An Uprising, And Then A League Of Silly Women

Last week university students across South Africa rose up in protest against a hike in fees for the 2016 academic year.

Barring the few incidents of violence and destruction of property, it was a sight to behold. Never has the government of this country been shaken as much and by mere students, unified across racial, gender, socioeconomic and political divisions.

So frightened were the ruling politicians, that they caved in last Friday and announced a zero percent increase in fees for the next year. This week however, students at some institutions were still not satisfied, and continued protesting, mostly for the complete abolition of fees for tertiary education.

If students could rattle the ANC government this much, imagine what a unified South Africa could do. I think these are troubling times for the fat-cat rulers and their cozy futures doesn’t look so bright any more. Finally the ANC’s disdain for the citizenry has reaped a whole lot of detest.

Meanwhile, one of the embarrassing ineffectual wings of the ANC (the other being the Youth League), The Women’s League has decided this week to march on the Union Buildings to protest the “denigration of the image of President Zuma by so-called artists.” In other words (so they insist) they’re marching to protect the dignity and honor of the President, all  because an artist had the foresight temerity to paint a picture of His Loathsomess in an er, uncompromising but accurate position.

These women should be ashamed of themselves. Scratch that. They’re proud supporters of patriarchy after all. Seems it hasn’t occurred to them that you can’t protect the honor of a man who has none.

Oh well, back to the students.

For many people in this country who had given up hope of ever holding this government to account, our young generation have shown quite conclusively that it is possible. Thank you all for coming in from the cold.

“Point of order, honourable Parasite…”

What you’re watching is a session of our Parliament. Correction! Was our Parliament. It is no longer any such thing.

That hallowed institution ceased to exist when Jacob Zuma and his cronies usurped it. What it is now, is merely a deception to keep up appearances for the credulous masses that conspire to keep this rabble in power.

It never fails to at the same time, amuse and infuriate me when these leeches call each other honourable. I’d be pleasantly surprised if more than a handful of them actually looked up the word in a dictionary.

Notice how the sheep rise to applaud the Pres… er jackal when he takes up position to answer frustrate questions from the Opposition. How very diffident? And what about the Speaker? What a model of prejudice?

This my friends is a very devious form of apartheid. It is called ANC democracy.

Zuminating the shit we’re in

dejapoo

While addressing a gathering of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Cape Town yesterday, President, Jacob Zuma regaled the gathering with how effective South Africa was at fighting corruption.

Zuma told this apparently unenlightened team of world leaders that his government had put in place institutions of graft-busting that were unbelievably non-existent during the apartheid era. Shocked members of the WEF were then led into a further secret:

There is a feeling that taxpayers’ money cannot be taken by other people. No matter if you are big or small, if there is a problem we have a structure to look at it.

Then in a moment of amazing candour the miscreant President revealed how he had valiantly hand-picked a team of ruthless investigators from his own cabinet and party to investigate the allegations of corruption against him. Unsurprisingly he was cleared.

Citizens of the country listening to Zuma’s address and reading about it later, were horrified, not because he was vindicated by this thorough team of investigators, but because the President had the audacity to take a gathering of international leaders for the fools he takes his own flock. Once again Zuma had shown not only his own countrymen the middle finger, but the rest of the world as well.

Eh eh eh eh eh…

Update: Found a recording of the WEF address by Jacob Zuma. Don’t you think Schwab, to the right of Zuma, is trying very hard to keep a straight face? The rest of us couldn’t.

May the third force be with you…

thirdforce

…when you are up against it, and need to shift responsibility to someone or something else.

Politicians, especially the ANC kind know this well. They’ve used this pathetic excuse quite frequently over the years, to avoid accepting responsibility for their many screw-ups. And since the citizens of this country have failed to hold them accountable, it seems many others in so-called leadership positions have cottoned on and are following suite.

The latest “leader” to jump aboard the third force train is a parasite who leeches on our taxes while masquerading as the King of the Zulus. He goes by the moniker of King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Following a public speech he made in which he clearly exhorted foreigners to pack their bags and leave the country, xenophobic violence broke out in several provinces which led to multiple deaths of foreigners. One such incident which involved the gruesome killing of a Mozambican national, was captured by the media in graphic detail, and broadcast around the world.

While our own President Jacob Zuma, who strangely is a subject of this King, characteristically took the opportunity to blame the media for showing South Africa in a bad light, Goodwill (whose name is wasted on him) Zwelithini refused to accept any responsibility but blamed a handy third force.

What a couple of tossers! Both of them need to be tossed behind bars; the sooner the better. This country can ill afford the likes of these, these…

This ain’t no banana republic

Everything leading up to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by Scoundrel No.1 the President a few weeks ago and subsequently has given force to the idea that South Africa is a banana republic.

Social media was abuzz with claims that the beginning of the end had started that horrid day. Those video clips of the bust-up in Parliament was merrily doing the rounds, much to the delight of all those who have over a period of time come to despise this ANC administration (as admittedly, I do too).

But are we really a banana republic?

No. And far from it. However, the daily antics of our politicians, especially those in the ruling governing party will not ease the cries of the nay-sayers. But do we have a democracy then?

No. I’m not convinced that what I’m living every day is actually a functioning democracy. At least not in the traditional sense like those in countries such as Norway and Switzerland say (two random European countries. Extracted from Global Democracy Ranking), based on (1) politics, gender (socio-economic and educational gender equality); (2) economy (economic system); (3) knowledge (knowledge-based information society, research and education); (4) health (health status and health system); (5) environment (environmental sustainability).

