Absolutely No Consequences

David Bullard says a year on from a failed insurrection our ruling party keeps living up to its acronym


One year on from the July riots of 2021 the popular media are celebrating (or maybe that should be commemorating) the event with lengthy articles detailing the chilling effects the riots had on human lives, property, white privilege, the South African economy and jobs. The obvious question they ask is could it happen again?

The reason for the so called ‘insurrection’ was apparently the observance of a court order to put Mr Jacob Zuma in jail for contempt of court. Despite repeated assurances from Pres Frogboiler, thus far nobody of any consequence has been held responsible for the billions of rands of damage the economy suffered or for the loss of life.

It seems that what looked like a well-planned and co-ordinated attempt to overthrow part of the state and render the judicial system impotent was just a spontaneous outburst of looting and burning probably brought on by the frustrations of an extended COVID lockdown. Nothing too serious obviously.

The fact that nobody has been held responsible or prosecuted for what happened last July must serve as huge encouragement for a repeat performance. Even members of the Zuma family who were egging on the rioters and looters on social media have escaped scot-free.

Not even the mighty Twitter saw fit to suspend the accounts of those who openly supported the violence and destruction. Try mocking the use of personal pronouns though and see what happens. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

The fact that a year after the event our government claim not to have a clue who was behind the sort of damage one might expect to be wrought by an invading nation or an act of terrorism is risible. The fact that a court order cannot be carried out for fear of political violence should not fill you with too much hope for our future in this country. The fact that, even now, senior advocates (who should be upholding the rule of law) warn darkly that to sentence their clients to a well-deserved prison sentence will result in mass destruction of property and physical violence should be enough to convince you that we no longer have a functioning judicial system.

It’s no longer necessary to promote politically connected judges in the hopes of getting a sympathetic hearing. These days the whole point is not to bring the politically connected criminals to court at all.

This almost certainly means that you will be able to count the number of cases resulting from the R1bln Zondo commission that ever come to court on the fingers of one hand. These days, in the brave new democratic South Africa, the whole idea of a court trial is regarded as something of a colonial construct.

Time to decolonise and do away with all the fancy court clothing and the mock courtesy. Let’s just admit to ourselves that some people deserve to go to court in the interest of state security but most don’t.

For example, if you happen to be a white activist concerned about crime in a black township and you politely address the problem to the absurd creature who is supposed to be your minister of police obviously you are asking for trouble.

At first he will give you a wildly inaccurate potted history of his parentage screaming at you to “Shut up, shut up” before getting one of his heavies in blue to remove you from a public meeting. Consider yourself lucky Ian Cameron. The ‘prat in the hat’ is nothing more than a jumped-up primary school teacher with poor fashion sense and no experience of policing. But he is Pres Frogboiler’s choice and not even the ludicrous outburst last week has cost him his job. So politicians of his ilk will be further emboldened and next time the likes of Ian Cameron may not be lucky enough to be merely bundled out of a public meeting by a SAPS heavy. It’s a chilling thought but it is rapidly becoming a reality in this ill governed and collapsing country.

Imagine if you were a prosecutor or a judge set to sit in on any future prosecutions of some of our many political renegades. This, I should say, is a massively hypothetical scenario because none of this is likely to come to pass. But just imagine if it did.

You know that your name, contact details and physical address are all easily accessed through court documents and social media. You know what happened when Zuma was thrown in chooky for a few days last year before being released on a highly suspicious medical parole.

Are you really going to risk your life and the lives of your family by prosecuting or judging a case involving some of the most vicious and dangerous criminal elements of the ANC? Of course not, unless you are completely crazy or have a death wish.

You can only have a functioning legal system if you have a functioning government and we lost that long ago. Hardly surprising since so many of our top politicians lead double lives as successful criminals so what on earth would be the point of an independent and functioning judiciary as far as they are concerned?

Am I being a bit over dramatic here I wonder? I don’t believe so and I am convinced that the evidence of the past few years points clearly to a breakdown of justice…. or maybe that should be a ‘selective’ breakdown of justice. If you ventured onto a beach during lockdown you can still look forward to your day in court.

Sadly none of this can ever improve without the approval and support of the government. Since it is in their interest to hobble the courts to protect their cronies we shouldn’t hold our breath.

If Pres Frogboiler had come up with a simple and easy to understand reason for why he has R60mln in dollar notes stuffed into his soft furnishings we might be in a happier place. But he has apparently asked for another 25 days to answer the 31 questions put to him. Questions no doubt along the lines of, when you have your cushions made do you use elasticised coverings to allow for the stuffing of bank notes?

One can only imagine the frenetic activity of the Presidential spin doctors tasked with coming up with a ‘plausible reason’ to explain the enormous presence of foreign currency at Phala Phala.

If I were one of the Frogboiler’s spinners I would have no hesitation in pointing out that the rand is soon to be a dead duck and that by hoarding foreign currency the Pres was seeking to mitigate the dire effect on South Africa. Oh yes…. and the Reserve Bank vaults were already full so he had been requested to keep some on the farm. Problem is… someone blabbed.

What a shit-show. You can probably tell from this column that my level of confidence in our future is dwindling somewhat. But did I ever think we would sink so low and it would get this bad? No, I didn’t. So, thank you ANC, you have exceeded my worst expectations. Now keep an eye on what’s happening in Sri Lanka. It could be our turn next.


Things haven’t been much better in the UK with Boris the ‘greased piglet’ hanging on for now but soon to be replaced by a new Tory leader; let’s hope he/she approves of Carrie’s wall-paper choice. The good news over there is that most of the contenders haven’t, as far as we know, committed major crimes or been caught at the Carlton Club groping young men.

They are also, by and large, highly educated people and likely to have sufficient brain power to contribute to whatever portfolio they are given. That isn’t of itself a guarantee of ministerial success but if you are sufficiently numerate to realise that to keep printing money is a one way road to disaster then that is a great help.

Sensible politicians realise that governments produce no wealth so a vibrant economy which creates employment is essential. Sensible politicians also realise that the world is one huge competitive market place and if you can’t produce goods profitably then somebody else can, generally at your expense.

Compare this with the uneducated and hopelessly out of their depth dunderheads running the show here and you will understand why we need to import so many products from China that we could so easily and profitably have produced locally. But burning down entire provinces and industrial zones isn’t exactly conducive to new foreign investment.

The UK is going through a very tumultuous time politically with Johnson likely to go down in the history books as probably the most disastrous Prime Minister within living memory; a far cry from emulating his hero Winston Churchill.

However, the good news is that a replacement will be found and elected by the party and a general election will be held at some stage to get the people’s vote from a selection of parties catering to different interests. That’s one of the benefits of not living in a gangster state but I guess a history of rather more than 28 years of democracy does help.