Redi Direko of Talk Radio 702 interviewed Floyd Shivambu of the African National Congress Youth League. Let’s just say it didn’t go the way Zuma would have liked. I know it’s long, but just fecking read it.
Update – I’ve uploaded the audio, it’s a 12.6Mb mp3 file.
Floyd: Good morning, Redi, and good morning to the listeners of your radio station.
Redi: Mmmm. Can I just ask, let’s start here: You, according to the newspapers, you’ve promised “to take militant action against the fake racist girl.” What does that mean?
Floyd: Look, let’s clarify something first before we go into those questions. I think it is very unfortunate and actually childish of you as a radio presenter to make conclusive remarks without having consulted us to explain the context of what we mean by Helen Zille being racist. I think really you’re being childish.
Redi: What does ‘racist’ mean? What’s the context –
Floyd: Look, racist is about people who undermine black people.
Redi: So –
Floyd: White people who undermine African leadership. And we think that Helen Zille undermines African leadership and the majority of African people.
Floyd: Remember after the elections she said that majority of the people who voted for the ANC, of whom majority are African; she said are voting with their hearts not with their, with their minds. It means to Zille we cannot think. That is according to the – That is undermining black people.
Second, she does not believe in African leadership. Even in her own party. Whenever black people, African people, are given the opportunity to lead she does not agree on that role or posibility. Like… she thinks in a similar way that she thinks… the women of the Western Cape, the entire Western Cape cannot lead, do not have the capabilities. The same station that represent who Helen Zille is, but do not give us that space to explain this and to make conclusive remarks to say that we are childish and everything, and I think you’re the one who’s being childish in terms of these issues. Now, in terms of what was … we … we’re disgusted by the manner in which Helen Zille has handled certain issues. She must justify … that unjustifiable appointment of an all male cabinet in a huge province like the Western Cape.
Redi: Uh mmm?
Floyd: It’s just not justifiable. We’re coming from very far. We’re coming from a system that institutionalised both racism and sexism which thought that women cannot do things, which thought that African people cannot do things; and that ideological framework and sentiments continues to guide Helen Zille. And that is what we are speaking about, and there is nothing untoward about all the statements we’ve made. We stand by everything we’ve said as the ANC Youth League; and I think it is very unfortunate for 702, and for yourself as well as radio presenter to behave in the manner in which you’ve been behaving for the entire show today.
Redi: Mm-hmm. OK. Floyd, I’ll respond to you in just a moment. I think you don’t understand the meaning of the word childish. My not calling you before making my statements is certainly not childish; and I don’t have to call you every time I open my mouth. I heard you on television. I read what you’ve said. I don’t need to call you. Racist means racist and I think anybody with a brain knows what that means. But anyway, let’s just move on. I think you need to look at the meaning of childish, but let’s –
Floyd: …Our definition of racist –
Redi: That’s fine. You have your own definitions of everything when the whole world has a different definition of things, but anyway, that’s not what I’m talking about.
Floyd: It’s not the whole world. It is a common definition that people who thinks that African people cannot…
Floyd: …white people who think that Africa people cannot do anything…
Redi: All right, Floyd. That’s not the issue here. Let’s move on. Let’s move on. You’ve said your say. I’ve said mine. Let’s just move on.
Redi: On the question of Zille, and her boyfriends, and concubines: what did you mean? Because as you’ve rightly pointed out, there are certain dictionary meanings of words, but the ANC Youth League has its own definition. What’s your definition?
Floyd: We are saying, we are saying that Helen Zille must prove us wrong that these people are not her comcombines and boyfriends because these are useless people. One of the education –
Redi: Hold on, hold on. Floyd, slowly. The fact that they are useless means they’re here boyfriends and concubines?
Floyd: No. Listen to what I’m saying.
Redi: I am listening. You’re not making sense. That’s the point.
Floyd: If I’d completed my statement, you’re going to understand properly what we mean by what we’re saying; and please be patient. We’ve been patient. We’ve been listening to you for the whole day.
Redi: [Laughs.] It is my show, but anyway, carry on.
Floyd: Yes, the people who have been appointed there, she claims are capable people and have a lot of other things. One of the education MECs that was appointed there she says is going for a crash course about the education [methods]. What is capability about that? There’s no other explanation you can give except to say that the reality and the truth; that these are her boyfriends that she continues to sleep around with and we stand by that particular statement.
Redi: Hold on Floyd. What do you mean by sleeping around?
Floyd: We mean exactly that. We say what we mean. We say that she’s sleeping around and we mean that she is sleeping around.
