Time to feed oneself to the sharks?

David Bullard writes on his current state of ANC-induced despondency


The big question this past week has been ‘where is Cyril?’ Not a squeak, not a peep, nil, nix, zero, nuffink. And all this in a week where the country has been to all intents (maybe that should read ‘intense’) and purposes largely without electricity, has been treated to an interview with outgoing Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter where he made some frightening revelations to Annika Larsen of eNCA (not the least of them being knee pads at around R320 a pair being sold for R80 000 to Eskom) and a week in which it was announced that once proud South Africa now hangs out with fully accredited “shitholes” like Syria, Haiti, DRC, South Sudan and Burkina Faso on the grey list of dodgy countries to do business with.

One wonders how much lower this country can sink but I honestly believe that the ANC’s decolonization strategy can take us even lower. You can’t accuse them of not trying, can you? ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

I mean, ripping down a statue of Cecil John or throwing human excrement at it is a relatively simple affair as is tipping the statue of a former slave trader into the local harbour. But sabotaging an entire economy, ripping up kilometres of railway track, vandalising stations, killing off Transnet ports, burning busses, deciding that a postal service is a relic of colonial subjugation, flooding municipalities with raw sewage and rationing electricity to around ten hours a day in an attempt to destroy the businesses of those pesky capitalist pigs of all skin colours really takes some doing.

But I guess if you’ve never done an honest day's work in your life and are pulling a fat salary courtesy of the dwindling band of taxpayers then this wouldn’t really be much of a concern. You are clearly unable to understand that if private enterprise is allowed to die then all that lovely moolah that you like to blow on Rolex watches, luxury SUV’s and rambling mansions on golf estates will cease to flow. But hey…. we know you are not forward planners in the ANC and you live for today so, as far as you’re concerned, if you can live it up today who cares about what happens tomorrow?

As Andre mentioned in his interview, it’s all about washing your hands in a ludicrously expensive 15-year-old malt whisky simply because you can afford to. And making sure your bling loving Comrades see you doing so. All this talk of a better life for all is just a cynical branding con-trick isn’t it?

So, all this happened in the past ten days and if you thought I was despondent last week then that was euphoria compared to this week. The only reason I haven’t fed myself to a shark in False Bay is that I have been invited to the Starlight Classics at Vergelegen next weekend and I’m expecting a pension payment to arrive from the UK after a ten-year battle to get hold of it. So obviously I need a bit longer to blow the proceeds before the shark feeding frenzy can take place.

But seriously, where was Pres Frogboiler last week? If Winston Churchill had gone MIA (missing in action) back in 1940 the world might look very different today with compulsory Richard Wagner instruction for all children over the age of eight. But Winnie hung in there and, racist that he apparently was, gave much comfort and support to the Brits in difficult times.

At least, that was the version that I got from my late parents who were rather involved as twenty somethings at the time. No opportunities back then to decide that you were gender neutral and couldn’t be called up for active service. Not that my Dad could have had much luck on that score being six foot four inches and somewhat hirsute. But compared to today those were unenlightened times with only two genders to choose from compared to the gallimaufry we have on offer thanks to the alphabet soup of virtue signaling oddballs we have to contend with today.

Some people have enigmatically used the term ‘the long game’ to explain Frogboiler’s apparent complete lack of interest or involvement with what is going on in the country he claims to be running. We’ve been hearing this buffalo excrement for five years now and there is still no explanation as to how long is too long.

For example, his revamping of the National Prosecuting Authority to deal with the rampant corruption crippling our society would appear not to be working according to the now famous interview with Andre de Ruyter. Once the crook who was trading in R320 kneepads for R80 000 was identified he was made to do a ‘perp walk’ at Eskom as a warning to others. According to the de Ruyter interview (about 15 mins in) he was arrested then released the following day with no charges on the instructions of a senior police officer.

Of course, this might all be a figment of de Ruyter’s imagination, what with him being a right winger and all that, but that doesn’t seem likely does it? All de Ruyter did in that interview was to add some factoids to what many of us have suspected has been going on for years.

Since we have seen few successful prosecutions following the revamp of the National Prosecuting Authority I don’t think it’s unreasonable to speculate that persons as yet unknown are, somewhere along the line, being very adequately remunerated to kill off any cases that may come to court and embarrass the ruling kleptocracy. Either that or they are utterly hopeless.

