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Donald Henderson
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Another Nasty Crisis

05 April 2014, 09:53

Any doubt that our present leader is an inept, bungling parody of a president will have been dispelled by his recent comments on the spending of around R240million of taxpayer money on Nkandla

Grasping at imaginary straws of hope he claims that he did not ask for the huge upgrade and, therefore, will not pay for any of it. The euphemistically-called upgrades began in 2008 and not once has President Zuma asked why there was so much work being done on his home – an unlikely explanation contrived by an unimaginative story-teller. Blaming government officials for initiating the work, he has delayed comment on yet another scandal implicating the Presidency thereby ignoring his April 2 deadline to respond. And he expects everyone to wait for a third inquiry into the affair, an inquiry that is being conducted by hand-picked supporters of his diminishing cause.

With these casual comments President Jacob Zuma has underlined the Peter Principle whereby “every employee will rise to their level of incompetency”.

Unfortunately, like most of our government employees, Zuma does not realise that he is an employee, placed in a position of great and honourable trust by the State. His oath on inauguration to “be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic” has fallen on the road to Nkandla

Our leader gives the impression that he should be above such duty and be permitted to ride roughshod over people's hopes and aspirations, always ready to blame someone else when problems crop up as they invariably do.

What a simple, guilt-free life at the top he has enjoyed, simply kicking problems into touch and passing the yellow card of culpability on to devotees. And his ANC comrades-in-harm have backed him all the way without a hint of displeasure. They will only have themselves to blame when voters display their disapproval at the forthcoming elections and, though the ANC is almost guaranteed a win at the polls, the drop in popularity will be noticeable.

It was 18th Century Scottish philosopher David Hume who wrote of the “easiness with which the many are governed by the few” and “as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion”. He concludes that it is, therefore, “on opinion only that government is founded”.

The message should be crystal clear but it falls endlessly on disinterested ears confident in their belief that their party will be top dog forever. But the party will be seriously challenged if they continue to disappoint.

Take as an example the boasts of Zuma's apparent mentor to the north. Mugabe dismissed all opposition, verbally and violently, for decades until the faithful began to have doubts. Then the majority turned and voted for the alternative Movement for Democratic Change. Now Mugabe rules by deception and is an outcast in world politics.

Zuma has recently become closer to Mugabe what with wedding celebrations instead of London’s Mandela Memorial with other world leaders and now refusing to attend the EU-Africa summit as Mugabe's wife cannot attend. Investors will take note of that and now face the prospect, as we do, that Zuma will be President for another five years.

Surely there are some responsible and sensible members of the ANC who could change our bleak prospects for the better? We, once again, live in hope.

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