William Saunderson-Meyer
William Saunderson-Meyer

A survival kit for the ANC

It’s crucial that a parasite controls its intake. After all, if the host is sucked dry and consequently expires, so too does the parasite.

It is this self-preserving biological imperative that lies behind the African National Congress’s intention to “name and shame” corrupt civil servants. This, it claims, will reduce the amount of R30-billion that the government estimates is plundered annually from the public purse by its own employees.

But Justice Minister Jeff Radebe’s proposal is not really a serious attempt at tackling the blight of corruption. It’s all just another bit of political legerdemain, concealing more than it reveals.

For President Jacob Zuma’s administration it’s all a matter of easing, not trying to stop, the hijacking of state resources. If it wanted to reduce corruption to the minimal levels, that Transparency International uses as best practice benchmarks — as has been achieved in the Scandinavian nations, Australasia and Canada — it would have to take actions that would be unpalatable, even disastrous, to the ANC as a party.

Firstly, the administration would have to allow law enforcement and the National Prosecuting Agency complete autonomy to investigate and charge miscreants.

Since many of those breaking the law in the body might be high up in the ANC and government, it is critical to the ANC’s survival that criminal procedures are directed at the “right” people and away from the “wrong” people.

A vivid example of this is the fate of expelled youth leader Julius Malema. While he was politically onside, he was effectively immune from scrutiny, despite questions being raised regarding his astonishingly rapid acquisition of wealth; when he became a political threat to the Zuma administration, he soon felt the heat of scrutiny.

Secondly, it would have to forswear some of the very activities that keep it solvent. It could no longer have Chancellor House, the ANC’s commercial arm, participating in multibillion-rand state contracts – it made a billion rand in revenue from its shareholding in Hitachi Power Africa alone, when Hitachi got the Eskom contract to build a power station.

Thirdly, Zuma’s administration would have to abandon the practice of cadre deployment. Deployment was originally meant to ensure state spending on goods and services benefited the previously excluded, thus encouraging black capital formation. Instead it has been degraded to a mechanism that favours certain ANC members, which allows some to control the access to government contracts that line their pockets and those of friends and relatives.

When the Congress of South African Trade Unions pressed for lifestyle audits of government ministers and senior officials and demanded that they entirely divest their business interests, the ANC acted swiftly to pull its starry-eyed ally back into line.

As Zuma put it, crassly but at least honestly, those who support the ANC will see their businesses “multiply”.

The problem for the ANC is now the sheer scale of corruption, the hordes of cheeky “little people” who assume that the bad behaviour of their social betters gives them licence to belly up to the trough. For there are frighteningly many of them.

The Social Services Agency identified 79 416 public servants who in 2011 stole social grants. Only 15 000 were prosecuted, while as part of the ANC’s steal-now-pay-later initiative, some 30 000 were allowed to pay back the money in installments and “punished” with a disciplinary final warning. This week the public service commission reported that in the past six years the fiscus lost more than R1.7-billion in 6 527 reported cases of public servant misconduct.

These are the “greedy” people that the ANC leadership now – belatedly – wants to make an example of. It has perhaps dawned on the party that if this free-for-all exsanguination of South Africa’s public purse is allowed to continue, there will soon be nothing left to steal.

Radebe’s proposal will change very little, even his “named and shamed” list will be of telephone directory thickness. Because it won’t include the ANC’s top-nobs who have a warrant to steal; its deterrence value will be marginal.

In any case, in the moral-free zone that the ANC presides over there is no shame attached to corruption and theft. Why should there be, if there are no consequences, such as jail time, exclusion from public office or state employment, or expulsion from ANC-designated “feeder” areas?

Any moderately aware South African can, off-the-cuff, name half a dozen public figures implicated in corruption who swan about totally unabashed. Shame? In South Africa? Radebe must be kidding.

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  • KwaZulu-Natal Lamb Curry
  • Where’s my invite?
  • The weakness of the ANC
  • In Tambo they trust
    • http://http//paulwhelanwriting.blogspot.com Paul Whelan

      Every word true. But it’s not President Zuma’s administration that hasbbrought this on; it has merely seen its flowering.

