A lot more than three strikes

Finweek English Edition - - LETTERS -

THANKS FOR THE great col­umn, Kader As­mal, but it’s a lot more than three strikes (The Beloved Coun­try, 17 March). That the “ter­mi­nally ill” pugilis­tic parolee Sch­abir Shaik is en­joy­ing golf and sup­ping at swanky restau­rants is a slap in the face of ev­ery lawabid­ing cit­i­zen. As was the drop­ping of the corruption charges against our lack­lus­tre, lust­ful leader, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Now the sum­mary dis­man­tling of the Scor­pi­ons post-Polok­wane has been suc­cess­fully chal­lenged and found un­con­sti­tu­tional. But will Gov­ern­ment ac­tu­ally do any­thing about it? And don’t get me started on the prof­li­gate spend­ing of our hard-earned tax money on lux­ury ve­hi­cles, re­fur­bish­ment of min­is­te­rial res­i­dences and drunken youth con­fer­ences. The chal­lenge is to con­tinue to be­lieve in the dream, stand firm and keep call­ing our lead­ers to ac­count, as you do. Mu­gabe be­ing the most “no­to­ri­ous”.

So what does that spell for our emerg­ing econ­omy? Judg­ing by the trend, there will be more refugees from Zim­babwe, lead­ing to a fur­ther de­ple­tion of South Africa’s State re­sources (health­care, re­lief pro­grammes and shel­ter). SA’s “tough love” ap­proach to tyranny will only re­as­sure in­ter­na­tional in­vestors about sta­bil­ity, thus se­cur­ing much-needed in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture, en­ergy ex­plo­rations and so on. So I beg – no, plead – of the Zuma Gov­ern­ment: please cut ties with DIC­TA­TORS! Pres­i­dent Kgalema Mot­lanthe, who in some mys­te­ri­ous fash­ion tried to make out those who ex­posed Jimmy Manyi for what he is, are in fact the racists and not dear com­rade Jimmy.

Mot­lanthe said in New York that Africa of­fered great op­por­tu­ni­ties for aca­demics to make a mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion. “We call upon the Amer­i­can peo­ple in dif­fer­ent fields of hu­man en­deav­our to once again join hands with us so that to­gether we can con­trib­ute to the achieve­ment of these im­por­tant goals of re­con­struc­tion and de­vel­op­ment.”

He omit­ted to say it was fac­tors such as racist leg­is­la­tion, in­ter­fer­ence in the econ­omy, sti­fling labour poli­cies and id­i­otic pub­lic ut­ter­ances by mem­bers of his party that led to the ex­o­dus of droves of aca­demics and other skilled South Africans in the first place. There would have been no need for him to be stand­ing with the beg­ging bowl in New York had the poli­cies of his party not made life un­ten­able for many South Africans and forced them to seek a liveli­hood in for­eign fields.

We’ll never be a true democ­racy as long as we have poli­cies rel­e­gat­ing many of us to sec­ond-rate cit­i­zens. It’s time the best man for the job should in fact get the job.

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