Constitutional Hill

Notes on the “toilet election”

Because no accurate public polling data is available in South Africa to measure the voting intensions of members of the electorate, it is impossible to make any meaningful predictions about the outcome of the local government election, which will be held next Wednesday. In the past, available public polling data had consistently underestimated support for the African National Congress (ANC) and had overstated support for the Democratic Alliance (DA), so even if polling data had been available this data would have been less reliable than similar data in the USA.

I will therefore refrain from playing the ignorant pundit by making any predictions about how well the various parties will do in the upcoming election. In any case, as a middle class white person living in Cape Town, I do not have sufficient information about what is happening in various communities to make any sensible comments on the outcome of the election. Nevertheless, I will venture a few preliminary thoughts about the manner in which the election was fought — based on the manner in which the media has reported on the campaigns and on the election debates broadcast on radio and television.

(I make no comment about the nature of the practical aspects of the campaigns and the efforts made by political parties to get their voters to the polls, something that might be crucial as a low voter turnout by traditionally ANC supporters or DA supporters might well make a huge difference to the outcome of the election in various municipalities.)

Bearing these caveats in mind, the following aspects stood out for me.

  • The DA has run by far the best election campaign of any political party in terms of formulating a simple, positive and coherent message, ensuring that everyone in the party stays on message and managing the media aspects of its campaign. Whether one supports the DA or not, one has to admire the discipline of the DA team and the manner in which it has managed to begin the long and difficult process of repackaging itself as a party for all South Africans and not just for white elite interests. I have seen more pictures of Helen Zille with scores of black supporters in blue DA T-shirts in the last two months than in the previous 10 years.
  • The ANC, on the other hand, has not run as good an election campaign as it has shown itself capable of in the past. It lacked a coherent and simple positive message and often came across as desperate and, hence, it failed to dictate the terms of the campaign as it has done in previous elections. It is unclear whether this was because of divisions within the ANC, weak leadership, or because it is faced with the challenges inherent to any party who has been in power for a long time. The fact that — for the past two years — we have been bombarded with so many stories about ANC corruption and misgovernment, which have created a narrative that was difficult to change, might also have made the task of the ANC in this election more difficult than before.
  • Judging from the media, smaller parties have almost completely disappeared from the electoral radar screens. This election was presented in the media as a two-horse race between the ANC and the DA, which probably benefited the DA (whose stature was enhanced by being treated as being in the same league as the ANC) and for obvious reasons disadvantaged the ANC.
  • More generally, I have been disheartened by mind-numbing superficiality of the way in which the political parties have generally engaged with very serious and important local government issues. It seems to me that there are several structural problems with the way municipalities are organised and run in South Africa. The tax base for many municipalities are so low that even if they were governed efficiently, they would not be able to deliver on their mandates. The “pay-as-you-go” principle for the delivery of services (which is implemented by both the ANC and the DA run municipalities) are fundamentally anti-poor and the band-aid solutions currently in place do not address the larger question, namely that the very poor can often not afford to pay for the basic services like water and electricity which municipalities are constitutionally and legally required to provide them with. Yet, we all seem to be obsessed by open toilets and by election stunts such as the ANC claim that it was laying criminal charges against the DA for the alleged DA pamphlet which quoted Trevor Manuel’s own criticism of the ANC.

But there is an important matter of electoral design that has also been highlighted by this election. This election campaign has been largely run as a national campaign and has not focused much on pressing local issues. We are often told that one reason why our national and provincial legislatures are not working as well as they should is because of the electoral system which makes those representatives accountable to their political parties and not to the electorate. If we brought back the constituency-based system, so some analysts argue, our representatives would be more responsive and accountable.

But at local government level half of the councillors are elected to represent geographical constituencies, and one would have imagined that those standing in these wards would try to demonstrate to voters in that ward how they would improve the lives of their constituents. Yet, although I stay in a fairly affluent area in Sea Point, I do not have a clue what the names of the ANC or DA representative is who is standing in the election for this ward. I have had no communication from the prospective ward councillors about how they intend to serve me and why I should vote for him or her. All I know is that my previous councillor is not standing for re-election. (Trust me, I was looking forward to see his face smiling at me from the lampposts!)

Which goes to show, even if one has a constituency-based electoral system very little would change as far as accountability is concerned. As long as elected representatives are in effect appointed by political party leaders, they will be accountable to those leaders and not to the electorate.

Because the ANC is not going to win this Sea Point ward (like most wards in South Africa, my ward is dominated by one political party), the DA leadership has in effect decided who will represent me and that leadership will also decide whether this councillor will serve another term after the next election.

Changing the electoral system will therefore probably not make provincial and national legislative representatives more accountable and effective unless the voting patterns of the electorate changed dramatically and the elections in most wards or constituencies became far more competitive. Even then, as long as party leaders in effect had the right to impose or remove candidates representing the party, the accountability might not be as strong as one would wish.

Predictions? Nah – I will leave that for the professional pundits.

  • Heywood Jubleauxme

    Pierre, are you having a blonde moment?

    You accurately identify the illness, then you offer a placebo as treatment for the illness and then you throw your hands in the air out of despair as the patient slips into a coma.

    There is something very defective about our electoral system with regards to accountability. Fortunately there are other countries in the world that have formulated remedies to ensure their elected officials are accountable to the electorate. One such remedy is to combine a constituency-based electoral system with the mechanism to re-call the elected individual.

    I am confident that your research assistant can come up with many more such remedies.

    Van Zyl Slabbert, in 2002, put together a task team to ….. but you already know this ….

  • http://aagaplhde Peter L

    Some interesting observations and opinions, Pierre.

    1. Pollsters and predictions
    The reputable pollsters and forecasters such as Nielsens and Gallup have proven to have a standard error (of the estimate) of less than two percent in all of the recent major Western elections. Ergo their forecasts are VERY accurate.
    I agree with you that forecasts and predictions from reliable sources have been conspicuous by their absence for this particular SA election.

    It is the pundits wheeled out by the likes of SABC TV and E TV that manage to get it spectacularly wrong with monotonous regularity.
    Perhaps personal bias and wishes come into play, or else they are asking the right questions of the wrong people.

    Once the official results start coming in, it is much easier to predict the outcome – that is applied maths and stats – more science than art.

    You are correct that small parties are likely to do poorly at a ward level and win few wards, but wrong in implying that they might do very poorly overall.
    Our proportional representation system means that every vote counts, and these tiny parties contest every possible ward, sometimes naming the same nominee in up to 10 separate and different wards (it is legal, believe me!).
    This ensures that they get some representation at a regional and national level.
    To your point, quite who they represent and how effective they are is open to question.

    Your comments about the constituency system, party lists and inherent lack of local level representivity and accountability have been covered in depth a number of times, but what about the ANC in this campaign, who refuse to reveal the identity of some of their candidates!

    “Votes for us now and once the election is over, we will tell you which Mayoral candidate you voted for”!
    I cannot decide if this is in the realm of Kafka or Monthy Python (did you ever see the “silly party” sketch?)

