The purpose of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is to lay bare how political connections and ideological mania unleashed greed to such an extent that billions were stolen and GDP took a knock of up to R1,5 trillion.
Many have grumbled that it’s all a waste of money because the likelihood of the thousands upon thousands of thieves being brought to book is unlikely. But even if we have to reconcile ourselves to watching fatcats driving around in their ill-gotten Aston Martins and Maseratis, the commission has provided unexpected bonuses. The first is the sheer entertainment value of the endless gallery of rogues performing their exculpatory rituals on our TV screens.
The second, more valuable contribution to the country, is that it has exposed the abysmal standards of leadership and professionalism. Think “Weekend Special”.
If we thought we had seen the dregs, this week treated us to a true horror show in the form of Yakhe Kwinana, former member of the SAA board and chair of SAA Technical. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who no doubt has to use gallons of disinfectant to cleanse the muck he is exposed to daily, said on Monday, after hearing of the cavalier way the SAA board made decisions: “It kind of horrifies me.”
Equally horrifying was the sheer malevolence and arrogance displayed by Kwinana as she tried to shift blame and brush aside all the evidence being piled up to show that she had cashed in by breaking the system. This is someone who was deemed a capable leader, but clearly the Zupta criteria were ranked in inverse order to what is conventionally sought, and sycophantic self-interest trumps all else.
Otherwise how would the likes of the delinquent Dudu Myeni and Mosebenzi Zwane even have been employed, never mind promoted. We will be eternally grateful to Zondo for allowing the public to see the freak show that passes for probity at the top levels of government institutions.
And we are also indebted now to Kwinana for her crisp definition of nepotism and political patronage: “If my daughter is selling vetkoeks here at home, why should I go and buy vetkoeks next door?” Now we know how vetcats think.