DM168

LETTER FROM THE DM168 EDITOR

You ANC nothing yet – another shocker from our Scorpio team

You ANC nothing yet – another shocker from our Scorpio team
The Rooiwal wastewater works. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla) | President Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa during the ANC's Siyanqoba rally. (Photo: Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu) | John Steenhuisen celebrating his win as party leader at the DA Federal Congress in Midrand on 2 April 2023. (Photo: Supplied) | A tanker delivers water to residents of Hamanskraal. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

There’s an election year looming, and voters will be called on to make some tough choices – especially those who supported the ANC in the past. This week, DM168 reveals a truly shocking fact about just who funded the ANC’s 2016 election campaign.

Dear DM168 readers,

Way back in 1997, when we were in our kumbaya, Ebony and Ivory living together in perfect harmony democratic honeymoon phase, Pieter-Dirk Uys and his alter ego Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout staged a satirical show titled You ANC Nothing Yet. A play on the joke hit song You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet by the Seventies Canadian band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

I vaguely remember this phrase, “You ANC nothing yet”, from even further back in the Eighties as a line of surreptitiously sprayed graffiti on city walls. As a colourful dab of delicious defiance against a stifling, bald PW Botha-esque-index-finger-wagging dystopia.

The ANC was a banned organisation then. Verboten. Driven underground and into exile by swart and rooigevaar. Its leaders and members were behind bars, under house arrest or had escaped to neighbouring states to undergo military training in Eastern Europe and the USSR.

Others went off to the US and Western Europe to corral a global anti-apartheid movement. Underground and in exile, ordinary men and women became mythologised into saints and superheroes who stood up for the majority of us against the violent racist despots voted in by a white minority.

It is a generational memory of more than 300 years of dispossession and dehumanisation and that all-too-familiar and more recent three-decade old reminder of what happened when only whites ruled, which will scupper any dream any white political leader, however competent or anti-racist, might possibly have of leading our country in whatever form of coalition in the making.

The heavy weight of these three centuries of brutality that led to and will still lead to many more generations of advantage and white wealth and privilege makes the possibility of South Africa ever having another white national leader very, very, very remote.

[Next year] is a watershed election which will depend on us voters interrogating the hell out of every promise, every song-and-dance act, every statistic, every poll, every T-shirt, food parcel or cash popped into a pocket for a vote.

To many of you Daily Maverick readers who support the DA and its successes in Cape Town and the Western Cape, don’t get me wrong. I am not taking cheap sideways shots at John Steenhuisen, or the DA which is a nonracial party and which does good work as an opposition keeping check on the governing party in Parliament and as a government in the Western Cape and Cape Town, where it is creating a conducive environment for jobs, delivering services, fixing infrastructure, unlike the rot happening everywhere else in the rest of the country.

But (there is always a “but” with politics, isn’t there?) this track record in the Western Cape is not evident where I live as a resident of Tshwane.  Since 2016 we have endured one DA-led coalition disaster after another, the latest being the tragic result of delays in fixing the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant which has led to the deaths of Hammanskraal residents from a cholera outbreak.

We can only live in hope, but right now, if a DA-led coalition is anything like the multiple disasters of Tshwane, then that DA national coalition is a bit of a hallucinatory SpaceX Andromeda shot, let alone a moonshot. Clearly political parties need to get some coalition ground rules in place before we can think of a stable national, coalition-led government.

These thoughts have been percolating in my head ever since Tuesday when a team of us at Daily Maverick in Gauteng met a delegation from the DA, including leader John Steenhuisen, DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube, DA deputy federal chair and spokesperson Solly Malatsi and MP Leon Schreiber. We had an open and candid discussion about the DA’s moonshot pact of a possible national coalition as all polls are showing that the ANC will dip below 50% for the first time since 1994.

The DA approached us for the meeting, but we would love to have the same sort of candid meeting with all political parties in the run-up to next year’s election. Yes, Honourable Member of Parliament Malema (I know you probably don’t read Daily Maverick because you see us as the devil incarnate, but) we would love the opportunity to meet you too.