As you can see, South Africa is not doing too well; way off the mark actually and declining. But we’re the new kids on the block, so a little leeway should be allowed, right?

No. Instead of making headway to improve our fledgling democracy, the politicians seem to be heading the other way. My experience is that the politicians are too busy looking after numero uno (well Scoundrel No.1 The President first, then themselves obviously because the system of patronage must be protected) and they have absolutely no compunction in trying to hide it, nor do they show any remorse when caught.

The levels of corruption are so bad, that when the nay-sayers do label this country as a kleptocracy, I have no hesitation in agreeing. It seems so apparent that our politicians are hell-bent on making South Africa the leading kleptocracy in Africa, maybe even the world.

Footnote: Choosing Banana Republic by The Boomtown Rats would have been an obvious choice for my mostly usual Monday music post, but I decided to go with the other one as this post developed into a rant. I Don’t Like Mondays has nothing to do with going back to work on a Monday, or whatever people usually think, but has to do with the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, USA on 29 January 1979, who like our politicians showed no remorse for her actions.

Justice Malala on President Zuma

Justice Malala has written another great opinion piece on Times Live. It is just so good, that it would be a travesty not to share. I have taken the liberty to lift it whole for you to enjoy, if it is at all possible to take pleasure in reading about an obscenely disgraceful person.


Zuma the wrecking ball

Just a month into his second term, President Jacob Zuma is politically exposed and his former friends are calling him names in parliament. Already, many within the ruling party have begun contesting for his position.

His performance in parliament last week was dismal and underlined what some of us have said since 2005, when Thabo Mbeki fired him: he is not fit to govern and is not fit to walk in the shoes of Oliver Tambo and Albert Luthuli. His first term as chief executive of South Africa Incorporated was an absolute disaster. His second will be worse.

His new cabinet is possibly the worst to sit around a table in the boardrooms of the Union Buildings since democracy dawned. It is a collection of cronies, incompetents and yes-men. It is a cabinet in which the few talented and worthy individuals are overwhelmed by the compromised.

Zuma stood up in parliament last week and brazenly told us something we all know – we have run out of electricity. The only reason we still have lights on in our homes is because Eskom is diverting electricity to consumers while the mines and other big users are being starved of the stuff. Expect major outages when the platinum miners go back to work.

Now, you would think that a president would send his best people to deal with the sort of energy crisis we face.

Zuma did, after all, spend the biggest chunk of his speech going on about our energy challenges. How does he solve this clear and present danger?

He has appointed possibly the most controversial, divisive and incompetent minister of his last administration, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, to the energy portfolio. You have to wonder what kind of sick joke is being played on the electorate. In her report in December, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said Zuma should act against Joemat-Pettersson because of her “reckless dealing with state money and services, resulting in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, loss of confidence in the fisheries industry in South Africa, alleged decimation of fisheries resources in South Africa and delayed quota allocations due to lack of appropriate research”.

But Zuma went and appointed her to what is potentially the most critical job in his administration. Within days she was telling the world that South Africa will be building a nuclear power plant.

And who will be building this facility? Ah, President Zuma’s new best friends, the Russian government. Let me give you a prediction, dear reader: In 2030 there will be a commission of inquiry in South Africa investigating “corruption related to a trillion-dollar nuclear deal”. This is another arms deal in the making. Mark my words.

You have to wonder who advised Zuma on some of his appointments. Siyabonga Cwele? Faith Muthambi? Nathi Mthethwa? It boggles the mind.

When he has a clear opportunity to do something extraordinary, the man chokes.

Why is an announcement that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will run the National Development Plan not explicit in Zuma’s speeches? As usual, on this issue Zuma has done what he does best, he has poured uncertainty into the milieu.

On May 25, announcing his new cabinet, he said: “The National Planning Commission, as well as the performance monitoring and evaluation ministries in The Presidency, have been combined into one ministry to harmonise the planning and monitoring functions.”

He announced that the man in charge of this ministry is Jeff Radebe.

Last weekend the ANC, reacting to the bad news that two international ratings agencies found our economic future bleak, issued this statement: “The Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, has been assigned the task of chairing the National Planning Commission and has overall oversight of the implementation and enforcement of the NDP across government.”

What is going on here? Does Zuma’s left hand know what the right hand is doing? I don’t think so. In fact, I think some distance is beginning to emerge between Zuma and his party. It seems to me the ANC wants some leadership, whereas Zuma prefers to keep things murky and divisive while he rules the roost. It is absolutely the wrong way to run a country.

Thankfully, it seems as if some in the ANC are waking up to the fact that the man is a liability. As a clearly ailing Zuma hobbled into parliament last week party branches across the country were beginning to caucus about who should succeed him when the party conference is held in December 2017.

The powerful KwaZulu-Natal branch could push for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or Zweli Mkhize.

But the North West, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Limpopo branches are saying Ramaphosa should be given a chance. Ramaphosa needs to send them a signal that he is ready to run.

Crucially, KwaZulu-Natal ANC leaders are saying they are prepared to back Ramaphosa, but would want to have Mkhize as his No2. This is where the sticking point lies: a place has to be found for ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, at present the most powerful man in the party.

It will be an interesting race, but Zuma could lobby hard for his former wife to succeed him.

Meanwhile, South Africa will just have to grit its teeth for another five long years with the liability that is Zuma.

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.

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