The ANC's Great Escapegoats

David Bullard on our ruining party's latest efforts to evade blame for its failures


You really have to hand it to the ANC when it comes to coming up with pure comedy gold. Clearly they are rather spooked ahead of the elections at the end of the month and understandably worried about the polls that give them support as low as 40%. But polls aren’t always spot on and maybe the consolation for the ANC is that there is still a 40% chance that useful idiots who clearly haven’t been paying much attention to what has been happening these past thirty years will still vote ANC.

Last week Thabo Mbeki (who was not the best loved of our presidents admittedly) came out to bat for the ANC with the astonishing statement that the ANC, rather like Old Mother Hubbard, found the cupboard bare when they came to power in 1994. Just a tiny office with a few broken chairs. The pencils had all been swiped and nobody could find the key to the men’s toilet. Even the coffee machine had been sabotaged by the outgoing, right wing regime. OK…I made the last lot up but it may as well have been included to fit the gloomy picture that poor Thabo drew of the state of affairs just after the turn of democracy. To quote the great man: ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

“When the ANC government took over in 1994, it found nothing in office. The National Party had shredded everything. When I came in as Deputy President of South Africa in 1994, I found an empty office with small old chairs and desks. Not a single paper in the office. No documents being handed over. Nothing. It meant that there was no president. We (ANC) built this country from scratch. We set up all these institutions you see in the country. We set precedent as we built. This story is not being properly told. The only story told is that the ANC failed since 1994.”

My esteemed fellow contributor Dave Steward dealt elegantly with this steaming pile of horse manure on May 3rd but it’s worth examining and mocking the ludicrous claim that the ANC built this country from scratch, particularly in the light of Pres Frogboiler’s desperate claim at Athlone Stadium on Worker’s (sic) Day that all the problems of South Africa today are the fault of apartheid.

That doesn’t quite fit in with Cde Thabo’s claim though that everything wonderful that has happened in the past thirty years is due to all the institutions the ANC claim to have set up in the country. Obviously Cde Thabo is fairly chuffed at the vast strides South Africa has made on the global stage since 1994 while Cde Frogboiler seems to be saying the exact opposite blaming high unemployment and the parlous state of the economy on a system of government that became extinct more than thirty years ago. A further example (as if one were needed) of the lack of logic within the ANC.

As I have mentioned many times before, the LOA (legacy of apartheid) is the gift that keeps on giving to the ANC. Whenever anything goes wrong, whether it be cable theft casting large parts of the Joburg CBD into darkness or some kid drowning in a pit latrine in the Eastern Cape it’s always the fault of apartheid and never of ANC incompetence.

Many eminent people have commented on the folly of clinging on to the past but John F Kennedy probably put it best when he said:

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.

Obviously one must make allowances for the fact that JFK was white, pretty well off and the head of an Imperialist power so what he actually said should be taken with a large pinch of salt by any self-respecting comrade but he does sort of have a point. If you are constantly harping on about the past the chances of you having any credible plans for the future are wafer thin.

So what and where are these institutions set up exclusively by the ANC when they were building this country from scratch? Cde Thabo goes on to whimper that the only story being told is that the ANC have failed since 1994.

Not strictly true as we all know. They have certainly lined their pockets and made very rich men and women out of the party faithful. They have refused to prosecute any among their number who have had their grubby fingers in the till and the idea of sacking any preening minister for gross incompetence is completely out of the question. They have also been hugely successful, without the help of apartheid I would respectfully suggest, in reducing the SA economy to the state we find ourselves now. This has possibly been done in the name of ‘decolonisation’.

Mr Steward rather insensitively mentioned that the incoming government of national unity took over a fully functioning presidential office, a fully functioning public service and fully functioning security forces; none of which we can claim to have today. He also mentioned the fact that Eskom was regarded back then as one of the best utilities in the world and our national airline, the railways, ports and road systems were all running effectively.

He could just as easily have mentioned public health, the lamentable department of Home Affairs, the laughable education system with its Mickey Mouse matric pass rate, the failing water supplies across the country, the gloomy crime statistics and the, as yet, unprosecuted Zuma riots in July 2021. It would be fascinating to know precisely what institutions Thabo Mbeki thinks the ANC have set up over the past thirty years that have contributed to our collective wellbeing.

It’s much easier to list those that the ANC have destroyed.

It’s not a bad idea to remind ourselves that Pres Frogboiler rose from a very effective and personable union leader and joint architect of our country’s constitution to a multi billionaire businessman. You don’t make that sort of money in such a short time unless you have a brilliant idea for a new product (Jobs, Gates, Musk etc) or you get a healthy handout in the shape of deep in the money share options or a cut of the white corporate pie simply for allowing your name on the company notepaper. Pres Frogboiler was simply the right man in the right place at the right time and good luck to him. But to tell your party faithful (who, let’s face it, aren’t always the brightest bulbs in the chandelier) that everything is the fault of apartheid is sheer hypocrisy.

When Frogboiler says that ‘we still need to undo the effects of Bantu education, transform our schools completely, end illiteracy and help people find decent work” you have to wonder what exactly the ANC ministers for education have been doing for the past thirty years if schools are still suffering from the effects of Bantu education. To divert blame away from the ANC in this way is utter nonsense. It is a well-documented fact that 80% of Grade 4 pupils today can’t read for meaning, which is all part of the strategy if you want to cultivate a largely uneducated mass of future voters to return you to power.

Frogboiler also claims that we need to remove the barriers that kept black South Africans from full participation in the economy. What barriers for heaven’s sake? Hasn’t it been illegal to add ‘no blacks need apply’ to any job advert for quite a while now?

As we stumble blindly towards the increasing uncertainty of the election at the end of this month these rumblings from the ANC top brass should be worrying. Some have referred to it as gaslighting but it may turn out to be more sinister than that. By blaming all their failures on apartheid the ANC are clearly shining the spotlight on a pale minority of the population.

If things get worse under the next administration (as will surely happen if NHI is introduced) then be prepared for some ugly state-sponsored racial flare-ups. After all, somebody has to be held responsible and be made to pay and it sure as hell isn’t going to be the ANC.