The leading characters in the drama unfolding this past week, whether we call it an insurgency, coup attempt or simply counter-revolutionary insurgency, are all but mediocre in form and content.
I mean, you only have to look at who they are to realise — no wonder their failed insurgency did not muster the required objective. It is because we are dealing with empty vessels who are corrupt and criminal in their intent. Now, after their failed attempt to destabilise our country, they have issued a veiled threat to President Cyril Ramaphosa: release Jacob Zuma within 14 days, or else.
I want to make it perfectly clear, the minute they made this threat publicly, they entered the realm of domestic terrorists. Yes, the committing of terrorist acts in the perpetrator’s own country against their fellow citizens. Targeting strategic installations, national keypoint facilities, water treatment plants, electricity distribution plants and so much more is ample qualification for domestic terrorism.
This gang of grotesque mediocrities are comprised of the so-called “RET” types. You know who they are. Open defiance in their attempt to undermine the state under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, and yet nothing is happening to these people.
In wanting to correctly characterise this, there are three things at play:
The first point is where the mediocre ones operate. Clearly, their base was KwaZulu-Natal, hence most of the operation took place there, and nowhere else really except for some areas on the outskirts of Gauteng. How pathetic!
They were really hoping their campaign would spread like wildfire throughout the entire country, but alas, it ran out of steam after just one week. After all, all those meat carcasses and looted alcohol must be consumed at some point.
So, I’m not surprised that by the weekend it all came to an abrupt end. I mean there is obviously a reason why I took almost 20 minutes to try and get that 58-inch TV into my car. Meat on the fire, on my new sofa watching my 58-inch TV, a cold beer or whisky, ready for the “Amakhosi for Life” game in Morocco. Bet you didn’t take that into consideration when you workshopped your well-oiled insurgency plan, did you?
But I understand, you never actually thought you would get to the end of the week. I’m sure there were celebratory drinks all round at Nkandla. Tell me I’m lying!
The form of politics over the past few years under the Zuma administration has been simple. Steal indiscriminately, loot the coffers of the state dry and have no regard for the law or our constitutional democracy. That’s why when things don’t go your way, it is so easy for some to accuse our judiciary and our government of apartheid-style tactics.
We have moved so far from that evil system, but I guess not according to you, who served as president of this democratic republic for nine years. You, who have been premiers for more than a decade and you, who have served as deputy ministers. Grotesque mediocrities who have no regard for the vows you have taken on so many occasions — to honour and protect the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Today, you are the ones that are actively fuelling violence and insurrection.
It has become rather obvious that you have been on the back foot for some time now, perhaps because from the very start you overestimated yourselves. You underestimated President Ramaphosa and his carefully crafted plan. You are no longer in charge of any state-owned entities, so cannot loot nor accumulate any resources to mould a significant attack on the leadership of Ramaphosa. You are no longer in control of the secret funds of both crime intelligence (SAPS) nor the State Security Agency, hence again, no looting possible, nor resources for a fightback. The taps have been systematically turned off.
And boy, are you trying to get your hands on something. Major-General Jeremy Vearey had to go and yet you lost the court case yet again. Peter Jacobs had to go because he had a stranglehold on the secret funds of crime intelligence, so you had to move him to the police inspectorate, of all places. Robert McBride asked too many questions and saw too many illegal activities that he too had to be suspended and moved aside. You tried and you lost! Because you are grotesque mediocrities.
As for the second issue, the law enforcement agencies must enforce the law. Poverty can never be an excuse for lawlessness and criminality, never. Large-scale arrests must take place, there must be no granting of amnesty for looters because tomorrow they will simply do it again.
Already we have seen how quickly the looters cottoned on to the simple fact that because of Marikana and the flak the police got from that unfortunate incident, they would think twice before they used lethal force — and hence the unabated looting we saw on our TVs.
To retrieve all stolen goods immediately, gazette an amnesty period for everyone to return all the goods within a certain time or face the long arm of the law, eventually.
The third element outlined above is by far the most complicated. I have written about this issue for years and maybe, just maybe, this time my white compatriots will take stock. Poverty, inequality and unemployment cannot be only a government problem because you pay your taxes. Let’s not tackle this historical injustice the way the white farmers in Zimbabwe did. Knowing about the land question for decades, but convincing themselves that because they were doing good and providing for the economy, they simply did not have to contend with this critical matter at all, until of course it exploded.
My white counterparts here in SA like to quickly remind us of the Zimbabwe situation and the fact that we are well on our way there, but astonishingly never want to take the time to really dissect the historical challenge in SA and the need to reform the structural components of our economy.
How long will the ostrich approach last here, I ask? Let’s openly talk about what a wealth tax would entail, what a sovereign wealth fund would entail, and what a comprehensive basic income grant would entail. These are uncomfortable questions, yes, but necessary ones.
Blaming the government for the manner in which it responded to this latest crisis makes us feel good perhaps, but you and I know, the real challenge is in how we move forward in building and protecting our non-racial, non-sexist and democratic SA. United in our diversity!
We will not be distracted from this noble goal. As citizens of this beautiful country, we shall prevail and we shall overcome. For if we do nothing after the events of the past week, we are as complicit in the continuation of our historical injustice as those really responsible for its evils.
No gang of grotesque mediocrities will derail us. DM
The "Underwear Bomber" failed to detonate his explosive underwear because the attacker Umar Abdulmutallab wore the explosive undies for two weeks straight thereby making the bomb's fuse damp.
Daily Maverick © All rights reserved