Monday, December 21, 2015

The most brain achingly insane South African political news of 2015

No Corruption, No Dictator, No ZUMA.............

Times LIVE | 21 December, 2015 12:42




2015 has been a year if heady emotions when it comes to our country's politics. These are the five moments which struck us as the most insane.







It doesn't say much for a government's administrative ability when even the people who work in Parliament went on strike.
This year saw Nehawu storming the seats of Parliament, singing "Asonwabanga‚ epalamente sifun' imali asonwabanga!” (loosely translated: “we are not happy in Parliament‚ we want money”)
The workers weren't happy with their pay - and also with the securitisation of Parliament by the state security agency.
Eventually the strike drew to a close, and the Nehawu members still got their bonuses.
President Jacob Zuma is not a learned man by any reports, having fallen victim to the apartheid government's failure to educate vast swathes of the population.
That said, one would have expected him to have looked at a map at least once during his career as president.
Zuma's claim that Africa is the largest continent, able to hold all other continents inside it, simply demonstrated his failure to comprehend geography. Asia is actually the largest continent.
That said, this gaffe was relatively harmless. Number One's number one screw-up this year? Not so much.
1: Zuma Nene whips the economy
Over this past month the President finally got South Africans marching shoulder to shoulder, as people put aside their differences and marched shoulder to shoulder under one banner.
And that banner read #ZumaMustFall.
According to Carte Blanche the decision to sack Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replace him with ANC backbencher Des van Rooyen cost the country about 2,000 Nkandlas, as the rand lost about 10% of its value.
Des van Rooyen didn't even get to set up his official twitter account before he was shuffled into the local government portfolio.
His past experience with local government was as mayor of Merafong. The locals burned his house down over the ANC's plans to move the municipality into North West province.
The appointment of our current Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has stabilised the market somewhat - but ratings agency Moody's has still set the economy's outlook to negative.
TIMES LIVE

