malema in the Western Cape provincial people’s assembly which ignores the objective and systemic violence which keeps the rich richer and the poor poorer is both dishonest and opportunistic.

Last, if I were you, I would stay far away from calling people uneducated. The only frauds in parliament are the dummies in blue.

Sihle Lonzi is the president of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Students Command. He writes in his personal capacity.

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An open letter to DA’s Natasha Mazzone by EFFSC President Sihle Lonzi 3

The views expressed are not those of Central News


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