President For Sale

This made my week.

An enterprising South African posted the following on a local online smalls advertising site known as Gumtree.

President-for-sale

But wait, it gets better…

After the posting was made public on a popular Tech and IT news website, Gumtree decided to take down the advert. A Gumtree spokesperson explained the reason:

We encourage users to only upload advertisements that offer legitimate goods and services…

I guess she had no idea how hilarious and appropriate her response was. Well played spokesperson; a growing number of South Africans know all too well that our President is definitely not legit.

State Of The Nation Dress

lie-often-enough

While many politicians were today attending the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Jacob Zuma in Parliament, I’d venture that a whole lot more astute South Africans decided to give it a total miss.

Why anyone other than journalists unlucky enough to get this pissy assignment, politicians and economist types would want to watch this drivel, is beyond me. I do know that quite a few people I’m acquainted with would have watched if only Zuma would have used the occasion to say, “You were all right. I’m a poor excuse for a leader. I quit.” But we all knew that was never going to happen.

From the newspaper reports, SONA did live up to expectations: another drab, meaningless affair crammed full of rhetoric and promises drifting on a stream of hot air spewing from the President’s untrustworthy mouth. He could have rehashed any previous SONA, and only the most discerning would have detected any difference.

However what interested me the most was the outfits these politicians chose to wear to Parliament. It smacked of pretentiousness.

While many chose traditional African outfits, one even came barefoot. Another MP’s wife arrived clad in a blue, red, yellow, and black Ndebele blanket, claiming that it was her culture. Perhaps her culture is only manifest at Parliamentary shindigs, because I’m willing to bet that you will find her dressed in European haute couture, the rest of the year. One female MP bought her traditional dress in Ghana because it symbolized freedom. Seemingly there are no South African equivalents.

Julius Malema of the infamous Economic Freedom Fighters attended in a red workman’s overalls, which has become his party’s dress of choice for Parliament because it symbolizes their (supposed) affiliation to the working class. The idiom “a jackass wolf in sheep’s clothing” has never been more relevant. But that was not all: an observant journalist noticed that Malema was wearing a normal suite under these red overalls. You can be sure that those red digs will be ripped off like a stripper does, just before the SONA after-party, safely out of sight of his doting, but gullible constituents.

Then off course there were the others, whose fashion sense were about as deficient as their honest political intentions.

And so concludes my report on another hollow State of the Nation Address.

Why doesn’t he just die!

I’ve been wondering… and that usually means irreverent thoughts.

Our President has been in hospital. Today he was released… to continue plaguing his subjects. Yeah, subjects. I’m positive he thinks no less of us. My Monday is ruined.

So I was wondering. Why doesn’t he just die. It will mean a lot less heartache for everyone, including the few good people still left in his party. They won’t have to throw him out on his ass, which is an absolute necessity if his party means to rule until Jesus comes, as his accomplices are so fond of reminding us… subjects.

Is that cruel? Really? Death would be a kindness, even to his own revolting presence. Sure, the possibility exists that his replacement will be worse. But hey, at this point, I’m willing to take that chance, and I’m pretty sure many others are too.

South Africa deserves better. We have been through so much already. We really can’t survive another five years of el Presidente’s rule.

Satan if you really exist, please clean up your crap.

Why I will NOT vote for the ANC tomorrow

Vote_12345

I am going to vote in South Africa’s National General Elections tomorrow for the first time in 20 years, but it will not be for the ANC.

The reason can be stated simply in two words. Jacob Zuma.

Perhaps I should elaborate because contrary to Zuma’s most recent disingenuous attempt to paint himself as a victim, I have other reasons, and it’s not because I’m “bright.”

I am not worried about Nkandla. Not a single person said to us during the campaign they were worried about Nkandla. People are not worried about that. They don’t think it’s an issue that will affect how they vote. This is an issue raised by bright people [those who think they know better]. It has not worked. [Nkandla] is just a homestead of a man called Zuma who happened to become president. From when I became deputy president, I was told I couldn’t be in a car without bullet proof. It’s a benefit. Must I pay for those benefits? Why? When I go the United States, I use [state] aircraft. Must I pay for that? Why is it that the law has to change when we deal with Zuma.

I can’t be responsible for construction [at my house, and] that so-and-so inflated prices. How was I expected to see that? Where would I be when that happened? I am running the country.

