The South African political climate is changing radically and will, in turn, change the political landscape, forever. Whether that is a good or a bad thing, remains to be seen.
A lack of credible, honest and accountable leadership in the two major parties is damaging both beyond repair and both remain so arrogant that neither can see the damage they are doing to their parties and, more importantly, to the country. In fact, the ANC and the DA could both be used as the illustration of the Dunning-kruger Effect which, for those who may not know, describes “a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude; without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.” (Thank you, Wiki.)
It is not so much that the individuals in either party are all unintelligent (there are clearly some intelligent people in both) it is that they are just so arrogant it renders them incapable of honest self-interrogation and the ability to recognise their faults, short-comings and detrimental party politics.
The biggest fault with both parties is that they put the welfare of their parties above the welfare of the people and the country. What this leads to is blind obedience to their party, even when it means the individuals have to sacrifice their own conscience, integrity and honour. This forces South Africans to reach the accurate conclusion that there are no people of real integrity and honour in either party. They all behave like lap-dogs willing to do anything for another tasty titbit from their master’s benevolent hand. “Well, they are politicians”, some may argue, “so what do you expect? We all know when a politician lies – whenever he or she opens his or her mouth”.
It has been nauseating watching Cyril Ramaphosa and the NEC kowtowing, fawning over and trying to appease Zuma. The cunning melgomaniac he is, Zuma has out-witted, out-thought and out-lasted every effort to have him go quietly with his dignity and ego intact. The lack of foresight, insight, decisiveness and willingness to do what’s best for the country does not bode well for the upcoming Ramaphosa ‘reign’ of South Africa. Zuma has played Ramaphosa like a little boy plays with a tiddler firmly hooked on the end of his line. The little fish can swim every which way it likes until the little boy yanks it by the mouth back to wherever he wants it.
Zuma does not deserve to go with dignity. He has acted against the oath of office he has twice taken and, corruptly, maliciously and intentionally, brought the country to its knees. There is a term for such behaviour: Treason, and Zuma should be treated like the treasonous corruptor he is. Ramaphosa’s reluctance to “embarrass“ Zuma is bad news for the country. Is Ramaphosa also going to prevent the Hawks and the Courts from doing their jobs because answering for his crimes might prove to be embarrassing for Zuma? Right now, it looks like Ramaphosa is going to follow Mnangagwa’s example and not only refuse to charge Zuma (or his accomplices and complicitors), but let him live out his life in the luxury of his criminally gained wealth.
Of course, there are still members of the ANC Top Six and NEC, who enjoy the largesse of the Zupta Syndicate and are still serving their masters. This also bodes ill for the future of our country. Ramaphosa is proving to be an ineffective, gullible leader, too easily duped by Zuma’s duplicity and too busy appeasing Zuma puppets, and the (mythical) image ANC members believe the party still has, to worry about the real people of South Africa or the country’s tattered image.
Believing party unity is more important than the country is folly and will come back to bite Ramaphosa on his nethers. Hard. The ANC will not win an outright majority in 2019 anyway, so Ramaphosa would have been better served by acting authoritatively, decisively and honestly. He should have called the bluff of those on Zuma’s payroll and got them into line or let them quit the ANC and start their own party, so he could rebuild the ANC as a force for good based on principle, integrity, service delivery and putting the people and country first.
There is much for the ANC to do before the next elections if they think they want to remain in power. And I use those words deliberately because the ANC has proven they are only interested in power and not in serving their country or people.
So if the ANC doesn’t win an outright majority in 2019, the DA will be the big winners? In a word: No. The DA will be even bigger losers than the ANC in 2019.
Three recent events have damaged the DA irrevocably: The Cape Town water crisis; the Tony Leon communications debacle; and the Patricia De Lille fiasco. It will take a miracle for the DA to put these three disasters behind them. Whatever moral authority they believed they once had now lies in self-flagellated tatters on the floor. Whatever high road they believed they were cruising, they now occupy the same muddy gutters as the ANC.