    You are also wrong about the cash strapped local municipalities not having the funds to provide basic services such as housing, sanitation and water – these services and infrastructure are funded by national government (including Makhaza loos with a view, FYI).

    Also FYI, the very poor that are lucky enough to receive basic services do not pay for the basic level of water and electricity (it is free to the user).
    RDP house recipients are also exempt from paying property rates and taxes on the basic structure.
    Even where charges are levied (for the not-so-poor), in many areas collection rates are extremely low. In Soweto, Eskom report that recovery rates are below 20%.

    Perhaps in one of your blogs one day you will bemoan the fate of the long suffering middle class taxpayer, who receives less than 9 cents worth of goods and services from government for every Rand of tax that he or she pays.

    I have to agree with you about the toilet sagas – an absolute disgrace.
    The DA should have known better and found the money required from provincial budgets (beer fund?).
    As for the ANC, their tactic of highlighting this one very badly managed isssue has backfired on them and shown them up yet again as a bunch of hypocrites, liars (Gwede “we did not know”) and incompetents.

    Anything less than 60% for ANC will be a disaster for them, and anything more than 21% for the DA will mark massive progress.

    How about a nice ironic snippet to end off with?

    Allegedly, one of the “black” wards that the DA hopes to do well in is,

    ……..wait for it……………..


    If they do indeed do well here, we can be sure that they will be flushed with success!

  • Marco Polo

    Once the votes are in, the usual pundits and analysts will bemoan the low voter turn-out and blame it on the voters for being apathetic. It is quite clear that for a large number of voters, not voting is a vote – a vote against the available parties and/or the electoral/constitutional system.

    Second, as Pierre de Vos says, this local election is being fought as a national election. The local medial pre-election coverage is pretty pathetic: reports of assorted mud-slinging, party political statements and giving the ANC and DA’s spin doctors space to brag/attack. The Cape Argus did focus on some wards a while back, but if you missed that edition, then that’s the last you hear about local issues. The community papers gave the ward candidates a couple of lines to say the usual bland things; no interrogation or analysis at all.

    So far, the only party to canvass me directly has been the DA. They keep putting pamphlets in my letterbox – once again, these don’t speak to any local issue, just a boast about what they’ve done for Cape Town and the usual broad promises. A lady from the DA has phoned me twice asking whether I will vote for them and if not, why not – a question I have refused to answer; my vote is secret.

    The ANC’s ward posters in CT are rather odd: they have put the candidates’ surnames first and then their first names, resulting in some very interesting “names”. The Freedom Front has put up posters that could have been put up anywhere – nothing that speaks to local issues.

    The days of inter-party debates in the local community hall and various parties sending me literature about what specifically they plan to do if they get my vote are over. So if you don’t have the internet, you aint gona get much info – and even then, some parties’ websites have little to say.

    Clearly, we are now expected to vote based on perceptions and fears and not rigorous analysis of a party’s programme and track record.

  • John Roberts

    Here are my predictions :

    1. Sweet fuckall will change
    2. The poor will get poorer ( but at least they can crap in private)
    3. Police brutality will increase with no consequences
    4. Corruption and theft from state coffers will increase
    5. More farmers will be murdered.
    6. Land grabs will start in earnest after the ANCYL conference
    7. Cheryl Cwele will walk free after her appeal
    8. Unemployment will rise
    9. Service delivery will get worse with even more stikes
    10. The press will be muzzled

    Welcome to Africa, ANC-style.

  • vuyani ngalwana

    Eish, and there I was thinking a complete overhaul of the current electoral system to one where the electorate (from local to national) votes directly for its representatives, was the panacea to our woes. But you had to spoil it, Pierre, by asserting that this is, in effect, a pipe dream. I don’t think so, though.

    Your assessment appears to hinge on political parties retaining the power to generate party lists of who will be their candidates. But my premise is that, at least at local level, people will vote for candidates of their choice not dictated to by party lists, so that if those candidates do not deliver there is a mechanism to boot them off in by-elections.

    At national and provincial levels, I’m quite enamoured to the US system where the electorate has a say in who the party candidate should be – the primaries system. That would mean if people want to have a say in whom our next president should be, then they will have to join the party most likely to garner votes in that area. A “primaries stage” should then be introduced where candidates compete against each other for the party’s endorsement as a presidential candidate. That is where members should vote for their preferred candidate. The candidate with the most number of votes then becomes the party’s candidate for president.

    The other parties challenging for the presidency will do the same thing. (Incidentally, I think the same process should be followed for provincial premiership and the premier should then be trusted to appoint his or her own cabinet and not have deployees imposed on him. If the province should fail to deliver, we should then has the recourse of voting the premier out together with his or her entire cabinet in a by-election and start again).

    The primaries stage should then be followed by the second stage of national (and provincial) elections for a president (and premier) – not a party. The parties will have made their decision as regards their preferred presidential and/or premier candidate. It will now be for the general populace to cast their votes between the various parties’ candidates.

    Speaking for myself (naturally) – and I’m quite certain there are many people in a similar position – I find myself in a bit of a pickle. I wouldn’t be caught dead voting for the DA but would readily have Helen Zille as my president. If I had a choice I wouldn’t have Jacob Zuma as my president but am comfortable to vote ANC. That is just intolerably stupid, I know, but there we are.

    My simple rationale (such as it is) is that for me the DA as a party represents continued privilege of the advantaged class, and its stance on affirmative action (which in my view is founded either on ignorance or deliberate opposition to transformation) sits uncomfortably with my conscience. Party policies emerge (usually) from rigorous debate within the party. It is possible that Zille knows better than the sum of the parts that is DA. But as leader of the DA, she has to trumpet the party’s position. If her background is any indication, I struggle to associate her with the DA’s position on transformation issues.

    My take on the ANC-Zuma equation is the opposite. The ANC has sound policies with most of which I associate. So I am comfortable, both morally and cerebrally, to vote ANC. Mr Zuma is a different proposition altogether. I need hardly chronicle the numerous instances that would put off any thinking and morally upright citizen from putting a cross next to that face.

    In sum, Pierre, I think a change in the electoral system can make a difference. The system I have proposed above is just one proposition. There may be other suggestions that would work better than what we have.

  • Pierre De Vos

    Vuyani, I agree with almost eveything you say. My point was that without more intra-party democracy the electoral system on its own will not cure all our ills. A few years ago at an Idasa debate I proposed that – as in Germany – we should adopt legislation that sets out miinimum criteria for the way political parties operate in terms of funding, transparency and internal democracy (leaving it to politiocal parties to comply withy these minimum standards in accordance with their own traditions etc). I was shot down in flames by both Jeremy Cronin of SACP/ANC and Douglas Gibson of DA. Never! they said.

