What's on the menu for politicians this Christmas?

24 December 2018 - 07:00 By Ntokozo Miya
Politicians tell TimesLIVE about their favourite Christmas meals.
Politicians tell TimesLIVE about their favourite Christmas meals.
Image: LAUREN MULLIGAN

We see them at rallies, in parliament and on telly fighting their parties causes, but when it comes to the festive season, politicians are just like you and I.

It's a time for family and food. TimesLIVE spoke to some politicians about their Christmas meals and what they would have on the menu.

Phumzile van Damme - DA

"It's not a proper Christmas lunch if there is no dombolo [dumplings] on the menu," said Van Damme.

The DA's Phumzile van Damme says the only Christmas menu she recognises is one that includes dumpling.
The DA's Phumzile van Damme says the only Christmas menu she recognises is one that includes dumpling.
Image: Ntokozo Miya

Known for competently holding her own on the tough ground that is parliament, Van Damme says her hectic political schedule keeps her away not only from her family, but also her books.

She looks forward to adding to her African literature collection and getting back to her reading ways over the festive period.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa - IFP

Mkhuleko Hlengwa and his family have tried unsuccessfully to replicate his late mother's lamb stew.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa and his family have tried unsuccessfully to replicate his late mother's lamb stew.
Image: Sunday Times

Ever since IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa's mother died in 2007, the family has tried, unsuccessfully to replicate her lamb stew.

He says this meal was the highlight of the family's gatherings and Christmas lunch has not been the same since the matriarch's passing.

"We had a function in July and my eldest sister applied her mind to the recipe, hoping she could get it as close as possible to my mother's stew. But she didn't get it right," said Hlengwa.

He is glad that the break from his parliamentary schedule will allow him to spend time with his young son, who starts Grade 1 in 2019.

Petrus Groenewald - FF+

FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald says the best thing about Christmas is not really the food but rather spending time with family.
FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald says the best thing about Christmas is not really the food but rather spending time with family.
Image: Gallo Images / Jeffrey Abrahams

The Freedom Front Plus's Petrus Groenewald told TimesLIVE that any meal he enjoyed with his family was good because his political work kept him away from his loved ones for long periods.

"For me, the important thing is that it is a day that we thank the almighty for keeping us safe and healthy throughout the year. It is a gathering of love and peace," he said.

Pule Mabe - ANC

The festive colours of a caprese salad make it the perfect choice for a Christmas feast.
The festive colours of a caprese salad make it the perfect choice for a Christmas feast.
Image: 123RF/smoskvitin

The ANC spokesperson says he has gone "green" and urges South Africans to do the same.

The Christmas table at his house will be decked with salads more than anything. 

"All of us need to eat healthy throughout the year, especially over the festive break, so we will be in better health to tackle the challenges of the new year," said Mabe.

Bantu Holomisa - UDM

As far as the leader of the UDM, Bantu Holomisa, is concerned, Christmas lunch might as well be cancelled if there is no lamb and samp on the menu.

And not just that, there must be plenty of food to cater for the annual festive gathering at his home where his community is also welcome. 

"In my community, I don't even send out invitations because everyone knows they are welcome to spend the big day with me and my family. We prepare traditional beer and food such as umngqusho [samp] so that everyone has a great time and enjoys a good meal," said Holomisa.

Cheryllyn Dudley - ACDP 

ACDP'S Cheryllyn Dudley is excited about spending Christmas with her six grandchildren.
ACDP'S Cheryllyn Dudley is excited about spending Christmas with her six grandchildren.
Image: Facebook/Cheryllyn Verdon Dudley

The grandmother of six will have her hands full babysitting her grandchildren.

Dudley said: "I'm very lucky that my husband enjoys being in the kitchen and is a pretty neat cook whose specialities include chicken and fish dishes."

The ACDP MP said that any meal that included salted beef was a winner in her books.

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