There is a never-ending stream of things about which our government and political figures know nothing, or about which they lie. Senior and junior officials, whether at national, provincial or local level, demonstrate this same trait. They deny, or don’t know about, or so they claim. So why are they still in office?
The latest ? Omar al-Bashir got into and out of South Africa, was here, wasn’t here, was on a ‘plane but was not on the ‘plane. None of our leading figures knew, or they knew different things, or they changed their minds about what they knew. His ‘plane was at OR Tambo, then it was at Waterkloof, then it was off down the runway and gone. Our leaders knew nothing, or they lied about it.
Not long ago, our same leaders knew nothing about Gupta’s ‘plane flying into the same military airport. Maybe it was some juniors who arranged the landing rights, and the passport control, and the flight plans. Our country must be full of junior officials with lots of initiative. Our leading political figures knew nothing about this event, or they lied.
Our government signed up in support of the ICC, and even incorporated that support into our own law. In further support of the ICC and our own law, our judges ruled that al-Bashir should not be allowed to leave the country until certain matters of international and domestic law were determined. Our political and governmental figures ignored these things, or they turned a blind eye, or they claimed not to know what was going on. Or they lied, and were complicit.
We need foreign currency. We have tried to encourage tourists to come here with their money. Suddenly one Minister of government, to the detriment of another Ministry, enforces visa and passport conditions that choke the stream of tourists. Two government Ministers could not talk sense into each other, or they are in ignorance of each others doings. The Minister who put blocks in the travelers path is the same Minister who was supposed to ensure good management of our national airline, which carries travelers. He couldn’t fix the airline, and now he’s messing up our flow of tourists. The President is responsible for the appointment of these Ministers. He seems not to know much about their abilities, or he couldn’t care.
The National Prosecution Authority seems unable to conduct a successful case against police officers who restrain, then shoot a protester at point blank range, in front of dozens of people. The head of the NPA has been changed so many times that it is no wonder the NPA is in disarray. The office of Commissioner of Police has been filled and emptied over and again, just like the head of NPA office. These appointments are made by our President. Why can’t he make successful appointments?
The government of the country is in the hands of the ANC, with a huge majority in just about every chamber of government, at every level. Their job is to see that things work, that the economy thrives, that the people get proper and appropriate facilities and services, that the payment for those services are collected and re-utilized for further improvements. The ANC has been in the job for over 20 years, yet somehow they seem unable or unwilling to appoint capable people who get the right things done. They seem unaware how to maintain roads, or traffic control systems. They seem unable to ensure a steady supply of medicine to hospitals or clinics. Likewise school books do not get to where they are needed. They seem unable to keep the lights on, though they own Eskom.
At the other end of the scale, our government and political leaders seem to know exactly how to collect good salaries, how to advance the quality and quantity of their perks and allowances, and how to advance the fortunes of their friends and family. They seem very capable of utilizing legal services to avoid carrying out instructions of the courts, or of avoiding punishment for failure to do their work properly. Instead, golden handshakes for failures, or inconvenient appointees, are becoming famous.
It seems to me that the citizens of this country do not realize that they are being cheated and let down. Why else do they allow the same people to sit in Parliament, to sit in municipal councils, year after year?
There have been General Elections, Provincial Elections, Municipal Elections, and By-Elections, over and again. Within political parties, at national level or branch level, there have been elections and selections of office-bearers and candidates. At each election, at each and every level, there has been an opportunity to make changes to who leads, who represents, who governs. For some reason, the citizens choose not make the changes. I wish someone could tell me why.