Transvestite comic eyes S.Africa presidency – By Sarah McGregor

Johannesburg (Reuters) – South African politicians vying for the presidency in 2009 may face unusual competition: a flamboyant drag queen who wears high heels, heavy mascara and a salt and pepper bouffant.

South African satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys launched a spoof presidential bid on Tuesday, injecting some comic relief into the bitter race shaping up to replace current president Thabo Mbeki in about two years.

Uys appeared at a media briefing as his alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout, a 71-year-old grandmother vowing to run as an independent candidate with a platform that centres on restoring faith in government.

“I have decided to establish myself as a candidate for the 2009 presidency,” said Bezuidenhout, saying she will woo voters with her natural warmth and home-cooking.

“Every country needs a gogo (or grandmother) to sort out their problems.”

Uys has built his career on poking fun at both black and white South Africans and lampooning politicians for their many quirks.