    One worry about primaries: They cost money. In a country like South Africa, this might mean that unless one gets a benevolent backer – a Gupta or someone from Anglo, say – or unless one is independently wealthy, one’s chances in a primarty will be diminished. In the US many people complain about legislatures who often seem captured by vested interest in big business etc and make decisions that benefit the rich rather than everyone. And surely the government of the day in a country with vast discrepancies in wealth should not primarily serve the rich?

  • Chris

    As always it is almost impossible to predict the election results. One thing is sure, President Zuma’s foolish comments will certainly cost his party many thousands of votes. The man has really become a disgrace not only to the ANC but to the entire country.

  • Thomas Blaser

    What a constituency system usually does is create local fiefdoms for politicians based on the fact that they bring the bacon home for the people who voted for them. It gives the elected representative a local support base which she should be able to use if she needs to negotiate with her party head quarters. For this to work, the local elected official needs to have enough governance powers, finances, etc. to show the people who elected him that he can affect their lives. I think in SA, the system is now working against such local, people-focused power to emerge, and to be supported by political institutions.

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    An election is supposed to be the day of reckoning for government, when it gets held to account for the efficiency with which it has executed the functions of the state. In this case at local level.

    As usual the DA has decided to run a more-or-less single issue campaign – this time round that means it is portraying itself as a viable alternative to run the whole country’s municipalities by focussing on the way it runs the handful of municipalities it controls. And that is where its resources are going. A variation of the 80/20 principle. This is not the dumbest election campaign its strategists have ever come up with…

    What it does mean is that it has abandoned any pretense at holding the ANC to account for many of its misdeeds across the country. And there are many.

  • Paul Kearney

    Hmmm, based on a vaguely remembered interview with F Van Zyl Slabbert I suspect that the opposition may not much like a constituency based democracy as they could lose many of their representatives. Maybe someone should look at voting stats.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Chris

    “One thing is sure, President Zuma’s foolish comments will certainly cost his party many thousands of votes. ”

    Chris is right. Our people are no fools. They are most unlikely to vote for anyone who says foolish things. Wouldn’t we just hate to live in a country where people voted slavishly on party and racial lines?



  • Cy

    In my municipality, the DA is neck-and-neck with the ANC, and then there’s a number of smaller wannabe parties. Instead of promising the voters a better life, the DA has resorted to threats: “You vote for a smaller party, you might as well vote for the ANC!” This, to my mind, amounts not only to *swartgevaar* tactics, but is also profoundly undemocratic. Guess who will definitely NOT get my vote.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    vuyani ngalwana
    May 13, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Hey Vuyani,

    I take it that you’ve got the hots for the Madam – enjoy.

    Your suggestion that the electorate votes directly for their reps seems to be suggesting a constituency based system which should give the ANC 85 – 90% overall. It’s not a good idea.

    The equivalent of the US primaries based system is, in the case of the ANC, the National Conference which does pretty much what you seem to like – and that comes with the added benefit of “early recall” :evil:.

    Just to let you know that 65.9% of the voters would not agree with you on “any thinking and morally upright citizen from putting a cross next to that face”. Isn’t democracy wonderful?

    It sounds to me like your entire blurb may be summarised as “STOP ZUMA” which is so last election :P.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    May 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Hey White Boy,

    “This is not the dumbest election campaign its strategists have ever come up with…”

    On the matter of dumb election campaigns, whatever has happened to your ACDP; is it still alive?

    Have they saved Gbagbo’s presidency yet?

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    Eish! I would rather not think about the Reverend Meshoe’s blond moment.

    Fortunately, Gbagbo is not standing in our municipality.

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    Speaking of our municipality:

    o since the last municipal election our lights and water have gone up from R800-R1000 per month to R4500 per month. When I complained those morons at the civic centre said we must have a leak. When I told them there is no water showing they said it must be an underground leak. They said I must wait till midnight and hold my head over the toilet to listen if I can hear water flowing. Like a poepol I did. LOL@me. Stupid! It seems rather unfair to have penalties kick in for a water leak that you can reasonably know nothing about. I think their computer program is adding an extra 0 to the water-meter reading since it does seem rather a coincidence that ones water reading goes from a constant reading for decades between 17000 and 21000KL to 170 000KL. Overnight.

    o The Johannesburg MetroPD has been involved in a shoot-out on the M1 with the SAPS over a labour dispute and not one Metro cop has been prosecuted or found unfit to possess a firearm and not one gun prohibitionist has said a damn thing about that! It is election time again and the DA is silent on the issue. In what other country in the world would the JHBMetro, the ANC or the DA be allowed to get away with that shocking interpretation of ‘duty’?

    o Every motorist in Johannesburg has been stopped by the JHBMetroPD at roadblocks we all know are illegal. Has anyone ever seen a certificate from the Commissioner of the SAPS authorising those roadblocks? The traffic courts just rubber-stamp these abuses of power. Several people have been assaulted by Metro cops. Many thousands have been paid out in awards of damages for wriongful arrest. Still, the roadblocks continue. Isn’t this law enforcement Cape Town-style?

    o My uncle heard on the radio that the JHB city council had enacted by-laws that limited one to 4 dogs per household – and my dad started: “What are you going to do? You’re going to get into trouble…” The stupid insensitive fcker grew more silent on the issue as my elderly pets died of cancer one after the other and I got closer to being ‘legal’. So, we do not get to test whether the JHB city council should have had a compensatory scheme in place when they decided to impose an arbitrary numeric limit on the amount of property one may own. The DA was and still is silent on this issue. Did they shield me from an arbitrary deprivation of the property that means the most to me? One thing is for sure – the local governments of Cape Town and Johannesburg seem to have worked closely together on this one.

    o Last week at a meeting at our club one of the other pigeon fanciers told me a mutual acquaintance had come into his butchery a few days before because he could not find his way home. Uncle Don is an octogenarian who has been at the top of every club he has flown in’s results almost his whole life. About 2 years ago he was forced to sell off all his pigeons for R100 a piece – the offspring of pigeons he imported from Holland in 1996 which cost him thousands. A jackbooted bully named Van Der Walt from the council made him get rid of them. (Old people have not been socialised to question authority – which Maggs conveniently ommits to mention when he is busy with his racial mobilisation against white people who must be inherently evil?) Uncle Don told me those pigeons were what kept him going. Getting up at dawn, scraping the loft. Getting into his little bakkie to go toss them from the truckstop. They were what he lived for. Now he has nothing, he is lost, he told me. Little did I know how literally that would turn out true. Was the DA there to shield uncle Don from’s jackbooted official? Now he can’t find his way home anymore. Isn’t that ironic? A champion racer of homing pigeons, who has written a book on pigeons but never submitted it for publication out of humility, can’t find his own way home from a couple of blocks away.

    o There are various other small issues too trivial to fixate on – like two tires gashed by potholes, the smog that hangs over this ridge the whole day, the damaged dustbin that I’ve phoned about a couple of times but has not been replaced yet…

    The point is: Except that they are going to oppress us so much more efficiently, how exactly is the DA different from the ANC in the day-to-day things that matter to the little people?