Jacob Zuma has hijacked the ANC for his own personal benefit. To be fair, he did not do this single-handedly. He had lots of help from both inside this organization and outside. Were it not for other senior ANC members who likewise used public office for self-enrichment, most importantly, an apathetic and uncritical public, Zuma would not be at the helm of a once great organization that had admirers the world over.

The ANC is a shadow of its former self; it’s now evolved into a decrepit, self-serving, arrogant, tyrannical, dishonest, cronyistic and incompetent party. Yes, they have achieved much in 15 or so years, but the last five has seen the dramatic slide, which should in no way excuse the rot that has set in.

I could just tear my greying locks out in disgust as I watch daily how they prey on an adoring but uncritical public who they’ve locked into emotional blackmail. And this is the deal-breaker for me. The idea that the ANC has sole proprietorship on liberation from apartheid rule, is one that needs to be challenged most vociferously. The truth is that as many people from inside the ANC as outside, suffered through apartheid, fought for liberation and died too.

I read on another blog that we need to let the ANC continue governing because they have experience that other parties do not have. That is utter bullshit. Nelson Mandela did not have any experience at governing when he started out 20 years ago, and he did a great job. He had something I see so little off in the modern ANC; honesty and integrity.

Nelson Mandela’s vision was to share and build together with his former enemies; which is antithetical of Zuma’s apparent ploy to turn this country into a one-party state.

Vote wisely my friends; you will have to live with the consequences for another five years, possibly longer…

Essential Voter Information

The South African General Elections are mere days away now, and your political parties are canvassing up a storm, regurgitating many old promises, and inventing enticing new ones.

Mostly outrageous lies off course. But you know that, right? Right?

These are the ones making the most noise, yes, noise…

The incumbent African National Congress (ANC), are handing out t-shirts and food parcels, just in case the promises aren’t inventive enough, or the people can’t hear through the ullulating women and men’s chants of Viva. All knowledgeable know that they’re merely digging in for another five years of brazen theft, incompetence and cronyism. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are promising Nationalization of the land and sea, and just about anything stupid that comes on the spur of the moment to bloated heads. If they promise the air as well, then that will complete the Nationalization trifecta. Their leader Julius Malema is… the embodiment of a buffoon and wants nothing more than to lord it over like the ANC does.

And the purported voice of reason…

The Democratic Alliance (DA) are preaching to a small choir, because almost nobody else understands reason and logic, or trusts them. The new kids on the block, Agang, are mostly mimicking the DA, and essentially clueless about policy, but do have a woman leader who would make the perfect President.

No other party (and there are lots) matters. It seems that for every half-baked ideology, there’s a political party crusading it.They’re all worthless shit. That’s not to say that those above are not shite as well. But you just have to remember one thing.

This.

essenceofpolitic

Vote wisely folks. After the 7th of May, these politicians will all crawl back under their steaming piles of horse shit, and you’ll be left wandering a trail of broken promises for another 5 years.

See you at the polls…

When the denial prefaces the justification

Perhaps you notice how the denial is so often the preface to the justification. – Christopher Hitchens

JZNkandla

Last week I wrote about the release of the Public Protector’s report on the Nkandla scandal which discloses how nearly R250-million of taxpayers’ money was squandered on supposed security upgrades to President Zuma’s private home.

On Sunday the President spoke about it for the first time, but his response is both hysterical and contemptible at the same time. While the report was quite clear that Zuma and his family benefitted materially from the upgrades at taxpayers’ expense, and that he displayed both lack of leadership and control, the President prefers to bury his head in the ground.

I did not use taxpayers’ money. They put in windows that I don’t even want. Then they turn around and say this fellow used the government’s money.

This despicable man, who is slowly but surely eclipsing some of Apartheid South Africa’s past Presidents, and even Robert Mugabe, for being the worst example of leadership on the continent, actually expects the public to believe that he did not know what was going on in his own backyard.

Is it reasonable to expect anyone who finds bulldozers busy on his property and massive and expensive renovations taking place, not to question what is going on? What is this bullshit about windows? That does not even begin to address the scale of the renovations, but he glibly mentions this to the group of elderly people he was selling his candidacy to, for the upcoming elections.

It is gratifying to note that the calls for his impeachment are growing and even his own party members who previously closed ranks around him, are now asking him to answer for his scandalous behaviour. However there are still those within the ANC and bewilderingly some members of the public who think it’s okay to misappropriate public money.

Let’s hope that both these miscreants and the President are given what they deserve before the elections in less than two months, because the country surely will not survive another term of office with Zuma in charge.

