The ANC ineptitude awards

David Bullard writes on the fierce competition to be the most hopeless minister in govt


The keenly contested competition for who among the ANC heirarchy should be voted the the most inept is hotting up. Not so long ago the bookies would have favoured our utterly hopeless police minister (fondly known as the ‘Prat in the Hat’) Mr Bheki Cele. Remembered for very little apart from shouting “shaddup, shaddup, shaddup” at Action Society director Ian Cameron in July 2022 at an open meeting on crime and policing, Cele continues to come across as an uncouth fool.

Quite why Frogboiler still hasn’t got the message and continues to keep this person in his cabinet is beyond understanding. He hardly inspires confidence in the fight against crime in this country. A fight that the country is losing to the many criminal syndicates now operating without fear. Perhaps that is the reason that Frogboiler keeps him on. No sense in rocking the boat after all when things are going so well. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

Another contender for the ANC idiot award 2023 is obviously Lindiwe Zulu. A keen fan of absurd headwear, she likes to doll herself up before facing the media. A couple of weeks ago she appeared dressed in what looked like a shawl made from liquorice all-sorts with a blob of lemon meringue pie on her head.

She was explaining the continued delay in payments of social grants and blamed it all on Postbank. Prior to that she was wearing what looked like a leather military combat helmet to address the media and lay the blame for the Marshalltown fire on apartheid. It was, apparently, nothing to do with poor city management in Johannesburg, ANC corruption and lackadaisical policing and everything to do with a political system that hasn’t existed for more than thirty years.

Another favourite for the ineptitude award has to be Fikile Mbalula whose meteoric rise within the party has allowed him to occupy the position of Secretary-General of the ANC since last December. Back in the day when he was President of the ANC Youth League (he was 35 years old at the time; the ANC obviously favour late developers) he was a huge fan of Jacob Zuma and helped him win the election in 2009.

He was rewarded by the canny Zuma with the position of Deputy Minister of Police. Presumably because Zuma knew that he would turn out to be absolutely ineffectual, thereby giving the Gupta brothers a head start.

He most recently served as the hopeless Minister of Transport under Pres Frogboiler from May 2019 to March 2023. A cursory glance at the state of many of our roads, our rail network and our ports will tell you what a huge success he was in that position.

In fact, Fikile seems most at ease when he is posting pics on social media of him dressed in what he assumes to be stylish clothing or relaxing down the sharp end of an aircraft en route to an exotic destination courtesy of yet another freebie.

Last week though Fikile (or Thikile as he’s sometimes known) really outdid himself during a speech in Pietermatizburg. He expressed the opinion that far too many spaza shops were being run by Pakistanis and that they should be kicked out of the country so that real South Africans could regain control of the spaza shops.

Shades of Idi Amin and the Ugandan Asian expulsion back in 1972 about this isn’t there?

This xenophobic rant which presumably went down well with the audience follows hot on the heels of a BBC video report titled “Fear and Loathing in South Africa” which explored the rise of Operation Dudula in Johannesburg and examines in rather painful detail their rather extreme methods of eliminating ‘foreigners’ who they blame for everything from providing their children with street drugs to taking their jobs. It doesn’t make for comfortable viewing.

When a senior member of the ANC such as Mbalula endorses violent behaviour against foreign nationals we should all be very worried. In fairness, according to reports, Mbalula did say that foreign nationals operating spaza shops should be ‘legally’ kicked out but that is cold comfort for the foreign nationals. Would they have a right of appeal for example?

The problem with a member of the ruling party aligning him or herself with an outfit such as Operation Dudula is that xenophobia can then be construed as official government policy.

In an essay titled ‘Political Issues’ the respected American economist, academic and libertarian Thomas Sowell wrote:

“Those who want more power have known for centuries that giving the people someone to hate and fear is the key. In 18th century France promoting hatred of the aristocracy was the key to Robespierre acquiring more dictatorial power than the aristocracy had ever had and using that power to create a bigger bloodbath than anything under the old regime.”

An election approaches and the ANC are, not surprisingly, getting a bit jittery about their chances of clinging on to power. There is, after all, more money to be stolen through madcap ideas like NHI and it would be a great shame if the period 2024-2029 wasn’t a continued free for all for the usual kleptocrats.

The EFF have already laid out their stall and called for the killing of white South Africans and the confiscation of their land and property. They have done this on many occasions without any fear of prosecution. They will continue do so and may well add Indians, Pakistanis, Malawians and Zimbabweans to their hate list if it is considered to be politically expedient to do so.

Since Mbalula has already gone in for a bit of ‘Paki bashing’ (as it used to be known in the UK in the 1970’s) it would seem very probable that the ANC and the EFF will find common ground in the run up to next year’s election and their hate lists are likely to be very similar.

What are the chances of rational voices within the ruling party speaking out against this? Very little I'm afraid judging by the rather

hostile response to Treasury’s suggestion that the money is fast running out and urgent cuts in spending need to be made.

The ANC has very carefully cultivated a poorly educated and dependent voter base over the past thirty years. If you are in a position to bribe over 18 million voters with a promise of increased welfare grants while making sure they remain as economically ignorant as possible then there is a good chance those voters will happily go along with the ‘fear and loathing’ plan too.

There are evidently plenty of ANC and EFF voters who seriously believe that homes previously owned by white South Africans will be handed over to them by the commissars after the revolution as thanks for their loyalty. The fact that this hasn’t ever happened in any other communist takeover is lost on them because they have been told that this time it will be different.

It appears that there is no limit to the depths to which the ANC is prepared to sink in the eyes of the rest of world as Frogboiler demonstrated in New York last week. Having endorsed the recent Zimbabwean sham election and called for sanctions to be lifted on both Cuba and Zimbabwe which would allow their corrupt regimes to flourish, he also hinted that the privileged western world should be sending lots of free money down this way to help us combat climate change. Given that, a bit of ethnic cleansing is definitely on the cards. Makes you proud to be South African doesn’t it?


Analysts at the banking group HSBC have warned that the rand could fall to R20.50 against the $ early in the new year. My guess is that could be an optimistic forecast.

Since the majority of the ANC evidently believe in the magic money tree and are not prepared to heed either the SARB governor or the Finance Minister’s warnings it seems as though we are destined to go the way of Zimbabwe.

There are currency pundits who believe that the strength or otherwise of the Rand is largely dependent on the demand and market price for our commodities. That may be the case in a less politically volatile market but these days political sentiment plays a huge part.

Just remember what happened when Des van Rooyen was suddenly appointed minister of finance. Or the instance earlier this year when it was suggested that we may have been clandestinely supplying weapons to Russia. Every few months we experience a hiccup which kicks the rand into touch. As South Africa slides further and further into the slime the chances of the currency strengthening seem unlikely, despite what Goldman Sachs may tell you. If the violence I anticipate ahead of next year’s election takes place I suspect we will see a sharp weakening of the currency. But it’s not all bad news. If you have a few hundred thousand dollars stuffed into your couch it will be worth a lot more in rands in six months time.