Mondli Makhanya

Behold the latest craze

2017-05-14 06:51
Mondli Makhanya, City Press editor in chief

Mondli Makhanya, City Press editor in chief

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The following really happened.

At the end of March, President Jacob Zuma sat in a room with his top party officials and showed them a dodgy intelligence report that alleged that the finance minister and his deputy were conspiring with international financiers to undermine the South African state.

This, apparently, was part of his rationale for firing the two men later that week.

This week, in response to the DA’s bid to get him to produce the dodgy report, Zuma asked the same opposition party to first provide him with the same report that he himself was bandying about.

Ja, it really happened this week.

This also happened: In November, Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe resigned following a Public Protector report that made unflattering findings about him and his probity.

The saintly and exemplary Molefe said his resignation “was not an admission of wrongdoing on my part”, but rather, “the correct thing to do in the interests of the company and good corporate governance” – adding that his resignation was “in the interests of Eskom and the public it serves”.

“I will take time off to reflect before I decide on my next career move,” he said.

After reflecting, he got someone to fast-track his membership of the ANC’s Hartbeespoort branch, and then got someone at Luthuli House to fast-track his swearing-in as an MP.

But then, when Zuma was about to fast-track his elevation to finance minister, the president was stopped in his tracks by the ANC leadership.

Less than three months after taking an oath “to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa” and solemnly promising “to perform my functions as a member of the National Assembly”, Molefe decided that being referred to as honourable was just not right.

He decided to go back to the institution that he left “in the interests of the company and good corporate governance”.

The company accepted him back, saying his resignation was not really a resignation because he had “been classified as a retired person on the system”.

Yes, that really happened.

In other news, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal strongly reprimanded Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for daring to enter the province without the provincial chieftains’ permission.

“This tendency is both divisive and introduces a completely new, but also dangerous, culture,” the ANC’s Super Zuma screamed as he prepared to pamper Ramaphosa’s rival.

And the legal scholars of the ANC Youth League lectured Gauteng High Court judge Bashir Vally after he ruled against the president.

Calling for the Judicial Service Commission to take action against “this judge”, the legal gurus said the courts had become collaborators with the opposition.

“In a constitutional democracy there can never be a court order forcing an elected president to account on matters vested in his office‚ least of all to a party [the DA] that was rejected by the majority of our people in the polls. Such a judgment is misconduct,” the learned toddlers fumed.

We are in that twilight zone of chaos where nothing makes sense anymore, that period where nothing is impossible.

When we entered this week, the thought of Molefe returning to Eskom – and this being sanctioned at Cabinet level – was inconceivable.

You would have been accused of overindulging on Mamelodi’s finest product and of being a fantasist if you had ventured that somewhere in this land such an obviously unlawful plan was being hatched.

The shenanigans in the country may be amusing by now, but they are not things we should allow to normalise.

One of the great risks of the Zuma era is that the abnormal is accepted as normal and the crazy makes sense.

Thank heavens there is a fight-back against abnormality. Having accelerated in April, the campaign against the state of affairs is set to escalate even more in the next few weeks.

With multi-pronged actions in the courts, streets, Parliament, religious communities and ANC-aligned structures, the next month is set to be a high-octane one.

Watching this week’s jaw-dropping events, it was easy to recognise the value of Save SA’s “people’s minimum demands” campaign, chief of which is the departure of the current president.

The demands, which form the platform of a multi-pronged thrust, include a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture; restoration of credibility in the criminal justice system; the affirmation of the independence of the judiciary and the integrity of Chapter Nine institutions; the appointment of “credible leaders” in key economic institutions that are linked to the fight against corruption; and investigations “into corruption and misgovernance in state-owned companies and parastatals”.

The one that this lowly newspaperman is uncertain about is ensuring “that Zuma and the Guptas are not allowed to leave South Africa” and effecting the seizure and revoking of their passports until all probes into them are complete.

At this rate of craziness, it may not be a bad thing if the Guptas packed their puppet into a suitcase and carted him far away.

Like many other tin-pot looters, he would spend his days in a lonely corner of the world, surrounded by his handlers and the curvy entertainment they would provide.

Read more on:    public protector  |  anc  |  eskom  |  brian molefe  |  jacob zuma


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