An open letter to President Zuma
- Ivo Vegter
- 19 Feb 2013 01:34 (South Africa)
No, wait, that’s too informal. As Chris Rock, the US comedian declared about his own president during a demonstration of leadership about gun control: “The president of the United States is – you know – our boss, but he’s also you know, the president and the first lady are like the mom and the dad of the country and when your dad says something you listen...”
Dear Father Zuma,
I write this letter because I feel angry. And confused. Angry and confused. And betrayed. I write this letter because I feel angry and confused and betrayed. And I have a fanatical devotion to not feeling that way.
In other words, I (or should I say “we, the people”) demand that you do something about the scourge of rape and murder. Although it happens all the time, it has happened again, and this time, like every time, we’ve had enough.
I join my voice with the millions who demand that you show leadership. “The country looks for leadership during these times,” writes Judith February. “The DA called on Zuma, in his address, to show leadership,” reports City Press.
February works at the Human Sciences Research Council, which no doubt qualifies her to pronounce on what it is that we, the people, need. The DA has a leader of its own, so if even they want the ANC to lead them, their need to be led must be strong. Who am I to question the experts about my need for a strong man to lead me?
Clearly, we all agree that what will prevent the horrible things we read about in the newspapers is leadership. Say something meaningful like, “violence against women has to stop”. Or, “stop wearing tarty clothes, you provocative sluts”.
Assure us that you really aren’t secretly in favour of violence against women, unless they’re asking for it. Then, leadership shown, you can get on with doing something.
Do what? you may ask. Well, if we knew what, exactly, we wouldn’t need a father figure to demand leadership from, now would we? We could do it ourselves. Just do something that will make all the awfulness go away.
Perhaps reassure us how outraged we all are. If you do that in one of those multi-billion rand football stadiums we have left over from the World Cup, it would make you look like a leader who can tell us what to think and feel.
Most people will surely listen if a leader asks them to stop being criminals. The rest will listen if you tell them there’s something in it for them, because that’s capitalism, which, like all principles, can be very moral when it conveniently suits one’s political aims.
So, ask nicely and offer an incentive. Say, five years without raping or killing someone, and you get a free house. Ten years, and the government will create a job, reserved just for you. If you need money to fund the rewards for all the not raping and not killing, just tax those self-important graduates and the companies they work for. Don’t let them take the moral high ground, and pretend that they don’t all secretly harbour aggressive behaviour towards women, or wish death upon their customers, competitors or corporate overlords. They’ve got oodles of money, and if they run out, they can always dig up more gold. It’s for a greater good, and it would end rape, and end the killing.
Here’s another idea. Make rape and murder illegal. That would send a stern message to rapists and murderers that what they’re doing just ain’t right.
Also, bring back the death penalty for murderers. Then they will know that if they get caught, and the crime gets investigated, and the evidence holds up, and they’re found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and a higher court can’t drive a prison bus through the holes in the lower court’s handling of the case, they will face serious consequences.
Castrating rapists is also a good idea. You can’t rape if you don’t have the equipment to commit the crime, now can you? Some say that this would give a rapist a motive to kill their victim, who is often, inconveniently, the sole and traumatised witness. But that’s just stupid, obviously, because murder is against the law.
Until you impose sin taxes on them, you’ll hear from a lot of graduates who criticise you without official permission or democratic mandate. Some of them – rich white elitists fondling their law degrees in their ivory towers – will take to their blogs to say that, constitutionally speaking, people have the right not to be “punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way”. But ignore them. By pointing out what the constitution says, they’re obviously racists implying that you can’t read. Besides, most of us will agree that, given the cruelty, inhumanity and degradation of their heinous crimes, no rapist or murderer deserves our mercy.
In fact, you’ll probably win a lot of votes for the ANC by taking such a strong stance on judicial vengeance, or at least staunch the bleeding of supporters disillusioned with your lack of leadership. Polishing your electoral credentials seems important, what with counter-revolutionary interlopers like that jumped-up educator, Mamphela Ramphele, starting political parties. Perhaps underscore the seriousness of your leadership by changing the fusty old shield and assegai on the ANC crest to a torch and a pitchfork.
