My heart missed a beat, probably even two, when I read recently that some ANC members are planning a comeback for Malusi Gigaba in our national politics.
This is despite many unanswered questions still hanging over his head, concerning his alleged role in facilitating the appointment of Gupta-anointed enablers in the boards and executive management of South Africa’s state-owned entities when he was Minister of Public Enterprises.
Said appointments led to the weakening and subsequent repurposing of our country’s sacrosanct democratic institutions to deprive South Africans of services due to them, and to serve the interests of a vast, politically connected, criminal network.
The tens of billions of rand that have since left those entities – either through tenders issued in blatant contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), or by simply being paid over to various Gupta-linked middle-men/middle-entities for services yet to be explained – have left budgetary holes that will take years to replenish.
Many South Africans are unlikely to be shocked by the irrationality on the part of these ANC members, who act as if they’re either unaware of the debilitating impact of state capture on South Africa’s global image, its democratic institutions and social cohesion; or simply do not care.
In this irrationality, they have recently been joined by the extreme left-wing EFF and BLF, leaving the rest of us confused as to which organisation is which.
Going by the racist cacophony emanating from their members, it shouldn’t surprise us if, following the next general elections, these three organisations join forces to further lead South Africa to its ultimate institutional demise. One supporter even claimed recently that South Africa must fall to make way for Azania to rise.
It is unclear what this Azania will look like.
The emotion-driven politics of the ANC, EFF and BLF is staggering. Sadly, none of it is new, as it has been building up steadily since late 2000, when then-Deputy President Zuma was fired after he was named in corrupt dealings with his former financial advisor, Shabir Shaik.
We’ve also watched helplessly over the years when they:
o Defended former President Zuma outside court when he was accused of rape, even before the court’s verdict was announced;
o Further victimised Zuma’s rape accuser, accusing her of being a lying opportunist probably paid by Zuma’s political enemies to damage his image;
o Defended Zuma over the past ten years while he brought our country’s democratic institutions to their knees in service of his Gupta handlers and others in the underworld; all this despite a damning Constitutional Court ruling against him, and other information steadily emerging;
o At the 2017 ANC Elective Conference, delegates saw nothing wrong with singing along when Zuma led them in song and dance, and when leaders who were heavily implicated in the theft of public funds to benefit the Guptas got elected into the party’s top leadership structures – they ululated through it all;
o Following the 2017 ANC Elective Conference, a coalition of the wounded and scared steadily began building up around the Zuma ideal, with some even declaring that it would only be a matter of time before President Cyril Ramaphosa would be removed from his post; they just want to make sure he remains there long enough to deliver the 2019 elections and hand the ANC another five years in power.
On the EFF side, it is hard to understand the logic of this party, supposing any logic exists in it at all. It grew fast over the past few years thanks to its courageous fight, ostensibly against corruption and state capture, then recently made a mysterious about-turn to defend some of the key alleged perpetrators of state capture against removal from office and possible criminal investigation.
Its infantile, racist intimidation of Minister Pravin Gordhan is as hard to make sense of as its vociferous defence of Tom Moyane, the one man who has been placed by all known information at the heart of the massive wrecking of the once-effective and respected state revenue collection service, SARS.
What is driving this madness, what crevices has Pravin Gordhan shone light into?
Until the EFF comes up with evidence to the contrary, isn’t Gordhan the courageous politician who said no to his former boss – the same Zuma that the EFF pushed to be removed from office – by leading his team at National Treasury to block the Zuptas from taking over control of our country’s finances, especially the Public Investment Corporation (PIC)?
What would be behind the EFF choosing Tom Moyane over Gordhan today? Could the answers to this worrying riddle be found in political party funding by, allegedly, cigarette smugglers whose debt to SARS – and therefore SA – reportedly was made to disappear by Tom Moyane?
Would this be pay-back time for the EFF, having been reminded which side its political bread has been buttered all this time?
Ignorance is dangerous
Going by the ease with which messages in favour of the destructive Zuma ideal seem to make it into the political rhetoric of the gullible, it is clear that a worrying number of South Africans still do not see the debilitating connection between state capture and corruption on the one hand and, on the other hand, increasing numbers of service delivery protests around the country.
There is also the growing pre-electoral conundrum that consists of government trying to come up with ‘trade union friendly’ solutions to the increasingly unaffordable bloated civil service and, at the top of it, the unnecessarily large number of ministries. This is all linked to affordability, an increasingly rare commodity in the hands of government, and a direct result of state capture and other forms of theft of public funds.
With most, if not all, key political players appearing to be implicated in one way or another, it seems increasingly unlikely that the solutions South Africa is in desperate need of will come from any of the existing parties.
A credible new dawn is needed – led by an entirely new set of South African leaders – to lead the clean-up and that would entail the restructuring of how our democracy functions. The needed new ideas are unlikely to emerge from current leaders.
Perhaps, in a curious way, something does have to fall in order for a stronger South Africa to emerge!
* Solly Moeng is brand reputation management adviser and CEO of strategic corporate communications consultancy DonValley Reputation Managers. Views expressed are his own.
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