NEWS & ANALYSIS

Cyril, the Perpetually Surprised

David Bullard writes on our President's state of mild astonishment

OUT TO LUNCH

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The Oxford dictionary defines a “surprise” as a feeling of mild astonishment or shock caused by something unexpected.

Personally, I’m a big fan of surprises. They detract from the monotony of every day life and often bring a warm fuzzy feeling with them. So when you open the bottle of 1980 Cabernet that you’ve been keeping for a special occasion that never arrived and it turns out to be magnificently drinkable you are very pleasantly surprised. Your only regret is not buying a whole case back in 1984 and keeping it for other special occasions that never arrived.

Or when the blood tests come back from the pathology lab and you discover that you don’t have a life threatening illness and that all those days spent Googling your imagined ailment have been a complete waste of time. That’s a very pleasant surprise. On the other hand, if the tests come back with the news that you do have a life threatening disease then that isn’t such a pleasant surprise, even if it does detract from the monotony of everyday life. Plus you tend not to get a warm fuzzy feeling.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has apparently been getting a lot of surprises lately and, to his great credit, he has registered just the right amount of astonishment to convey some sort of credibility. For example, he was genuinely surprised to learn of the depth of state capture and the damage it had done to the country during the Zupta administration. Most of the country were vicariously surprised that Cyril was surprised because we’d been reading about it in the media for the last few years and most of us could see for ourselves the devastating effect it was having on the economy.

After all, an R420 billion hole in a balance sheet doesn’t just appear overnight. And weren’t those frequent power outages a bit of clue? But the life of a deputy president is a busy one and nobody can be expected to read everything that’s published or to listen to salacious gossip from lackadaisical whiteys about the movement of large amounts of money in unusual directions.

Cyril was also surprised that travelling by rail in this country is such a crappy experience. Frankly, if he’d shelved the ill-fated election publicity stunt and, instead, asked people whether their daily commute to and from work formed one of the highlights of their day he probably would have got a resounding no. What did he imagine it would be like? Air- conditioned coaches, a seat for everyone, free wi-fi and a well-stocked buffet car? No Mr Pres, there is a yawning gap between Deutsche Bahn and the sort of service PRASA serves up to its long suffering customers every day.

Last week Cyril was in Alexandra (not that far from his sprawling mansion in Sandhurst) on the campaign trail and was once again surprised and shocked to find that people were living in such squalor. If he’d read my Politicsweb column last week it might have saved him some embarrassment since my Zimbabwean gardener had seen the living conditions on TV and commented that not even when his country was at its lowest did people live like that. What was Cyril expecting to find? Homes with fully fitted kitchens with built in Miele espresso machines? Immaculately tended gardens with ornamental fountains?

What he clearly didn’t expect to find was shit flowing in the streets, rubbish everywhere and rats the size of small dogs. Alexandra’s well fed rodents have become legendary and made the news at least nine years ago. Around five years ago a baby in Alexandra had three fingers and her nose bitten off by rats. It’s amazing that nobody in the office of the President thought to alert him to the giant rodent problem. Fortunately Cyril managed to escape Alexandra unscathed having handed out ANC T-shirts and promised the delivery of 1 000 000 houses in the next five years. Yeah right. Blessed are the poor for they’ll fall for the same old crap every five years.

As we lurch towards one of the most divisive elections in this country’s history the big question on the lips of the chattering classes is will Cyril still be President after May 9th. That the ANC is a disgustingly dishonest, corrupt and deeply criminal enterprise is now beyond any doubt. Many of the names on the candidates list should rather be on a courtroom charge sheet. The Peter Bruce theory is that Cyril is a good man who will proceed to get rid of the crooks assuming he wins a decisive victory on May 8th.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were true but the reality is that the names that come just under Cyril’s on the candidate list are those most interested in plundering what is left of South Africa in the next five years and will remove any impediment to that ambition. Plus there are other snouts that have yet to get close to the swill trough and they have no intention of being left behind by their peers.

The track record of the ANC as a political party over the past decade is appalling and their fanning of anti-white hatred shows just how desperate they have become. A former ANC NEC member last week called the majority of whites racist “vermin” on social media and suggested their eradication.

So it’s no longer the collapsing economy that should be of concern when you vote on the 8th May. Voting for known kleptocrats is bad enough but voting for the party that might want to send you to a death camp (not now you understand, but at some time in the future) should send a strong NO signal to even the most trendy white liberal brain.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if the ANC lost a general election in a landslide victory to another party. It’s not going to happen this time around but it’s always a possibility. Would they go quietly and gracefully accept defeat or would they set out to destroy what is left of the country by encouraging civil war?

I’ve got a horrible feeling I know the answer to that question.

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