    I would rather vote for Jesus, thank you!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    May 13, 2011 at 21:54 pm

    Hey Goofy,

    Did you ever consider writing a series of sad stories?

    Let me get this straight – you hate the ANC, you despise the DA, you vote ACDP. But you want support from the ANC and/or the DA while the ACDP is chasing Jesus.

    p.s. did you try flushing the toilet while listening for running water?

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    Maggs, I am delighted – nay, honoured – that you pore over my every word. In time we may upgrade your ‘most-favoured half-wit’ status to becoming our official biographer.

    How about a compilation of our sayings rather like Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book to start off with?

    But WTF do you mean by “But you want support from the ANC and/or the DA while the ACDP is”, dude?

  • http://deleted Gwebecimele
  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Brett

    “Last week at a meeting at our club one of the other pigeon fanciers told me …”

    This I can relate to. In March, Matilda and I led a delegation to the Biannual Mallard Festival in Dortmund. It was, as you would expect, a grand affair; arguably the most avid duck-fanciers from every corner of the globe were in attendance! (See the colour photographs on Pierre’s Facebook page.)


  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    May 13, 2011 at 22:48 pm

    Hey White Boy,

    “Maggs, I am delighted – nay, honoured – that you pore over my every word.”

    hehehehe – you write stuff that you expect not to be read?

    I admit it’s mostly funny, but some comments are more so.

    Like those pondering fidgeting with the electoral system to try to unseat the ANC- yet any other configuration will only strengthen it.

  • vuyani ngalwana

    @ Maggs:
    Me? Stop Zuma? You give me too much credit. I’m not that ambitious. I’m simply lamenting the dearth that the thrusting of JZ into the Union Buildings as the best we can do says about us in general and the ANC in particular.

    As regards the rest of your assessment of my meaning, I think you and I are worlds apart.

  • Cy

    Looks like I’m suffering from a similar syndrome as Vuyani – I would like Helen to be president but can’t bring myself (physically, spiritually or mentally) to vote for the DA. What we need is to be allowed to have separate presidential elections. That’s what they do even in Zim.

    “Just to let you know that 65.9% of the voters would not agree with you …”

    If we could elect our president directly, Maggs, you would be proved monumentally wrong. How many people chose Zuma in Polokwane?

  • Belle

    Cy & Vuyani

    extract from!/helenzille

    Tate Mokuena tweets: “I’ll never vote for a white party in my life – you can quote me on that – I grew up in the apartheid times, u can forget it !”

    Helen Zille replies: “I would also refuse to vote for a white party. Fortunately the DA is the most inclusive, non-racial party in SA’s history.”

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, I demand that the hero-worship of “Madam” Zille, who is really no better than her liberal white party, must stop. Was it not she who humilated our people by mandating that their ordinary human functions be rendered a spectator sport? And I say it is hypocritical to put the ANC in the same boat. As Mr Malema has made clear, the isolated cases of open latrines in ANC local goverment are being deal with decisively!

  • Cy

    “Ordinary human functions … a spectator sport”

    Maybe an entrance fee could be charged, which would go towards the horrendous costs (R40 000) of an ‘enclosure’? What did humans do before water closets were invented? I remember some old relatives of mine in Europe having a two-seater longdrop in the garden. Walls: check, roof: check, but no door; anyone could stop by for a chat with the occupants.

    Any idea what we’re gonna do the day when there won’t be enough water for all those flushes?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    May 14, 2011 at 15:35 pm

    “If we could elect our president directly, Maggs, you would be proved monumentally wrong. How many people chose Zuma in Polokwane?”

    60% of 4000.

    I don’t believe that fewer than the ANC’s proportion would have voted for Zuma as President in the last elections. Consider that apart from his own charisma and appeal the ANC has the most powerful campaign machinery in our country.

    And consider too that it’s quite easy to rattle the opposition parties cages and detract them from any material electioneering.

    If the campaigns for the LGE are anything to go by, these parties have risen to a little more than pathetic – and that’s in the face of the most deplorable performance of ANC led local governments across the country (and some to match at national as well).

    Maybe they (opposition parties) will mature in some decades from now. Or maybe not. But for now none are anywhere near ready to govern.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 14, 2011 at 17:13 pm

    Hey Boiled Head,

    “And I say it is hypocritical to put the ANC in the same boat.”

    For once I disagree with you.

    I say it was opportune.

    The ANC handled being caught out much better than Madam & Co.

    That aside, Gwede “we did not know” Mantashe was most disingenuous.

    It sounds much like our Minister of Intelligence over his wife’s drug dealing.

    And General Cele over the building leases.

    But then there’s a history of not knowing – Zuma does not know what is a crook, Trevor Manuel did not know who the Dalai Lama is, Cogta Minister did not know that the handbook does not allow for private jaunts at state expense, Government did not know of the impending AMD threat until it was nearly too late, … .

    Eish, he list of not knowing is long.

  • Cy

    “60% of 4000”

    Quite, quite, Maggs; but that was then, and this is now.

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    Add this one to the list, Maggs: I do not know how you can still support the ANC!

    P.S. Since when is not being ready to govern a disqualification to actually governing? (Well – governing after a fashion, I mean. Like the ANC does….)

    I reckon in a couple of decades the ANC will be mature enough to govern.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    May 14, 2011 at 18:53 pm

    Hey CY,

    “Quite, quite, Maggs; but that was then, and this is now.”

    Not sure what that means.

    You asked “How many people chose Zuma in Polokwane?”

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    May 14, 2011 at 19:24 pm

    Hey Brett,

    “I do not know how you can still support the ANC!”

    That sounds like a cry for help – here’s some clues.

    And from our dear MO :

    a political party (in this case, more aptly described as a “movement”), is much more than its leaders. The values of the ANC are deeply imbued in its institutional fibres. Bad leaders will come and go, but the eternal spirit, the mighty but ineffable soul of the party, endures. The movement is sanctified by a history of struggle, and is ultimately to be vindicated by the achievement of the goals of the Freedom Charter.

  • vuyani ngalwana

    @ Maggs:

    It is not my custom to give guarantees but I can guarantee this: as an independent presidential candidate outside the ANC fold, very few South Africans outside his immediate and extended family would vote for Mr JZ. People vote more for the ANC (more for sentimental reasons than anything else) than for the face smiling alongise the empty square-ish box on a ballot paper in which one is invited to affix an X.

    All those masses who seem passionate in their suppport for JZ within the party fold, and profess their resolve to “kill for Zuma” (whether literally or figuratively) would wither away like Shakespeare’s plebs from an “outed” Caesar. The party makes JZ, not JZ the party.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    vuyani ngalwana
    May 15, 2011 at 0:05 am

    Hey Vuyani,

    “The party makes JZ, not JZ the party.”

    Indeed – that is true for all the ANC leaders, past and present.

    I supported Zuma’s ascension to the presidency and in the absence of a formidable alternative will continue that support. While I stand firmly behind that as it happened then, I am nonetheless irritated and annoyed by much that is happening with and under JZ’s leadership.

