No, this delightful word, Kakistocracy, meaning rule by the least suitable, is not made up by some disenchanted South Africans. It actually exists and is particularly apt for the situation in SA.
Inspired by Rodin, click on A SMAC in the Face #54: Kakistocracy – The Casual Observer for SMAC’s thinking man’s look at the proven outcomes of this form of government for South Africa.
The ancient Greeks gifted the world a word and a system of government, namely, democracy. The word comes from dêmos ‘(common) people’ and krátos ‘force/might’. It is supposedly the fairest form of government but it is probably the most abused term in the world. With Greek words as a basis, the inventive English language has developed many words to describe some of the most warped forms of government, such as oligarchy, kleptocracy, theocracy and so on. But my personal favourite is kakistocracy (kakistos (Gr) – worst), particularly as the first part of the word, kak– (pronounced cuk), is a beloved Afrikaans word meaning shit. And how appropriate. Kakistocracy means rule by the least capable or suitable people in society and South Africa is a poster child for that.
South Africa’s predicament is not as a result of a series of unfortunate events but rather a series of unfortunate cadre deployments who have left the rainbow dream a shattered relic which has been swept up and thrown away along with all the other detritus after the cadres have had their way in whatever position they have found themselves. From top to bottom, the ANC is shot through with clowns and people who run the full gamut of undesirability and unsuitability.
The Roll of Dishonour is headed by Jacob ‘Shower Power’ Zuma who first desired leadership to enrich himself and then clung on and made the most unsuitable appointments to protect himself. This SMAC piece cannot do justice to the list of cadres who have disgraced SA at all levels of government but here are just a few examples from that list.
One of the earliest and most useless cadre was our erstwhile Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang or MTM for short. Hello the Future was the slogan of one of SA’s largest cell operators, MTN. Hers was Goodbye the Future as she refused to accept the link between HIV and AIDS and she strongly advocated the efficacy of African vegetables as a cure even at international exhibitions. She, herself, imbibed large quantities of alcohol for medicinal purposes and carried on after her liver transplant. This led to her turning yellow just like MTN’s corporate colours. She soon turned various shades of puce and grey much to the relief of millions of AIDS sufferers who shortly after got access to antiretrovirals
Then we have Thandi Modise, a highly respected cadre in South Africa’s Animal Farm who allowed more than 150 pigs to die of starvation on her own farm while she swanned around. This of course eminently qualified her for the post of Minister of Defence and Etc. whose horses had to be rescued from starvation by the SPCA.
The snappily dressed Malusi Gigaba was appointed the Minister of Pubic, oops, Public Enterprises in 2010. He proudly showed off his qualifications for the job at the next SONA by dressing up as a pilot and dazzling everyone with his sparkling teeth and flashbulb reflections from his shaved skull. He blew off the Eskom board and populated it with Gupta stooges. His other target was SAA and it began its final uncontrolled crash. As Minister of Finance, he singlehandedly was the architect of his own downfall in 2018 when he demonstrated his masterful grip on the problem at hand in a leaked sex video. Talk about getting his comeuppance and was soon history but he had demonstrated that going solo had its rewards contrary to his position on going solar which he eschewed as Minister of Public Enterprises.
Another sartorial figure was the diminutive preening peacock, Tom Moyane, who was appointed the Commissioner of SA Revenue Service in 2014. He used some of his excess baby oil from his shaven pate to lubricate the Guptas’ and Zuma’s various tax problems away. After four short years he was removed and he left behind a gutted service which had been one of the few shining lights.
A South African classic was Dr Daniel Mtimkhulu who was appointed Head of Engineering at Prasa. He claimed that had a Doctorate in Engineering from Germany. But he was bust when he claimed during a sycophantic 90-minute SAfm interview that he was studying there when the Berlin wall came down. Unfortunately for him, he so stupid that he didn’t realise that he would have a teenager at the time!