Guardian Africa Network
Guardian Africa Network

Kgalema (anyone but Zuma) Motlanthe

By David Smith

There are two gestures now essential to understanding South African politics. One is a rolling hand motion as practised by football fans when calling for a player to be substituted. The player they want yanked off is the president, Jacob Zuma.

The other is the cupping of a hand at a downward angle to represent a shower head – a mocking reference to Zuma’s six-year-old gaffe about showering after having sex with an HIV-positive woman, of which the cartoonist Zapiro constantly reminds him.

Both these gestures were prominent, accompanied by much singing and stomping, at Thursday night’s launch of the authorised biography of Kgalema Motlanthe, Zuma’s deputy and his only credible challenger in an African National Congress (ANC) leadership contest in December.

Indeed, this was less a book launch with wine-sipping literati than a raucous anti-Zuma rally attended by top dissidents Tokyo Sexwale, Mathews Phosa and rebels from the ANC youth league. In the absence of US-style presidential debates in South Africa (Zuma v Thabo Mbeki a few years ago would have been an amusing clash of styles), this was the closest thing the rank and file could get to a proper look at Motlanthe.

For it could be argued that Motlanthe’s principal strength in the presidential race is that he isn’t Zuma. The 63-year-old is a private man and opaque politician; few voters would be able identify a clear Motlanthe agenda. He is the tabula rasa on to which the “anyone but Zuma” campaign can project their hopes and, perhaps, wishful thinking.

The publication of his biography, therefore, risks letting in daylight upon magic. At the launch in the great hall at Johannesburg’s Wits University, Ray Hartley, editor of the Sunday Times, said: “I think this book does introduce South Africa to Kgalema Motlanthe for the first time.

“It does give us our first detailed picture of the deputy president. Those of us in the fourth estate have been scratching around to try to work out who is the man who was the third president of South Africa.”

Third president? Yes, Motlanthe was a kind of caretaker president for seven months after Mbeki was ousted and before Zuma won the 2009 general election. But president he was. The record will always show that he wore the crown and so does my memory. On my first day covering Africa for the Guardian, I attended a press conference with President Motlanthe specifically for foreign journalists (more than three years later, we are still waiting for Zuma to do the same).

In fact, South African journalists mining advance copies of the biography are yet to come up with a blockbuster revelation. There have been tales about Motlanthe saving Zuma from expulsion from the party, Motlanthe disagreeing with the decision to expel the youth leader Julius Malema and Motlanthe expressing discontent over various government failings. But still little to fire up voters either way.

“The man is truly a biographer’s delight,” the author, the former trade unionist Ebrahim Harvey, told the audience on Thursday night, implying that Motlanthe will not be losing much sleep over its contents.

Harvey said he had spent almost 200 hours with the politician over three years (adding that Mbeki only gave his biographer 45 hours). “He decided to open up his mind both personally and politically in this biography,” he said. “It was a very courageous step.”

Motlanthe is a man with nothing to hide, he continued. Even when a newspaper falsely claimed that Motlanthe was having an affair with a 24-year-old, not once was he “morose, dejected, looking troubled”, but instead showed “amazing fortitude”.

Harvey insisted that the timing of the book’s publication, just two months before the leadership election in Mangaung, was pure coincidence. But then he took a swipe at the ANC over its response to the deadly unrest sweeping the country’s mines. “The ANC pretence that we don’t have a social crisis in this country is quite ridiculous. In that respect the timing for me is much more important than Mangaung.”

Next up was the man himself – like Zuma, a former inmate on Robben Island. Motlanthe was, as ever, charming and cerebral but not exactly charismatic. “I thought a political biography has got to be written by someone who is going to be critical and make an assessment of the work we do, the positions we adopt and so on,” he said. “I did not want a book that is only about positive issues.”

He then told a story about a trip to Italy where he was impressed by a new teaching method. “Things are always changing,” he observed innocently, prompting the biggest roar of the night from a crowd that could see only the subtext of leadership elections.

Motlanthe paused. Against whoops and whistles, he continued: “For me the irony is already lost because I’m talking about … this is science. It’s not about names of places. I can see that you are trapped within the geographic names of Mangaung (where the leadership election will take place). There are many other important things about Mangaung than just the ANC elective conference.”

He ended on a somewhat sombre note. “I’ve told my comrade Trevor [Manuel, the planning minister], in my will, I leave very clear instructions when I pass, my obituary or tombstone – if anybody believes I deserve a tombstone – should say: ‘Others made suggestions and he implemented.’ “

Which, in the ranks of political epitaphs, is never going to challenge Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill. That apart, we still didn’t learn much about the man who would be king (again). The wild cheers seemed to be driven more by out-with-the-old desperation than desire for the new.

“More bloody riddles from the masters of spin, smoke, mirrors and obfuscation,” remarked one journalist on the way out. “What does this guy really stand for except ABZ – anyone but Zuma?”

David Smith is the Guardian’s Africa correspondent.

