ANC could do with more truth-tellers in its own ranks
President Cyril Ramaphosa indeed deserves support and sympathy, but his statements on party discipline are somewhat remiss. The backbenchers in Britain’s House of Commons in both the Conservative and Labour parties can stage devastating rebellions. If one wants the illeffects of conformity, see the Republicans under Donald Trump.
The ANC should remember with shame the example of Andrew Feinstein. Before the Guptas came along, in the time of the previous scandal, the arms deal, he stood up and opposed his own party. He even wrote a book detailing the abuses. The ANC could not tolerate the voice of truth; he had to leave the party and eventually the country. This was a time when a certain MP went to jail briefly on account of an expensive Mercedes 4x4 and was escorted there by a cheering group of associates, including the speaker of the National Assembly.
Long ago, when the Muldergate scandal broke, minister Connie Mulder resigned, and when the creeping scandal touched him, and the howl in the press and in the opposition benches became too loud, no less than John Vorster resigned. The Nats had a modicum of shame, or at least parliamentary propriety.
The ANC could do with a few Andrew Feinsteins rather than slavish cadres or those who would shelter the ANC honeypot from the winds of change which are just, we hope, beginning to blow.
PJH Titlestad, Mtunzini
Chasing Codesa shadows
In his analysis of the sociopolitical crisis besetting SA, Ebrahim Harvey, in “Cruel joke of post-apartheid SA” (May 2), does not provide a shred of evidence of the “compromises” the ANC made which gave birth to the governance crisis facing SA.
I am not sure how a seasoned writer like Harvey can fall into the trap of blaming the misfortunes of the democratic dispensation on the Convention for a Democratic SA (Codesa). It appears fashionable nowadays for everyone who has a gripe with governance to blame it.
The question Harvey is still to answer is whether the Guptarisation of the state, the looting and thievery that ensued and the collapse of state-owned enterprises and municipalities are due to compromises the ANC made at Codesa.
The governance crisis that has brought the country almost to its knees has got nothing to do with Codesa compromises that were essential to move SA forward.
Rather than blaming the stars and the moons for our misfortunes, we must confront head-on the poverty of leadership and complicity of the people for this crisis. In so doing, we will know where to start to rebuild the country, rather than chasing Codesa shadows.
Kobimpe Moqejwa, Botshabelo
Impressive turn by the president
It was, in my humble opinion, mainly the media that created an unrealistic expectation by the people of SA when the Buffalo eventually took the hot seat at the Zondo commission.
When someone has little of any substance to hide, and is a willing participant in any investigation, there is nothing to fear when facing one’s accusers. This was abundantly clear with the president, for whom, unlike the other looters who appeared before him, there was neither any need for a summons, nor a barrage of legal eagles in the room to protect him.
With the president’s calm, co-operative demeanour, his reputation emerged greatly enhanced as that of a man of integrity, genuinely remorseful about the indefensible mistakes of his party, and clearly our only hope in hell of moving our country forward into a new era of recovery.
His version had that ring of truth about it, and he took the responsibility on his own shoulders to step up to the plate and face the music. I can think of no other person with the necessary support base to lead any government of SA in the short to medium term.
John Cox, Jeffreys Bay
Hit Zondo baddies with a tax bill
The duplicity and sheer intellectual malignancy of the ANC never ceases to amaze one. They thought the entire matter of corruption and state capture could be dealt with by “ANC internal structures”.
The Zondo commission has shown them otherwise, though perhaps not as incisively as many of us would have liked.
As the criminals were exposed by Zondo, they should have been led next door into the prosecutor’s office and had their ill-gotten gains retaken by the receiver, plus a punishing penalty.
Dr Peter C Baker, Johannesburg
The king’s marriages and the law
In “Zulu royals in court row” (May 2) it is correctly stated that in terms of the Black Administration Act, a statutory marriage concluded before the 1988 legislative changes would have automatically been out of community of property. However, legislation allowed such marriages to be in community of property provided there was a declaration to that effect prior to the marriage ceremony.
As part of my research on African marriage and divorce 40 years ago I went through the marriage records in the
Durban area and, in 1980, two-thirds of church marriages were in community of property, as were the majority in 1981.
At that time, once a man had married by statutory rites he could not legally enter into customary unions with other women (but some did). In the winding up of the estate it will be interesting to see how the late King Goodwill Zwelithini’s statutory marriage impacts on the legal status of all the subsequent unions.