Not that you can’t learn from uppity losers who don’t have a mandate to speak on behalf of the people but still presume to trespass on private property to embarrass the ANC. Take Helen Zille, for example, the leader calling for your leadership. In justifying the intent to throw the book at a skateboarder who upset the Western Cape nannies, she said that the public keeps asking her to “do something” about road safety. The appeal to “do something” gives her provincial government cover to “do anything”, as her MEC for transport, Robin Carlisle, recently made clear, when he answered a question about whether a particular law enforcement proposal was legal: “I have no idea, but I don’t care either… We’ve got no option but to pull out all the stops, whether illegal or legal… I just don’t know what else to do than to become very rough.”
(Cue elitist degree-fondler:”Power does funny things to people.” Sure, but what’s the point of power if you can’t wield it with impunity? If it doesn’t stop the DA, why should it stop you, the legitimate patriarch of the true majority party?)
Speaking of the means to commit crimes, it is also time that we ban guns. Guns kill people. They seem like inanimate objects of cold steel, without a will of their own, but deep down they’re quivering with evil intent.
True, there are a lot of guns in South Africa. I’ve read long, serious-sounding reports by groups with long, serious-sounding names, that studied South Africa’s violent crime in light of Apartheid and the political violence during our “peaceful” transition to democracy, and the “mental and emotional dispositions and pathologies” this might have caused. If there’s one thing they all agree on it is that our society is awash with guns. A “metric boatload”, is the technical term, I think.
Once guns are banned, just instruct the security police to systematically search all vehicles, commercial premises, industrial sites and private homes for guns, and confiscate them. You’d better make it illegal to bribe the police, too, so criminals can’t buy the confiscated armaments from bent cops.
It’s not like South Africans will complain. We submit to police-state road blocks all the time. I was recently stopped while trying to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the scenic route from one small town to another. I didn’t complain. They ordered me to get out of my car and open my boot. I didn’t complain. They opened my bags and rifled through my dirty laundry. I didn’t complain. They said they were searching for drugs, and since I was coming from Greyton, with Knysna plates, on a gravel road, that’s probable cause right there, innit? I laughed it off. What’s a little warrantless police harassment on a deserted back road when it might stop my local Rastafarian community from obtaining the holy herbs they use in their devilry? I’m sure South Africans would welcome the police into their homes to search for weapons, and if they don’t, well, then it stands to reason that they’ve got something to hide, doesn’t it?
As for those who want to defend their own lives, loved ones and property against criminals, well, they won’t need guns if the criminals don’t have them, obviously.
Now some sentimental softies who studied sociology and other such unscientific hogwash will claim that the real problem lies with deep-seated psychological factors, such as a machismo culture that glorifies men’s physical and sexual prowess, deeply embedded patriarchal traditions that devalue the role of women in society, or a political history of trauma, oppression and violence. This may all sound very unAfrican, but don’t dismiss them out of hand.
They will start petitions asking that you spend lots of money on them. Mostly, this will pay for advertisements that say murder and rape are bad things and that we’re bad people if we do them. A few will strongly disagree, and spend the money educating us about the fact that all of us are bad people, and we ought to stop it, this instant.
Spending some of the graduates’ money on these organisations will keep them quietly occupied theorising about the memetic manifestations of inter-gender violence in society and the appropriate post-feminist response. This may not sound like something you’ll find interesting, but think of it this way: what better way to get support for the claim that we are all to blame for the crimes of the few, so draconian measures against all of us are the hallmark of a true leader, doing something?
As a famous inventor of bifocals once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve a Dear Leader.”
Be our Dear Leader. Remember that gunslinging sheriffs made America great. Rudy Giuliani’s zero tolerance policy cleaned up New York. Under Stalin and Breshnev, crime was limited to cases of mental retardation, poor upbringing, and capitalist influence. Like mist before the morning sun, crime vanishes before a leader, busily doing something.
And in the unlikely event that none of that doing something actually does something, why not just abolish taxes on beer, wine and spirits? At least then we, the people, will be free to drink ourselves stupid and forget about all the horrible newspaper stories.
Oh, wait, some famous people turn out to be ugly drunks. Better ban booze too.
Dazed and Confused
South Africa DM
- Green-left messiah desperately seeking spin-doctor
- The gun genie and its bottle
- On energy, environment, and regulatory independence
- South Africa’s schools of witchcraft and wizardry
- Grab shale gas opportunity, but avoid opportunism
- It’s about who you don’t vote for
- Free markets as a moderate position
- Voting: there’s still time to change your mind
- Green tech is cool, but not because it’s green
- How Mmusi Maimane swindled a vote out of me
- The case to elect Malema to Parliament
- The intellectual gnome, Chomsky
- If Malema isn’t Pol Pot, is he still dangerous?
