07 April 2009

Cori's Blog: Zuma

Cori has some good things to say about the media circus over the National Prosecuting Authority's on-again off-again decisions on whether or not to prosecute Jacob Zuma for corruption.
Cori's Blog: Zuma:
While listening to people phoning in to thw 702 talk radio show today a few things emerged. One was the comment by an American journalist which had a few South Africans on edge. Apparently this journalist said that South Africa is now becoming Africanised and just one more African country. As South African callers stated, what else could we be becoming than Africanised (Europonised??) and are we not another African country? It's time we start being proud to be African!

And Cori goes on to point out that, in effect, having George Bush as US president for eight years made the USA just another American country. And perhaps having Tony Blair as Brit prime minister made Britain what -- just another European country? Though I don't think that when he was first elected anyone thought that Tony Blair would turn out as bad as he did. When he was first elected back in 1997 or thereabouts, he was Britain's Barack Obama, offering "change you can believe in" and all that kind of stuff.

Whether he is prosecuted or not, however, I don't think anyone can have any such illusions about Jacob Zuma (well, ANC members do, apparently). I think the NPA's decision to prosecute him was probably a put up job, and the interlude of the rape trial looked even more like a put up job, but his conduct during the rape trial doesn't give me much confidence in him as a leader either. I don't think he'll be any worse than George Bush, but I'm pretty sure he won't be any better, and if he's elected it will just go to show that South Africans can be as stupid as Americans at times.

So who to vote for in the general election?

At the moment my inclination is to vote for the Independent Democrats at the national level, because I think Patricia de Lille is a good person to have in parliament, even if in her party she is surrounded by mediocrities. And at the provincial level I may vote for the Congress of the People Party (COPE), mainly because I think Mbazima Shilowa did a fairly good job as Premier of Gauteng, and at least has some vision for the province, and wasn't just a jobsworth.

But I'm one of those floating voters, so come April 22nd I might end up voting for someone completely different. But it won't be the African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance, or the African Christian Democratic Party. I'll not vote for the ANC again while Zuma's in charge, though if they get themselves a more inspiring leader I might reconsider. And it doesn't matter who's in charge of the Democratic Alliance -- after their efforts to place themselves as the party of the white right ten years ago, I'm not sure that they've really shed that baggage. And every time I would consider voting for the ACDP, someone there would send me a bunch of literature from Ed Cain, who was on the loony right, and published a newspaper that received slush funds from the infomation scandal 30 years ago, and that cured me of ever considering them again.

Well there, I've nailed my colours to the mast(s), but reserve the right to jump ship and nail them to a different one. Is that a mixed metaphor? Perhaps it's an appropriate one for a crazy mixed up election in a crazy mixed up country. But, to misquote a science fiction author whose name I have forgotten, South Africa's a crazy place. I like it.


Jenny Hillebrand said...

I love the confusion in your post! The if's and but's and who 'would have expected's just illustrate so clearly the confusion in our country.
We are a nation of optimists. Not because we are naive, but because we can believe in a better future, somehow, in spite of what we see happening.
I hope that this will see us through. I think that hope is beginning to fade.

Malcolm said...

I had such high hopes for the ANC when SA was freed from the apartheid yoke. As a Brit, on the left, I never had any illusions about Blair. Sadly,the whole Zuma affair rather sours my feelings towards the ANC.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you say SA is a crazy place - "I like it" - I also like it. I suppose that is because we are crazy too!


Steve Hayes said...


I suppose it all goes to show that "what is wrong with us that can be solved by politics is not all that is wrong with us".

Or, as G.K. Chesterton once said: As much as I ever did, more than I ever did, i believe in Liberalism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Liberals.

Any human political movement, however noble its aims, is run by fallible and sinful human beings, and sooner or later that will become apparent as the members of the movement eventually betray its principles and ideals. That is the inevitable result of human sin. Once politicians acquire a taste for wealth and power, the gap between rhetoric and reality grows and grows.

Put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man, for there is no help in them.


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