When the denial prefaces the justification

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


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.

Go figure! Women who support patriarchy

You’d think that women would be averse to supporting patriarchal attitudes, but it would seem that’s not the case when it comes to religion and politics. There’s probably a fairly unpalatable number of women all over the world who see no problem in rationalizing the acceptance of patriarchy when it conflicts with their religious, political and cultural beliefs.

And we have them right here in South Africa too. The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), who for all intents and purposes function merely as the ANC’s cheerleaders, are adamant that the time is not right for a female leader of the party, and by extension, President of the country. Why?

Well according to the League leaders, it’s against processes, traditions and does not support continuity and healing of a visibly broken organization.

So that makes it alright to continue supporting a male leader who is without doubt one of the worst (in all possible areas) that South Africa has ever had the misfortune to have as a President. And believe me, this guy makes some of the apartheid era Presidents and Prime Ministers look positively angelic.

But does the ANC have the calibre of women in their ranks who could become a future President? According to Jen Thorpe writing in Thought Leader, the pickings are mighty slim, and if one looks at the track record of ANC women in key government positions, the picture is dismal indeed. There are however one or two who have done quite a good job at running their portfolios, but would they be up to running a country?

The only way to find out is to give them the opportunity. Hell, I sincerely doubt they could do a worse job than the sod who’s currently lauding it over his subjects… even if they tried.

But, it seems that they will have to wait until processes and traditions change, and the ANC heals itself. You know as well as I, that that is not going to happen until Jesus returns.

It therefore leaves women with just two more options if they want to see a female President. Either vote for the opposition Democratic Alliance or Agang, both parties having fairly strong women leaders.

And since female voters probably outnumber male, that is quite an appetizing prospect, one that South Africa sorely needs.

Shame on you, NANCY

The ANC (African National Congress) which celebrated its 98th anniversary on the 8th of January, has in recent times become a shadow of the principled, honourable organization it once was. Men of integrity such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu have long since given way to a new class of leadership which styles itself around self-interest and loathsome behaviour, reminiscent of power-hungry dictators all over the world.

A post-apartheid ANC earned the right of governing the new South Africa, with honour and distinction. That was little more than 15 years ago. Now,  true leadership has become a distant memory. The right to lead and govern is no longer earned; it is now demanded. In ANC circles, this is the age of entitlement.

It seems this new breed of ANC leadership have learnt well from the mistakes of despots such as Robert Mugabe. Why hang around for more than 25 years and then raid the treasury? Better to raid the treasury in the beginning of your term of office, then live off the fat for the next 25 years, or as long as you can still rig the vote.

Not that the ANC have ever rigged the vote, but it is not in their interest to rule brazenly, in the dictatorial fashion of Robert Mugabe; not yet anyway. There’s much work to be done – appease, placate, sweet-talk the sheeple, while the taxes roll in. Then, as Patricia de Lille, leader of the opposition Independent Democrats commented on a television show recently, “loot the treasury.”

Traces of the work ahead for the ANC could be found in leader of the ANC, Jacob Zuma’s New Year speech in the Northern Cape on Saturday. The usual platitudes were in abundance. While conceding that local Municipalities were in near disarray because employees also held leadership positions in the ANC  which caused the “blurring of political and administrative roles,” he promised that the ANC would “tighten its deployment procedures.” He was quoted as saying:

We will tighten our deployment procedures to ensure that we deploy comrades with political integrity and professional competence.

Where will he find these “comrades?” Political integrity and professional competence is almost unheard of within the ANC today. And surely not in the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) which traditionally spawned leadership greats such as Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. The Youth League of today is noted for producing pin-heads such as Julius Malema and other misfits, more suited to rabble-rousing than leadership or administration.

Right now, this new breed of leadership needs to own up to having sullied the memory of this once great organization, and as penance, change its name to the New-ANC (NANC) or as I dis-affectionately like to refer to it, as Nancy.