    Two years ago I would have considered that my supporting Sexwale, for example, as a potential successor in 2012 as unthinkable – now it is a distinct possibility.

    Generally speaking, thugs are ascending to powerful leadership posts in the ANC while it’s shape, character and soul are still influenced in the main by the hardcore activists. The genuine activists seem out of their depth when leadership battles are waged, succumbing to the street fighting and gutter level engagements of the corrupt and criminally minded who have risen by leaps and bounds.

    Unless all of us who hold the ANC in high regard engage directly, it will only get worse. The ANC may end up to politics as Hillbrow is to Johannesburg.

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    Oh, really? Must I define ‘facile’ for you, aagaaaain?

    That is what your distinction is…

    “Generally speaking, thugs are ascending to powerful leadership posts in the ANC while it’s shape, character and soul are still influenced in the main by the hardcore activists.”

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    What was “ the eternal spirit, the mighty but ineffable soul of the party“ up to when the AIDS policy Dr Rina Venter and her Health Department thrashed out with the ANCWL was shelved because the Albertina Sisulu faction and the Winnie Mandela faction were at war, not least over the kidnapping and murder of Stompie Seipei and the thuggish behaviour of WinnieMandelaFC?

    The same Winnie Mandela who is on national stages these municipal elections pulling votes for the ANC?

    Godless, shameless ANC!

    Did you see the study released this week that proved ARVs cut partner transmission by 95%? Where was “ the eternal spirit, the mighty but ineffable soul of the party“ when Thabo Mbeki was denying people live saving medication that could have halved the HIV infection rate and saved 330 000 infants?

    Democide, Maggs, Democide! Mass murder.

    Were you nonetheless irritated and annoyed by that?

    Talk is cheap, Maggs, bullshit walks!

  • vuyani ngalwana

    @ Maggs:

    If a motley lot of “thugs … corrupt and criminally minded [persons]” have “risen by leaps and bounds” and are “ascending to powerful leadership posts in the ANC … [employing] street fighting and gutter level” means in doing so, as you describe the scenario, then it seems to me (as an objective observer) the ANC is already (as you so felicitously put it) “to politics what Hillbrow is to Johannesburg”.

    I take your point about “engaging directly” so as to arrest (and hopefully reverse) the rot. But there is no escaping that the scenario you describe is an acknowledgement of what the party has become; an admission of what its members have become; and, in being part of the machinery that has helped the “corrupt and criminally minded” and “thugs”, an acquiescence in the Hillbrow-esque politics that has facilitated the rot.

    That being so, a new culture has therefore set in. Cultures, once entrenched, are notoriously impossible to reverse. Usually, the prudent thing to do -sensibly – is to start afresh. That means a total overhaul of the entire leadership, thus giving birth again to the ANC of old with original principles. Anything less is band-aid stuff.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “I supported Zuma’s ascension to the presidency”

    Maggs, was this because, like me, you had a sure sense either that:

    (a) the stories that Zuma had been corrupted In the arms deal were nothing more than scurrilous rumors invented by Mbeki’s agents, which you knew would ultimately be decisively disposed of by a single honest white judge in Pietermaritzburg?


    (b) whilst it was true that Zuma probably had had a “generally corrupt” relationship with someone or another, he was no less filthy than Mbeki, and, in fact, was likely less culpable by virtue of his general obviousness.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    May 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Hey White Boy,

    “Talk is cheap, Maggs, bullshit walks!”

    hehehehe – wanna see some?

    Here goes.

    The fact is we don’t go around asking people what (sexual orientation) are you when it’s election time.

    How about this?

    “Even when we are given a mandate, we’ll have to serve even those homosexuals … because we won’t be asking (if) you are a Christian or not a Christian. We are going to treat everybody equally,”

    This is interesting.

    “I would say, ‘I love you as a person, but I disagree with (your sexual orientation). The fact that we disagree on this one point should not make you stop me from giving you good service (as a public representative).'”

    It seems that your party’s policy is to give gays good service. 😛

    And finally there’s hope for me the Hindu, the heathen, the idoliser of pagan gods, the polytheist, the athiest.

    “The ACDP is not just for Christians, and this time we are not just focusing on Christians.”

    Did you guys invent dumbness or just refine it?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Obviousness = obliviousness

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, the ANC will lead our people until Jesus comes. After that, they will be led by a loose coalition of Jesus, the Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Pastor Ray.

    Me, you, and Pierre will then be cast out into a realm of utter darkness and high temperatures.


  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Hey Dworky,

    You’re feigning being very kind to me today – what are you after???

    It reads like that you’re pretending that I am pretending that our most powerful politicians (all of them) kept their hands out of the kitty (which was wide open with no one looking and loaded with heaps of money for all to have at will).

    Crap man – every opportunity in my view was exploited to the hilt and then some by those who could (and in some instances by those who could not too).

    Without going back to reasons why I supported (and was very fond of) Zuma, I will leave it at saying that I did so with my eyes wide open.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 15, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Eish Dworky,

    Speak for me and you only.

    Leave Pierre out of this – he’s gonna be getting good service from the dear Reverend.

  • anton kleinschmidt

    Am I the only reader who finds the Naidu, Fassbinder and Nortje profoundly tedious. They have rendered this blog unreadable

  • Michael Osborne

    @ Anton

    No, you are not the only one that dearly wishes that the silly triumverate would find another venue for their charming blend of schoolyard taunts and moronic politics.

    That being said, Maggs does occasionally offer insight. So let me ask you, Maggs, whether I understand what you have just said: You knew all along that JZ had his hands in the kitty (your words), yet supported him with enthusiasm? I would have thought that financial corruption should be the political equivalent of the death sentence for anyone in public life. I thought too that this was one of those very few rules that admits of no exceptions, ever. Am I just hopelessly naive?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    anton kleinschmidt
    May 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Hey Anton,

    “Am I the only reader who finds the Naidu, Fassbinder and Nortje profoundly tedious.”



  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    May 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Hey MO,

    “You knew all along that JZ had his hands in the kitty (your words), yet supported him with enthusiasm?”

    That’s naughty – you know full well that it is neither what I said nor implied.

    I did not know and still don’t know that “JZ had his hands in the kitty”.

    But I would not be surprised if that were true.

    I don’t think the ‘feasting’ is limited to politicians either – business, judges, the legal fraternity, medical professionals, civil servants, educators, policepersons …..

    It kinda reminds me of the research post the major New York blackout which found the looters were from across the social, political, religious, professional, business spectrum.

    You’re mistaken that “financial corruption should be the political equivalent of the death sentence for anyone in public life” – that only applies to politicians who have passed their sell-by dates.

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    Michael Osborne says:
    May 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Yes, this is hardly Jerry Springer. Frankly, I’m astonished that Pierre does not just boot them off.

    Participatory democracy can be too much of a good thing.