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    • Tofolux

      @David Smith, the irony is that ALL ANC Presidents at some stage was ridiculed by the fourth estate of the day. It is a brutal fact that even Madiba was not spared their contemptuous wrath. Since the inception of ANC not only did all it members suffer from physical harm, their reputations and persons were ruined by this estate. The debate that is warranted under these facts remains, what physical role did the fourth estate play in marginalising the ANC? In fact it should also go further to ascertain if there were any journalists who acted as if they were ”imbedded” in the security forces and provided information that led to the demise of freedom fighters. It is obvious that the same agenda is at play. Not only has the class that they pander to not changed it seems that the modus operandi is unchanged. On reflection, there seems to be an endemic problem where the public has been dumbed down continuously. Not only is there a focus on non-issues but there is this abomination that continues to present us with this underlying reality that we have not confronted our history. What we are seeing is the same scenarios being played out by the same player/s. What further shocks, is that there is not one of the usual suspects who is brave enough to stand up and call into question that which is wrong. There is a clear line between honesty and dishonesty and will this middle-class be slated for their co-option to fail society so grandly, when they once again had another choice?

    • Tommy Madikoto

      Kgalema is right when he says that there are more pressing issues than the elective congress at Mangaung.
      @Tofolux – The African teaching middle class has been co-opted by the union (SADTU) and now you see the results of this in decimation of the education of the African child.
      It is brutally honest that you will not admit to the failures of this government unless they can be explained away to an apartheid legacy.
      You claim to know a clear line between honesty and dishonesty but are unable to be be brutally honest.
      Your ilk calls for the middle class (new enemy) to sacrifice their intelligence and honesty by seeking the role the fourth estate played in the “marginalisation of the ANC” yet you fail to define the role the ANC is playing in its own marginalisation by its un-South African behaviour.
      We hear you yearning for South Africans puling together but when we listen it is actually a call to worship the ANC without question.
      My unadulterated opinion is that you sing a wonderful tune but the lyrics are vulgar!
      When you begin to question the morality of this ruling elite with honesty you are likely to question the deliberately thought out protocols of this organisation that allows them undeserved access to public wealth and a stubborn ability to thwart any credible attempt to seek recourse. As yourself does the ANC benefit materially and unfairly from deploying its own into public service and who are the members of the deployment committees?

    • Cross Culture

      Good read, David. … “For it could be argued that Motlanthe’s principal strength in the presidential race is that he isn’t Zuma.” – and good thinking.
      More than that, however, for this the people of this country – Black, White, Coloured to have any sort of future for ourselves and our children, it should be ‘AB-ANC’

    • The Creator

      The extracts from Harvey’s book published in the Sunday papers do no credit to Motlanthe; he comes across as a kind of subservient bottle-washer for Zuma, always ready to do the wrong thing so as to facilitate corruption.

      Of course, Harvey was a wannabe spin-doctor for Zuma back in 2008 after having been a wannabe Trotskyite revolutionary with the Anti-Privatisation Forum the previous year, so frankly I wouldn’t take anything he writes about Motlanthe too seriously; he twirls with the political winds.

      And I don’t think we should take the speeches or promises of politicians too seriously, these days. The fact that Motlanthe doesn’t promise much possibly makes him more desirable than Zuma, but the idea of Sexwale a heartbeat away from the Presidency gives me the cold robbies.

    • Tofolux

      @Tommy, thank you for finally declaring yourself and let me say “I see you”. I am also quite taken aback at the condescending and patronising attitude of “‘African child” and the ”un-South African behaviour”, please explain both to me so that “I see you”. But let me contextualise again and ask a very valid question to you in particular ie What do you think the role and relevance of the Fourth Estate is in our particular society. I also ask this question against the historical question of what their role was in the apartheid society. Now instead of insulting and making unfounded allegations answer these questions noting that you now have mandated yourself as a deflector. Also, Tommy in many of the teachings of most resistance and radical thinkers/fighters, we are taught about this thing called ”thinking & talking in a vacuum” and let me make an eg. Most of those who occupy managerial positions in companies come from the middle-class. We all know about the lack of transformation in the corporate sector and ask who is responsible for this. You cannot claim that the shareholders are because they have delegated their powers to the managerial class. Also, why is it that when you speak of failures you conveniently forget about the huge gains made by ANC? That is where I am asking for honesty. It is not a contradiction.You cannot claim this balance when your objective is to provide an unbalanced analysis. So I ”see you” when you deflect the argument around…

    • Camille Leon

      @ Tofolux Why don’t you take your own advice – if you can find it in the waffle?
      Sue the 4th estate. Take them to court. Also sue all those of middle class who hold managerial positions – take them to court, also.
      Don’t forget, also, take the whole corporate sector and shareholders to court – and all the ‘et als’. Take all whites to court.

      In the meanwhile, a report of what the government spent (wasted) on catering, travel and entertainment last year is: 5 BILLION RAND or R5,000,000,000.
      – which translates into R1,157,407,40 per hour every hour for 365 days of the year!
      …. http://capetimes.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

      Do any ANC politicians even work a quarter of those hours? More importantly, do any of them know how to do the job or work at all? – and that ‘s apart from what is misspent, misappropriated and stolen.
      Why hasn’t the army been called in to deal with the violent illegal strikes? Why has the government allowed these strikes continue with the promise of more uncontrolled violence threatening our whole economy – and our country?
      What about the non-delivery of textbooks? You never touch on these issues and you never answer these questions.
      Even if one has the patience to even try and read your waffle, you simply ignore them, defend them and go on kissing up to the ANC.

