… written by a crackhead scriptwriter
I wanted to write something positive, preferably something about the culture and people of South Africa. Sadly, that was not to be. Instead, just when I thought I could not be bewildered by anything more about South Africa, the ANC showed me the error of my ways.
South Africa is scheduled to have local elections on 27 October 2021. These elections are quite important as they affect local service delivery, which has become somewhat erratic, given the close relationship between ANC cadre deployment and corruption, resulting in electricity blackouts, water shortages due to lack of maintenance, roads and public infrastructure not being maintained. So, one would have thought that these elections would feature uppermost in the minds of the ruling party. Apparently not. The first indication came when the ANC asked the electoral commission to postpone the elections because of Covid-19. This request was a little strange as most organisations have adapted and implemented social distancing protocols. One would have thought that the electrical commission would have been able to host such an event, given that only a limited number of people are allowed into the voting halls at a time and queueing takes place outside. Shortly after that request, staff at the ANC head offices gave notice that they were going on strike as they had not been paid for over two months because the ANC was bankrupt. This is partly because the ANC hadn’t paid over the tax it had deducted from the staff salaries. The taxman here doesn’t like it when people don’t pay and can seize bank accounts to obtain the outstanding monies.
There is a certain element of schadenfreude here as the ANC reveals itself to be both morally and financially bankrupt. A once noble movement that occupied the moral high ground is now grovelling in the muck. One can’t help but feel that the party is slowly imploding. The pervasive levels of corruption in all levels of government are strangling the party, and there are hits on whistleblowers, like the assassination of the Gauteng Chief Financial Officer, Babita Deokaran, who was a witness in a state capture case. This feeling is amplified by reports that the ANC staff are quite upset but feel they have to strike, which is fully understandable. People can’t afford to work without being paid a decent wage. Although, how the ANC got itself into this predicament is a matter of concern. The reason could be that its former president was heavily involved in state capture, numerous ANC members of parliament have been involved in dubious dealings and are of the view that they didn’t fight in the struggle to be poor. Besides, some of the richest men in the country, like the current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and his brother-in-law, Patrice Motsepe, are members of the ANC. One would have thought that somewhere along the line, someone would have funded the ANC. It seems strange that there doesn’t appear to be any money from the members to support the party. Bizarrely, in a surprising turn of events, the ANC decided to turn to crowd-funding. This is a rather unusual step for a political party; oh wait, they don’t consider themselves to be a political party but rather a not-for-profit organisation. There is a certain irony and audacity in a party that is so corrupt asking for money from the very people it has stolen from and possibly intends to steal more from. But then again, Jacob Zuma is doing the very same thing and asking for funding to pay his legal costs.
Anyway, as South Africans stay tuned for the latest development in the ‘Days of our lives in SA’ soap opera, obviously written by a crackhead scriptwriter with no sense of reality, the next exciting step came when the ANC asked for an extension to upload its candidates onto the electoral site. They requested the extension due to them having problems with the website and because of the Covid situation. Somehow other parties had managed to. Later it transpired that ANC candidates from 93 wards were not included in the lists. This omission would mean that in those wards, the ANC would lose whatever hold it had had, and the opposition parties would be able to form coalition governments. South African local government doesn’t have a good track record with coalition governments: there have been instances of councillors hitting one another with water jugs. The ANC, in a not so surprising move, then requested that the elections be postponed. Then, the very next day, in a complete about-face, the ANC withdrew the request.
At this juncture, the crackpot scriptwriter, having decided that the plot needed to be spiced up, threw into the mix Jacob Zuma’s telegenic son, Duduzane Zuma, best known for his phrase uttered during the July insurrection, ‘Looters should loot responsibly’. Apparently, Duduzane is now embarking on the campaign trail for the next national elections. Sadly for Duduzane, his funding from the state-capturing Gupta brothers has been frozen by international authorities, according to the Daily Maverick, but this did not stop him from reaching out to those communities who were worst affected by the looting. It is not clear what his sister Duduzile thinks of this outreach as she was allegedly spurring on the looters. Hopefully, this campaign will be short-lived. The country cannot survive another Zuma & Co. at the helm.
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