If Mzansi politicians were in 'Game of Thrones', here's who they'd be
Westeros is a ruthless place, so too is the world of South African politics. So it's no wonder many of our public figures have a 'Game of Thrones' doppelganger
The following is meant to serve as a disclaimer lest someone think we actually believe our former president's name is Jacob Lannister: this is not news, fake or otherwise, so take this with the pinch of mirth it deserves.
JULIUS MALEMA WOULD BE THE NIGHT KING
The man has boots quaking and teeth chattering. The fact that he is still on the wrong side of the wall (the 10% of voters' mark) hasn't stopped panic from grabbing everyone by the scruff of the neck.
No one seems able to stop him and his White Walkers, but life as we know it will apparently be upended if we don't. Whatever happens, watching everyone run around like headless chickens screaming "He's coming!" is worth the price of admission.
EFF LEADERSHIP AND SUPPORTERS WOULD BE WHITE WALKERS AND WIGHTS
They don't die, they multiply. Accusations of financial impropriety don't stick. Ejecting them from parliament only makes them stronger. All the traditional political weapons are failing. From a party of 1,000 members they have grown into provincial kingmakers and have their sights set on eventually claiming the Iron Throne for the Night King.
JACOB ZUMA WOULD BE CERSEI LANNISTER
All hail the commander in plottists. If you Google image searched the term "political machinations", a Face Swap image of Bab' Jacob Lannister would appear, bearing a smug and sinister look.
No doubt Westeros's version of the Sunday Times never fails to run a salacious story about Cersei on their front cover - and why would they? After all, few things are more entertaining than a good villain.
HELEN ZILLE WOULD BE WALDER FREY
Helen Frey is what happens when your retirement calls and you hit the red button. Both probably should've let a younger heir take over and have gone to pasture earlier, but instead they decided to stick around and demonstrate what Olympic-level pettiness looks like.
MMUSI MAIMANE WOULD BE A LORD COMMANDER-ERA JON SNOW
Bless his soul. Mooosi, like Jon Snow when he was head of the Night's Watch, seems all earnest and upstanding but woefully misguided and surrounded by people trying to kill him. The political world seldom forgives people like that and it is only a matter of time before he's stabbed in the back and left to die in the snow by people he called his brothers.
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA WOULD BE DAENERYS TARGARYEN
A lot of hot air here. Remember when Cyril was singing "Thuma mina" and promising to snatch the weave off corruption? At the time it sounded very similar to lady Stormborn promising to end slavery and do all that freedom stuff. Both started well but got distracted somewhere along the way.
THABO MBEKI WOULD BE THE HIGH SPARROW
Armed with a loyal cabal of zealots, our moralist-in-chief is a font of high-minded rhetoric. If Mbeki were so inclined we could imagine him rustling together some "sparrows" and subjecting Bab' Jacob Lannister to a public walk of shame. He's probably already tried.
Sadly, just like GoT's high septon, he just wasn't devious enough to play the Game of Thrones against elite opposition.
MALUSI GIGABA WOULD BE OBERYN MARTELL
Like his GoT doppelganger Ser Gigaba hid a serious mission beneath a debonair exterior. Both the Red Viper of Dorne and the Black Mamba of Eshowe loved the ladies, but their love for themselves led them astray.
MOGOENG MOGOENG WOULD BE JAIME LANNISTER
When we first met him, none of us liked him very much. His relationship with Cersei Lannister was icky and something about him rubbed us the wrong way. These days, though, he's really started to grow on us. Turns out he has much more of a backbone than we thought.
NKOSAZANA DLAMINI-ZUMA WOULD BE SANSA STARK
It has taken a long time for either of these women to meet a dream salesperson they weren't conned by. Both have been repeatedly recycled in the machinations of more Machiavellian actors and only now are they starting to wise up. We hope.
THE ZONDO COMMISSION WOULD BE ARYA STARK
Somewhere in Westeros is a young lady with a list and an unquenchable thirst for the blood of those who've wronged her. Arya Stark plans to hold everyone VERY accountable.
In a room somewhere in Parktown, Johannesburg, is another list of baddies, wrongdoers and bandits that have bled the country dry. The Zondo Commission plans to skewer them. There will be far less blood in their quest but the way things are going a lot of people are set to answer for their crimes.
LINDIWE SISULU WOULD BE OLENNA TYRELL
Ages ago US president Theodore Roosevelt said that if you want to go far you should "speak softly and carry a big stick". Minister Gigaba misinterpreted this statement but neither Olenna Tyrell nor Lindiwe Sisulu did. In comparison to their fellow cast members, both women have made a point of generally flying below the radar until it is time to whip out the proverbial knobkerrie.
Ostensibly, they seem relatively benign but beneath the facades are keen political minds and a carnivore's taste for ruthlessness. Behind the scenes they're big movers and shakers; they are just less interested in making a song and dance about it. Both of them being from high-born families is also a definite plus.