    They ought to be grateful that they are allowed to vote. Trying to sway opinion is carrying things too far!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    vuyani ngalwana
    May 15, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Hey VN,

    The ANC has become what we, i.e. those who are pissed off, have allowed it to become.

    Our most powerful thinkers and orators have retreated into the shadows of nearly nothingness.

    The politically (and intellectually) capable have given way to the lot we have now. And we (that’s you and I and other like us) stood by and let that happen.

    Our cabinet is an OMG statement.

    It cannot be that the DGs which we have, are the best among us.

    South Africa’s youth are among the finest and brightest in the world. Yet they are represented by butt showing, drunkards and dullards.

    This the ANC has become while we stand still and look on helplessly (and moan, lots of moaning).

  • Michael Osborne

    Maggs, you wrote, in the context of my reference to the arms deal, that “our most powerful politicians (all of them)” did not “keep their hands out of the kitty. ” You added: “Every opportunity in my view was exploited to the hilt”

    An hour later, you write: “I did not know and still don’t know that JZ had his hands in the kitty”.

    So which is it, Maggs?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “South Africa’s youth are among the finest and brightest in the world”

    Maggs is right. As I travel around the world, I am often struck by the poor quality of foreign youth, compared to our fine, bright youngsters. Both Estonian and Sri Lankan kids, for example, seem bland and listless, if one is accustomed to the brilliant vibracy of the children of Limpopo!


  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    May 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Hey MO,

    I wrote “(i)t reads like that you’re pretending that I am pretending that our most powerful politicians (all of them) kept their hands out of the kitty” – it is very different to what you imply.

    Nor was it “in the context of [your] reference to the arms deal” – it was in reference to Dworky’s comment which had nothing to do with the arms deal.

    I do not hold the view that anyone (and I mean anyone) can be excluded from having dipped into the kitty – this does not equate to everyone having dipped into the kitty. Nor does it mean that I knew that Zuma was or is corrupt. There are strong rumours – but as we know rumours are simply not enough.

    Nonetheless I would be be hugely surprised if the likes of Joel Netshitenzhe, Pallo Jordan, Pravin Gordhan, Jeremy Cronin and several others were at all found to have stolen or have indirectly benefited (illegally, immorally or unethically) from the state coffers.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Hey Mossad Guy,

    What about the brilliant youth from the IZE?

    The ones who are sent to drop kindness bombs from planes onto the violent babies across their border – those little monsters who have too many limbs and other body parts.

    You do a disservice to the youth of the IZE by ignoring them.

  • Michael Osborne

    Maggs, when you said that you do not pretend that “our most powerful politicians (all of them) kept their hands out of the kitty,” the implication of your double negative formulation seems fairly clear — that you suspect that “all of them” did indeed have their hands in the kitty.

    Any doubt that might remain was swept away when you immediately added “every opportunity in my view was exploited to the hilt and then some.”

    And please do not try to deny that this discussion was all in the context of the arms deal.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, I think you are (broadly speaking) right. But I did want to respectfully correct you on one teensy-little point. You claim that your reference to JZ’s hands being in the kitty “had nothing to do with the arms deal”

    Actually, it had everything to do with the arms deal. You were responding to my suggestion (May 15, 2011 at 9:17 am), that “stories that Zuma had been corrupted in the arms deal were nothing more than scurrilous rumors invented by Mbeki’s agents.”


  • Cy

    “You asked “How many people chose Zuma in Polokwane?”

    Sorry, Maggs, let me try that again. The 60% of delagates at Polokwane were, I presume, all ANC members and did not represent the entire voting population of South Africa. Besides, many of them will have changed their minds by now. To what extent will, of course, only become apparent during next year’s brouhaha at Mangaung (Polokwane II).

    Let me assure you that I have no problem with anyone who wants to vote for the ANC. In fact, I was momentarily tempted to do so myself on May 18, for the simple reason that the local DA faction makes the ANC equivalent look good. However, of all the parties contesting my ward only the ANC did not ask me for my vote. Not even a pamphlet in the mailbox! Meanwhile, they have assigned a mean-looking white female candidate to my ward. The ANC does not wish to speak to me.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    May 15, 2011 at 13:22 pm

    Hey MO,

    That’s not what I wrote or how I wrote it.

    Let me rephrase my view – it is improbable that none of our powerful politicians kept their hands out of the kitty. It is more than likely that many dipped as deeply as they could. And the kitty means more than the arms deal. The rot went to more than corrupt deals – I suspect that money was directly stolen too.

    Why do you think that corruption and/or theft was limited to only the arms deal?

    Re Zuma – there’s some hectic allegations hanging in the air. I don’t think that it can be said that he’s innocent. Nor did I believe he was innocent at the time that I supported his ascension to the highest office in our land. As I wrote earlier, I stand by my then decision. Right now I hold a different view but that’s another matter.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 15, 2011 at 14:12 pm

    Hey Dworky

    “Actually, it had everything to do with the arms deal. You were responding to my suggestion (May 15, 2011 at 9:17 am)”

    Your comment that you pointed out has (a) or (b).

    Did you Tipp-ex (b)??????

    I musta missed that – I will Tipp-ex my screen. 😛

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    Maggs, you’re enveloping this blog in a circus-like atmosphere again…

  • Maggs Naidu –

    May 15, 2011 at 15:46 pm

    Hey Cy,

    Our constitution is what it is. Anything different will mean a change to the constitution. Some want the electoral system changed but may not like the outcome – recall the floor crossing legislation that the smaller parties wanted until it bit them in the butt.

    Anyway, until there is a change we have to live with what we have. The central thread from those unhappy with the status quo is that the ANC has too much support. The way to solve that is for them to become better at what they do and not fidget with the rules. The smaller parties have to rise out of their mediocrity and not cry for political handouts.

    I am not sure what the relevance is of “(l)et me assure you that I have no problem with anyone who wants to vote for the ANC”. People will vote for whom they want. Or not vote.

    I have not yet decided whether or not to vote. If I do vote it will be for the ANC. If I don’t vote, it will be because I do not have the confidence that the ANC at local level has earned my vote. My leaning for now is to not voting. But there’s still many hours between now and X time.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    May 15, 2011 at 18:24 pm

    Hey Brett,

    “Maggs, you’re enveloping this blog in a circus-like atmosphere again…”


    Ignore Anton Kleinschmidt – he rarely has any interesting input anyway.

    MO just wants to be the class monitor.

    I am not about to give up on insulting you just cos they feel whatever it is they feel – but nice for you that both have the need to protect one of their own. 😛

  • Michael Osborne

    Brett is, for once, right. What makes your act especially appropriate for the circus is your astonishing juggling, spinning trapeze/high-wire act regarding what you believed when you supported JZ at Polokwane. I see you favour the perplexing double negative circumlocution: “It is improbable that none of our powerful politicians kept their hands out of the kitty” [!?!]

