Kudos to David Bullard. Methinks he is starting to tread on that fine line again. Once you wake up and smell the (white) coffee, it never tastes quite the same again as in your dreams. Nowadays we also have a very subversive Llewellyn Kriel on our side. And Max Du Preez has also been making miserable muted mutterings under his breath; he seems to be stricken with a severe rejection complex....I LUV IT!!!!!!!
White journalists love Moeletsi Mbeki. In fact, it's not only white journos who love him; all sentient whites love him. If he were a rock star we would be throwing our panties at him. We love him not because he is Thabo Mbeki's brother but because he seems to have had the lucky pick when it came to selecting the family genes. We mostly love him though because he says what we think. At least, we think he does. Sadly, that's probably the very reason the people who should be listening to him aren't.
Last week the former president's outspoken brother addressed the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London. As anyone who has ever done any public speaking knows, it's essential to leave at least one, pithy comment with your audience. Moeletsi Mbeki's pithy comment was a reference to Jacob Zuma's prediction that the ANC will remain in power until the second coming of Jesus Christ. As an aside, I've never been sure whether this is an offer to hand the running of South Africa to the son of God when he arrives or whether it's an "in your dreams" taunt to all the Christian DA supporters. Anyway, Mbeki's parting comment was "at the rate at which confrontation is growing, Jesus may find SA a burnt-out shell when he returns". Off with those panties. Moeletsi is the man.
Personally, I think this prediction might be a tad on the pessimistic side but I don't want to sound like Denis Beckett so I'm not about to present a cogent argument (if one exists) to refute this claim. Where Moeletsi Mbeki does resonate with me though is with his criticism of the black elite's seemingly insatiable demand for more money at the expense of the greater good of the economy. He is highly critical of black economic empowerment because all it has done is to enrich a handful of well connected people and make them wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice.
Not surprisingly, this sort of comment doesn't sit well with the BEE recipients or anyone keen to bury their noses deep into the swill trough. We have seen, in the past few weeks, that even the Commies comically believe that they can justify why they should travel around in luxurious German limousines. What we are witnessing in South Africa though is no different from what happens in most countries when people who have never had a bite of the cherry suddenly find themselves with a whole bowl of ripe red cherries there for the taking.
If politicians were honest creatures they would be more like bankers. Bankers have no problem admitting that they're only in the business to milk as much as possible out of the system. Look at their behaviour since the global collapse last September. It's been exemplary in that it's been brutally honest. The bankers have told us that what they do is very specialised indeed and beyond the capabilities of mere mortals which is why they need taxpayer's money to keep on doing it. Now, only a year later, they are awarding themselves bonuses which would bail out Iceland. You have to admire that sort of brutal honesty.
But our politicians are not honest creatures. They ponce around, pretending to be interested in the poor every five years, and then help themselves to as much as they can from the public coffers. Our BEE recipients rake in enough moolah in a year to make people like Donald Gordon and Raymond Ackerman wonder why they bothered to spend a lifetime building businesses and creating jobs.
What Moeletsi Mbeki is saying that I (as an "unreconstructed racist") would never be allowed to say is that Africans have a very short-term view on things. Life has always been cheap on the African continent so when there is money to be grabbed then you must grab it, spend it on bling and then grab some more. If you can't grab the money then do the next best thing; find a bank suffering from post colonial guilt to lend you money you will never be able to repay and go on a bling binge at somebody else's expense. The great intellectual and former columnist Xolela Mangcu apparently owes around R6m, according to a recent story in a Sunday newspaper. How an earth did he manage to rack up such huge debts? And why was he so desperate to own status symbols he couldn't afford?
Contrast Norway's behaviour with Nigeria's when it comes to oil revenues. Norway has used its oil revenue to create a reserve in order to make sure that every citizen benefits while Nigeria has taken the view that the big bucks from the oil industry should benefit relatively few people. My guess is that Norway will be the better place to be in the long run.
These days you really don't need to be corrupt in South Africa to make a personal fortune. You just need to be the lucky colour and well connected. As Moeletsi Mbeki observes, BEE and its variants have nothing to do with growing the economy, creating a black middle class, trickle down wealth or making reparation for the past.
BEE is simply an ingenious plan on the part of the ANC to keep the economically active members of society productive while benefitting a handful of the economically inactive. The staggering thing is that so many whiteys fell hook, line and sinker for it.
Still, I suppose it was better than being massacred.