#In case you’re wondering about the picture. It’s a new meme doing the rounds on social media. It points out that the public did not ask for the very expensive electronic tolling of major highways which the President signed into effect a few months ago, and which is attracting massive resistance.

And oh, you might want to check out this parody of what I would describe as the worst song ever, which suddenly became somewhat likeable.

Low Down Dirty Shame

It’s been exactly a week since Thuli Madonsela the South African Public Protector, released a report into the outrageous spending of R246-million of public funds on security (sic) upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private compound residence Nkandla.

Oh there’s been the usual ducking and dodging, disingenuous comments and feigned outrage by the President’s hand-picked cronies Ministers and acolytes, but Zuma himself has kept mum except to utter these condescending, yet self-reflective remarks at some political rally today:

Some take the people of South Africa for granted and underestimate their intelligence.

Be an example and lead.

The guy’s such a smug piece of political vermin, he’s blind to the irony.

Off course, Zuma’s henchmen are not the only people rallying to his defence; ordinary members of the (credulous) public such as this one in an open letter, tried to cast veiled aspersions at the Public Protector, but failed gloriously – and not because of his atrocious spelling and grammar. It was actually quite hilarious to read (if you can stomach the grammar) in the end.

Others however were not fooled by the claims of innocence, as the The Lone Groover’s (rather good) attempt at poetry demonstrates:

My president is a fool,
he has no understanding
of the difference
between
serve and rule.

My president is a liar,
he lines his pockets
and he lights the fire
giggling
over his objects
of desire.

My president is a thief,
rotten to the core
way beyond belief
living in the past
and thinking like a chief.

My president makes me sad
as he squanders all the resources
that we have.

My president makes no sense
with his claims of innocence.

And my people make me cry
when they vote once more
for this guy.

However, the best riposte by far has to be this cartoon:

nkandla

So for now, the long-suffering public is in for the long wait, as it appears likely that Zuma will waste yet more of our taxes fighting this thing in the courts.

If you’d like to wade through the rather lengthy Public Protector’s report on the Nkandla scandal, here’s a PDF version:

Secure In Comfort

The Third Force. Shudder!

It’s election year in South Africa, and the polling date of 07 May has just been announced. Which means that electioneering by the opposing political parties and their henchmen kicks into overdrive. Meanwhile…

There has been a remarkable upsurge in violent protests by residents of various towns over poor to zero service delivery. You know, the simple stuff like running water, the winning party promised in the last elections but either failed to deliver for one or more reasons, or couldn’t be bothered to.

We could speculate why the government did not deliver on these services, but there is ample reason to believe (from massive evidence) that it is a direct result of corruption, nepotism and downright incompetence.

But wait for the response of the government cronies… A Third Force is involved. Yes, a Third Fucking Force. They would have us believe that the protests are not about service delivery, but that a sinister force is stoking the flames of protest and instigating people to demonstrate violently and provoking anger and resentment towards the ruling government. They don’t actually say that certain opposition parties are responsible, but they’re not exactly telling you it’s aliens from Planet X, either. The implied accusation is plain to see.

That’s pretty lame and unimaginative coming from the current government. The previous apartheid regime used the very same scare tactic to entrench apartheid, then the ANC resurrected it over recent years, only to breathe new life into it just as we enter the final straight to elections. Through nearly 20 years of being in power they just couldn’t think of a new excuse with which to mask their failings.

However the thing that astounds me the most is that these same protesters will vote into power the same henchmen all over again. They’ve done it before. There’s some pretty screwed up psychology involved here.

Or maybe they’ll astound me yet again, and do the right thing this time around. One can live with hope.

Update:

This just in. While a government official was being interviewed on State Television about the poor state of the roads, an accident is captured on camera. You just can’t make this shit up.

Because the people have abrogated their responsibility…

How can an organisation that refused to have a personality cult built around Nelson Mandela allow itself to become a mere tool in the hands of Zuma? How can its leaders cast aside the party’s historical mission – to transform the lives of millions of poor black people and build a united, non-racial, prosperous and democratic country – to simply become gophers for Zuma?

That is the question being posed by Justice Malala, a newspaper columnist and host of a television show The Justice Factor, in an online newspaper today.

If you’re not familiar with South African politics, read this:

President Jacob Zuma is not a fool. He makes gaffes every week and has no idea what constitutionality means. But he is no fool.