    • Bernpm

      “The 63-year-old is a private man and opaque politician; few voters would be able identify a clear Motlanthe agenda. ”

      Qualities of a real leader????

      “Harvey insisted that the timing of the book’s publication, just two months before the leadership election in Mangaung, was pure coincidence.”

      …..Pull the other one!

      “Motlanthe is a man with nothing to hide, he continued”.

      …except his real opinion on the happenings in SA as governed by the ANC unless he agrees at all issues.

      “Others made suggestions and he implemented”

      …….when will he start implementing and who’s suggestions will be first???

      We will have to wait and see. Our task is to remain optimistic for our own good.

    • ntozakhona

      Camille Leon where do you live? We have in South Africa a whimpering, whining leisure class that spend the whole day gallivating on the highways, playing golf, speedboating in the lakes and dams whilst the majority are either in the unemployment lines or manually drilling rocks in the belly of the earth. The task of those they elected is to alter these circurmstances not to please the leisure class.

      Those are the root of serious issues alluded to by Kgalema Motlanthle not an attempt to play to the rightwing gallery by joining the demonisation of the ANC on behalf of the master. In Brazil where there is a sense of national common purpose 20 million have been taken into the middle class in the last decade, we have managed to create 400 000 of those among the former oppressed. The challenge is to dissuade some of them from seeking the “‘you are not like other blacks”” praise from colonialists but contribute to the transformation of our society and democratisation of our economy.

      The ANC does have its shortcomings but its commitment to an equitable, non-sexist society makes it incomparable in South Africa. We have in South Africa other parties debating ANC leadership and policies demonstrating in the process their intellectual bankrupcy. Schools are closed without SGB consultation in the Western Cape, the Midvaal municipality is accused of maladministration, the public protector threatened with court action etc are symptomatic of the those pretending to be the…

    • ntozakhona

      Those pretending to be the alternative to the ANC cannot even govern themselves as characterised by the former sweetheart of the leisure class called COPE. The DA on the other hand has with fanfare launched the poorly recycled 1996 ANC GEAR economic policies as its own in 2012.

      The real debate about the future of South Africa is within the ANC. David Smith is a spectator trying to make sense of the policy discussions through reducing everything to some symbols and signs as his favourite party probably has not afforded him the opportunity to engage in such discusions.

      Indeed Toffolux one still remember vividly how Thabo Mbeki was defined as an enigma. Mandela has been defined in worse terms than Jacob Zuma in his life. We have metamorphosised from savages, to natives, bantus, kaffirs, terrorists to the corrupt in the eyes of colonialists. Of course the Mphepus and Mangopes will always be there in our ranks

    • ntozakhona

      Madikoto do you know the difference between the ruling class and ruling party? What is your educated conception of the working class and the middle class? Are teachers and nurses part of the middle class?

      Your responses might assist me make sense of your acidic attacks on Toffolux.

    • Tofolux

      @Camille, the unnecessary rhetoric points to an education based on sensationalism. Noting that you think a report in Cape Times must be gospel it is further evident that you are in the Madams Camp. It is also quite obvious that you have no idea of processes or procedures or redress in Parliament. In fact, you show a complete lack of respect for constitutionalism in this country but then again it is expected. I enjoy a good debate, challenging points of arguments but this is not conducive hence I will leave the hate to you.

    • Jean Wright

      ,

      @Tofolux Wasn’t it the ‘Fourth Estate’ (articles in the. I think, Rand Daily Mail, reported and assiduously investigated by Hellen Zille- also a member of Black Sash) which uncovered the truth of the death of Steve Biko? Just need to clarify your statement that the press deliberately marginalizes the ANC. While not believing everything I read in the papers, there are usually two sides to everything. Aren’t there rather a number of ANC members now amongst the managerial classes? Perhaps you think the ‘Fourth Estate’ should be entirely pro- ANC. Is that democracy? Obviously, as your comments are frequently printed here the ummm. views which you hold are given a constant airing – which seems quite fair-minded to me.

      Will try and borrow this book as it is interesting to find out as much as possible, but doubt that I’ll buy it.

    • Jack Sparrow

      @tofo & ntoza; let’s try and move above the rhetoric and insults. @Tofo; why do you take offence at the phrase “African child”? Are you satisfied with the education the African child is getting? If you are not, who should improve it?

      The 4th Estate. Does it include the SABC? The role of the 4th estate is to identify, research and expose news that is of interest to SA. For non parastatal media the test is a commercial one – if people buy their offerings they stay in business. For the SABC there is no imperitive and this shows in the quality of their offering (banning commentators!) and their lack of financial viability.

      What are the untransformed managerial class? Do they include government and parastatal managers who actually manage the country? Surely they are transformed and if you look at Eskom, SAA and the textbook saga they aren’t doing that well. This is not racist; it’s just becasue these “managers” haven’t been appointed based on ability but for political connections.

      The bottom line though is that Kgalema does not seem to be offering to do much about these things that I think are among SA’s problems. What do you think?

