Day 406 – More SA politics fun

SA politics is rarely dull. Some people might say that this is a good thing, and represents a young, vibrant democracy, constantly evaluating and questioning itself. And yes, that would be a good thing, but it does seem to be mainly widespread corruption and intra-party mud slinging which is taking the centre stage, while actually serving the country (which really, really needs serving), falls by the wayside.

The most recent infighting is within the governing party, the ANC, who are happily fiddling while Rome has no decent housing, a disastrous education system, zero unemployment prospects, an upcoming third wave of Covid-19 (now closer than ever) and plenty of crumbling infrastructure.
Still, while we’re concentrating on their petty squabbles, we’re not talking about all that other stuff, are we?

And I don’t use the term “petty squabbles” lightly, because while the consequences of their collective actions might be very serious indeed, it’s hard not to crack a faint grin at their playground posturing.

The latest episode (coming a whole day after the previous episode) concerns ANC Secretary General Elias “Ace” Magashule. He’s likely bent as a 12 Rand note, having been charged with fraud, corruption and money-laundering. Taking decisive (cough) action, (some of) the rest of the ANC leadership gave him 30 days to step aside from his post for the duration of his trial. That 30 days has just expired and Ace is still there. And so the President suspended him.

And Ace then suspended the President. “Lol”.

Cyril is having none of it. And rightly so, it seems, because while Ace says that Cyril has no right to suspend him, Cyril does have (the majority of) the NEC on his side. Ace has… well… himself. And constitutionally (that’s the ANC Constitution, not the National one), he doesn’t even have himself, because he’s been suspended.
Ace has as much power to suspend the President as my beagle has.

Lots of enthusiasm, lots of noise, zero understanding of how the actual political system works.

Loves free treats.

And so the ANC fragmentation merry-go-round continues, with some heavyweights and branches coming out in support of Magashule, more of them defending Ramaphosa, and local political commentators wasting no time at all in invoking Godwin’s Law.

All of this chaos must be like manna from heaven for the opposition, right?

Well, sure, if they were able to utilise it to strengthen their position. Sadly (I say sadly because a decent, strong opposition is hugely important to any country, and not because of any personal political affiliation), they are so incompetent that they’re actually going down in the polls despite the complete and utter fuckshow happening up top.
And why? Because of crap leadership and… gosh… political infighting within the party.

It all comes down to the cult of personality over actual ability to do the job they are elected and mandated to do. In a recent small scale study, an orange TV host was elected President of a powerful North American country, despite having no demonstrable political ability at all. The world watched on.

It did not end well.

I’m not saying that we’re quite at that level of disaster yet, but until we get leaders who are more concerned with leading the country than their own parties and personal position and wealth, we’re going nowhere except backwards.

It’s very frustrating, hugely costly and thoroughly depressing.

Day 230, part 2 – How the turntables…

Here’s a headline:

31st August this year. You can see that.

Here’s another headline from today. I make that 72 days after the one above:

Yep. Ace has (finally) been charged with fraud and corruption over a R255 million asbestos audit tender in the Free State.

Great chance for the ANC to live up to their word and put him on leave: missed.

Maybe because Cyril is scared of this?

Voting Day

Great News!

It’s Election Day in South Africa, and although we all know who the winners are going to be, a quick perusal of the manifestos and promises of each and every party contesting today’s election clearly shows that whichever one gets in, the citizens of this fine land are going to be living in Utopia for the next five years.

Bring it, baby!

Crime, poverty, unemployment, corruption and laughable foreign policy, which have all been the bane of our collective lives for the past 2½ decades will be swept away. The appalling track record of service delivery (or rather “non-delivery”, lol) will be a thing of the past. I’ve checked what we’ve been promised by the new government and I can tell you that the future is looking pretty bright. If we have any electricity.

Woohoo!

Please be aware that this time around, the majority of the population will not be voting for Jacob Zuma’s ANC. Oh no, they’ll be voting for Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC.
This is the novel, clean, corruption-free version, with only half of JZ’s cronies in the hotseats. And a leader who saw nothing dodgy going on during his four years as Deputy President (despite… well, see the link above). And who has prosecuted and jailed about exactly zero of those implicated in State Capture and corruption since his promotion to President 15 months ago. And who seems regularly amazed at what a crappy state the country is in.

It’s new. Shiny. A fresh start. Mmmm.

I can’t wait. The next five years are going to be absolutely amazing.

Call me cynical

Some few facts for you to help make up your mind on whether I’m being cynical here:

Fact 1:
Eskom, our national power utility, a state-owned enterprise, has been run into the ground by mismanagement and corruption under the ANC government. Mainly (entirely?) because of these reasons, it cannot produce enough power to supply the country and so we – fairly regularly – have rolling blackouts. This is called loadshedding. I have written about it a lot.
The first significant loadshedding of 2019 began yesterday and looks like it will continue all week.

Fact 2:
We’ve got an election coming up in the next couple of months (exact date still TBC May 8th, see below). We stay in DA-controlled Cape Town, in the DA-controlled Western Cape. All the other 8 provinces are governed by the ruling ANC.
There is (obviously) a lot of talk about the election at the moment. It’s safe to say that it’s probably among the Top 5 things that people in SA are aware of right now. Front of mind then.

Fact 3:
The (DA-controlled, remember) City of Cape Town has a hydroelectric facility which it can use in times of electricity shortage to mitigate the effects of loadshedding. And it does use this facility, nearly every time there’s loadshedding.

But – how odd – it isn’t using it this time around. 

So, the cynic in me is suggesting that the DA is using this opportunity to remind the people of Cape Town just what ANC rule has done for the country.
And yes, I’ll be sitting in darkness from 8pm this evening thinking about exactly that. But just a bit of me will be wondering if it could have been different if the DA had not wanted to make a point.

Cynical? Hmmm.

 

UPDATE: This:

Indeed.

Which is exactly what they would say, of course.

UPDATE 2: And this:

Which is exactly what he would say, of course.

Thank you to my correspondents and their corrections.

QOTD 24th July 2018

Quote of the Day. It’s from Paul Mashatile:

Member of the Executive Council for Human Settlements and Co-operative Governance in the Gauteng Legislature, as well as provincial chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng province and ANC Treasurer General.

He’s reported to have said:

“The ANC can’t be seen as a corrupt organisation because it is not and was never a corrupt organisation. It’s people who join the ANC that get involved in corrupt activities.”

So there it is. It’s not the ANC that’s corrupt, it’s the ANC that’s corrupt.

Got it. Thanks, Paul.