People don’t like to admit that they are irresistibly drawn to ogle at car accidents – it’s sort of like hardcore car porn. Of course, I am not a voyeur like those. I only slow down and gawk for purely technical reasons. I wish to satisfy my scientific curiosity about the cause and how humans contrive to be so stupid. It can only be for similar reasons that people continue to devour the news although they know that its going to be relentlessly awful in South Africa. Again, I hold myself to a higher standard – I do it as it is grist for the mill of my satire.
The past week has been no exception, probably no worse than normal, but I was attracted to an article that stated that the paramedics in the Fort Beautfort area have been on strike for two months. There is no consequence management as they report to work and get paid but they do nothing. Nice non-work if you can get it. I now wear a neck brace because I shake my head so often at the shenanigans that pass for acceptable behaviour in this blighted country, and that’s being polite about it.
I have some issues with Musk but on the whole he’s a breath of fresh air in this pathetic new world and he cuts through all the bullshit that disguises itself as real issues. For instance, he’s had enough of his staff working from home and he wants them in the office for at least 40 hours per week or take a hike. As he communicated this via Twitter, someone tweeted him, accusing him of ‘antiquated practices’. His succinct response took no prisoners – “They should pretend to work somewhere else.” Game, set and match. Wow, we could do with a bit of hard-arsed management.
The previous week set the tone for me. The Auditor General’s report on municipal finances showed that we are a flailing state if not a failing state and on track to be a failed state. This week the news cycle has been relentless – horrific vehicle accidents with 13 killed in one, truck blockages of major transport routes, Sowetan protests, one of Gqeberha’s dams empty and another days away, the second police Lieutenant-General to be charged with serious fraud in the last few weeks, warning of an e-coli tsunami given the parlous state of our water treatment plants and this is over and above the standard weekly fare of murder for every reason imaginable, rape, fraud, political mayhem in the ANC and the rise of the RET faction, loadshedding, ad bloody finitum.
The only bright spot was the much-delayed final Zondo report on State Capture, and it’s a page turner – it makes War and Peace look like an elementary reader. It remains to be seen if it’ll just end up as a doorstopper in some back office of the NPA. It’s a long road yet before we see this cast of rogues behind bars but at least they will be forever tainted by Zondo’s words – corruption and state capture writ large.
Even if the NPA can be resourced to tackle just the fallout from this in our lifetime, corruption has become so entrenched at all levels that it will be generations before we can rid ourselves of this scourge and that’s if we have the will to do it. Even if we’re successful there, corruption is just the tip of the turd that’s floating in the cesspool that constitutes SA. There are all the other forms of criminal behaviour that are the warp and weft of our society and then there’s all the developmental issues – housing, water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, eradication of pit toilets, also ad bloody infinitum.