    • Judith

      Of course he is. We have to mobilise everyone to vote them out of power

    • http://southafricana.blogspot.com Dave Harris

      Calling the ANC, the party that liberated us from the apartheid you and your ancestors enjoyed, the party that the majority consistently votes for in overwhelming numbers (almost two thirds majority), a PARASITE!! William, you’ve reached a whole new level with your mean spiritedness that now reeks with a stench of desperation.

      Fabricating figures out of thin air and calling for “lifestyle audits” shows how you fundamentally misunderstand how democracies function. Unlike the corrupt apartheid state that you so greatly benefited from and continue to do so, we are a transparent democracy where the state cannot use its tax collection agency as a political weapon. http://southafricana.blogspot.com/2010/03/lifestyle-audits-have-we-gone-cuckoo.htm

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Meyer, Al Capone was on the front pages of Chicago newspapers everyday, do you think he had any shame? Radebe has his head in the sand and knows nothing about fighting organized crime. The criminal element has taken over the ANC and the people that try to fight against them should be very carefully. In the US, the labor leader Jimmy Hoffa vanished and nobody never found his body because the mob wanted him out. SA should set up a special prosecutor with no political ties to prosecute these people to bring them to justice.

      @Harris, that was a dumb comment, the mind is a terrible thing to waste.

    • http://AsurvivalkitfortheANC proactive

      @ those dreamers

      What a sad reflection on all those who recklessly destroy, stealthily act and trumpet denials- as obedient lackeys always will do- the fall from grace of an organization once respectable!

      WSM might be mean in praising the unholy ones, but is razor sharp in painting the present! Maybe a picture comparable to a “Dorian Gray” of today?

      Majority vote as a measure for morality? Absurd! Blatant plundering, simple dishonesties, hijacking the right to finance the party through open participation in big business?………….. Oh sorry, it is all written in the handbooks……. how many?

      A very prosperous stench! Why not equally and democratically share your spoils with all other parties a la ubuntu in our post Apartheid state? Carry on dreaming!

    • Paul

      William, excellent article – it’s got to the point where the host is seriously ailing. For all we know it may well have already died and what we take as signs of life are involuntary post-mortem twitches.

      Dave, that liberation was 19 years ago and counting – you’re welcome to keep living in the past, but unless everyone else starts living in the present and gets rid of this kleptocracy there won’t be a future. Looking back and pointing fingers is an absurdity of the highest order.

    • Ouch

      William your counter-revolutionary rant is designed to undermine the authority of our legitimate leaders. Some say divinely inspired leadership. Taking the very examples from the old testament where entitlement by the chosen … well entitles one.

      How am I doing Dave? Will I make official praise singer? What’s the pay? Love me tender, love me true ?.. nudge nudge wink wink

    • Chris Cross

      The only shame in South Africa is that whenever their ‘leaders’ are caught or convicted, the ANC says: ‘Ag, shame”

    • bernpm

      William, instead of continuing flagging the dead horse called ANC, you (and other commentators) should start working towards a voters advise for 2014 elections.

      Attempts to help breaking up the alliance would be a good start.

      Assist in lifting Zuma out of the saddle – as parliament is trying to do – would be another good cause.

      Advise to non-voters to vote for any party except ANC, explaining the numbers game with the spoiled votes might help.

    • ConCision

      Parasites or Parastatals
      The Name of the Game
      Is Just the Same.

      No problem when parastatals try
      To suck the bleeding country dry
      As long as there is still enough
      For the government to feed
      From the taxpayers trough.

    • Camp Quatro

      @Dave Harris

      “Fabricating figures out of thin air and calling for “lifestyle audits” shows how you fundamentally misunderstand how democracies function.”

      Honest politicians would be delighted with lifestyle audits. They have nothing to hide. Democracies function through transparency Mr Harris. Its part of democratic morality and ethics. Work for the people who vote for you, not to feather your own nest at their expense.

    • ConCision

      Parasites or Parastatals
      If it sounds the same
      And seems the same
      And acts the same
      And does the same ……

    • The Creator

      “Shock! Horror! Member of Zuma Administration says something meaningless for effect!” (foto op bladsy drie)

      And yet you might notice that a large chunk of the media solemnly endorses Radebe’s worthless verbiage as if it were of any significance.

