Which cANCer would you prefer?

David Bullard on the dismal choices available to the very long-suffering citizens of SA


So what would you rather be diagnosed with… bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer or lung cancer? Sorry to be rather morbid but that’s essentially the medical equivalent of the current offering from our beloved ANC at the moment. All rather nasty and some apparently quicker and less lingering than others but, all in all, a pretty grim choice.

Last Thursday we were informed by what has become derisively known as ‘the mainstream media’ that Pres Frogboiler had taken a long hard look at the findings of an independent Section 89 panel consisting of a couple of legal experts with former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo in the hot-seat and had decided to throw in the towel. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

This was because the Section 89 panel had come to the conclusion that there was plenty of skullduggery and evasiveness involved with the Phala Phala ‘cash in cushions’ saga and Pres Frogboiler needed to answer some fairly searching questions. Thus, it was that the proletariat (that’s you and I) were led to believe that the Frogboiler had whipped out his Mont Blanc fountain pen and crafted an elegant departing message saying something along the lines of goodbye and thanks for all the fish.

Who would blame him? When you’ve just hit your seventieth year there are surely better things to do with your time than continue leading a country governed by a bunch of spivs even deeper into failed nation status.

Particularly when you have a personal fortune estimated at R6.5 billion and some rather nice selfies of you with the King of England which could be printed and put on the guest toilet wall. As I commented last week on my esteemed fellow scribbler JG’s column, if I were Cyril I would be out that door before you could say ‘Thuma Mina’.

Think of all the things you could do as a 70-year-old with an unimaginable fortune in a country known for extreme poverty, a collapsing infrastructure and ludicrously high unemployment.

OK…. the Fresnaye mansion overlooking the Atlantic seaboard has already been built and the sprawling property in the very upmarket Joburg suburb of Hyde Park still offers a comfy bolt hole and there is also the now infamous game farm but surely a luxury yacht beckons?

If I were Cyril I would have already commissioned something long and flashy with a view to endless parties with semi naked nymphets frolicking on the deck and obsequious hired retainers constantly in attendance with a freshly shaken cocktail. What better way to demonstrate that with a bit of careful planning and the right friends even a hard-bitten, communist, former trade union leader can aspire to enjoy life’s sweet spots?

Suddenly though all this has changed and it appears as though Cyril is not quite so keen to head for the exit as we were led to believe. What is going to happen now is that he is going to take the Section 89 findings ‘on review’.

Now I’m no lawyer but what I understand is that the findings of the former Chief Justice, after an exhaustive examination of the facts, found that Cyril had many questions to answer and that there was a prima facie case for further parliamentary investigation on a number of issues.

As I have commented before in this column the judicial system in this country has been reduced to a state of farce when a legal finding can be simply disregarded because it is inconvenient. Admittedly the Section 89 report doesn’t find Frogboiler guilty, but it does strongly suggest further action is needed.

And if the findings can be so easily disregarded, what was the point of the Section 89 investigation in the first place and why did Frogboiler feel the need to resign last Thursday? And can I also take my ‘alleged’ speeding fines on review or is this just a perk available to politicians?

Back to my first paragraph then and the dismal choices available to the very long-suffering citizens of South Africa. If Cyril had handed in the resignation letter and gone the luxury yacht route we would have been stuck with the deputy president for thirty days.

That is one DD (The Cat) Mabuza, a man who has many clouds hanging over him not the least of which are accusations of alleged political assassinations. However, Mabuza should be sympathetic towards Cyril because he also had around R14 million stolen from his Mpumalanga farmhouse back in 2009 according to press reports at the time.

Judging by the performance of the local currency when it became known that Cyril might be heading for the exit it seems that investors weren’t too keen on his successor. But the real problem is that after 30 days a replacement President would have to be found and South Africa faces a real ‘Old Mother Hubbard’ dilemma here because the cupboard really is bare.

There is literally nobody who is untainted or could be taken remotely seriously by anyone who might be planning to invest in or do business with this country. That, gentle reader, is where we find ourselves at the moment and the outlook is decidedly grim.

It’s particularly grim because a large percentage of those who are entitled to vote are uneducated and quite likely to believe all the RET gumph about white monopoly capital and how their land was stolen. The ANC has proven way beyond reasonable doubt that it isn’t fit to run a Spaza shop, let alone a country. So, what is on offer from the ruling party is either a long lingering death or a rather more immediate demise. And we are at Stage 4 of whatever it is that is diagnosed so, either way, we are terminal.

We now need nothing short of a miracle to recover from the cANCer that afflicts us. Whether allowing Pres Frogboiler to continue to kick cans down the road while he ducks and dives and continues to employ so many lowlifes in his cabinet is a great idea remains to be seen. The saying of ‘better the devil you know’ is hardly reassuring when it comes to the suitability of a head of state. In my opinion, the hot smelly stuff is about to hit the whirring fan blades.


I make it a general rule not to buy depressing books by South African investigative journalists that set out in detail all the minutiae of corruption and theft that bedevils our wretched country.

Having said that I have the highest respect for those who take the trouble to wade through court documents and present them in readable form and I sincerely hope that their book sales make the endeavour all worthwhile. Personally, I would rather settle down in a comfy armchair with a PG Wodehouse novel or a copy of Private Eye.

However, when that great literary critic Julius Malema demanded that Jacques Pauw’s latest offering ‘Our Poisoned Land’ be removed from all book stores because it suggested that JuJu was a bit of a dodgy character I immediately set out for my local Bargain Books and bought a copy.

I didn’t read Pauw’s last book which I mistakenly thought was called ‘The President’s Kippers’ and was all about what JZ had for breakfast but this latest offering will, I am sure, outsell its predecessor and deservedly so.

Not that it’s an easy read. After about a hundred pages of heavy detail concerning the great PRASA scandal I felt the need to take some over the counter medication and lie down for an hour or so. This book, meticulously researched by Jacques Pauw, scared the hell out of me.

I thought I was pretty well informed on the corruption that afflicts South Africa but what I didn’t fully understand until I read this book is that most of the thugs who have been milking the system for all its worth are still employed, despite the Frogboiler’s claims to be clamping down on corruption.

If you thought that work opportunities in the public sector were poorly remunerated, then you would be wrong. Pauw reports that one Lebogang Matjeke who graduated from Pretoria University in 2012 was appointed to the SAPS as a Major-General with a monthly salary of R120 000 despite having no relevant work experience. And you wonder why I had to go and lie down?

Not an easy read but at least you won’t need to wade through the whole Zondo report because Pauw has done that for you. Strongly recommended but buy some over the counter medication at the same time.