And President Ramaphosa (even though your dancing predecessor and you give me crazy-baldhead PW Botha PTSD), you are welcome to step down from the dizzy heights of playing global peacemaker, into our very humble shared office spaces in Cape Town or Johannesburg to tell us about your plans to get us out of the dwang. 

Watershed

Next year is around the corner and if the pollsters are right, this is a watershed election which will depend on us voters interrogating the hell out of every promise, every song-and-dance act, every statistic, every poll, every T-shirt, food parcel or cash popped into a pocket for a vote.

As a country we are hungry for hope. Meeting the DA delegation made me realise that a moment like next year is our time. The time of the voter. The time for us to make politicians truly shine, to put aside their rhetoric and work for us. The people. All the people they are meant to serve.

Our work as journalists holding all political parties to account is going to be cut out for us. Day and night. Because the stakes are high. Our very future depends on it.

Which brings me back to that other funny baldhead, Pieter-Dirk Uys (admittedly he doesn’t give me PTSD, comedians are all an antidote to PTSD). In Dirk Uys’s satire You ANC nothing Yet, the apartheid-era torturer of a Jewish communist recently returned from exile to South Africa has amnesty for life for his politically motivated crimes. And now works as a security agent for the ANC. “Maybe the new government wants to learn from an old master,” he tells the man he tortured.

This bizarre case of reality imitating art or maybe Dirk Uys’s sangoma crystal ball talents occurred to me when I read political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki’s fascinating edited address to the 49th synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in The Sunday Times last week.

Mbeki wrote that South Africa’s potential for economic growth has been stymied by 100 years of nationalist rule which serves nationalist elites and this constrains the ability of our country to develop its full potential.

The ANC baas learnt from the NP baas. Both the National Party, through disastrous Bantu education and black exclusion from the economy, and the ANC through messing up public education and creating multiple barriers to entrepreneurship, undermined what Mbeki terms “the development of the country’s human capital”.

What has happened now over the past three decades, according to Mbeki, is that the African elite continued to hobble the country’s economic development by diverting much of the economic surplus through the tax system from investment to consumption “in an attempt to equalise their private consumption with that of the white middle and upper middle classes”.

The hope, dear readers, according to Mbeki, is not to sell our crown jewels to Vlad Putin but to follow the trail of success blazed by our  Indian Ocean neighbour Mauritius. He suggests we should modernise and industrialise our economy and reform our electoral system.

For him the future lies in a post-nationalist coalition that must include the underclass who stand to benefit the most from the increased industrialisation of the economy, and the owners of capital, whose best interest would be served by growing the economy and creating more jobs.

Why have I taken you on this journey from our troubled past to our troubling present, and offered you a possible glimpse of light at the end of this blacked-out tunnel? Because today’s lead story in DM168 by our Scorpio investigative journalist Jessica Bezuidenhout is a shocker.

In our version of You ANC Nothing Yet, it turns out that Regiments Capital, that financial advisory firm embroiled in State Capture, actually funded the ANCs 2016 election campaign to the tune of R50-million.

Read. Get Angry. Then think about what kind of a different future you as a South African voter really want. Then read again. And grill every political party and independent who will appear on the ballot paper. Your country needs you. Now. Be prepared for next year.

Tell us what you can do as a voter by writing to me at [email protected] . DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    “we have endured one DA-led coalition disaster after another”

    No argument. The key word to focus on in the above sentence is “coalition”.

    A coalition is like a car built with 4 different size wheels designed for other cars, and maybe a truck wheel.

    Just try driving such a vehicle and see how far you get.

    I’ll tell you, nowhere. And with a lot of burning rubber.

    People need to wake up and realise that when the DA has an absolute mandate to govern it has 4 correct wheels on its car, and it can actually drive this country forward to better things. Just check out Cape Town. I was chatting to some people from KZN yesterday who have moved and said “You have no idea what you have here – it’s like heaven!”

    The DA may not be exactly the party you would wish for, but it is A WHOLE LOT BETTER than anything we have currently.

    My mantra: improve, rinse, repeat.

    And it should be everyone’s.

