Experts on spies, useless on jobs

Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association members show their support for Jacob Zuma at the state capture inquiry.
Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association members show their support for Jacob Zuma at the state capture inquiry.
Image: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Veli Nhlapo

Why is SA not Singapore?

It’s because we have handed our country to people who are so damaged by our past and their own painful experiences in the struggle that they cannot govern.

They cannot grow the economy. They cannot create the right environment for jobs. They are living in the past. Our country’s political leadership suffers from so much post-traumatic stress disorder that it has become paralysed by its history.

Jacob Zuma, the former president of the Republic of SA, told the nation last week that his former tourism minister, Derek Hanekom, was a “known enemy agent”.

This follows Zuma’s allegation – without a shred of evidence – that his former ministers in mining and communications, Ngoako Ramatlhodi and Siphiwe Nyanda, were apartheid spies. It means that Zuma knowingly appointed three “enemy agents” to his cabinet in 2009 and 2014.

The question one must ask is: what kind of leader knowingly appoints three “enemy” spies to his cabinet? Could it be that Zuma, the man who walks around claiming that others are spies, was an apartheid spy himself? And why has he not jumped at the chance to accompany Ramatlhodi to take a lie detector test?

We will never know if Zuma was an apartheid spy. We don’t know where the “list” of apartheid spies he claims to have, and which he brandished at the Zondo commission, comes from.

Why is he the only ANC leader who has it? Was it given to him – manufactured and doctored – by the apartheid government?

Only in SA would a man who lies so much, who is so demonstrably incompetent, who is so ethically and morally bankrupt, still be worthy of a quote.

Like Zuma, it is patently clear that the ANC – and its surrogate, the EFF – are parties stuck in the past. They are not architects of the present or the future. They are governed by paranoia and gossip, not facts, policy and strategy. To insult anyone in these parties do not tell them they have their facts on a policy matter wrong. Instead, tell them they were a spy in the 1970s or 1980s.

People who were still soiling their nappies when Nelson Mandela walked out of jail in 1990 now walk around calling people apartheid spies.

Think about it. Mosiuoa Lekota stands up and accuses Ramaphosa of being an apartheid collaborator or spy. Zuma stands up and accuses three of his own cabinet appointees of being spies – with impunity. The EFF routinely calls journalists “Stratcom”. Leaders of the ANC daily call opponents askaris, mdlwembe, 702 blacks or other pejorative names.

Say “job creation” to this lot and watch as a deep silence falls over the gathering. They have nothing to contribute. They have nothing to give. Their mouths and brains are zipped shut. The EFF is more energised about defending the discredited public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane than it is about the 55% or more unemployed among its core constituency – young people. Don’t even ask me about the ANC. That lot is in a death spiral between the looters massed around Ace Magashule and the (few) non-looters such as Gordhan and Ramaphosa.

The Magashule ANC only gets animated when you talk about the past. People who were still soiling their nappies when Nelson Mandela walked out of jail in 1990 now walk around calling people apartheid spies. They are fuelled by the likes of Zuma and his cronies, such as the MK Military Veterans Association – a structure of people who didn’t see a single day of combat in their entire lives as MK “soldiers”. Go see them at an ANC event. I will pay you a thousand bucks every time members of MKMVA march in a straight line.

We have handed the task of running a complex economy to this miserable, sick and sorry lot. In its internal battles now the ANC is still stuck in the past and is displaying its own psychological challenges. A few weeks ago there was a non-story about Pravin Gordhan not having a degree in pharmacy. It was a lie, of course. When the lie was exposed his adversaries continued to smear him with something else. Did they say a word about his clean-up of public enterprises? No.

Our current challenges (a weakening economy, job losses, poverty) are never spoken about. No one bats an eyelid that the townships of the Western Cape are now overseen by the army. It’s a war zone. Zuma and his cronies say nothing about this. But say “spy” and this man of the past with his cronies who live in the past and his children stuck in the past (inside and outside the EFF) come alive.

They have nothing else. They have nothing to offer. SA will never become a Singapore with people like these.

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