The weird world of politics: A fool’s paradise

2014-10-05 15:00

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A fool’s paradise

Thanks to the spy tapes, we now know why former president Thabo Mbeki lost as badly as he did at the Polokwane conference where he was contesting Number One.

His foot soldiers were all at sea and had no idea what was coming.

As late as a day after the conference had started one of his chief lobbyists, Bulelani Ngcuka, was busy telling Leonard McCarthy that “things are looking good for us”.

When the axe fell heavily on his number one, Ngcuka was left to reflect: “It’s a sad day for the country.”

Read my lips

The tapes have also given us an insight into why a few government ministers are so ignorant about what goes on in their departments.

In one conversation, then justice minister Brigitte Mabandla refuses to read a memo prepared for her by McCarthy on the Selebi matter, insisting on verbal responses to questions.

“Minister must check memo. All the answers are there,” says McCarthy. But Mabandla refuses, saying: “If I start absorbing, I start working.” So there. Mabandla refused to read as she might end up working.

Code language

So why should we have a media appeals tribunal when you can be your own ubereditor?

ANC spin doctor Zizi Goodenough Kodwa said the Sunday Times’ story last week about President Jacob Zuma allegedly accepting a bribe from arms dealer Thales using the code word “Eiffel Tower” was “old”.

Is Kodwa?–?who has long given up outrightly denying wrongdoing by his party’s president?–?trying to tell us that the ANC knew Zuma was into French architecture, but still elected him as president of the country in 2007?

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