Trevor Manuel responds to Lindiwe Zulu


2015-12-20 18:30

Dear Minister Lindiwe Zulu,
You may have observed that I refrained from commenting on the events of the past week. I have been contacted by at least 15 journalists since last Thursday, but opted to remain above the fray.
It is not that I’ve not had opinions, but I chose to remain silent. However, your comments, as quoted in the Mail & Guardian and confirmed on Radio 702 on Friday, with the customary “I was quoted out of context”, compel me to break my silence.
I choose to address through this medium a response to what I consider to be reckless statements.
I want to put it to you that you are plainly wrong in your assumptions about the roles, responsibilities and attitudes of business. I do not wish to pretend that I am competent, or sufficiently knowledgeable, to speak for business. Nor do I believe that there is a monolithic view that can be ascribed to an entity called “business”.
In a curious manner, even attempting to secure a single ANC view on the events since the dismissal of Mr Nhlanhla Nene as minister of finance is exceedingly difficult, as was self-evident at the press conference of Tuesday, December 15.
Let me argue one small, but significant, point of disagreement. There was no rallying against the appointment of Mr Des van Rooyen as minister of finance. In fact, the largest cross-section of commentators withheld judgement because he is so completely unknown.
The few exceptions were people who knew him from Merafong. Even I, as an MP for the period he served in Parliament from 2009 to 2014, when he was my fellow ANC member, battled to recall who he was.
Subsequent attempts by various people in the ANC to justify his appointment as that of a rising star (I even heard Comrade Jessie Duarte describe him as the chief whip of the finance portfolio committee), fell flat.
Actually, the ANC has only one chief whip in the National Assembly, Stone Sizani, and his role is recognised by the rules of Parliament; portfolio committee whips are an internal party matter.
The issue of contention and disbelief was never about Mr Van Rooyen, it was about the summary dismissal of Mr Nene.
Having worked closely with Comrade Nene over a long period, I can confirm he is thoroughly decent, smart, diligent and more than capable. I have not heard any commentator interested in the economic management of South Africa raise any doubts about his leadership.
A few weeks before his removal, he demonstrated his mettle when he was prepared to disagree with SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni.
At that stage, some analysts raised the fact that he may have been demonstrating too much independence for President Jacob Zuma to tolerate. But he was merely insisting that SAA, as a state-owned company under his purview, be properly managed.
What is also clear from comments by Cabinet colleagues in the wake of Mr Nene’s dismissal was that when Cabinet adjourned at about 6pm on Wednesday, December 9, neither he nor Cabinet had any inkling of what was to follow that evening.
The suggestion by the president that Mr Nene was destined for some undefined post in the New Development Bank just does not wash. In fact, that assignment is unlikely to be even 15% of the size of that which he so ably performed as minister of finance.
I was in Cabinet when Mr Tito Mboweni was moved across from the department of labour to the SA Reserve Bank and when Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma left Cabinet to take up a position as chairperson of the African Union Commission.
In both those instances, the ground was properly prepared and Cabinet was apprised of developments.
This announcement for the New Development Bank was not time bound either, so why the haste? No attempt has been made to explain any of this.
We live in a world where there is so much information available. You may be surprised to learn how much is publicly available about Cabinet and government departments. I can therefore say that, from what I have heard, the removal of Mr Nene from his position both as minister of finance and as a Cabinet minister came as a complete shock to too many.
Yet it was not a shock to Des van Rooyen, whose soul mate, Gaddafi Rabotapi, knew about this for more than a month (according to Mr Rabotapi himself, as quoted in the Saturday Star of December 12. By the way, what entitled Mr Rabotapi, as a nonmember of Cabinet, to know this?).
Similarly, Des’ brother was interviewed by the Mail & Guardian and he said he had been informed that “big things” would happen in the week.
Moreover, and if the press and the vast rumour mill are to be believed, for me the ultimate shocker was when Mr Van Rooyen arrived at National Treasury that Thursday morning with two advisers.
How did he appoint these advisers?
Since these advisers would have had to be placed on the payroll of Treasury, why did he not consult with the accounting officer and, importantly, how did he acquire their services even before he had been sworn in as a minister?
As a Cabinet minister, you would know that the position of ministerial advisers is used to help bridge the divide in skills between a minister and his or her department. How did Des van Rooyen know what skills were deficient in the Treasury?
Also, following his redeployment to the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, these highly specialised advisers accompanied him to this department. So, who determined that their skills were appropriate for either assignment? Or is that not a factor to consider, particularly with a portfolio as important as finance?
The picture I am sketching for you is that the saga of dismissing a competent minister and replacing him without warning or explanation led to a complete breakdown in trust.
It cannot be correct that there is an outside hand (and not the ruling party) that knows more than Cabinet does about unfolding events.
If the views expressed by ministers in the post-Cabinet briefing are correct – and I have no reason to doubt this – the events of the previous day shook the trust of the Cabinet collective at its roots.
If this view holds, the trust is not broken only with Cabinet, of course. It is also broken with the ANC, with the broader South African electorate, with the markets and with that entity you call “business”.
The breach of trust was not the first, but perhaps the last, straw that broke the camel’s back in the careless handling of a pivotal portfolio.
Please help us by explaining how we might repair the trust, the legitimacy and, if you must, the obedience of the governed. In my limited view, it is possible for autocrats to rule, but not for democrats to govern without the vital ingredient of trust.
Comradely greetings,
Trevor Manuel
News