He might not read – as has been alleged – but that does not mean he does not know what levers have to be cranked to ensure that he never gets inside a court.

Since he became the president of the ANC in 2007, he has overseen the most concerted and successful assault on the country’s independent institutions.

The judiciary is today facing a major crisis of confidence because of cases involving him at the Constitutional Court.

The minute he won the ANC presidency in Polokwane, the Scorpions – which had been investigating him- were disbanded. It was quick, cruel and ruthless.

Over the past few months it has been the public protector’s turn. In that time, we have witnessed concerted and coordinated attacks from parliament, the executive and various wings of the ANC on the office led by possibly the most admired “public servant” in the nation today – Thuli Madonsela.

This past week we had the extraordinary sight of our security cluster – which has over the past few weeks made fools of themselves saying all kinds of nonsense about Madonsela – turning on the populace and declaring that publication of pictures of the taxpayer-funded Nkandla monstrosity were illegal and that the full might of the law would come down on those who dared to do so. All this for one man: Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.

The man is not a fool. He has managed to get Africa’s oldest liberation movement to become a tool for his protection.

Whatever he does – whether it is his friends the Guptas landing their planes at military key points with impunity or a hideous compound being built for him for R208-million, the man has got the party rushing to do his bidding.

And so one has to ask: Which ANC is this?

How can an organisation that refused to have a personality cult built around Nelson Mandela allow itself to become a mere tool in the hands of Zuma? How can its leaders cast aside the party’s historical mission – to transform the lives of millions of poor black people and build a united, non-racial, prosperous and democratic country – to simply become gophers for Zuma?

Yet that is what the party’s 86-member national executive committee has become.

ANC MPs are now introducing legislation that is aimed solely at protecting this one man.

Across the land, provincial party leaders hobble state machinery merely to protect and keep this one compromised leader out of jail and in power.

It is an incredible sight.

Once proud leaders who served our nation in exile, in the United Democratic Front and in trade unions now scrape and bow before one man.

The ANC no longer has leaders. It has zombies who mindlessly follow this one leader and do his bidding.

It is quite extraordinary.

What has happened to the culture of debate and contestation that once permeated this movement?

What happened to the pride that made this once great organisation stand up and expel people who muddied its name?

How can this lot walk in the shoes of Albert Luthuli, AP Mda, Anton Lembede, Pixley kaIsaka Seme?

So, as we look at the extraordinary lengths that the current ANC “leadership” has gone to defend an embarrassment of a leader whose entire family seems to be infused by a shocking culture of entitlement – Zuma’s brother, Michael, last week admitted using his name to swing tenders to his benefactors – we have to ask: Where is the ANC?

The answer is heartbreaking: The ANC is compromised; it is lost.

It has lost its moral compass and its leadership of society.

The man at its head is a reflection of what the party is: ill-disciplined, compromised and unprincipled.

The desperation one sees among the ANC’s leaders is a reflection of this. When a man as widely admired as Cyril Ramaphosa has no other argument to convince a voter to still support the ANC than “the Boers will return”, then you know that this is a movement that is both intellectually and morally bankrupt. The emperor and his lieutenants have no clothes.

And so we will remember the reign of Zuma. We will remember it not for its achievements but for the cowardice, callowness and bankruptcy of the leadership that he brought with him. We will remember his lackeys for their bowing and scraping and their destruction of the continent’s greatest liberation movement. What an ignominious end for the party of Mandela.

The answer may be simpler than we think! The people who continue to support this outrage are those who continue to vote for him.

There’s only one way out of this mess. And you have the responsibility to use it well at the next elections.

Hail the panhandler

It’s been three days, and I can’t get this out of my mind…

On Saturday I went to a liquor outlet to get a case of wine. On my way out, one of the infamous Highveld storms broke loose, pouring down hail which bounced off my car with a sickening sound.

As I was moving along in the traffic, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a panhandler standing at a traffic intersection, straddling two lanes. He was dressed in what looked like patched-up jeans and a clearly ripped t-shirt, holding a small square of cardboard, using it to desperately shield himself from the savage blows being meted out by the hailstones.

It was such a pitiful sight, but I couldn’t do a thing being caught in moving traffic, trying to escape the storm like everyone else. Or… I could have but didn’t.

I remember still thinking about it nearly an hour later, as I was nearing my destination. I wished I could go back to see if he was alright.

And it’s still troubling me three days later. I hope he’s okay…