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Dear Mr President, in the immortal words of Jimmy Kruge...

Defend Truth

Opinionista

Dear Mr President, in the immortal words of Jimmy Kruger, your Zondo evidence leaves me cold

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Thamsanqa D Malinga is director at Mkabayi Management Consultants; a writer, columnist, and political commentator, as well as author of Blame Me on Apartheid and A Dream Betrayed.

I expected more from you, but all I saw and heard was you trying to portray yourself as a saint. You could have done better by admitting that your whole movement has failed South Africans.

History has it on record that Jimmy Kruger, then apartheid South African Minister of Police, in reacting to the gruesome death of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko made a comment that would go down as both shocking and inhumane: “I am not glad and I am not sorry about Mr Biko. It leaves me cold.”

I cannot help but invoke Kruger’s disgusting comment after having watched President Cyril Ramaphosa’s testimony at the State Capture Commission last week. With no ounce of shame I feel compelled to say, “Mr President, I am not moved by your testimony, in fact it leaves me cold, to say the least.” I expected leadership and some owning up to the destruction in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and that the once-glorious movement you now lead would take responsibility for the mess.

Instead what we got was a public relations exercise of trying to position yourself, avoid mea culpa by any means necessary and spin the whole debacle of State Capture to frame yourself as the knight in shining armour

In the process you even managed to use the platform to justify some of your current Cabinet’s shortcomings, and worse the recent failure to foresee and curb the unrest in the country as it unfolded.

Truly, anyone who listened to your testimony or read reports around it and believed that you only found out about the extent of so-called State Capture through the commission must be an idiot. I mean, you are the first to talk about “nine wasted years”. How did we arrive at the narrative of “wasted years” if one does not know if there was waste (or not) in the said period?

If one were to say that the time spent with an employer was a “waste”, then it means that one was aware of all that led to one’s time going to waste. By using this analogy, I believe you should have then had the resolve to leave. However, you chose to stay, Mr President, and kept quiet.

Worse, you were the leader of government business during all those years. You led the ANC bloc as it defended the former president at every motion of no confidence, yet now you claim you were afraid of being fired — really, Mr President, really? Wouldn’t being fired have meant that you were disposed of because of your ethical standards rather than toeing the perceived corrupt line? You were part of the problem and not the hero you tried to portray yourself as during your appearance at the Zondo Commission.

I expected more from you, but all I saw and heard was you trying to portray yourself as a saint. You could have done better by admitting that your whole movement has failed South Africans.

As those who play in the realm of politics often say, “history has no blank pages”. This rings true to your PR playbook at the commission last week. As a member of the ANC, and at one point its secretary-general, you have been privy to the behind-the-scenes happenings in the movement, and you could have taken South Africa into your confidence by articulating how the movement had been captured long before Jacob Zuma.

This would have opened the lid on the number of millionaires who have emerged from the movement you are leading, but no, the playbook was to throw Zuma and his allies under the bus. I guess it’s much better to sacrifice one comrade rather than the whole ANC.

I also do not understand how your recent Cabinet reshuffle came to be part of the proceedings. Methinks that there was a confidential brief to the evidence leaders to give you an opportunity to justify the reshuffle and get coverage to explain some of the actions that have been criticised on various platforms.

The same for Justice Raymond Zondo’s showering of praises on your appearance at the commission. For crying out loud, Nelson Mandela was hauled to court by Louis Luyt and former president Thabo Mbeki appeared at the Seriti Commission on the Arms Deal. You were leader of government business at the time the so-called State Capture took place and you now lead the movement whose name gets mentioned most often at the same commission — there should be no praises for your appearance. In fact, you should have been summonsed long ago as a person of interest.

I could go on and write until I run out of words to describe the sad affair that was the president’s “testimony”, but like Jimmy Kruger, I am not glad about that lacklustre performance. I can only blurt “dit laat my koud” (it leaves me cold).

Mr President, you can do better than that PR stunt. DM

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All Comments 16

  • Leaves me frozen. The prez promised to come clean and didn’t even wash away the dust, let alone grime. Utter disappointment from start to finish. You are far too kind to the man.

  • Zapiro’s cartoon in today’s DM says it all; that CR was so far up JZ’s rectum, is clear to see! But what’s not clear yet, is why (and how) he managed to get his head up his own bum! Is he hiding something or is he looking for something else to lie to SA about???
    🙈😂

  • Good piece.
    “I didn’t know” is a disgraceful position for CR to take – when most intelligent South Africans were aware of the coordinated looting (just not the full extent of the rot)

  • SA would have been in a far better situation if the principled members of the ANC had banded together 9 years ago, instead of continuing to worship at the idol of a corrupt party. And they don’t even have the decency to do it now.

  • This article is absolutely spot on . Ramaphosa’s image has suffered as a result of his performance at the Zondo Commission. You cannot speak of “lapses” in governmental policy , or for that matter “ system failures” when talking about State Capture. It is a patently absurd downgrading of the whole despicable story.His evasions were just as upsetting.Let us hope that Judge Zondo makes several adverse findings against the collective ANC, more especially against the policy of “cadre deployment, at the very heart of the Capture of the State

  • It’s easy to criticize when you weren’t the vice president at the time. Thank God he used his considerable skills to eventually be elected to a position where he could take action and change the course of our country.
    Can any of you suggest someone who would have done better?
    Thank you Mr President. Ek is trots op jou.

    • Men with real principle would have stood up against Zuma and corruption and taken the consequences like Andrew Feinstein did over the Arms Deal. Are you assuming that Ramaphosa is the only person who could make real changes in government? If so we are even deeper in than I thought. Ramaphosa is guilty as sin, and he knows it.

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