If you think the following story is a racist rant, then so be it. I prefer to call it reality. And it’s not based on a true story. It is a true story.
Way back in 1994, the South African Defence Force (SADF) opened its security gates to the Non Statutory Forces (NSF) – Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK); Azanian Peoples’ Liberation Army (APLA); Transkei Defence Force (TDF); Ciskei Defence Force (CDF); Venda Defence Force (VDF), and the Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF).
The process of merging these “Fosses” with the SADF was called “Integration,” and I was part of it. I even received a Certificate of Commendation from old Joe Modise – Mandela’s Minister of Defence at the time. Joe awarded lucrative arms contracts, and bribed officials and politicians. Muck my weds: there is still a duck cloud hanging over Joe’s arms deals – and we may never know the truth. (No matter what you hear, Sakkie, I never received one cent from Joe. I’m clean, I tell you!)
My meager (and dishonourable) contribution to the integration process, was to test members of the NSF, conduct interviews, evaluate their CV’s, and do the placement of suitably qualified personnel in the Technical Services Corps (TSC), of the Army.
Right from the get-go, it was clear that there were massive irregularities with the process. Many of the so-called “soldiers” were obviously of the rent-a-crowd variety – bussed in by the devious, underhanded ANC. Fraudulent qualifications, falsified ID’s, fake background histories, unreliable personnel statistics and bogus information, was given to us by the “Commanders” of the NSF.
Let me give you an example:
Members of the NSF were required to write, what was then called, a Potential Test (PT). The test was very basic (roughly at a standard 6, or grade 8, level). The answers were reworked to a scale of 0 to 10. Should the candidate achieve a score of 7 or higher, he/she would be deemed to have the “potential” to be trained in the technical field.
Now, bear in mind that we only tested (PT) those who could show proof of a matric certificate, a technical N3 diploma, or a similar qualification.
Even so, less than 3% of all of those that we tested achieved a score of 7 or higher. These guys were then mustered into the Technical Services Corps; with a written agreement (a legal contract, which they all signed) that they would go to a Technical College, do the N1 course, and pass. If they failed, that was it – they were out of the system. Back on the street, if you will.
But this did not happen. Not even once.
A typical candidate would write the PT and achieve a score of 1 or 2. According to the “Integration Rules,” he/she should then have been told that they could not be integrated into the Defence Force, and sent home. This didn’t happen. Instead, they were allowed to rewrite the same test, the next day. Only this time, their “Commanders” would mark their tests. They would miraculously score a 7 or higher, and be “integrated” into the new South African National Defense Force (SANDF), whether we (the SADF soldiers) liked it or not.
Now you may well ask: “So, why didn’t you report or object to the corruption?” I did. Many times. But, after the white SADF commanders conferred (behind closed doors), with the black NSF commanders; the same answer always came back: “Don’t make waves. There are politics at play at the highest level. We can sort this out later.”
As you well know: later never came.
The newly integrated fosses were sent to various technical colleges to do N1, as per contract. Our (SADF) apprentices normally had a failure rate of around 2% per semester at the colleges. This was acceptable to us.
Our “New, Improved,” NSF had a 100% failure rate. Yes, that’s what I said: They all failed N1.
So what did the “powers that be” do to rectify this problem?
They developed a new curriculum; just for the NSF. It was called: Elementary Technical Certificate (ETC) – roughly on par with a standard 7 (or grade 9) – but with only three technical subjects, and without languages.
So what happened then? Yes, you guessed it: the first lot which completed the ETC course, failed. ALL OF THEM!
(At the end of the integration process, I was transferred (up and away, like Superman) to another Directorate, and I lost touch with these guys. But I watched from the sidelines as the quality and abilities of the Army’s technical personnel took a nosedive, from which they have never recovered.)
OK. Let’s give the NSF the benefit of the doubt. Maybe these “struggle” soldiers had no technical qualifications because of apartheid. But they should at least have had some basic soldiering skills (seeing that they all came from various defense forces). They didn’t. It was as if we were letting children play with loaded guns. These guys (and girls) couldn’t tell the business end of a rifle from the arse end of a donkey. At the shooting range, I felt a lot safer standing in front of them, than behind them. But that’s another story.
Now let me get to the real reason for writing this rant: The Mismanagement and Disintegration of the Infrastructure of Our Country.
People don’t seem to understand why the ministers, officials, BEE, and AA appointees, are so incompetent, inefficient, and downright bloody useless.
I’ll tell you why:
Just like the problems we had with the NSF: there were massive irregularities when the ANC government officials, and those they appointed, were “integrated” into the “New” South Africa. Fraudulent and falsified qualifications, fake background histories, nepotism, unreliable personnel information, and political connections – were the order of the day. And just like the “soldiers” who joined the Army – the guys who couldn’t tell the business end of a rifle from the arse end of a donkey – these incompetent officials had (and still have) no idea of managing and running a country.
If you allow children, or untrained soldiers – or an incompetent government – to play with loaded guns, you shouldn’t be surprised when they shoot themselves in the foot, or both feet. Or someone else’s foot, or feet. More than once. And often.
This is exactly the reason why the *DA will fail to make a success of running the country. In the coming elections, they will be forced to appoint incompetent, unqualified, and ineffectual black candidates, to showcase their party’s diversity and representation. And this will be just like giving loaded guns to children...
*DA – the DA has only five black African candidates in its top 27 list for the Western Cape, while the party’s Gauteng list is equally devoid of black African candidates. Ref: Sunday Independent