Redi: Hold on. Uh, Floyd. There’s a reason I’m asking you that, because in one interview you denied that sleeping around meant having sex with more than one person. You said… hold on let me finish. You’ve been telling me I must let you finish. You let me finish.
Redi: You said: “No, we never said that she is going to have sex with them. We are saying that she’s sleeping around with them.” What does that mean?
Floyd: It means sleeping around. Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around. We mean what we say and –
Redi: You are being ridiculous Floyd. You’re interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around. What does that mean? Answer the question.
Floyd: It means exactly that, it means exactly –
Redi: Is she having sex with them?
Floyd: – that she is a political prostitute who does not have co-ordinated views –
Redi: What’s a political prostitute?
Floyd: It’s, it’s act– it’s people who sleep around in the –
Redi: Having sex? Getting naked and having sex?
Floyd: No look. Don’t –
Redi: I’m asking. I don’t understand. I’m asking. It’s not statement that I’m making, it’s –
Floyd: That is your own, that is your own…
Redi: No. Floyd, I’m not interpreting this. I’m asking you to explain what you mean. What do you mean she’s sleeping around?
Floyd: There’s no other explanation we’re going to give except that she is sleeping around.
Redi: Floyd, you… I need to understand before… You said, when you came on the radio, rightly so. I need to understand what you are saying before I respond to it. You and I agree on that.
Redi: I’m saying I don’t understand what you mean. Explain to me…
Floyd: Unfortunately… If there possibly is a problem with yourself if you don’t understand what sleeping around is –
Redi: But explain. It is your role as a spokesperson. Explain. What is it?
Floyd: Our explanation of sleeping around is that she is sleeping around. There’s no other explanation that we can give except that explanation. If you don’t understand then, then there’s a problem with yourself –
Redi: Can you help me understand then?
Floyd: Helping you to understand is to explain that sleeping around is sleeping around. You must go check, I don’t know where. Sleeping around is sleeping around, and we are going to consistently say that she is sleeping around. We’re not going to change from that particular –
Redi: You actually don’t know what you mean?
Floyd: We know what we mean. We mean… We say what we mean and we mean what we say. We –
Redi: Oh for goodness sake, answer the question. You’re playing around with words. “We mean what we mean, we say what…” What do you mean she’s sleeping around?
Floyd: You want me to answer the question in the manner in which –
Redi: No! I want you to answer the question, full stop.
Floyd: – I, I, no –
Redi: Just answer the question full stop, in whatever way. What does sleeping around mean?
Floyd: Sleeping around means sleeping around. There’s no other explanation that we can give except that she is sleeping around. Unfortunately, you can ask me a million times. We’re not going to change that explanation. We mean what we say and we say what we mean. Exactly that.
Redi: You don’t think it’s important for people to understand what you mean? Because Floyd, hold on. Hold on Floyd –
Floyd: Look we don’t… we don’t. Millions other people agree with us in terms of…
Redi: Which millions other people? Stop lying. Which millions of other people?
Floyd: People who’ve been calling us, have been sending us e-mails –
Redi: Well we don’t know about that. It’s your people. We don’t know anything about that.
Floyd: You do not know anything about –
Redi: But you are talking on a public platform. Don’t tell us about private phone calls that go on to you –
Redi: Tell us something that is in the public domain. Something that you’ve said in the public domain. I’m giving you an opportunity to explain –
Floyd: Listen to what I’m –
Redi: Hold on Floyd. Floyd?
Floyd: Listen to what I’m saying.
Redi: But I can’t because you’re not saying anything. You’re saying “We mean what we say, we say what we mean”. What does that mean? I’m sure you were chosen as a spokesperson because you’ve got a brain and you can express yourself. I’m saying there’s a problem. You’ve said something that is not being understood. What did you mean she’s sleeping around? That’s the question.
Floyd: We are saying that she is sleeping around, and our meaning… Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around. There’s nothing else you can explain beyond that.
Redi: OK. Alright. Can I ask you something, Floyd? Can I ask you something? I said when I started the show that Helen Zille should have answered the question which I think is legitimate. A question about the composition of a provincial cabinet. And I think you and I agree on that.
Redi: She should have answered the question and I still insist that her comments on president Zuma were irrelevant in that particular context. But I’m concerned that when a woman is at the top and appoints men, you reach the conclusion, in this sexist society called South Africa, that she must be sleeping with those men. What happens when the ANC appoints women? I would like to believe you’re not appointing women because they’ve slept their way to the top. Why is that relevant when it’s a woman appointing men?