      The fault, dear William, is not in our political stars, but in ourselves.

    • Chris2.0

      Come on Davey – buttering your masters up a tad too much methinks – it wasn’t just the AN€ that ended apartheid… (Although they are 100% responsible for Newpartheid!)

      And your “majority” voters is less than the amount of people that did not vote AT ALL during the last elections… Speaking of figures – if even just 50% of the “can vote/did not” voters turned up and voted for anyone else, or even just spoiled their ballots, then the AN€ would’ve only gotten 44% of the votes…

      Must be why your ad hominem attacks are getting so desperate – 2014 is getting nearer day by day… The day the feeding trough will be closed to the AN€ and the internal feeding frenzy will start… At least Jacob Z-783 will have a safe & cozy cell to watch it all happen from…!

      I, for one, cannot wait…

    • http://africanjungle.iblog.co.za/ Julian Frost

      @Dave Harris:
      “Calling the ANC, the party that liberated us from the apartheid you and your ancestors enjoyed, the party that the majority consistently votes for in overwhelming numbers (almost two thirds majority), a PARASITE!!”
      Firstly, if the item in question perambulates like an anatidaeid and vocalises like an anatidaeid, consideration must be given to the possibility that it is an anatidaeid. Secondly, your comment exemplifies the flawed logic that because the ANC fought for an end to apartheid it is now entitled to run South Africa in perpetuity, no matter how badly or corruptly it does so.
      Thirdly, nice ad hominem.

    • bernpm

      @Julius Frost: ““Calling the ANC, the party that liberated us from the apartheid you and your ancestors enjoyed…..”

      The real story was that US and UK -after the fall of the Berlin Wall- phoned de Klerk and told him to stop apartheid and call Mandela and mates to the table for a friendly settlement. After Berlin, Russia and communism had stopped being an economic threat to Africa.
      Apartheid had become a humanitarian embarrassment for SA in the new world order.
      De Klerk obliged.

      ANC heroes and fighters? Many spend luxury times in the Capitals of Europe, be it East or West.

    • ConCision

      if it…”perambulates like an anatidaeid and vocalises like an anatidaeid, consideration must be given to the possibility that it is an anatidaeid”

      @ Julian Frost
      I’m impressed.
      An ‘anatidaeid’ hasn’t been part of my vocabulary
      But today you had me scratching in the dictionary.

      PS. It might have been simpler
      Just to use he word ‘duck’
      And so much more rhymes with it:
      Like for instance …’cluck’.

    • http://roryshort.blogspot.com/ Rory Short

      It is said that a fish rots from the head down. I am afraid our country under the current ANC government exemplifies the truth of this statement.

    • Just a Thought

      Yes Dave harris, there was apartheid, which facilitated autrocity after autrocity against the black man. Yes the affects of apartheid are still being felt and need to be fixed.

      Yet, how can you stand there and defend the autrocities that the liberator is now committing (in 2013) by using the “you are white, associated with the past and have no say” argument. Argue facts not emotion.

      Being a hero in the past can’t wash away current crimes forever.Because very soon the safety net of blaming aprtheid for everything will dissapear and the ANC will come crashing down.

    • StaunchBlackSouthAfrican

      This is not the ANC our leaders of old i.e. the Mandela’s,Sisulu’s,Tambo’s had in mind. I’m black and i don’t associate myself with the current leadership of the ANC because they’ve become lazy fatcats who benefit themselves with South African’s hard earned money.I personally can’t wait to see what Agang has for the 2014 elections if and when it decides to become a party. I’m a disgusted and disturbed by what has happened to the ANC under the current regime. They are all a bunch of lazy fatcats who look after their own families and have forgotten the spirit of ubuntu that our forefathers had in mind when the ANC came into formation. The ANC has become a laughing stock whose mishandling of our money makes me feel raped and abused with all kinds of abuse by them. They’d rather attack whoever they feel is against them than face the truth…They are failing us big time!!

    • http://lennymaysay.wordpress.com Lenny Appadoo

      Moral-free zone. Brilliant! Another to add to my collection…