The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same – Edition: 02/2019

by | Apr 6, 2019 | Political Perceptions

When one looks at the role out of the ANC election campaign and the damming revelations that are published with monotonous regularity and with the 2019 general election only five weeks away one can be excused for wondering where is the New Dawn that we were promised by President Ramaphosa at the beginning of last year.

The nation heaved a massive sigh of relief on Monday evening, 18 December 2017, when it was announced that Cyril Ramaphosa had been elected as the new president of the ANC.

This relief turned to excitement when during Ramaphosa’s first State of the Nation Address on 16 February 2018 the President said “We should put all the negativity that has dogged our country behind us because a ‘New Dawn’ is upon us”. The President inspired the nation when he concluded his speech with the words of the late great Bra Hugh Masekela. In his song, ‘Thuma Mina’, “Now is the time to lend a hand, now is the time for each of us to say “send me” [Thuma Mina].

Fourteen months later on the threshold of the election those inspirational words lie in tatters and the bright New Dawn would appear to be nothing but as dismal, dull sunrise with the storm clouds gathering on the horizon.

What changed the 2018 Ramaphoria into the 2019 Ramadisappointment?

There are a variety of reasons:

The inability of Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC to purge the Party’s lists of dubious characters:

Malusi Gigaba: Former Minister with strong Gupta links. Responsible for the introduction of the disastrous visa regulations that almost killed Tourism in South Africa. The High Court in Pretoria found that in December 2017 Gigaba had told “untruths” under oath in the matter between him (in his capacity as home affairs minister) and the Oppenheimers’ Fireblade Aviation. The Constitutional Court refused him permission to appeal the judgement because he stood limited chance of success.

Bathabile Dlamini: Minister of Women in the Presidency and leader of the ANC Women’s League, was responsible for a crisis in the payment of social grants when she was minister of social development in 2017 and was found by the Constitutional Court to have lied under oath. The court also found that the National Prosecuting Authority should determine whether Dlamini should be prosecuted for perjury.

Nomvula Mokonyane: She is yet to answer tough questions about her relationship with corruption-accused company Bosasa, including whether or not she received R50 000 a month in cash from the company while she was Gauteng premier, between May 2009 and May 2014. As Minister of Water     

Motsebenzi Zwane:  As mineral resources minister, he was instrumental in the purchase of the Optimum Coal Mine from Glencore in 2015 when he travelled  to Zurich to meet Glencore officials, in what is believed to have been active lobbying for the controversial Gupta family.

Faith Muthambi: As communications minister she was largely responsible for the devastation at the SABC, was found to have misled Parliament, supplied protected Cabinet information to the Guptas, and caused repeated delays in South Africa’s digital migration.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson: As energy minister she was responsible for the sale of the countries strategic oil stock at well below market value she also signed a deal with Russia for the construction of nuclear power plants that would effectively have bankrupted the country.

Mduduzi Manana:   The former Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily after assaulting three women in a Randburg nightclub late at night.

Candidates Pule Mabe and Zizi Kodwa both have serious allegations of rape and sexual harassment levelled against them yet they remain on the ANC candidates list in safe electable positions.

It is quite apparent that Cyril Ramaphosa is saddled with candidates who have lied under oath, assaulted women, been accused of serious sexual offences, implicated in corruption and state capture and he has to accept them because as Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says “the selection process was rigorous and fair, guided by internal policies”.

Not forgetting all those people on the list who have been implicated in corruption and state capture at the Zondo Commission starting with Cyril Ramaphosa and his son Andile also Gwede Mantashe, Thabang Makwetla, Vincent Smith, Cedric Frolick, Bongani Bongo, David Mahlobo, Supra Mahumapelo, Ace Magashule and the list goes on and on………

Ramaphosa has no power to bring about a new dawn ‘new dawn’ while his candidates ‘are individuals who belong in prison, not Parliament.’ It is from these people that his cabinet will be appointed.

If the ANC candidates list does not inspire confidence then the Party’s election advertisement is equally uninspiring with nothing new but merely promising to correct what they did wrong in the past ten years:

  • Put into place a specialised anti-corruption unit – it was the ANC that abolished the Scorpions – they were preventing the ANC programme of State Capture.
  • Setting up the Zondo Commission – the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela instructed that the Zondo Commission be established, not the ANC. They were merely implementing the law.
  • Led the process of getting SARS working at its world class best – SARS was captured after the appointment of Tom Moyane as commissioner. This appointment was endorsed by the ANC deployment committee under the chairmanship of Ramaphosa.
  • A new leadership of the National Prosecuting Authority has been put in place by the ANC – once again it was Shaun Abrahams an appointment endorsed by the ANC deployment committee under the chairmanship of Ramaphosa that the Constitutional Court found to be invalid that caused a new appointment to be made not the ANC.
  • The Party that is restoring the ability of government to provide services fairly to all – it was under the ANC government that caused services to deteriorate dramatically over the past ten years. All senior appointments at all three tiers of ANC controlled government were endorsed by the ANC deployment committee under the chairmanship of Ramaphosa.

By voting for the ANC on 8 May you will be voting to try and panel beat what they have damaged rather than for the promised new dawn.

The ANC is asking you to give them another five years to self-correct but there is no guarantee that they can or indeed want to self-correct, in fact their recent actions would appear that they are offering more of the same.

  • In the latest budget they again decided to pump more money into State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) without making the necessary structural changes.
  • Increased the Road Levy on petrol and diesoline because the motorists, many of them poor, are an easy target to take money from to fund their corruption.
  • Are not prepared to listen to what the voters are saying and plan to retain eTolls as advocated by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Transport Minister Blade Nzimande.
  • Intend nationalising the private health care system through the National Health Insurance scheme. Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi has stated that the incoming National Health Insurance (NHI) was necessary however most important aspect of the NHI Bill, namely the money available for it, was brushed aside by Motsoaledi as not being his problem. So far every fund administered by the government has gone bankrupt, why should the NHI be any different.

Those people who are placing their trust in Cyril Ramaphosa should be reminded that you are voting for the ANC and not ‘good old Cyril’. The party will, after the election, continue to be run by the same NEC as they currently have. This NEC has the power to recall the president as they did to Mbeki and Zuma. CR has a razor thin majority on this body. If he gets too much support or becomes too popular he will not serve out even one term of office.

Ramaphosa will not even have a free hand in choosing his own cabinet, he will have to include all the wrong elements because ANC unity is more important than South Africa. When it comes to the appointment of parliamentary chairperson and office bearers it is driven by Loot Freely House led by that paragon of all but good sense, Ace Magashule!

This is not a Cyril Ramaphosa popularity contest but rather a referendum on twenty five years of ANC rule.

Until next time…


Clive Hatch

About Clive Hatch

Clive Hatch is a political commentator and opinionist. He is a former Member and Leader of the Opposition in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. After matriculating from Jeppe High School for Boys in 1967 Clive Hatch has lived, worked and been involved in the Emalahleni (Witbank) community.

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