Floyd: Look… There’s no justification on the position of Helen Zille, eh…
Redi: But what I saying is why do you reach the conclusion that is has something to do with sex? Is it because she’s a woman? When the ANC appoints women it has nothing to do with sex, it’s about empowerment…
Floyd: So it appears that you’ve got the answer of what you mean by sleeping around and that is your own interpretation.
Redi: But you’re not giving the interpretation.
Floyd: You can live with that possible explanation yourself. It correctly suits you –
Redi: Floyd, I don’t know which planet you come from, but when someone’s sleeping around…
Floyd: Don’t be angry. Don’t –
Redi. Floyd, Floyd, I’m not angry. I’m not angry. I’m not angry at all. I am so not angry, but anyway, we’re not talking about me. And you now deflecting the attention from the fact that you’ve come on the radio and given us the most ridiculous answers to very simple questions. Anybody with a brain knows that sleeping around means having sex and sleeping with more than one person. I was giving you an opportunity to explain what you meant by it and you can’t answer the question so you’ve wasted time.
Floyd: Our explanation is that it’s sleeping around, and we’re not going to change from that particular explanation.
Redi: Because you can’t think. That is the problem here.
Floyd. No! You are being angry. You are being angry. You are being typical of yourself. Please, can you grow up a bit…
Redi: I don’t think you know anything about me, but let’s leave it there. I don’t think we’re talking about me. The point is, you are a representative…
Floyd: You are! You are part of DA views there –
Redi: That’s fine. If that’s what you think, that’s fine. No, I don’t need to justify myself –
Floyd: …Must be able to address these issues: concrete in terms of what we mean…
Redi: Alright, Floyd. Floyd?
Floyd: [We] are explaining this thing that, at least in the future, when you want to speak about us, consult us –
Redi: I don’t have to. Floyd, Floyd? I don’t have to.
Floyd: It’s not about you as a person. It’s about 702. That station does not belong to you, it belongs to people –
Floyd: – who own it, I do not know who those people are so please –
Redi: Floyd, I hear you. I hear you Floyd, I hear you, and thanks for saying that, but I’m saying to you, I’m saying to you: you had every right to come on the radio this morning and explain. And I’m saying you haven’t achieved that. All you have done is come on the radio to say –
Floyd: We have…
Redi: Hold on! I’ve listened to you. I’ve just listened to you.
Floyd: …Why we think Helen Zille is racist…
Redi: Floyd, I’ve just listened to you, you listen to me. I’m saying to you: you are saying I’m not doing my job in terms of asking you questions and giving you a chance to explain. And I’m saying, I’ve just done that and all you’ve done is come on the radio and said you can have whatever interpretation. I’m not interested in my interpretation or anybody else’s. I want to hear what you meant. You can’t answer that.
Floyd: Our interpretation! You can say that you are not happy with our interpretation, but we’re not going to change the interpretation.
Redi: But I don’t know what your interpretation is because you haven’t explained it.
Floyd: The interpretation of sleeping around in our world, in our explanation is sleeping around. There’s no other language to explain sleeping around except that particular statement. That is what we’re saying.
Redi: [Laughs.] OK, look Floyd. You and I agree, Helen Zille should have answered questions about the cabinet composition and I don’t think there was enough focus on that. And I think that people who are asking question about it are justified given what we want to achieve in South Africa. You and I agree on that one, but I’m not… I don’t believe that as the ANC Youth League, you’ve answered the question that has been asked. I think it is very dangerous in the society such as ours, to call women names. It’s one thing to criticise her decisions, and I think you have every right to do that, but to accuse her of sleeping around because she’s appointed males; I think that is problematic. It’s the same thing, if we were to turn around and say the appointment of women in the ANC, it means those women have slept their way to the top. I think that those are things that should be left out and we should be looking at the issue. And the issue is there are no females in the Western Cape cabinet. Why? And Helen Zille must answer that one. Anyway Floyd, thank you very much for calling us.
Floyd: Thank you very much Redi, and please grow up in the future when I speak about this, please…
Redi: Thank you Floyd, I will grow up. Thank you. That’s Floyd Shivambu who is the ANC Youth League’s spokesperson. He wanted the right to reply. He wanted to tell us what the ANC Youth League meant when they said Helen Zille is sleeping around. If you understand what it meant, then congratulations to you. Let’s take a break.
You can also see Floyd’s response to the ANCYL mailing list here. Hat-tip to Blatant.