Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Thick End of the Wedge

Read this tremendous piece. I think more people are shifting their thoughts about the ANC in the same direction - to an acceptance as FACT that the ANC are greedy, corrupt incompetents not worthy of the propagandistic notion of a 'liberation organisation'.

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I thought Adam Habib did an excellent piece reminding us all that President Thabo Mbeki's patient encouragement of Robert Mugabe over the years had at least gotten us to the point where we know, for sure, that the MDC won the March parliamentary elections and, second, that Mbeki is about the only African leader able to get through Mad Bob's door.

The point is whether it matters. The whole world and probably most Zimbabweans believe Mbeki has taken sides with Mugabe.

It's no surprise that every time one of us locals suggests we do something about Zimbabwe one of the buffoons masquerading as an "adviser" to Mbeki will ask something ridiculous like: "What? Do you want us to invade them?"

Well, no, Mr Buffoon, that would be wrong. Mainly because our defence force has been so run down the Zimbabweans would probably beat us. But the man you're advising needs to remember what country he's president of. It's South Africa.

That means his job is to look after SA's reputation and interests first.

How holding Mugabe's hand helps South Africa is beyond me. What Mbeki should have said ages ago, and could profitably say today, is "we in South Africa are appalled at the behaviour of the government of Zimbabwe and we would like to offer any help we can to restore peace to our neighbour".

Then, with South Africa's reputation restored, we could play a meaningful role in a broad international diplomatic (and even military) effort to get a democratically elected government in place in Harare.

Anything else is just so much rubbish. Nothing will move Mugabe and his cronies except brute force.

Not now and not ever.

I half-wrote a column the other day trying to explain to myself why the ANC is so bad at delivering services to people, why it can't maintain a cohesive organisation and why it can't maintain the assets it inherited in 1994. It's quite a serious thing because while the ANC may be very bad at doing anything, it is also the owner of arguably more political legitimacy than any political movement on earth.

I had written a bit about the culture of the ANC and about how it was a talk shop in exile and that it still was. That making a decision, or passing a resolution was, in the minds of the party leadership, tantamount to actual achievement. Acting on the decision or resolution was not something that ever really happened in exile and it rarely happens now unless it's a political act that's required, like electing or banishing.

As an experiment, I have kept a copy of all the resolutions and declarations of intent made at the recent "summit" on electricity distribution, and will check on their progress every 12 months or so. I'll almost guarantee they won't be carried out.Anyway, I deleted the piece after reading a column from Simon Barber where he made the simple point that had there been a directly elected MP for Alexandra it is highly unlikely the xenophobic barbarity we saw starting there last month would have been able to stew undetected.

This country's and the ANC's BIG PROBLEM is obvious -- it's the lack of accountability built into everything the ANC does by the electoral system of proportional representation. Nowhere in South Africa is a politician directly responsible to ordinary people - it's all to the party.

We should scrap PR right away and directly elect our MPs. The ANC would win handsomely and many smaller parties would disappear.

Too bad. But we would at least be living in an accountable democracy. It would change everything and it would certainly galvanise ruling party MPs.

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

To late! The toothpaste is out of the tube. Thats it. The integrity and the energy it would take to fix this corrupt mess is simple not at hand any more.