    Stop voting for silly little splinter parties people – all you do is keep the ANC happy and hold South Africa back from real improvement.

    There is only one way to begin healing South Africa, this glorious country belonging to all its peoples.

    Vote DA!

  • virginia crawford says:

    I would love to be able to vote DA since they are the second biggest party and so the logical opposition/ possible winner, but John Steenhuizen, Helen Zille and righteous arrogance just stop me in my tracks. It’s a pity because another term of the ANC will be catastrophic.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      “A pity?”

      I find myself in the unusual position of having no words.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Actually, I do.

      I’m sure they feel the same about you – but frankly, who cares.

      The ONLY things of relevance from a political party are accountability and service delivery.

      So I can only hope for all our sakes you drop personality politics and focus on relevant criteria when making your vote.

    • Jennifer D says:

      You should not be looking at the individual team players, you should be considering outcomes. If you don’t like Steenhuizen because he is “arrogant” and choose to vote for the ANC instead, consider the incredible arrogance of Ramaphosa, or any one of the red heeled ANC prancing up the red carpet in their Versace outfits. Zille and Steenhuizen are passionate in their determination to make SA a success, they have an organisation of people with the same goal – and that goal is not one of self enrichment.

    • Karl Sittlinger says:

      Cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face comes to mind reading your comment.

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    Great article, thanks. There is one thing that lacks… The whole truth…

    All those “multiple disasters of Tshwane” were not what the DA calls a “moonshot coalition”. They were products of the coalitions possible at that time, ones made in good faith by the DA. And those, as Zorba The Greek would say, were “the full catastrophe”! Remember those tiny parties bailing on the DA? ActionSA et al? The “moonshot coalitions” are “co-operative coalitions”, not “grab-the-top-job” coalitions.

  • John Smythe says:

    Well written article. Thank you.
    It took the DP coalition (now DA) many years to fix the mess the ANC left behind when they took the Western Cape in 1994. And it’s taken many more years to make Cape Town a world-class city. The ANC, EFF and Pollsmoor have no sway or say in how to make the Western Cape the best province in SA. And so, to fix Jhb or Tshwane isn’t an overnight job. It’s also going to take many years. So, while the ANC, EFF and the PA remain hell bent on destroying any coalition that can make a difference, nothing will change and those two cities will continue to spiral into the long drop latrine. The ANC and EFF have proven that they don’t have what it takes to make a positive difference. A DA led coalition may be a rocky road for a while. But it can only get better sooner if the cadres and their red-robed sisters let it work. If they truly love this country and its people, then they must win by making what they have work. Not by crippling what’s being fixed because they broke it in the first place.

  • R S says:

    “But (there is always a “but” with politics, isn’t there?) this track record in the Western Cape is not evident where I live as a resident of Tshwane. Since 2016 we have endured one DA-led coalition disaster after another, the latest being the tragic result of delays in fixing the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant which has led to the deaths of Hammanskraal residents from a cholera outbreak.”

    Why do people in Tshwane seem to forgot the ANC had control of the region between 2020 and late 2021? Provincial govt stepped in and took over and destroyed all the gains the DA had made a the DA had to take them to court to regain control.

  • Roger Sheppard says:

    Heather, you make me angry.
    As many have written below, you really have not balanced your observations in the comments you write about the DA. Its Fed Congress revealed a large, yes, large, and growing number of highly educated young folk, now members of the DA, across ALL races, all with the energies of youth, and all wanting to be interviewed for positions on the DA electoral role.
    Take time out from your fresh air breathing to get in touch properly, with the DA, and enquire about its rising depth of talent and energies. All waiting to proffer these into the present very strong Top 5 nation-wide administrations.
    Yep, read the Ratings SA results, properly.
    Support this scale of a rising. NOW!
    Then EAT F”G humble pie and promote this surge! It’s the only chance YOU will get. Zille told of DA stats research: “if all DA members who voted in the last elections, converted one, just ONE, person to vote DA, the DA will win 2024, handsomely!”
    Is your task now clearer? I have managed 3 converts over the past few months. These suggest they will add to this figure, and they are in the rural areas!! Wake up, and be Fair!

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