Helen Zille Unleashes On “Criminal State” In New Column


It’s been around six weeks since Helen Zille last tweeted, and there’s a good reason for that.

In late June, her tweets about there being more racist laws now than there were under apartheid went down like a lead balloon, and the DA launched an investigation into their Federal Council chairperson’s use of social media.

As Max du Preez argued, Zille was “systematically destroying her party”, and it probably doesn’t help that six weeks later, the exact findings of that investigation remain a mystery.

[imagesource: Tracey Adams/African News Agency]

However, the ANC is the opposition party that just keeps on giving, by taking anything and everything from the citizens it governs, even during a time of national crisis like a pandemic, and that’s where Zille reenters the fray.

She may not be allowed to tweet, but she has penned a column on the Daily Maverick, outlining “how South Africa became a criminal state”.

Let’s dive right in:

How did we manage, in 26 short years of democracy, to fall from the pedestal of international respectability; to become a byword for corruption and criminality?

…The answer is: because the ANC legalised corruption. It did so openly, under our noses, often with the fulsome support of almost all the institutions that should have prevented it, including the international community.

What’s more, these institutions not only failed to protect us – they actually facilitated this downward trajectory.

South Africa’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) is in her firing line, with Zille saying that it “made corruption legal and morally acceptable”, and anybody who questioned it was called “racist”.

I think it’s how you question it that matters, but let’s keep moving:

Cadres were deployed to all institutions of state, controlling multi-billion budgets, dispensing funds and managing procurement systems, with the primary aim of enriching the ANC cadres…After 26 years, the South African state has become a web of competing criminal syndicates posing as a government.

Ace Magashule [Delwyn Verasamy/M&G]

And they made fools of the electorate by successfully selling the lie that their form of B-BBEE was synonymous with black empowerment. It was the very opposite. It left SA destitute, with unemployment levels at 30%…

Some people still believe the ANC’s race laws were motivated by a real commitment to redress. I do not believe that, and never have.

She goes on to say that the only place where politics for self-enrichment hasn’t occurred is in areas where the DA rules (the latest municipal audits do aid her argument), adding that the B-BBEE system “creates every possible incentive for this cynical abuse of black economic empowerment”.

So, how do we extricate ourselves from this dire situation?

The only way out of this mess is to understand that no democracy can make sustained economic progress without actively striving to become a meritocracy, where people are appointed to positions, or win tenders, on clear, value-adding criteria, not on their colour or their political contacts.

And the only way we can get there is if the voters begin to understand why this is so important, and begin to vote for it.

Otherwise we must stop feigning shock when the looting continues.

At this stage, the only person who feigns shock at the looting is our president, because the rest of us just expect it as par for the course, now.

Given Zille’s antagonistic attitude over the past few years, it’s unlikely that her words will resonate with ANC voters, but then again, little does.

Over on the Mail & Guardian, Eusebius McKaiser is calling for ANC superfans to exercise some common sense, adding that it’s about time the voters shoulder some of the blame:

…fundamentally, regardless of your private or operating motives, the legal effect of your vote is that you give permission to a party to do what we know it will do when in the driving seat of power. So, ANC voters cannot pretend they are blameless in the construction of successive ANC governments that never self-correct, that never deal effectively with corruption and that continue to loot from state coffers.

If no one voted for the ANC, then ANC looting would end. It is that simple. ANC voters aren’t blameless in the story of ANC looting.

Good effort, Eusebius.

Sadly, when the next election rolls around, it will be more empty promises, free t-shirts handed out, and another easy win at the ballot box.




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