The In­ter­net never for­gets

When the Zup­tas have gone, a lot of par­a­sites will be look­ing for work. But their crimes will be re­mem­bered

Financial Mail - - PATTERN RECOGNITION BY TOBY SHAPSHAK - @shap­shak

There’s a fas­ci­nat­ing eth­i­cal de­bate un­fold­ing in Europe as EU law­mak­ers tackle Google about the so-called “right to be for­got­ten”. If you did some­thing in life that was picked up by a search en­gine and the cir­cum­stances have now changed, Euro­pean law al­lows you to re­quest that those search re­sults be deleted.

Like all eth­i­cal laws, there are terms and con­di­tions — you may have got your­self into debt but have now paid it off — but you should be al­lowed to ask the In­ter­net to for­get you. Or, more specif­i­cally, to ask search en­gines to no longer in­dex those re­sults that name you.

But here’s the thing — es­pe­cially if you’re a cor­rupt gov­ern­ment min­is­ter or, it seems, any­one who has done busi­ness with the Gup­tas — the In­ter­net never for­gets.

His­tory will look back on cabi­net min­is­ters such as Malusi Gi­gaba and Batha­bile Dlamini and re­mem­ber them in a harsh light. This ap­plies even more to Brian Molefe, Ben Ngubane, Duduzane Zuma and the stooges who have bent to the cor­rupt will of Ja­cob Zuma. Their ac­tions will never go away. All it takes is a Google search to un­veil their das­tardly deeds.

Google the Pas­sen­ger Rail Agency of SA’S trains scan­dal and the name of deputy fi­nance min­is­ter Sfiso Buthelezi comes up. Google Waterk­loof air base and dis­graced for­mer head of state pro­to­col Bruce Koloane is im­pli­cated. One day he will no longer be the am­bas­sador to the Nether­lands, and will try trade on his good name and rep­u­ta­tion . . . oops.

All the scoundrels who have bro­ken their oaths of of­fice and of good gover­nance will one day be without Zuma’s pro­tec­tion. His term as ANC pres­i­dent is up this De­cem­ber and this makes his sta­tus as the coun­try’s pres­i­dent less se­cure. Un­like in the case of Thabo Mbeki, the rul­ing party might prove too cow­ardly to re­call Zuma. The ANC has had nine years to rein him in, but was too afraid to stand its moral ground; or, worse still, was in on the loot­ing.

But the In­ter­net never for­gets.

One day when Zuma is gone — and, per­haps, im­pris­oned be­cause the new pres­i­dent has reen­er­gised the Hawks and Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity — th­ese spine­less cor­rupters of the Rain­bow Na­tion will be left ex­posed to his­tory and its glare.

There are no press con­fer­ences on Wikipedia to try to ex­plain, as Molefe so inanely and self-in­crim­i­nat­ingly did, that there is a she­been in Sax­on­wold.

So in about 18 months, where will all th­ese peo­ple find work?

Maybe I’m be­ing naive, but a man can dream. When the pa­tron­age net­work dries up and the Gup­tas and their pup­pet in the Union Build­ings are gone, there are go­ing to be a lot of par­a­sites out of work, un­able to pay for the fake life­styles and hol­i­days to Dubai.

And ev­ery­one will know their disgrace, how their hands were in the till, and how they got caught.

His­tory will judge them harshly.

The In­ter­net never for­gets.

The ANC has had nine years to rein Zuma in, but was too afraid to stand its ground

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