South Africa is being rent asunder. The sound of previous certainties & the ANC’s moral high ground being ground underfoot, permeates discourse. Stories of malfeasance abound, with the drip becoming a torrent. Abuse by the ANC is no longer vented against the “racist unrepentant whites” & the “white opposition” but reserved for their former comrades in arms & ANC Cadres.
As a bystander in this open warfare, it would be a gripping yarn if one were lazing at the spring poolside cogitating the meaning of life, but this is our life, South Africa’s future that is being trashed.
Will this morph into the “new normal” with a dysfunctional state with all the pigs snouting at the trough?
Main picture: All of these photos illustrate irony at its best
Any prognostication about South Africa’s future will surely be overtaken by the next news headline or revelation of some heinous act of blatant mendacity. Under Jacob Zuma, South Africa has experienced the rise of the mediocre, the incompetent, the ineffective and the hopelessly compromised.
“The opposite of good is not evil, it is indifference.”
– Abraham Joshua Heschel
By now, these inadvisable appointments to the vital police and prosecuting authorities have rendered them not only impotent but pawns in the war against political enemies, the whistle blowers and the honest. The latest in his saga relates to two senior managers in the NPA – the duo of Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi -, which were found guilty & debarred from being advocates. The other – Berning Ntlemeza of the Hawks – who is leading a witch-hunt against the incorruptible Pravin Gordhan, had been found guilty of lying under oath.
With the Police, the National Prosecuting Authority, IPID – the Independent Police Investigative Directorate – and the Hawks being severely compromised, how is it possible to obtain a conviction against the corrupt. Worse yet, as the Pravin saga highlights, these bodies are now a tool to intimidate citizens not singing from the hymn sheet of the corrupt.
A feeling of dread and despair commingles with that of hope when I listen to an extensive interview with Sipho Pityana on 702 Talk Radio. Here is an ardent ANC supporter pulling no punches when dissecting what ails the ANC. Unlike most other members of the ANC who offer lame excuses or like Gwede Mantashe resort to blaming external forces such as the CIA. The latest in an extensive list of ludicrous explanations is that of Lindiwe Sisulu who alleges that blacks who voted for the DA are suffering from an inferiority complex.
How laughable? What happened to the ANC’s laudable and pious incantations that they would engage with their members in “introspection” after their election losses? How rapidly the “introspect part” was cast aside and the knives came out. A pub brawl is never an edifying affair and so it is with this one. The name of this game appears to be to shield Number One with all means at one’s disposal. As political parties the world over have all discovered, remedying a dire situation whilst in the limelight, will always be undignified. Hence, it operates best in the shadows whilst out of government.
Instead, in South Africa’s case, it is happening in the full view of the South African public. Senior Ministers lambast colleagues in public whilst the President stares mutely ahead like an animal transfixed in a powerful spotlight.
The ANC literally fiddles while Rome burns. Zuma is clearly a man out of his depth. Amongst his latest cringe worthy cameo appearance in Parliament, he was unable to list what the five points were of the ANC’s much-vaunted nine-point plan. This is the much-touted plan that Zuma himself unveiled to much fanfare that would rescue South Africa’s slide into recession. Yet, without his notes, he battled to recall one point on the blueprint.
Question time in Parliament has degenerated into a farce. Opposition members have to submit their questions two weeks IN ADVANCE. Zuma’s flunkies then have two weeks in which place the least damaging spin on any answers provided. When it comes to extemporised Q&A sessions, then Zuma becomes flustered or makes inane remarks. This was highlighted in the past two weeks when Zuma was interviewed on Chinese television after the G20 Conference in China.
Is the ANC not embarrassed by Zuma’s inept handling of the situation? The rest of South Africa is. Imagine if the “shower man” had to face Parliament once a week for an impromptu Q&A session. David Cameron, Teresa May’s predecessor, once admitted that it was the least favourite part of this job description. Imagine if the “100% Zulu” Zuma had to endure such a weekly humiliation.
Fortunately, each of the almost daily revelations of corruption, malfeasance, incompetence and general inability to provide any form of leadership places more pressure on those raping South Africa’s future. It is also emboldening the honest to stand their ground like Pravin or Sipho are. General Johan Booysen has now been vindicated in his investigation of the corrupt KZN Police Commissioner. However many more victories are required.
The recent capture of a number of Metros by the DA has enabled them to expose hidden corruption within the previous ANC administrations. As these investigations unfold, together with emboldened whistle blowers in the parastatals, they will reveal of the full extent of the ANC’s policies of pillaging state resources.
As the beneficiaries of the current largesse are exposed, they will react. In attempting to prove their innocence, they will cast aspersions on the honest.
Expect a trail of obfuscation, intrigue, disparaging comments and mud slinging as each episode is laid bare.
The unexpected will become the new normal for the foreseeable future in South Africa.