It’s amateur hour again

2016-10-30 00:09
Mondli Makhanya

Mondli Makhanya

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The people who are buggering up South Africa should at least do it with finesse.

Everything they do is so ridiculously amateurish, it insults the rest of us suffering at their hands.

Being cheated by this lot is beginning to feel like being robbed at knife point by a tsotsi, hailing from Lehurutshe in the North West, who is trying to prove his worth in the urban criminal world.

That kind of tsotsi is doubly dangerous, because by bungling he may just stab you for real instead of simply scaring you with his Okapi blade.

National Prosecuting Authority chief Shaun Abrahams and Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza are akin to that kind of tsotsi.

They are playing in the big leagues, but they just do not know how to play the game at this level.

From the outset Ntlemeza and his Keystone Cops handled the investigation of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan like a bunch of rural tsotsis.

Even their attempt at sneaking up on the victim before pouncing was comical.

Everyone on the street could tell what they were up to, and loudly sounded the alarm.

Unperturbed, Ntlemeza and his fellow incompetent Abrahams proceeded with their mugging.

When Abrahams tried to pull the wool over our collective heads on October 11 – when he announced that he was proceeding with fraud charges against Gordhan – it was almost amusing.

There he was, meandering and mumbling about, trying to tell South Africans just how bad Gordhan, Ivan Pillay et al had been and why they deserved to be sitting alongside notorious serial rapist and armed robber Ananias Mathe at Kokstad’s maximum security prison.

And, when it came to delivering his killer punch, Abrahams might as well have told us that he did not have much of a case, except to aver that Gordhan needed to be punished for defaulting on his doctor-ordered diet.

But the hostage-taking that allegedly took place at the SA Revenue Service offices just over a week ago crowns the buffoonery of the goon squad.

In a scene straight out of a B-grade movie, it has proved, once again, that this entire investigation is in the hands of very dangerous amateurs capable of wreaking untold damage.

Then you have the other related mugging by daring.

On the eve of the departure of former public protector Thuli Madonsela, a powerful man who has been getting away with daylight robbery for years tried to pull another fast one.

His actions conjured up memories of hilarious revelations during the Schabir Shaik trial back in 2004, concerning the corruptible ways of the nation’s first citizen.

Without going into detail, we learnt just how simple the man was – so much so, his corruptible activities made you either laugh at him or pity him.

Anyway, history conspired to elevate him to the presidency of the republic where he continued his wayward habits.

The stories of whistle-blowers, who have spoken about his interventions on behalf of his masters in the Gupta household, elicit the same response: mirth and pity.

So simple is the guy that, in helping the Guptas raid the fiscus and the coffers of state-owned enterprises, he made no attempt to sneak up to his victim, the South African citizenry.

He simply gave instructions that it must be done.

No fancy language. No hints. No winks and head signals.

In the past week or so, he has been engaging in the most obvious bid to suppress the public protector’s state capture report.

His demand that he be allowed to question witnesses – some of whom include members of his Cabinet and loyal members of his political party – was preposterous at best.

Having failed to achieve this, he sought an interdict against the report’s release.

This despite the fact that, since March, he had ample opportunity to cooperate and put across his side of the story.

This week, he filed papers seeking a postponement of the urgent interdict, in more desperate yet obvious attempts to keep the report from going public.

In his world, urgency can be postponed indefinitely.

The funny-haha and funny-peculiar aspect of all this man’s shenanigans is that everyone sees through them.

The report clearly contains information, findings and recommendations that could speed up his journey to the political graveyard and, possibly, to that place where orange attire is fashionable.

Examples abound of South African leaders behaving like our tsotsi from Lehurutshe.

If the names Nathi Nhleko, Thulas Nxesi and Des van Rooyen – among others – ring a bell, you can fill in the dots. Corruption and general malfeasance are unacceptable to begin with.

They rob the poor the most and hinder development and prosperity. But when they are done in a foolish way, they are all the more exasperating.

But the end may be nigh, when the brazen abuse of state resources, the pilfering of state coffers and the assault on state institutions are a thing of the past.

South Africans, who are victims as well as the street crowd, have sounded the alarm.

No longer can the muggers get away with mischief like they did in the past, because of loyalty to the majority party and a general sense of helplessness.

From within the ranks of government are coming loud noises that are echoing what other societal forces have been saying for a while.

This week could mark a turning point as South Africa speaks with one voice to say: Do not rob us – and if you try, at least do so with respect.

Read more on:    npa  |  berning ntlemeza  |  shaun abrahams

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