But failure is no barrier to financial gain as we saw with UCT this week with the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng, who will be collecting upwards of R12 million, in addition to a range of valuable perks such as med-aid for life, to not continue in her job. Apparently, she was paid over R4 million a year so it’s little surprise that her attention was focused more on retail therapy than other more mundane tasks, such as ensuring the UCT Jagger library did not burn down.

I’ve read that UCT are now looking for a replacement VC and I would be happy to offer my services. I got three good A levels and an S level in English literature which would be the modern equivalent of a PhD judging by the latest South African educational standards. I would be willing to work for a mere R2 million a year and would do it only half as badly as Phakeng.

A no brainer, isn’t it?


When Dr Frans Cronje published his book “A Time Traveller’s Guide to South Africa in 2030” he was kind enough to give me an inscribed and signed copy.

The book outlined four possible scenarios for South Africa, three horrendous and one offering some hope. Unfortunately, as things so often are with ‘futurist crystal ball gazing’, the worst scenario “The Tyranny of the Left” is the one that seems to have come to pass, albeit well ahead of the imagined timeline of 2029. Chapter 9 begins as follows:

“Fighting your way through the stench and expanse of litter that surrounds major urban areas and small towns, you cannot escape the growing impoverishment of South Africa. Streets are badly potholed and road markings have faded. Road signs are absent as urban decay sets in Corruption is rife. South Africa shows all the signs of being the archetype of a failed post-colonial African state”

At the time Frans Cronje was the CEO of the Institute of Race Relations. We became good lunch buddies and despite lefty protestations I was enthusiastically welcomed at a crowded function at Stellenbosch University in 2019. I have always held Frans Cronje in the highest regard, even after he sacked me as columnist from the Daily Friend for an ill-judged (but misunderstood) Tweet on my part. So I was interested to read his piece last week in Business Day, and can only marvel at his apparent optimism.

Frans suggests that our political system, at least, is working as it should but there doesn’t seem much evidence of that as far as I can see. Unless by that he meant that the sort of ‘demockcracy’ we favour is designed to enrich a bunch of gangsters posing as politicians. The aforementioned De Ruyter interview would strongly suggest that our political system is a sham with the most publicly owned enterprises a disastrous failure and the prosecuting authorities and a large part of the judiciary equally ineffectual; either because they have been bought off or because they are terrified of violent reprisals.

Frans argues we have thus far avoided the ‘fascist playbook’ used by failing liberation movements, such as in Venezuela or Zimbabwe, whereby the government will print money and violently suppress the opposition to get themselves out of trouble.

Even if we do manage to get to 2024 all right there is no guarantee, given the dodgy history of the ANC, that elections will be free and fair or that the ANC would accept losing power without stirring up civil unrest. The worship of the magic money tree has long been a favourite fantasy of commies and we are not short of commies in our government. Ministers like Mantashe and Patel, both of whom are woefully ignorant of economic reality.

Frans makes the comment that coalitions can work and says we never hear of the ones that work. That may be true, but relying as I do on the mainstream media, Politicsweb, BizNews and Daily Maverick it would appear that many of them don’t work and they just happen to be in the largest metros in the country, with the largest economic and political fallout. So, while I’m thrilled if coalition alliances in Pofadder and elsewhere are thriving I’m not sure if that helps the country as a whole.

The only point I might concede is that while all the babble about expropriation without compensation and the proposal to nationalise private health care may have died down for now. However, both are still quietly simmering on the back burner. Ethnic minorities and African immigrants have meanwhile been repeatedly blamed for all the troubles in the country.

Such policies and grievances can be used by any opportunistic politician keen to ignite unrest should things not go their way. And there will be no shortage of terminally unemployed, 30% matric scholars staring into the void of a hopeless future who will be happy to oblige just for the thrill of it.

Frans winds up his thought-provoking piece with the words: “I believe the outlook for the country is better than it was five years ago”.

Here’s the deal Frans… If your optimism is vindicated by the 2024 elections, I’ll buy you a slap up lunch at Vergelegen Wine Estate in the winelands.

That is if I have not fed myself to the sharks of False Bay first.