    • Camille Leon

      Once again,Tofolux evades answering any pertinent questions and hides behind her nonsensical verbiage.
      @ ntozakhona
      It has been mentioned before how well you seem to echo her. Stop blinding yourself with wild assumptions and generalities, without listening to reason or looking at what the ANC has done to the country – and hasn’t done for it.
      Look at this government head-on.
      Look at the their lies, deceit, thievery and incompentency.
      Look at government self-enrichment and spending…. FIVE BILLION RAND in one year down the tubes on reckless, needless entertainment etc. How many houses or apartments could five million rand build? – let alone Five Billion rand?
      Look at the poverty-stricken, the jobless. Compare it with the cars and holidays taken by ANC politicians.
      Look at the situation of our police, justice, healthcare, education, transport, home affairs, electricity etc. etc. etc. in this country now.
      Look at the uncontrolled strikes. Why weren’t the army called in?

      Come on, ntozakhona, your ridiculous assumptions about where I live (you should only know!) has nothing to do with it – nor does it absolve the criminality and misdoing rampant in what the ANC is today.
      It is no longer the ANC of Nelson Mandela. It is no more a ‘liberation movement’. It is now supposed to govern a country, and it doesn’t have the foggest idea how to do it. TImes have changed – and so has the ANC.

    • ntozakhona

      Jack Sparrow It would have helped to point out the alleged insults. Camilla in Setswana we have a saying that ”le molato leya ikatlhola” loosely translated meaning the guilty convict themselves. I have not made assumptions about where you live but was bringing into question your blindness as regards the national contradiction of the obscenely wealthy few whining about those who exposed to a ponographic poverty in the land of plenty.

      That Jack Sparrow is the reality of many South African who will continue to support a movement unashamedly committed to equity, equality and redress. They will do so despite the shortcomings and deficiencies of some of its leaders. It is because that they know that the movement does not hide its mistakes nor imprison them for talking about such but provides them with a forum to shape its policies and to change its leaders if they so wish. It is a movement that respects their dignity.

      The DA is governing a single province and a few towns. Proportionally its scandals and incompetencies outweigh of the IFP and the ANC, compound that with its refusal to acknowledge that South Africa is the most unequal society in the world.

      I do agree with Toffolux on many issues that she raises and shall not shy away from doing so. I remain decorated with stars and scars of a valiant fight for the freedom of expression.

    • ntozakhona

      Nelson Mandela remains a loyal and disciplined member of the ANC. He as an ANC activists shaped our then young minds when he said ” Our struggle is inspired by the suffering of the African people”. As long as the shackles that bind African people from meaningful participation in the economy remain, there is no reason for the ANC to ditch its liberation intent.

    • Tofolux

      @Jean, I suggest you consider the Rupert Murdoch sage and the onset of flat earth news. I also suggest you look at the deplorable character assassination of the Deputy President and his partner. Nowhere do I or see any uproar by anyone on this forum defending his rights and demanding an explanation. So in all fairness, should this country be faced with a disaster, would you be able to trust the information coming through from media so that you are able to make a decision in the interest of your safety.
      @ntozakhona, the angst in some amongst us suggests that somewhere somehow some shrink is failing someone. I would love to have a constructive engagement ie take a byte at it but I dont want to be accused of causing someone unnecessary stress(yoh) thats just too hectic. What do you think?

    • Jean Wright

      @Tofolux. You may not have understood the reason for my comment. ‘Flat Earth News’ was of course a fascinating expose of Journalism. However, there is also a lot of good journalism, and some excellent news programs. My point being that one must keep an open mind, read a selection of news from various standpoints and watch a variety of different televised news. Then make up one’s own mind. As a matter of fact the small item re. the Deputy President and his partner was not particularly interesting, and nothing over which I would censure him. It is the 21st Century now. Rupert Murdock as we all know has been thoroughly discredited by all newspapers reporting the facts, and was viewed sceptically by many anyway.

      I am not particularly worried about my safety. I take reasonable precautions, and will continue to do, so but have never traveled in fear. Are you suggesting I should?

      I HATE closed-minded party dogma. That’s real flat-earthism to me. Persuasion of one’s views to others is by reasoned comments, and provision of facts (see my comment on Zille) not by rudely belittling their opinions. Unfortunately, you do not seem to take on board the arguments of others, which makes it difficult to have the ‘constructive engagement’ you long for.

    • Bernpm

      I feel a little disappointed about the line of this discussion or debate. Whatever it is mend to be, it seems to have developed in presenting personal “hobby horses”, in the process insulting or simply degrading the riders of other “hobby horses”.

      I thought the discussion would be about mr Motlante who I do not know personally, not from his presence on the media.

      To me, the man is an enigma. In a positive sense: a very clever politician waiting his chance to get the power he needs to “implement” all the right things?
      In a negative sense: a spineless politician who moves with the prevailing winds to keep his job as long as possible by fitting under any potential leader..

      Hence my questions in my earlier comment. Any serious suggestions?

      And..please, spare me any personal insults on where I live, where I come from and where I am going to. I am merely trying to learn about mr Motlante from this discussion.

