ANC proves it is po­lit­i­cally adrift and eth­i­cally bereft

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

AH! HOW galling to have to con­cede that our re­viled for­mer colo­nial mas­ters are still able to teach us a thing or two. Specif­i­cally, what it means to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for one’s ac­tions and act with a sem­blance of hon­our.

A cou­ple of months back, Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron lost the ref­er­en­dum on Bri­tain’s mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Union. He promptly re­signed.

The re­sult, he said, was not about the fu­ture of any sin­gle politi­cian, least of all him­self. It would be wrong for him “to be the cap­tain to steer the coun­try to its next des­ti­na­tion”.

This week, Sam Al­lardyce, the bom­bas­tic and widely dis­liked man­ager of the Eng­land football team, was caught in a less-than­mo­men­tous news­pa­per sting.

The re­cently ap­pointed Al­lardyce was recorded mock­ing his pre­de­ces­sor’s speech im­ped­i­ment and stat­ing the ob­vi­ous – that the Football As­so­ci­a­tion’s “ridicu­lous” rules on trans­fers are eas­ily cir­cum­vented.

This was a “sig­nif­i­cant er­ror of judge­ment”, Al­lardyce sub­se­quently ad­mit­ted. He apol­o­gised and re­signed on the turn.

Both men could have tried to ride out the storm. Nei­ther did. They un­der­stood that they were ac­count­able for their short­com­ings and du­ti­fully fell upon their swords.

Com­pare this to our lo­cal soapie, star­ring the nar­cis­sis­tic and widely de­spised Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng, chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer (COO) of the SABC.

This is a man who has clung to his job like a bar­na­cle, de­spite a cease­less four-year tor­rent of ad­min­is­tra­tive, dis­ci­plinary and ju­di­cial find­ings that de­creed he should not be in the job.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Ap­peal re­jected with costs Mot­soe­neng’s at­tempt to ap­peal the 2015 Western Cape High Court rul­ing that had set aside as “ir­ra­tional” his ap­point­ment as COO.

The SABC board – as supine a col­lec­tion of ANC lick­spit­tles and a***creep­ers as you could imag­ine – promptly tried to cir­cum­vent the de­ci­sion by ap­point­ing Mot­soe­neng to a dif­fer­ent po­si­tion.

The ANC pur­ports to be out­raged by this fla­grant dis­re­gard of the spirit, if not the let­ter, of the judg­ment. The de­ci­sion to reap­point Mot­soe­neng, says ANC par­lia­men­tary chief whip Jack­son Mthembu, is un­law­ful, a vi­o­la­tion of se­quen­tial court rul­ings.

“It is clear that this board is fail­ing spec­tac­u­larly to ex­er­cise its fidu­ciary obli­ga­tion to steer the or­gan­i­sa­tion.” The board should re­scind their de­ci­sion forth­with.

Mthembu then waxes sple­netic about Mot­soe­neng’s lat­est ap­point­ment be­ing “the last straw that breaks the camel’s back”. Heads will roll, it is im­plied.

How­ever, on this is­sue the ANC is less of a camel than it is a jackal. Not stolid and all-en­dur­ing, but sly and de­vi­ous.

After all, this is the same ANC that ap­pointed these self­same SABC lack­eys, who are so un­stint­ing in their sup­port of Moet­se­neng. And, after all, this is the same ANC whose Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Min­is­ter Faith Muthmbi has said re­peat­edly that she has full faith in the SABC board and in Mot­soe­neng.

It is her min­istry, too, which will carry the cost of the failed pe­ti­tion to ap­peal. Faith she might well have, but clearly in­tel­li­gence not so much.

Po­lit­i­cally, it’s all re­ally sim­ple. The prece­dents are an­cient. The min­is­ter should the fire the SABC board, which is clearly not fit for pur­pose.

And if the min­is­ter won’t fire the board, then Pres­i­dent Zuma should fire her.

But this cha­rade of one arm of the ANC slap­ping the wrist of the other is noth­ing new. It is symp­to­matic of the in­creas­ingly schiz­o­phrenic state of a po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion that is adrift.

If fur­ther ev­i­dence were needed of its rud­der­less, eth­i­cally bereft state, it is pro­vided by Min­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane’s writ­ten re­ply this week to a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion.

Zwane re­it­er­ated that he had not been speak­ing in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity when three weeks ago he an­nounced that the Cab­i­net had agreed to rec­om­mend that Zuma ap­point a ju­di­cial in­quiry to probe whether the banks had acted un­fairly against the pres­i­dent’s cronies, the Gupta clan.

This is in di­rect con­tra­dic­tion to what Zuma said. At the time, the Pres­i­dency claimed that Zwane had is­sued the state­ment in his “per­sonal ca­pac­ity” and that its con­tents were not the government’s po­si­tion.

So, who is be­ing un­truth­ful? If Zwane is a se­rial liar – first when he is­sued the state­ment and now in Par­lia­ment – he should not only be fired as min­is­ter but as an MP. If the pres­i­dent is the one who is the liar, then he is of course the one hon­our­bound to re­sign.

Un­for­tu­nately, hon­our ap­pears to be a colo­nial con­struct. For ei­ther man to re­sign would be alien be­hav­iour. Well, alien to the ANC, if not to those im­pe­ri­al­ist relics Cameron and Al­lardyce.

Fol­low WSM on Twit­ter @ TheJaun­dicedEye

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