    Bottom line is that you now admit that you supported the ascendance of a man you already believed to be a crook. Now you protest he has disappointed you. But you cannot really complain that all the fowls have been eaten if you knew that the creature to whom you assigned the keys to the barn was, in fact, a fox. (I think Aesop said that. Or someone of his time.)

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Michael Osborne
    May 15, 2011 at 18:49 pm

    Hey MO,

    I see Faganism has invaded again.

    If I say that all is not necessarily blue, it does not follow that none are blue.

    Indeed I have supported Zuma. And it is moot that I am disappointed but much that is happening under his presidency. Further if there is no credible alternative emerges I will support Zuma again. The suspicions that he may have been engaged in corruption does not alter my position.

    Pick all the holes you can in that, not much will change.

    But here’s the thing – Brett has the balls to openly support the ACDP. I mock him for that. It does not deter him. But he has the courage of his convictions (whether I or others think lowly of his choice) to be open about it and brave enough to stand up for what he believes.

    Who do you support and why?

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    Hey, Maggs, it is a bit early to put out the feelers for coalitions!

    At least wait until the first results come out…

    Michael is right. Double-negatives are so….so….working class?

  • Zulani

    PdV, have you noticed that this particular blog of yours has attracted:
    – the longest reactions per reaction
    – the most new members of the bloggers club
    – the true sentiments of your regulars
    – that the real SHE has shown her coulors but without the usual “thanks”

    This is fun

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    May 15, 2011 at 20:12 pm

    Hey Brett,

    Your enthusiasm is getting the better of you. You pigeon’s se coalition.

    I dunno about Michael being right – Michael (and many others) don’t have the courage to say what their positions are, bravely choosing rather to critique the positions of others.

    It kinda reminds me of the cuckoo which does not build its own nest, nor hatch the egg or nurture the young. Instead she lays her eggs in other birds nests.

    So I guess we’ve invented the political cuckoos. :)

  • Zulani

    @Maggs Naidu – says:
    May 15, 2011 at 18:26 pm
    May 15, 2011 at 15:46 pm

    Maggs the best post on this blog. Without your permission I’m going to send it to my distribution list of senior people in RSA. Thanks for a clear headed argument.

  • http://deleted Brett Nortje

    You. The ANC’s natural environment is a bucket toilet.

    ‘Zille’ in ’n doodskis wat uit karton gesny is
    2011-05-15 21:28

    “Die DA is soos apartheid.”

    Dít was gister ANC-leiers se boodskap aan duisende ondersteuners op die ANC se grootste verkiesingsaamtrek vanjaar in die ENB-stadion in Soweto.

    Mnr. Julius Malema, ANC-jeugleier, het die koor teen die DA gelei deur weer na me. ­Helen Zille, DA-leier, te kap.

    “Die DA is vir wit mense, nooit vir julle nie. Julle moet nooit sê julle behoort aan die DA nie.

    Die Madam is alleen in beheer van daardie party. Ons sal Kaapstad van Die Madam vat, ons sal Midvaal van Die Madam vat.

    “Hulle het ons mense doodgemaak en ons moet nooit vergeet van waar ons kom nie. Ons sal die vyand oorwin. Die ANC gaan al die munisipaliteite in die land wen.”

    Me. Ruth Bhengu van die South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), het die DA daarvan beskuldig dat hy “soos die apartheidsregering” is en “nie om verskoning gevra het nie”, terwyl mnr. Paul Mashatile, ANC-leier in Gauteng en minister van kuns en kultuur, gesê het die ANC “jaag die DA uit Midvaal”.

    “Daar’s net een en dis die ANC,” het hy gesê.

    Ook mnr. Sidumo Dlamini, Cosatu-leier, het gesê: “Niemand kan vir ons sê om te vergeet dat die ANC die party is wat ons na vryheid gelei het nie.”

    ’n Groep van die sowat 91 000 mense in die stadion het ’n doodskis uit karton gesny met ’n babapop wat Zille uitbeeld binne-in en dit in toesprake rondgeswaai.

    Pres. Jacob Zuma het mense herinner hoe sleg dinge onder apartheid was deur op die ANC se “verbeterings” in verskeie “apartheid-legendes” te fokus, onder meer kragtoevoer, onderwys, transformasie, misdaad en werkskepping.

    Zuma het gesê mense moet ANC stem om “die wat dood is onder die apartheid-regime te onthou”.

    Malema was die enigste spreker wat staande toegejuig is.

  • eagleowl

    As a non-black I feel distinctly alienated (“othered”) by the ANC’s campaign. It seems their platform is “Fight WHITE”.

    If this is where they want to go, all of us who cannot point to a immediate ancestor who was black, and in the struggle, had better made plans for when they start eliminating us “Madams” and “cockroaches”.

    Shades of Rwanda – that is the message I get. Maybe not what they intended, but that’s what they said to me.


  • vuyani ngalwana

    @ eagleowl:

    Kak, and you know it!!!

  • eagleowl

    @vuyani ngalwana

    You may consider it Kak

    I speak of MY feelings, which you cannot share. As those who suffered under Apartheid know that I cannot share their feelings about that; I may empathise or dismiss their feelings with “get over it already”, but I cannot know what they feel.

    Just so, as a black man you cannot know what fears that rhetoric raises in me. The ANC (specifically Malema, and he is not being gainsaid) are making me fearful as an older white woman. I would never use that sort of language to another human being.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Eagleowl, with respect, you have no right to feel intimidated by the rhetoric of Malema and others. As President Zuma assured KZN farmers this weekend, Mr Malema is on a steep “learning curve.” (I think this just another way of articulating what JZ has said before: that Malema is “young” and has a “lot to learn.”)

    Besides, as Maggs has pointed out, South Africa is now almost fully modernised. Tribal, ethnic and racial affiliations are largely a thing of the past — except to the extent they are provoked by the RACISM of the Madam and her liberal party.


  • Brett Nortje

    Zuma also said nothing when Juju said whites were criminals who should be treated as such.

    Maggs, I must say supporting Zuma while having a good idea how he would turn out was brilliant.

    Are you ready to share your exit strategy for Zuma with us?

  • Pierre De Vos

    South African Human Rights Commission finding about open toilets in Moqhaka Municipality now available here:

  • eagleowl

    Asaph Madimetja Chuene
    21 April 2011

    Asaph Madimetja Chuene says Malema should be honest about why he sings ‘dubula ibhunu’ song about the struggle, which may destroy it

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Brett

    “Are you ready to share your exit strategy for Zuma with us?”

    Brett, I would also be curious to hear if Maggs will let us know if he is now planning to support a successor to JZ whom he also knows (or suspects), is a crook — on the basis that the awesome responsibilities of high office will bring him into line!


  • Brett Nortje

    My curiosity was on a more fundamental level.

    Once Zuma was entrenched in office – with the spectre of prison looming outside, and Dudu and Khulobese coining it like crazy – how did people like Maggs propose to get rid of him, once his two terms were up?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 16, 2011 at 13:24 pm

    Hey Mossad Guy,

    “Brett, I would also be curious to hear if Maggs will let us know if he is now planning to support a successor to JZ whom he also knows (or suspects), is a crook”.

