Wikus Coetzee from the Free State, part of EFF leadership. Picture: Timothy Bernard 09.01.2014

Johannesburg - It’s election season, and berets are all the rage. Red berets, to be exact. Which is a problem because Wikipedia told me that red berets are military berets, and military berets have rules. Keep sharp, freedom fighter! This is not some national road in France. This is war. A beret war.

So this is how to get it right:


Step 1: Put the beret on your head. That black binding along the bottom needs to be in a horizontal line. Not skew. Not artily titled. You’re not a beatnik poet in a crocheted tea-cosy. Horizontal, soldier. It also needs to be about 2.5cm above your eyebrow. Deceptively easy, but this first step is tripping a lot of cadres up. It’s not a yarmulke, guys. Pull it down.


Step 2: Turn the beret so your party logo/commander-in-chief embroidery is above your left eye. Not in the middle of your forehead like some elections-predicting third eye. Your left eye. The same side of your body as your Breitling/ pinky ring. Do not use Che as your example on this. That central silver star is breaking all kinds of beret rules, but he didn’t have a Breitling, so that might explain it.


Step 3: Fold the material down over the right side of your head. Your beret is not supposed to be forming a pancake-shaped shade halo under the midday sun of your political rally. Wait – that sounds like a good idea…

The Star