    • Tofolux

      @Jean, now this is the point, not all of us have the luxury to read various newspapers. In most cases, some of us cannot afford to buy newspapers etc. Also you cannot dismiss the fact that news is being reported through a corporate lens and lets be objective (if you can), if you havent noticed across the spread of all the news headlines that there is a concerted way in which news is being reported.If you are saying that every reporter happened to “break” the same news at the same time and that these reporters investigated the same news at the same time, then wow. But can I ask you noting that you must have this luxury of access to various newspapers please point out one story in any newspaper that talks to real investigative work, ie real ground work and factual reporting without hidden sources. Journalists have a wonderful history of being brave, going where no one dares to go and if you have read Flat Earth News, ask yourself really pertinent questions raised in that book about journalists conduct and integrity today. But I am glad to know that you have this comfort of never experiencing a national disaster. But to ignore the majority of our citizens who live in shacks, who live in extremely dangerous areas, who access hospitals and clinics, who work in factories, who travels with public transport and taxis, it then is most insulting to accuse them of ”close-minded party dogma” (wow)

    • Change Cometh

      If they get rid of Zuma as president, he would face countless charges for corruption.
      He should be thinking what illness he is going to have to get himself out of jail.

    • Tommy Madikoto

      Tofolux and Ntozakhona apologies for the late response. I did not intend to be rude but unfortunately one has to work and earn a living. What you consider “acidic” and “insulting” was rather meant to be brutally honest commentary.
      I agree that many sections of our society, the fourth estate included, have aided and abated racism, colonialism and the brutal apartheid system. They have benefited and in some cases continue to benefit from its spoils and surely many would still like to perpetuate its various legacies.
      Surely our liberation has also ushered in a ruling elite and class of “comrade sellouts” These have, in their selfish short sightedness captured, a once great movement and used its exceptional brand to sell out our country to their stomachs. If such observations are not made and the organisation’s culture, protocols, systems and policies can not self correct than it is doomed.
      Often when these criticism are made than the worshipers of what is now an empty brand and the beneficiaries of the loot club together to remind us how evil others before it were and exaggerate the influence of this evil past on the present as a tactical deflection of the wrongs that are now being perpetuated in the name of this ANC.
      What are you, a blind worshiper or selfish undeserving beneficiary of the loot?

    • Tommy Madikoto

      @Tofolux, I agree that the ANC government has achieved a lot and I do not begrudge them. This would be defeatist because if the ANC fails we all fail!
      When I however, as an example, observe that the approach in the provision of RDP houses and free services has created dependance amongst the poor, does this mean that “I have finally declared” as you state!… and that there is a specific shortsighted electoral benefit for the ANC to have the poor beholden to it …… and that this is not in the interests of the country?

      Why, ask yourself, is our public service continually busy with catch up programmes, flip flopping on retraining of teachers and such mundane processes as drivers license booking, and yet the results remain dismal? I contend that it is because the ANC have become masters at deception, creating the impression of fixing while they merely change the looting mechanism.

      Do you guys not discuss such possibilities in your smoke filled rooms?

    • Jean Wright

      @tofolux. As Bernpm says in his post at 7.31 – 17.10.12 , this is now getting way off topic. Of course not everyone can afford or have access to many of the items I have. Neither have I money & access to what many others have. Regrettably, that is life. Just for your info. having lived for many years in India, I know quite a bit about shacks, and poverty – here as well, working with Street Children. Feeding Schemes, etc., etc., and so on. I am not suggesting these people follow closed thinking party dogma. They are too bust trying to survive. Actually, it would be wonderful if people such as yourself were not quite so touchy and dogmatic in your replies to others. We might all get along and understand each other much better. Just f.y.i. I am (compared to you I dare say) VERY old, have worked hard for what I have, seen quite a bit in many countries, and have learned through the years not be be dogmatic – which someone a lot wittier than I termed ‘puppyism grown up’.

      Back to Motlanthe….a very ‘dark horse’ (no pun intended), seemed pleasant enough but unexceptional during the ‘caretaker months’ of his Presidency, and as Change Cometh comments, if he should win what then vis a vis Zuma? Interesting times.

    • Tofolux

      @Tommy, I expected a well thought out reply, instead I now have to settle for rhetoric. Now lets re-emphasise, we know that your DA has no culture, no history and a lot of hate. We are also aware that you have actually copied and pasted all ANC policies in fact now you are teaching the Madam to dance as well. Can I however ask one favour for your kind consideration, please do not let her sing. Whatever you do, please try and convince her that everything cannot be borrowed or stolen especially the singing. But let me say that when one talks about organisational operation, we talk about renewal, reaffirm and change. We are not prophets or fortune tellers and do not have the ability to gaze into some round glass to prophetise or foresee the future. I note that some of you have become prophets and fortune tellers of note ie looking into the future. Unfortunately we do not have this ability and that is why we have plans. We have short term and long term goals. We know and this is the difference, that our reality poses huge challenges. Unlike you we do not have some genie in a bottle who gave you this unbelievable ability to make South Africa perfect. We recognise that we are mere human beings with faultlines but we recognise that hardwork and determination must get us there. You paint a picture of SA going no-where and yet the reality tells us we are moving ahead. So no, we do not sit around drinking wine. We actually get the job done (sound familiar?)

    • Tommy Madikoto

      Come on Tofolux. For a considerable time I gave the ANC the benefit of the doubt, thinking that there is strategy behind this madness. It pains me to say I have concluded that what we see is the best you can offer. There is nothing, absolutely nothing behind this madness. There is no grand strategy, no vision, absolutely nada.

