NEWS & ANALYSIS

Our much loathed ruling party

David Bullard says the population has turned against the ANC, but they just don't care

OUT TO LUNCH

I think I may be suffering from a rare condition known as aural dyslexia. Fortunately, unlike COVID, it’s not contagious and there’s no need for mask wearing, social distancing or banning alcohol to prevent its spread.

I first became aware of it when I heard the soundtrack to the Sound of Music. For years I was convinced that Julie Andrews had sung the words “high on a hill was a lonely goat turd” and I puzzled deep into the night as to how this could be of any possible relevance to the musical von Trapp family who were attempting to escape Salzburg to evade the Nazis. It was only years later that I realized that it was “a lonely goat herd”.

Another example was on my arrival in South Africa when I still had to get used to the local accent and its subtle inflexions. This is something actors seem to struggle with and Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Blood Diamond’ is generally regarded as one of the most comic examples with Val Kilmer in ‘The Saint’ taking the prize for the most lamentable.

Anyway, I was at a traditional South African braai in my first month in the country and was somewhat puzzled as to why all the mostly single men were gathered around the fire discussing rugby while all the mostly single and very attractive women were either chatting by the pool or in the kitchen putting salads together. Since I knew nothing about South African rugby and was fairly keen to meet an attractive single woman I broke all the rules and wandered off to join the ladies on the pretence of seeing if they were doing all right for wine.

After lunch one of the guys asked me if I wanted some ice cream but unfortunately I heard it as “arse cream”. Bearing in mind the division of the sexes earlier I decided to make my apologies and leave.

I suspected that my aural dyslexia problem had returned again last week when I heard ‘Honest’ Ace Magashule talking about corruption within the ANC. I could have sworn I heard him say, “These developments cause us collectively to dip our heads in shame and to humble ourselves before the people.”

Surely what he really said is that these developments cause us collectively to dip our hands into the honey jar and to bumble on fooling the people. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait too long for clarification because a couple of days later Ferial Haffajee revealed on Twitter that one of Ace’s lads who had scored big on the provision of something or other for government had just blown R2mln on a brand new BMW X7. How on earth do these luxury car dealers get away with it?

I watched a couple of eNCA programmes devoted to the damaging effects of corruption on YouTube last week and was left with a distinct feeling of hopelessness. It no longer matters what investigative journalists like Sam Sole say or write, or what organisations like OUTA or Corruption Watch say or do or what any number of political commentators of all colours have to say because the ANC is on its own mission.

They know the funds are running low and there are only so many stealing days left until Christmas and they are determined to maximize the opportunity. I may not have believed this had President Frogboiler not stuck two fingers up to the people of South Africa and appointed a six person team of the most dubious characters imaginable to investigate their own dubiousness.

Usually, when politicians detect that the tide of public opinion is turning against them they attempt to correct matters. Or at the very least to offer some explanation or solution that isn’t greeted with derisory laughter.

Frogboiler’s announcement of his crack committee to look into COVID fraud was met with as many scornful snorts of disbelief on my local petrol station’s forecourt as it was among some of our leading legal minds. I can’t believe that the ANC haven’t got the message that they have become loathed by most of the population. The only possible explanation is that they no longer care.

With the greatest respect to the people of Lebanon (another country which has suffered terribly under a corrupt and hopeless government) the ANC should now be regarded as our own version of ammonium nitrate. It’s highly unstable and could blow up at any time.

Obviously, the casualties are unlikely to be any of the high-ranking cadres. They have almost certainly been devious enough to get their ill-gotten gains out of the country and into places where it would take years and years of legal wrangling to recover. If things got really bad they would simply commandeer one of our newly tax funded SAA Boeings and fly off to join the money. Even the plan to destroy the entire South African economy and bring us much closer to the envisaged Venezualan Utopia would be put on hold as the chief scumbags rushed to save their own miserable skins.

But look on the bright side. It’s just under four years until our next democratic election. The question most people are now asking is … will we survive that long?

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I am not a gun owner but I am aware there is now another moratorium on the handing in of illegal firearms until January 31st 2021. An illegal firearm sounds like something you might buy from a gang member on the Cape Flats but it isn’t nearly so glamorous. An illegal firearm is a formally legally owned gun for which the licence has expired.

According to gun owning friends, many previous attempts at renewing the licenses were thwarted by a highly inefficient, understaffed and disinterested SAPS. One acquaintance who managed to renew his gun license told me that the officer who came to inspect his gun safe (an additional burden on the SAPS which could surely be outsourced) was so fat that he couldn’t get onto the floor to inspect the safe which was stored at the back of a cupboard in his office.

The deal is this. You can hand in your ‘illegal’ firearm to the local police station, no questions asked, and it will be destroyed. Unless it’s sold to a local gang (perish the thought). If you were planning on applying to renew your firearm license, bearing in mind COVID delays and general inefficiency, then you lodge said firearm with the local cop shop until all the paperwork is completed which is probably more than a year away.

If you were planning to use your firearm to defend yourself against what is almost certainly going to be a dramatic rise in house and farm invasions then bad luck.

I recently ran a poll on Twitter and while I cannot claim the results were scientific it did attract just over 1000 respondents. I asked whether people would trust the police not to hand their firearms onto gangsters. The results were as follows:

Yes - 2.2%
No - 96.1%
Undecided - 1.7%

Given the backlog of yet to be prosecuted lockdown offenders to see the inside of a courtroom I suspect that ‘illegal’ gun owners may opt to hang on to their firearms ahead of the inevitable rise in anarchic lawlessness we are about to encounter.