Georgina Guedes

When conspiracies sound credible

2016-04-15 12:00

Georgina Guedes

I am not a conspiracy theorist. I vaccinate my children. I verify most stories by cross-referencing on Google or checking on Snopes. My first question is usually, “Yes, but what websites are reporting this?” I took quite a lot of convincing that David Bowie was gone.

Which is why, when I read something earlier this week that would usually have gone in the “clapped up conspiracy theory” bin, and found myself thinking, “well, anything’s possible”, it was an indication to me of the extent to which my faith in the ANC government has nosedived.

Were we all fooled?

The piece was a reader theory published on News24 and titled “Were we all fooled by load shedding?” In it, the writer outlined a theory that President Zuma had been making nuclear deals and setting the Guptas up as uranium mine owners before South Africa went intermittently and haphazardly dark.

His suggestion was that the Guptas didn’t see a gap once the electricity problems started, but that load-shedding was actually a nefarious plot to falsify an energy crisis in order to make the case for nuclear more compelling.

I read this theory and found myself going along for the ride. That Zuma is corrupt seems to be without question (remind me how the guy is still running the country, again?”). That a corrupt relationship exists between him and the Guptas likewise seems incontrovertible. So who’s to say what the starting point was, and to what depths they would stoop?

Still not buying it

However, even though I was willing to drift in the murky currents of this conspiracy theory for far longer than I usually do, I still think that it’s a little too farfetched to be credible.

For one thing, the energy crisis was well documented and a long time coming, and the biggest criticism of our government has been that it continued to ignore the concerns that were raised about the impending problem.

Rotten to the core

Nonetheless, I am fully willing to accept the notion that once we had such a crisis on our hands, instead of considering the good of the country, Zuma began to consider the good of the Guptas, via the good of Duduzane Zuma, his son who served until very recently as a director of Gupta-owned Shiva Uranium.

I think that link and its reasons for existence are pretty much accepted as political fact.

Which brings me to my sand conclusion. No, Zuma did not cause load shedding as a present for the Zumas, but everything else in that conspiracy is largely accepted as truth – and really, we didn’t need the cherry-on-the-top conspiracy to bring us to the conclusion that the whole damn feast is rotten to the core.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

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Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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