      Wish lists are not policies!

      You are correct when you say “our reality poses huge challenges” and I put it to you that you are a great source of these challenges.
      These challenges are not insurmountable but for you I guess only a genie/miracle or witchcraft can assist because there is nada you can offer.
      South Africans are resilient: 300 years of colonialism, 4 decades of apartheid and 20 years of misrule – YET WE SHALL OVERCOME!

      Do you really think what you are imposing on this country is a sustainable trajectory?

      Pity you return habitually to pigeon holing me as a copy and pasting, wine drinking, fortune telling, DA supporting, dance instructor cum prophet. This will take this country nowhere!

      Is this the level of discussion you subject fellow comrades to and would like to draw me towards as well? Note that this is the end of my patience, I will not be drawn into this any further. Hopefully you will get it some day.

    • ntozakhona

      Madikoto I asked you pointed questions which you have avoided by prevaricating. Suffice to say I have heared your sort of arguments you propound in some shebeens propounded by loudmouthed village idiots.

      Take time and visit the ANC website you will find policy discussion documents which detail how it is suggested we take South Africa from where it is to a better place. One of the documents you will find will be on organisational renewal which is frank and brutal about the challenges facing the ANC.

      Yes South Africans are very resilient and have dealt severe blows to apartheid colonialism, their resilience was marshalled and organised by the 100 year old ANC whose demise colonialists and their apologists amongst the oppressed predicted from time to time.

      ”the problems of our time cannot be resolved by the same level of thinking that brought them about” said Albert Einstein whose people were labelled the very painful things which we stand accused of

      For your info I work for an NGO which is self funded and assits micro entrepreneurs without collateral, credit history, cash etc to start and run own businesses. There is no smoke in our offices and certainly no colonial master to please.

    • Chaka Lemba

      @ Tommy Madikoto
      Hear, hear!! and Well said!!
      You have also come to the right conclusion: “Note that this is the end of my patience” …
      The attention Tofolux draws to herself by arguing and involving herself in lengthy discourse, whether it is pertinent or not, simply feeds some sort of vanity.
      One is simply wasting time trying to engage with her or make her see any sense.

    • David

      @ Tofolux: “…I expected a well thought out reply, instead I now have to settle for rhetoric. Now lets re-emphasise, we know that your DA has no culture, no history and a lot of hate.” I think that’s your best work yet. Accuse someone of rhetoric and in the very next sentence partake in a little rhetoric of your own. You are amazing.

      “We actually get the job done (sound familiar?)”. Yes. It’s called the Western Cape. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But what else would you expect? If I’m going to be labelled as a DA-loving, beneficiary of Apartheid, me-and-my-ilk white tribalist, then I may as well, right?

    • Tofolux

      @David, if they are so good please explain how they fire ALL black managers and HODS in state-owned and run entities and employ inexperienced you-no-what males. Also explain how they manage to fire the first black women to lead SANPARKS after they imposed a lengthy probation period on her and replaced her with a Sakkie Brits. Also explain how a dubious contractor was appointed to do ordinary maintenance at a high school and managed to knock a hole as big as a bakkie in the roof, whilst damaging school books and without inspection was paid R670K by your guys. When this was raised with your SCOPA the member pronounced that there was no wrongdoing and this without receiving evidence or investigating this debacle in SCOPA. Also explain how a matric student was registered to write a subject which she did not register or study at school. Also explain why the Premier and MEC of WCED has thrown a blanket of secrecy (yes they did) on a report that exposes huge irregularities in his dept. Explain how tenders are given to dubious operators from WCED. Please explain where this claim of perfection comes from given the above info. I could go on if you wish.

    • Tommy Madikoto

      @ Ntozakhona yes I know the difference between the ruling class and ruling party and yes nurses and teachers are generally part of this middle class. Some might say the lower middle class. My conception of the middle class vs working class is neither here nor there. Maybe seek a scientific conception and see whether my slotting in of teachers and nurses can be tested.
      Anyway, how does this assist? How does your employment status and sector help?

      Engage me from whence I come:

      The ANC has been hijacked. It is a brand every politician would like to belong to. Does it however have the ability to self correct where it is being misused for all sorts of reasons?
      Does it have the humility and magnanimity to place the interests of South Africa ahead of itself? I note the continuously misleading narrative by some of its members to discount the brave contributions of others to the demise of apartheid. Is this organisation merely a streetwise bully with an eye for marketing its brand? Where is the substance?
      Who must take responsibility for the past 18 years of gutter education for the majority of African learners in particular?
      Who in the organisation deployed the incompetents to the public sector? Did members of the deployment committees get kick back in their personal capacities or does the organisation benefit materially by deploying its own?
      In light of the vulgar and blatant abuse by some of its members of the public purse, who asks the pertinent questions…

    • Tommy Madikoto

      ……..regarding loopholes and flaws in the conception of its policies and procedures that assists and protects such behaviour.
      In “A Dream Deferred” the matter of disclosure of interests by ANC members holding public office is discussed and astonishingly, it is agreed that disclosure will be voluntary since the ANC has always fought a moral struggle. Now such lapses in leadership do not appear to be corrected and are you now surprised by the resultant mess our country finds itself regarding corruption.
      Show me a man or woman in the ANC who asks such pertinent questions and I will narrate the plot of this man or woman’s downfall or the daggers that are being sharpened to be plunged into their backs!