    Not really.

    I am looking for someone with very high morals, ethics and integrity.

    Any idea where I should start looking?

    A priest of sorts? Erm, maybe not.

    Hey I got it – perhaps among the legal fraternity?

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Hey Boiled Head,

    “Besides, as Maggs has pointed out, South Africa is now almost fully modernised. Tribal, ethnic and racial affiliations are largely a thing of the past — except to the extent they are provoked by the RACISM of the Madam and her liberal party.”

    You’re suffering a severe bout of Brettinitis!

    Get some meds.

    Not the white powder that you’re taking, real meds.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, Yes, it may well be that you will find a good candidate among lawyers. Another place to look is among the young. There are those whom, although still struggling up a steep “learning curve,” appear to inspire our people at rallies more than others. I think you know who I have in mind …


  • izeze

    “I think you know who I have in mind …”

    Oh, HIM! Fassbinder … oh, Fassbinder … you’re nothing short of brilliant. One word of criticism, though: your comment should read “WHOM I have in mind”. Please take the English language a little more seriously.


  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ izeze


  • Maggs Naidu –

    Brett Nortje
    May 16, 2011 at 13:01 pm

    Hey Goofy,

    “Are you ready to share your exit strategy for Zuma with us?”


    The exit strategy is that Zuma will retire as your President in 2019.

    See the handbook for the package which will go with that.

    Two years before that he will retire as ANC president.

  • Maggs Naidu –

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    May 16, 2011 at 20:15 pm

    hehehehe – you’re scared to say Julius Malema – a bout of Eagleowlitis?

    He’s not an option because, as you know already, he is young and has a lot to learn.

    When, if ever, he has learned enough (perhaps in 2104) maybe a possibility.

  • izeze

    Maggs: “The exit strategy is that Zuma will retire as our President in 2019.”

    By which time he will be, what, 78 years of age? Please Bru! He should have retired at 60, or 65, like everybody else. Finies en klaar!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    May 17, 2011 at 15:06 pm

    Hey Izeze,

    “He should have retired at 60, or 65, like everybody else. Finies en klaar!”


    I hope you find the time soon to read our constitution as it relates to the election of the president.

  • izeze

    Maggs: “Ihope you find the time soon to read our constitution as it relates to the election of the president”

    Hey, I always make time to read the constitution. Indeed, I carry a miniature version of it on my person at all times! To my dismay, it doesn’t appear to stipulate any age limit. This needs to be attended to. Only dictatorships employ geriatrics as heads of state!

  • Maggs Naidu –

    May 17, 2011 at 19:45 pm


    “Only dictatorships employ geriatrics as heads of state!”

    Check your pocket constitution – a magnifying glass may be useful. 😛

    Our constitution does not allow for discrimination based on age.

  • Brett Nortje

    ITUMELENG MAHABANE: Our failure on display as poor dance for
    ‘We cannot have a government that thinks it’s okay to classify
    policy information with no bearing on security’

    Published: 2011/05/20 06:57:21 AM

    A SCENE on TV from the local government elections wrenched my
    heart. It was of old people and prepubescent children dancing and
    showing off to the cameras the loaves of bread they had just been
    given by the Democratic Alliance (DA). Seventeen years after
    democracy, in a country that three years ago had one of the
    highest growth rates of dollar millionaires, our people are
    literally dancing for their freedom meal, thanking madam for a
    loaf of bread.

    But this is less about the DA and more about the general failure
    of post-apartheid society. At a minimum, the end of apartheid
    should have ushered in an era of dignity for black South
    Africans. Overnight material change was never a reality. Yet, 17
    years into the new society, a sense of opportunity for all, of
    dignity and patient expectation of economic and social inclusion,
    should have been possible. We should not blame this on slow
    “transformation”. We cannot deny black agency in the slow pace of
    development and poverty eradication.

    Our people are dancing for bread because our economic growth has
    been insufficient and because we have failed to create a culture
    of performance and accountability in the government. The wealth
    we created during the high-growth years has been poorly spent
    because we did not think building a government of competent
    people was a priority. Our people dance for bread because we have
    failed to build an outcomes-based, responsive, accountable system
    of governance.

    The black bourgeoisie must ask themselves what role they play in
    shaping this society and its future and in legitimising the
    structures and priorities of the government.

    A few weeks ago, Rhodes University economist Gavin Keeton
    lamented the fact that South African policy pundits pay so little
    attention to the Growth Commission. Led by renowned economists
    Michael Spence and Robert Sorrow, the commission is an
    extraordinary piece of work involving some of the world’s most
    brilliant academic and business minds, including policy makers
    from the emerging markets whose growth trajectories have turned
    conventional economic theories of what is possible on their

    One of the most important things about the commission is that its
    work is evidence- based. Though it offers no simple formulas and
    prescriptions, it describes a variety of what you might call
    foundations for high, long-run growth, including some ostensibly
    fuzzy elements. One of those fuzzy elements is the quality of
    policy debate – not just in the government but also in society.
    Informed debate about good and bad policies is important because
    there are no “one size fits all” solutions, although through the
    commission’s rigorous two-year process, it identified a framework
    of sorts.

    We need a more open society, with non- government actors able to
    engage policy makers in frank discussion on good and bad
    policies, within an action-orientated, evidence-based,
    best-practice framework. We cannot have ministers demanding to
    know by what right people question the policies of an elected
    government, or a government that thinks it’s okay to classify
    policy information with no bearing on security.

    An early question about policy is this: do we chose a consumption
    society or a future- orientated, investment-focused society – no
    country seems to have achieved long-run growth that results in
    structural economic transformation without eschewing consumption
    for investment and future dividends. The black bourgeoisie, who
    provide a veneer of legitimacy for government choices, must ask
    what legacy it wants for itself and what future for its children.
    We can build an inclusive, forward-looking, dynamic African
    state, able to take a leadership role in the changing world order
    that holds promise for emerging markets. To do that we must
    promote a government whose priority is building the institutional
    frameworks and networks to support long-term economic
    development. One that appreciates that unemployment and
    urbanisation that allow us to maximise investment in public goods
    are bigger priorities than land redistribution. One that
    understands that fostering new small and medium-sized enterprises
    and black entrepreneurs is more important than ferreting out
    white capital that has not sold a stake to the maid.

    It demands focusing on an outward-facing economy, and an
    understanding that natural endowments offer diminishing returns –
    and that disciplined adherence to an incentives- based policy
    regime promotes investment, industrialisation, entrepreneurship
    and the building of knowledge.

    Essentially, we must ask: is our goal nostalgic – to recapture a
    lost land? Or is it to be the masters of our own destiny in an
    unwritten future? Life is not static. We must look to the future.
    Unless we enjoy seeing our people dancing for bread as a reminder
    that we no longer have to.

    . Mahabane is a partner at Brunswick. He writes in his personal