- Do Malema's followers understand ‘agrarian reform’?
- Look ma, I'm defending Shell's record in Nigeria!
- Any weather is evidence for global warming
- U-turn prof finds his fracking fears are avoidable
- Ramphele et al: The world according to angry feminists
- On HIV/Aids and scary-big numbers
- Cherry-picking ‘grey literature’ on rhino horn
- 350,000 reasons to kill a black rhino
- Eight myths about libertarians
- New Year’s resolutions for other people
- All I want for Christmas is a fire pool
- In defence of Donald Trump
- My old South African flag
- Fearful Fukushima fiction fatigue
- Do we tolerate private sector corruption?
- In defence of a lion killer
- Save the rare wine and endangered craft beer
- Forever blowing bubbles: shale gas economics
- Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill: When “certainty” means “wait and see”
- This land is my land: a revolution
- The launch of SA's Libertarian Party: herding cats in time for 2014
- The African case against the ICC
- The fossil fuel subsidy myth
- Think of the little fishies!
- The hilariously misunderstood libertarian
- The sickly history of sweeteners
- Pants on fire, but they’re not mine
- The obstructionism of shale gas activists
- How mind-numbing numbers whip up fear
- Why pick on Khanyi Dhlomo?
- Half-measures will fail the rhino
- Malema’s righteous anger... and naïve confusion
- Lottery licence to go to one lucky winner
- Vaccinations: when the state stabs the people
- Do reusable shopping bags kill people?
- The long walk to serfdom
- The Karoo desperately needs development
- The trials of Samson Shuttleworth
- The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest
- Raping the discourse about rape
- Who is the reasonable man?
- Fracking: Debating a big deal
- Who needs the Queen’s English?
- Electric cars: Taking from the poor to give to the rich
- Business Licensing Bill: An indefensible defence
- Red-tape tourism
- The Big Business Bribery Bill
- On Thatcher and society, Vavi and the market
- Extinction: Let’s make up numbers and panic!
- Feeding the world is getting easier
- Stop talking shit: Build your own toilet
- Climate change is pseudo-science
- Anti-competitive competition law
- The Department of Less Government
- An open letter to President Zuma
- In defence of Kim Kardashian
- The world’s weirdest wildlife sanctuary
- Boycott calls are simple-minded
- In defence of vegans
- The population explosion implodes
- Environmental backpedalling picks up pace
- How Mangaung can help and hinder entrepreneurs
- The elusive libertarian enclave
- The Gathering: Ivo Vegter
- The hidden overemployment crisis
- The case for constructive environmentalism
- Privatise the Western Cape's shacks
- Tenders: Not open to employees or their families
- Hurricanes fuel climate sensationalism
- Next: Gross-out warnings on food
- No new deal: The failure of Zumanomics
- Benoni has a bright idea
- Was I wrong about acid rain?
- Public food gardens: Where dumb ideas thrive
- Rethinking the costly food label madness
- Give hunting a chance
- Fracking gets green light, but here's the risk
- Socialists, bless 'em, visit Cape Town
- Buy a 1Time ticket now
- Give the ANC credit where credit is due
- The myth of the competent apartheid government
- It's a disaster that 'peak oil' is not a disaster
- No Gravy: a label for sustainable business
- This lightbulb's going to blow
- Smokers? Get 'em up against the wall!
- Inflating the obesity scare
- Bring a Shotgun to School Day
- GMOs: Hacking genes to feed the world
- The hidden dangers of charity
- Fracking: the unread paper debated
- Fracking: The “U-turn” paper nobody has read
- Eco-cronyism is as dangerous as any other
- SKA: Be grateful Karoo residents didn't object
- Energy: Get cracking on fracking
- Fair trade, unfair trade-off
- Casual labour is only bad for Vavi's unions
- 'Externalities', the catch-all justification for regulation
- 'Externalities', the catch-all justification for regulation
- How do we fix our dismal education?
- Barter: the rebirth of sound money
- Rights are not entitlements
- Debunking 'limits to growth' inanities
- Tax: Why align with "most other countries"?