    • Tofolux

      @Tommy, you should be honest and accept honesty as a basic for any rules of engagement. There is absolutely no way that you have ever been close to the ruling party in any which way. Not when the critiscm and hate that you expose is not only loaded but completely devoid of a sane and objective reply. No member or any person close to the ruling party is this inarticulate when it comes to expressing themselves on the role and relevance and of course the history of ANC. So if you can accept that the most basic rules must be respected and observed whenever we engage, it becomes a fruitful exercise of enjoying one’s right to freedom of speech.

    • Tommy Madikoto

      @Tofolux, and your point is?

    • Chaka Lemba

      @ Tommy Madikoto.
      take my hat off to you once again. What you have written is brilliantly articulated and true to every letter.
      Any dialogue between you and Tofolux is like reason vs. irrationality; like sense vs. absurdity … like Tommy vs Tommyrot..

    • ntozakhona

      Madikoto a repetition of drivel will not somehow make it sound intelligent. I have asked you to read a discussion document in the ANC website called ORGANISATIONAL RENEWAL and then tell me that the ANC is not honest about itself. It is an honesty you will never ever find in the websites of any other political formation in South Africa.

      Classes are defined in terms of their relationship to the means of production. Teachers and nurses in South Africa enjoy what the sociologist Max Weber calls status and that is because of their professional role. They are however amongst the low income earners, I am sure they must be salivating at the type of demads made by miners and truckers. They are far frm being the middle class and earn less than your average metal worker.

      It will hopefully assist your analytical abilities if you stop confusing status with class.

      You ask how does the undersanding of concepts and theories assist in development?!? Where do I begin? Education assists us to develop minds that are critical and that do not swallow hook, line and sinker everything said about us by our colonisers. It exposes us to the world enabling us to amongst others do a comparative analysis.

      It enables us to problematize, historisize and contexualise. Armed with it, we are able to realise that DA 2012 economic policies ( which we read and reread) are a poor recycling of the ANCs 1996 GEAR. It enables us to read and intelligently engage with policy discussion documents on the…

    • ntozakhona

      Madikototo I get you mfowethu. Eish, I wish I could sit down with you and open the vistas and joys of critical thought to you. It is not right for a brother to be abused in a manner in which you are.

    • ntozakhona

      By the way the issue of my employment status and how we earn a living was first raised by you. Direct answers clearly trouble you. I also needded to demonstrate to you that there is a lot of work done even by ordinary township folk to lift ourselves out of the poverty trap designed by the colonial master.

      Do not panic and demand a return to Egypt, We shall get there ngwaneso.

    • David

      Tofolux. You rose to the bait and took it. Well done.

    • Tofolux

      @Davie, sorry bro, I do not share your mentality hence once again honesty, clearly for me and my comrades, is always the best policy.

    • Chaka Lemba

      ntozakhona & tofol. Do not speak on behalf of the Black population of this country. We have seen the country deteriorate under ANC ‘rule’, and stand on the brink of a failed state under Zuma’s disgraceful administration.

      Don’t keep blaming apartheid/colonialism/the DA (a political party of integrity, honesty and direction) as an excuse to divert attention from the mess we are in under the ANC.
      Explain please: the text-book scandal; Nkandla (what a bloody cheek Zuma to appeal to the ‘public and private sectors’ to freeze salary increases! Why doesn’t Zuma freeze his own damn salary and that of his useless government for starters?
      Tell us of ONE govt.department, ONE ANC politician that has got it right and made us proud since Zuma wangled his way into power.
      Compare it with the disgraces that are daily routine with the ANC ‘ruling party’. Do they think that ‘party’ means spending 3 BILLION RAND on entertainment? .. And the starving poor and unemployed? .. Is it a case of .”Let them eat cake”?
      Disgusting!

    • David

      @Toffie (since we’re being rather familiar). You wouldn’t know the first thing about honesty. That includes your ‘comrades’…

    • Tofolux

      @Chaka, will never pretend to speak on anyone’s behalf. I am no spokesperson and will not pretend to be. But noting that you showered us with this sensationalist diatribe, can I confirm that this is it and that you are sure you dont want to move some more goalposts. I have noted of late that the attention span on a particular issue is minimalistic hence I want confirmation so that I can deal with you.

    • Chaka Lemba

      Again the ‘lady in question’ answers no questions. She avers that she is no spokeperson: she could have fooled me. She never shuts up for a minute about having been born black, how she feels, how all blacks feel or should feel or need to feel etc. etc. etc…. And what an anomaly that she, of all people, mentions ‘attention span”.
      I ask again: Explain please: the text-book scandal; and Nkandla (what a bloody cheek Zuma to appeal to the ‘public and private sectors’ to freeze salary increases! Why doesn’t Zuma freeze his own damn salary and that of his useless government for starters?
      Tell us of ONE govt.department, ONE ANC politician that has got it right and made us proud since Zuma wangled his way into power.
      AND
      How come people connected to the ANC get a ‘get-out-of-jail’ free card?
      How come so many ANC members who have committed blatant fraud and theft, have never been prosecuted?
      Should Jacob Zuma just think of an ‘illness’ so that if he’s ever prosecuted, he can still enjoy Nkandla?
      How many ANC members were involved in the Arms Deal?
      Who in the ANC were responsible for spending billions on submarines which have never been used – and are now redundant?
      How come every govt. deptartment is corrupt and non-functioning?
      Are you happy with a government that makes promises to the poor in exchange for their votes, keeps them uneducated – and then steals their money, as well as money meant for the upliftment of society?