ANC moves swiftly to silence critics within its ranks

2015-12-20 15:00

Following Zuma’s disastrous Cabinet reshuffle that cost the economy billions, the party has moved swiftly to silence critics within its ranks
President Jacob Zuma’s haphazard handling of a Cabinet reshuffle has led to an open feud among ANC leaders, with Free State Premier Ace Magashule accusing unnamed national executive committee (NEC) members of being hostile to the president.
In the space of four days last week, Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister, replaced him with little-known MP Des van Rooyen and then replaced Van Rooyen with Pravin Gordhan – in the process wiping billions of rands from the economy as the rand fell to new lows.
Zuma had to backtrack on his decision after even party members attacked the appointment of Van Rooyen.
South African banks also met with ANC heavyweights, including Jeff Radebe and Zweli Mkhize, to raise their concerns.
The internal party criticism and the perception that Zuma is now a weak president has upset Magashule and other Zuma loyalists, who have come out swinging.
Magashule has defended him, saying Zuma must be afforded the same respect former ANC presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki were accorded.
Magashule told City Press in an interview that it was clear there were people in the NEC of the ANC who were unhappy with Zuma’s leadership.
“Those people came out openly, if you read the papers. Some individual leaders who are even members of the NEC came out and said Zuma was wrong,” said Magashule, who earlier in the week repeated similar comments in Zuma’s presence at a Christmas event in Zamdela, Sasolburg.
Magashule said: “Business must respect political leadership.
“It has a role to play, but it must show respect to the political leadership. And at the top of that leadership is President Jacob Zuma.”
City Press understands that Magashule’s sentiments were echoed at the extended national working committee (NWC) meeting on Tuesday, where it was apparent that there was a coordinated plan to defend Zuma and quash dissenting views.
City Press learnt that, at the meeting, several members of the NEC were not content with the assurance that Zuma had rectified his mistake, insisting on an answer for why he had fired Nene in the first place.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, on the line from France, told City Press he would not speak to the media about the events of last week and the decisions taken because some of the issues were “complex”.
However, Mantashe warned that “it may reflect grave arrogance” for lower structures of the ANC to talk about the issues of upper structures without having direct knowledge of discussions.
ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete said the NWC meeting was “the first occasion in which we all put our heads together and received a briefing and information about how the deputy president [Cyril Ramaphosa] and treasurer-general [Mkhize] interacted with senior members of the corporate world”.
“I am happy because, as a collective, it was the first time we were managing to get together and get an understanding of the issues involved and how we engaged with them,” she said.
Mbete added that “business actually expressed, for the first time, patriotism and an approach that was saying everybody [should put] shoulder to wheel [and] ... support our government, because it is about South Africa and not about the individual interests of groupings”.
“Obviously, it is regrettable we got to that point, but I am happy with how far we have been able to manage and stabilise the situation,” she said.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala said the ANC in the province had full confidence in Zuma.
A government official close to Ramaphosa said the notion that Zuma’s prerogative had been undermined by business and people within the ANC was misplaced, because both the consultation and the prerogative were not necessarily mutually exclusive.
ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Collen Maine said: “As a country, we would not want to have a situation whereby the market dictates to us what to do.
“We cannot be turned into a banana republic,” he said, adding that the appointment of ministers was Zuma’s prerogative and he had acted within his rights.
“If there are people in the ANC who want to undermine Zuma, we will want them to come out,” said Maine.
He said the youth league would take those people on because it was its duty to defend the ANC.
Secretary of the ANC in North West Dakota Legoete said: “It is very sad for any member of the ANC to fall into a fool’s paradise by thinking that those who call for Zuma to fall are not actually calling for the ANC to fall.”
Eastern Cape ANC secretary Oscar Mabuyane said Zuma had handled the situation responsibly.
“We are governing the country for the people of South Africa, not for ANC members. It is important that we put the people of South Africa before any other interests,” said Mabuyane.
ANCYL spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said there was no problem with Cabinet reshuffles.
“It is not about getting rid of ministers, but deploying people in areas of competence,” said Mkhize, adding that the league would lobby for another reshuffle soon after next year’s municipal elections.
“Immediately after the elections, we must get ready to steer the ship in the right direction,” he said.
“We feel there are departments we need to look into to strengthen service delivery.”

CITY PRESS
NOTHING DONE BY THE ANC MAKES ANY SENSE ANYMORE.
THE ZUMA SAGA

2O15 HAS BEEN A BAROMETER OF POLITICAL INJUSTICE IN SOUTH AFRICA.
IT HAS TAUGHT SOUTH AFRICANS (THE MAJORITY GROUPS) THAT THEY HAVE ALLOWED THE WRONG CANDIDATE TO BE PRESIDENT OF THIS LOVELY COUNTRY.
IT HAS SHOWN THE WORLD HOW PARANOIA CAN PARALYSE A NATION, A POLITICAL PARTY AND INDIVIDUALS.
A DESPOT WHO HAS SURROUNDED HIMSELF WITH STATE PROTECTION AND WEALTH!
ONE JUST HAS TO DELVE INTO THIS CRONIES PAST TO SEE WHERE HE COMES FROM AND WHAT HE IS CAPABLE OF.
THE SOUTH AFRICA ECONOMY HAS BEEN CRIPPLED BY HIM AND HIS ILK.
IF THIS PERSON IN QUESTION DOES NOT GET FLUSHED DOWN THE SEWERS, COME 2016, THEN THIS ONCE PROUD NATION IS DOOMED TO DESTRUCTION!
A DESTRUCTION NEVER BEFORE SEEN IN SOUTH AFRICA!
ZUMA MUST GO ALONG WITH ALL HIS ELECTED CRONIES AND CADRE AND DREG.
AMEN

THE PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN - SOON!






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