A Country of Fools

2016-05-15 10:59

It’s actually becoming quite insulting. And as much as we might be able to shrug off the offence, the fact that President Jacob Zuma and his ANC sing-alongs continue to treat the people of this country as though they are children (and not smart ones at that), does offend.

This week’s Sunday Times has lead with the "expose" that Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan might be charged and arrested for “Espionage" for offences committing during his term as Tax Commissioner. According to the article, speculation is rife as to when this arrest might take place (whether it is before or after the local Government elections) and the manner in which it will happen. The article also contemplates what the consequences might be to the economy, to the currency and to the country’s ratings. Sadly one doesn’t need to be an economist to figure that out.

It would also appear that the President himself, whilst having accepted that he needed to revoke his decision to appoint the Van Rooyen bloke as Minister of Finance, he only did so grudgingly, and was never quite convinced that there was anything wrong with his master plan. So much so that he continues to mention Van Rooyen at every opportunity, and did so as recently as Friday this past week. He seems genuinely perplexed as to why South Africa and the world couldn’t see how valuable Van Rooyen would be in this position. After all, both he and the Guptas agreed on this. They couldn’t both be wrong. Could they?

What the Sunday Times article doesn’t contemplate is the genius of the Pravin Prosecution Plan (PPP). We have long been told and long witnessed the survivor skills of the President, but because most of the maneuvers happen behind closed doors (or in Saxonwold) we are seldom privy to the details and to the depth of the workings. With the PPP, we are able to witness the master-mind at work.

Consider the following:

- The tensions between the President and the Finance Minister are well documented.

- The President did not want Pravin Gordhan to be the FM

- The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is currently considering how to deal with the quite literally hundreds of corruptions charges against the President.

Consider the following further:

- The President is aware of the damage that the arrest of the Finance Minister will cause. Even he has to be aware of this.

What follows is very simple but very smart strategy. If the Sunday Times article is true and if Gordhan is not prosecuted because of political factors and the damage that it might cause to the economy, then why should he as the President of the country be treated any differently? He should also be able avoid prosecution. By setting the Hawks on the Minister of Finance he has secured either his own protection from prosecution or failing that, he will succeed in taking the man he despises (and the country) down with him in a magnificent fire-ball of economic collapse.

He is going for broke. And we are the wager.

Like any professional poker player, he possesses nerves of steel. He has bet the country on the next hand and we have will have to see who folds.

It is not clear to me how understanding the game that he is playing helps us. But what is certain is that a man who has nothing to lose is most dangerous when the chips are down. Again the country will hold its breath. Again we will look to the NEC for help in getting rid of a President that doesn’t care for his country and for his people. And again we echo the words of the croupier when they say, and we beg, for “No more bets Please!”

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