If President Cyril Ramaphosa were a young man, charmer-boy would be the best way to describe him. Only a charmer-boy would make Julius Malema reveal his bank-robber teeth in a parliamentary smile induced by a president who promises to sing a jazz song.
As Yale University don Timothy Snyder reminds us in his book The Road To Unfreedom, Joseph Stalin used to sneer that "jazz was a deliberate plot [by America] to reduce European listeners to mindless dancers incapable of normal sexual intercourse". One wonders what Stalin would say about Malema. But Malema was not the only charmed soul in parliament last Thursday.
Also invited to Ramaphosa's jazz performance was Mmusi Maimane, who at the end of the show looked like a disoriented delinquent, screaming about un-arrested ministers when asked about his meeting with Ramaphosa. To be fair, Ramaphosa the charmer-boy reached far beyond the walls of parliament. He took over our TV sets at home to make us feel as if we are entering a new South African paradise.
Mindful of the presence of both the decrepit and the young, Ramaphosa charmed adults by promising them a born-again Eskom. He excited school children by dangling iPads. The problem with charmer-boys is that we know what they are capable of.
They are quick to get into a girl's heart, and they vanish when a new life bulges in the poor girl's little stomach.