In South Africa at the moment, it is not difficult to pick a Mampara as we are spoilt for choice. Of course our beloved country is not the only one that has its prominent citizens involved in half-witted and mindless actions. In the forefront of these imbecilic actions, as if to be in the limelight albeit for 5 minutes, are mainly politicians or political appointees.
The candidates for this prestigious award are not only politicians as non-politicians have also tried exceptionally hard to clasp this award. The first such person who springs to mind is Steve Hofmeyer who should have stuck to music. Instead he ventured into the realms of politics which is known to dull one’s thought processes. In one such memorable comment and reverse logic so beloved of politicians, he claimed that the Blacks in South Africa were responsible for Apartheid!
Clearly Mr Hofmeyer has been listening to too many ANC speeches on SABC in which they justify their inability to provide any services with their most favoured excuse being Apartheid. After 20 years in power, the best justification for non-performance remains Apartheid. Perhaps old Stevie was anticipating the latest catastrophe to be blamed on Apartheid: electricity black-outs. Of course those who understand such things such as the need to build power stations ahead of rising demand and the requirement that these plants be maintained would have rolled their eyes in amazement at such balderdash and drivel being used as an excuse. Instead the ANC voting rabble also had a light-bulb moment of a different sort. The clever JZ has finally uncovered the true culprit: Apartheid. Now they can vote ANC again secure in the knowledge that they will now be able to resolve the problems having discovered its cause.
This reminds me of an ANC MEC in Kwa-Zulu Natal who was earlier this year bemoaning the fact that lightning only seemed to kill black people as white people never seem to be killed by it.Her brilliant proposal was to set up a Commission of Enquiry to discover what caused lightning. Clearly she had never heard of an America Benjamin Franklin who in 1772 made some startling discoveries in this regard. Talk about being behind the times: 242 years to be exact.
Nothing less than idiocy can be expected from many of the candidates such as Ellen Shabalala who stubbornly, in spite of irrefutable proof that she never ever obtained any of her alleged qualifications, has maintained instead that there is a conspiracy against her.
However others who I previously held in high regard were caught not with their fingers in the cookie jar – which would have been infinitely preferable – but rather engaging in even less judicious behaviour. I am of course referring to sexual behaviour with minors. The culprits were well-known persons who served as role models for many viz Bill Cosby, Bob Hewitt and Rolf Harris. In the case of Bill Cosby, I was manifestly distraught. As an icon of morality and good judgement, I have always held him in particularly high regard. Instead all of their legacies have been irrevocably tarnished never to be redeemed.
Others prominent people who have also deeply disappointed me this past year were Pallo Jordan and Mamphela Ramphele. Pallo Jordan always struck me as an intelligent person who could easily distinguish the wheat from the chaff in any situation. Instead he, like some lesser mortals such as Ellen Shabalala, resorted to fabricating his academic credentials. At least Pallo Jordan displayed moral rectitude by resigning from the ANC, unlike the lesser mortals, who have to be evicted by force from their positions.
Now for the Mampara of the year. If I had listed all their missteps, inane comments and imbecilic actions, it would have taken me many blogs. So instead I will just nominate the winner.
By an overwhelming margin, the vote for the Mampara of the year 2014 was been awarded to none other than the incomparable ANC which made steady progress in advancing their chances of Mamparadom this past year
In all situations where was a morally or legally correct manner of handling a situation – be it Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the SABC or Pansy Tlakula at the IEC or Nkandla – the ANC has elected not to take action or else to prevaricate, obfuscate or to blame Apartheid.
The Nkandla saga is a case in point. Rather than lance the boil and expel the puss, the ANC is vigorously opposing all such corrective measure. All of these actions have one objective in mind: to protect the ANC’s makulu baas, Jacob Zuma. The re-appointment of Zuma as chief induna at the ANC’s Conference in Mangaung last December was, in my mind, the nadir for the ANC. Instead of grasping the nettle, however painful, they re-appointed an incompetent leader who will ultimately drag the ANC down to its level.
South Africa’s misfortune is that we too will be dragged down with them.
A sobering thought for 2015.