- Newspaper sensationalism doesn't help rhinos
- Rolling Stone reprises Gasland's fracking fantasies
- Cosatu's manipulative march move
- Why do 16 million people not constitute an economy?
- The age of smear politics
- Does fracking cause earthquakes?
- The Chinese model is morbidly obese
- Green tech: doubling down on a losing bet
- Rape, pornography, and hell's grannies
- Petrol taxes won't hurt the poor
- Jailtime mooted for bad weather warnings
- Let's ban bans, and start with CITES
- In defence of overpaid sport stars
- On the death of Kim Jong-Il
- COP17: Let's ban fire
- Cancer gets you when nothing else can
- COP17: The 'party on' agenda
- COP17: The Blue Line of Death
- New seven natural inanities
- Occupiers' anger is all that makes sense
- The Luddites and Technocrats live on
- Malema marches for economic slavery
- Profitable purveyors of pudendal prettiness
- Sense? Us?
- If they want rhino horn, let's sell them some
- "Stimulate" economy by ending telco abuses
- Executive pay makes nobody poorer
- Malema's real persecution
- Mogoeng: Lock up your daughters
- Don't mandate insurance, deregulate healthcare
- I sympathise with Malema's persecution complex
- Short selling: panicked pols ban proof of failure
- Don't blame those who saw it coming
- What's obscene about profit?
- In defence of Bombela
- Dear president Zuma, you are not above the law
- The economics of love
- Treasure the Karoo? Ban the SKA!
- Malema is right, you know
- Gautrain's PPP: political patronage profiteering
- Kumi Naidoo is no hero
- LeadSA fails to lead when it matters
- No logo means carte blanche
- The drug war: dopey but dangerous
- A response to fracking critics
- Don't vote. It's your right.
- Welcome Walmart
- If you're happy and you know it clap your hands
- Buy local, support poverty
- Ubuntu, the free-market way
- Karoo fracking scandal exposed!
- I'm ashamed for my profession
- The bill of bunkum
- Being gay: a brand new concept!
- Who's afraid of the nuclear wolf?
- The nationalisation canard
- Ogilvy should grow a spine
- The new robber barons
- A classy revolution: Why we cared
- Bombastic Bombela balks
- Liberty is more than mere democracy
- Gautrain has a law unto itself
- The irony of 'services for all'
- How to hire a hitman in SA
- Arrive alive and neurotic
- The oppression of taxis
- Protection of Information Bill and why WikiLeaks is so dangerous
- Fifa, Russia and Qatar deserve each other
- One day, we'll all hate WikiLeaks
- The cycling mafia strikes again
- What Julius got for Christmas
- Let's return the beads
- Away with fascist seat belt laws
- Tintin Mbeki in the Sudan
- How the ANC can make everyone happy
- Currency: the race to the bottom.
- Hurrah for national healthcare!
- Give Zimbabweans citizenship
- Carte Blanche has no carte blanche
- That finger-licking, lip-smacking taste
- Bomb the barbaric lot already
- Green tax: another raid is coming
- Do strikers deserve anything?
- The media will lose this battle
- Global warmism needs a fisking
- A glass half-full
- Go ahead, have a baby
- Stop the handouts - end xenophobia
- The right to fire
- FIFA's heart of darkness
- Have some self-respect
- I ordered an orange skirt
- Secretly, Match blames South Africa
- The stupendous Gautrain: a rare marvel!
- The Fifa conquistadors are coming!
- What's wrong with everyone?
- Leave poor BP alone
- The destructive power of government
- The bonsai economy
- The darkness of Africa
- Who is ripping off whom?
- Anatomy of a whitewash
- While FIFA takes over, we fight
- The pointless pretence of Earth Hour
- Ten reasons to reject climate alarmism
- Really, boycott the FIFA farce
- The climate dominoes fall
- Lessons in ethics from Dick Cheney
- Screw the consumer
- In defence of bankers
- Break the banking cartel
- Julius Malema, the walking contradiction
- Boycott FIFA
- Climate clarity
- In defence of Boney M
- Pray Copenhagen fails
- Capitalism is not unkind
- Climate fraud kills people
- Pop goes the hot air balloon
- Peace, love and schadenfreude
- The irony of the left
- Too late to cool it?
- Going cold turkey