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Tintin in the Congo was published in 1931. It tells the story of the intrepid reporter Tintin and his dog, Snowy, who go to the Belgian Congo on a fact-finding mission. There are the typical racist tropes of the almost entirely unwoke literature of the colonial 1930s, such as civilising colourful Congolese natives, some big game hunting, and other encounters with wild animals. There’s also the somewhat odd discovery of a diamond smuggling gang run by none other than Al Capone. Trust those Americans to be involved.

I’m not, of course, suggesting that John Steenhuisen, leader of the DA, shadow minister for Fikile Mbalula and holder of the Order of the Slap Tjip (second class), has anything in common with an annoying parody of an investigative reporter with a bad haircut, an “idealised man-boy” as Krishnadev Calamur once described him in The Atlantic. Well … I guess I kind of am...

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