Nedbank chairman Dr Reuel Khoza can thank his lucky stars that he doesn't have a white skin after his "attack" (Comrade Jimmy Manyi's word) on our democratically elected government. Who do these businessmen think they are? And how dare Khoza suggest that JZ and the boys are not up to the task of running a country and an economy in the 21st Century. Jeepers.....Sunday Times columnists have been sacked for less than that.
Of course, if it had been one of the paler bank chairmen who uttered such heresy all hell would have broken loose. The resultant cries of racism may even have pushed Helen Zille off the pages of the newspapers and stopped her trending on Twitter.
Poor Helen is still furiously back peddling on her "professional blacks" and "refugees" comments. What she should be doing, in my opinion, is telling her critics to go off and reproduce but, alas, she doesn't enjoy the luxury of complete freedom of speech. Unlike me, Helen Zille needs to appeal to the electorate so isn't really permitted to stick to her guns.
For the record I think her "professional blacks" comment was bang on the nail and the reason the bleeding heart liberals of the lefty media made such a fuss was because it scratched a few scars off some festering wounds. I'm only sorry that I didn't come up with the phrase first but I intend to use it as frequently as possible because it so aptly describes those embarrassing fellow citizens of ours who are so quick to lay claim to be victims of something or other.
Somebody needs to tell them to grow up and who better than Helen Zille, or failing her, me? The thing about most "professional blacks" of my acquaintance is that they rarely have the guts to participate in open debate, preferring to fire off insults via social media and then duck back behind the parapets. The reason they are so loath to put themselves in front of an audience and explain their strange feelings of inferiority is that they know they are nothing but a bunch of frauds and charlatans.
The other spot of bother Zille got herself into which was blown out of all proportion by was the "refugee" issue. According to the po-faced guardians of our national morality this was a hideously inappropriate and insensitive (a favourite word amongst professional white liberals) thing to say about unhappy citizens of the Eastern Cape seeking to find a better education for their children in the Western Cape.
So what word would the PC lefties prefer I wonder...province hoppers, boundary breakers, educationally migratory persons? The English language has a perfectly good word and it's refugee. A refuge is defined as "a state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger or difficulty". From what I have read about education in the Eastern Cape two boxes are immediately ticked....those of danger and difficulty.
So the word refugee is wholly appropriate in the circumstances and shame on all those who sought to label Zille a closet racist for using it. The only reason for the furore (apart from the fact that blowing things like this out of all proportion is what our embedded media have had to resort to in the absence of more intelligent content) was that Zille was highlighting the problem and having a go at the buffoons in the "ruling" party who continue to pretend that our abysmal education system is world class.
But back to Dr Khoza who could probably do without my personal endorsement but is going to get it anyway. What he said was what so many other businessmen of all hues should be saying. If government and business can't openly discuss how this country goes forward and faces the challenges of doing business in an increasingly competitive world then we are in even deeper dwang than I imagined.
The campaign of vilification against Khoza by such economic luminaries as champagne commie Gwede Mantashe and Jimmy (Motormouth) Manyi supports the view that this government simply hasn't a clue about the business environment and cares even less. It also publicly exposes the ugly side of the ANC that refuses to debate issues or even consider the remote possibility that they have anything to learn. A perfect example of "professional blackness" in fact.
It's high time business stood up to the sort of arrogant nonsense we've heard this week from the likes of Mantashe and Manyi. Politicians in this country need to be reminded that they are public servants and are, in fact, mere employees of people like Dr Khoza and his shareholders. I cannot think of a single company that would employ a hopelessly unqualified and inexperienced man to do a job as important as running a country and then give him not one but two top of the range luxury cars to swan around in.
Neither can I think of one successful company that would tolerate the ineptitude, arrogance and sheer stupidity demonstrated with alarming regularity by some of our senior politicians. I would go further to suggest that only a tiny percentage of the ANC cabinet would get as far as the interview stage if they were competing in the corporate world. Some are, quite simply, unemployable anywhere outside of politics. To be led and have policy dictated by rabble like this has to lead to disaster as indeed it will eventually.
Readers of this column frequently chide me for criticising and not offering solutions so here's a couple of solutions to be going on with. Any politician caught with his hand in the cookie jar should be publicly humiliated, tried as soon as possible, stripped of any pension and sent to languish in prison for a long time.
A competency exam should be devised by the private sector to determine whether a politician has the necessary knowledge and emotional intelligence to serve the country (note the word serve) as a member of the cabinet. Politicians should not receive free luxury cars for their personal use but be made to paid for them from after tax income like the people who vote them into power.
Finally, we urgently need to embrace the idea of accountability and get the message across to politicians that if they screw up then they're gone. But that's not so easy in a one party state which is why we're not so much a democracy as a "demockcracy".
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