    • ntozakhona

      Chaka Lemba, oh what a name! I can easily claim that my views aggregate those of an overwhelming majority of South Africans. The only safe reliable measure puts that at 66% and that is the national elections. Please do not tell me. you think they are irrational stupids that have been duped!

      The DA governs a single province and several towns yet propotionally the scandals, service delivery protests and maladministration are higher than that of the ANC, IFP and NFP combined. Heaven help us all if they were to return to power.

      You may want to pretend to have amnesia but the national contradiction of pornographic poverty afflicting an overwhelming majority jiuxtaposed with the filth of riches possed by a minority was engineered in South Africa.Who should I blame for that? Mandela?

    • ntozakhona

      Nkosazana Zuma is hailed as having tranformed the Dept of Home Affairs into a well oiled machinery, Naledi Pandor has brought us the SKA project, Mashamaite has facilitated our membership of BRICS and chair of the AU … Eish askuus you said one.

      Chaka Lemba, what happened to Madikoto – a transfiguration?

    • ntozakhona

      Tommy Madikoto or whatever you have become, I have revisited my copy of ”A DREAM DEFERRED”‘ by Mark Gevisser and cannot fathom what you are on about. Maybe I should understand because you are not given to studying and reading. Try it, it helps.

    • Sisi

      @ ntozakhona
      What you keep saying about the DA are gross lies and jealousy. You use the DA as something else to blame for the corruption and wrong-doing in every single government department – and the mess they have made of the country.
      And if Mandela is still ‘compos mentis’, he should be blamed for not speaking out against what the ANC has become – a corrupt, racist organisation, taking the spoils for themselves, raping the country as Mugabe did with Zimbabwe, and not giving a hang about the poor, except at election time.
      The ANC are out of control in their spending and robbing us to make themselves rich (Nkandla, Zumaville, their fancy cars and houses and holidays), but have no control when it comes to crime, strikes, drugs, whatever. Violent protests are the order of the day. Violence in whatever happens. They are a sham. The courthouse that burnt down in Polekwane, did it hold Malema’s records? Will his henchmen burn down the next courthouse? Or he could just get ‘sick’. The ANC are not capable of running a country. Zuma is the most obvious example.
      .

    • Chaka Lemba

      Whatever ntozakhona may think, I am not Tommy Madikoto but agree wholeheatedly with him and I wish I could write like him. (I once confused ntozakhona with Tofolux for the same reasons, but realised that he writes quite well and no one could write as badly as she does).

      One can understand their frustration and I identify with being ‘put down.’ But playing on old emotions and looking for blame (the Cape is the best performing province under the DA – and the ANC keep threatening to make it ‘ungovenable’. Nice, hey?!) is not the answer when the wrong-doing is staring at us in the face and when we are sinking under the malfunction of a government who are simply taking advantage of the situation in making themselves stinking rich. Due to their dishonesty and greed, it is not only the poor that have been duped and played as fools, and continue to suffer, it is the whole country. Everything is going down the tubes. Look at the uncontrolled, senseless violence and killing, the SAA, SABC, Dept of Public Works, Department of Justice, the Julius Malema farce (allowed to happen by the ANC in the first place), President Zuma himself, and Nkandla Zumaville not to mention his past unresolved corruption charges, and the shameful departments of education and health, our police – the good fighting the bad within its same ranks.
      Could anything be more damning and depressing than what a future under the ANC could possibly hold for us?
      .

    • Tofolux

      @Chaka, thank you for your irrational comments. Just as well, cos looking at your ”issues” one is correct that what is at issue here, is something else. But let me remind you noting that your memory has failed you. Firstly and secondly, the textbook saga, Nkandla expenditures, Marikana (u might mention that) are all under a commission of enquiry. We all await the outcome so that we can base our opinions on the truth instead of speculations and mindless dreaming. Iro of Salary Freezes I conclude that you agree and believe that CEO’s eg Marikana should take away obscene salaries in packages. The irony does not escape me when these CEO’s earn more than any of our Presidents post 1994.I also think that you ”forgot” the successes and let me list them: Dept of Health – NHI, hiv work etc, Dept of Sport, 2010 world cup, paralympics, dept of finance all successes since 1994, dept of home affairs, dept of energy, what a great job, dept of intl relations, the release of hostages from somalis, dept of communications iro maritime and job creations(even in rural areas) etc etc. I could go on and mention our tourism, environmental, world class cities, brics and AU interventions, but also African border to border trade ventures, gender parity etc. So Chaka & Sisi, whilst yours is making sure that we live in a wh male dominated society and imposes secrecy laws on reports of maladministration. We, despite your anger at losing ground of yr status quo, will continue to move…