TOM EATON: Forget punching pachyderms, our jumbo problem is the feuding ANC
SA has two shots at ensuring things don’t fall apart
When elephants fight, the saying goes, it is the grass that suffers. As a literal observation, made by some frustrated person trying to grow a lawn in Kenya next door to a gang of particularly pugilistic pachyderms, it is probably true. As a metaphor for political upheaval, however, it is rather silly.
I understand why the fighting elephants story is catnip for orators and pundits. Its message – an observation about power doubling as a statement of solidarity with the downtrodden – is nicely accessible but its poetic imagery wreaths it in profundity, making it seem like the sort of thing you might get told by a sage on a mountaintop rather than, as I mentioned earlier, a desperately unhappy gardener.