Lots has been written about the Cape Town water crisis, so no need to rehash it all again. Suffice to say Cape Town is a DA lead city in a DA lead province and not only were they not proactive in the face of the widely reported impending drought, they were not even timeously reactive about it. They simply ignore it completely and hoped it would rain so their incompetence would not be revealed. They did not engage or listen to hydrological or climate experts. They did not engage, or take seriously enough the responsibility to, their citizens.
On top of all that, they chose, and still choose, to blame everyone and everything but themselves. It is no use pointing fingers at national government. We elected you to run our city and province and work for us the people, honestly, diligently and proactively. Not only have you failed miserably at your duties but you have failed to hold yourselves accountable for your (in)action and refused to be answerable to the people.
The Tony Leon scandal is the best illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect in the DA. With all the stories of corruption, nepotism and state capture that has depressed and maddened South Africans, who in the DA thought it was a good idea to hand out millions of rands to Tony Leon’s company to communicate with the people of Cape Town about the water crises? Did no-one in the DA hear any alarms bells? Did no one in the DA recognise the pot in the mirror when judging the ANC’s kettle?
This sad story is every bit about awarding jobs and cash, lots of it, to pals and is every bit as questionable and corrupt as anything the Zuptas have done funnelling business to their own connections. It has laid bare the ugly hypocrisy of the DA once and for all. They have no right now, to question or judge Zuma and his Mafiosi in the ANC at all. It raises the disturbing question, if they’ve done this once that we know of, how many other contracts have been awarded nepotistically and corruptly to their connections that we don’t (yet) know of?
Finally, the Patricia De Lille trial by media is as sickening as it gets. Why not put the lady in stocks in Green Market Square already and have done with it? You can throw your old veggies and rotten fruit at her while the crowds laugh at her and cheer you on.
Except, no one in Cape Town is laughing at her and no one in Cape Town is cheering you on.
I have no idea whether De Lille is ‘guilty’ of what she has been accused by her DA peers but everything I read and hear about sounds very spurious indeed to the interested but objective observer. If being “power hungry” is a crime, the entire DA leadership should be in jail, along with the ANC, EFF and every other party in the country. We’ve only had one politician who was not power hungry and that was Mandela. Far from hanging on by his fingernails, like Zuma, he chose to step down after one term and, many would say, one term too soon. But if the DA is reduced to accusing De Lille of being power hungry then they really need to take a step back for some honest introspection before they lose the plot completely.
If De Lille is guilty of a crime, formally charge her and let her be tried in a criminal court where the DA will have to produce evidence of her alleged crimes and she will be able to defend herself against specific, qualified accusations. I’m sure she would welcome such a trial. I’m equally sure the DA would not.
The most disturbing thing about the DA’s attempts to get rid of De Lille is that, for all the legal expertise they have available to them, they have in fact declared De Lille guilty until proven innocent. That does not sit well with any fair-minded honest people, or our Constitution, and is losing the DA support so fast it should make their heads spin. But the good old Dunning-Kruger disables them from seeing their actions rationally.
Barring a shake-up of biblical proportions, of attitudes, management efficacy and transparent accountability, the DA should prepare to vacate the council chambers and provincial offices next year. The people of Cape Town are less than pleased with your performance that has jeopardised the lives of the entire population to which you are answerable. It is going to take a massive, honest and humble effort from the party to prevent the inevitable. Personally, I don’t believe they have it in them and will get the message in 2019 when the people say, “DA, the tribe has spoken. It is time for you to leave the game.”
The result of the corruption, dishonesty, arrogance and incompetence of both the ANC and DA has handed the country to the EFF on a silver platter. The people are sick and tired of both parties, neither of which can articulate, let alone implement, a rational, viable, prosperous and peaceful future for all.
The majority of South Africans will welcome them with open arms. The minority will not be as happy. Whether it will be a good or bad thing for the country in the long-term, we will only know once Julius Malema is the elected president of South Africa. His firebrand populist rhetoric encourages some and frightens others. If he acts upon his rhetoric unconstitutionally, in isolation and without any accountability, South Africa could well be in for even more trouble than it has had under Zuma’s criminal empire.
If, however, he focuses on service delivery, job creation and land reclaimation, while maintaining South Africa’s connections and relationships with international business and making South Africa an attractive haven for investment, manufacturing and tourism, he could just prove to be one the most effective leaders the country has ever had.