The BMW of the proletariat

Blade Nzimande, general secretary of the South African Communist Party, is under fire for using $120,000 in taxpayer money to buy himself a BMW 750i. This is a bit much from a politician who likes to sing “My mother was a kitchen girl, my father was a garden boy. That’s why I am a communist” ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
581162_090910_bmw2.jpg
581162_090910_bmw2.jpg

Blade Nzimande, general secretary of the South African Communist Party, is under fire for using $120,000 in taxpayer money to buy himself a BMW 750i. This is a bit much from a politician who likes to sing "My mother was a kitchen girl, my father was a garden boy. That's why I am a communist" at party rallies, but Nzimande, who serves as South Africa's higher education minister, has no intention of giving the car back. 

This reminds me a bit of a Marxist professor I had at college, who was known for zipping around campus in a rad European sports car. Occasionally students would ask him if he saw any contradiction in this. "Not at all," he'd reply. "After the revolution, everyone will drive a sports car."

Blade Nzimande, general secretary of the South African Communist Party, is under fire for using $120,000 in taxpayer money to buy himself a BMW 750i. This is a bit much from a politician who likes to sing “My mother was a kitchen girl, my father was a garden boy. That’s why I am a communist” at party rallies, but Nzimande, who serves as South Africa’s higher education minister, has no intention of giving the car back. 

This reminds me a bit of a Marxist professor I had at college, who was known for zipping around campus in a rad European sports car. Occasionally students would ask him if he saw any contradiction in this. “Not at all,” he’d reply. “After the revolution, everyone will drive a sports car.”

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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