Once upon a time: Tony Leon with Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Twitter
Once upon a time: Tony Leon with Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Twitter

So the words "Tony Leon" and "experiment" are trending on Google this week.

That quick search will turn up a dozen or more articles on the spat between former DA leader Leon and former DA leader Mmusi Maimane, which has blazed into a veld fire on Twitter.

Response to Leon’s remark that Maimane’s leadership of the party was "an experiment [that] went wrong" has been swift and angry.

Leon’s response to that — he called it the "faux outrage of the woke Twitter brigade" — was just another can of petrol on the fire.

Maimane hit right back.

"Wa itlhagisa, ebile wa tella," he said. (You exposed yourself and are even disrespectful.)

Given SA’s grim history of "experiments" — apartheid, "independent" homelands and the SADF’s unhinged "drug rehabilitation" camp at Greefswald in Limpopo come rapidly to mind — one would hope that people would choose their metaphors more carefully.

Then again, outraging people with thoughtless commentary seems to be something the DA can always be counted on to do.

I remember a radio presenter describing the DA as the party that sits in the corner, playing with knives and stabbing itself to death by mistake.

Might this be no more than a callous and transparent attempt to generate a bit of shock around Leon’s new book, Future Tense?

Surely no politician, former or otherwise, would be that crass? Oh, wait.

Either way, whatever happens next, Leon may find the future right now is, in fact, a bit tense.

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