I want to rant and rave and rage, because it seems the only way to deal with this mess, but I’m not going to come close to doing the kind of job that Richard Poplak has pulled off.
Over the coming days and weeks (and months and years) you’ll hear thousands of people who don’t know anything about politics saying that this was the moment, the exact time and date you could pinpoint that the wheels came off the South African bus.
These are more than likely the same people who have been saying this for years, but when someone in the know writes a piece simply titled “War” you know shit just got real.
It’s tough to pluck his most hard-hitting assaults from a piece bristling with anger, but here’s some of what Poplak had to say:
Every sentient South African anticipated this shuffle. In classic Banana Republican fashion, it happened under the cover of night, and it favoured slavishness over competence, as these things always do. And yet, it’s only a chickenshit Mafia vampire bagman who purges his Cabinet well after supper, and then dumps a press statement on the country in the witching hour.
You’ll read elsewhere about Zuma’s 80-word statement delivered late last night, but the gist of his rambling was that the changes were made to “ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality”.
So, about that:
…if Zuma cared at all about the poor, he would of course have whacked Social Services Minister Bathabile Dlamini…If that isn’t the most eloquent “fuck you” ever extended to a nation of people, I just don’t know how better the man could say it.
Indeed, the press statement’s words go so far beyond cynicism that they cross over into a new territory – they’re a declaration of war.
The president is in the final desperate stages of securing for himself a retirement package, one that is vast enough to pay off the debts he owes to the very bad people who have bankrolled him for many years.
At the top of that ‘very bad people’ list perches the Guptas, who have finally kicked off the shackles and grabbed the country by the nutsack. So what are the repercussions of our new, unelected leaders pulling the strings?
Gigaba [that’s our new Finance Minister, below with JZ] is now a respondent in the Gupta-connected Vardospan’s urgent application to get a decision on their bid to buy Habib Bank – a gambit both the Reserve Bank and the Treasury would not entertain. The clock was ticking on this deal, and there’s a possibility that the Cabinet reshuffle was undertaken in order to make it in just under the wire: Gigaba would dutifully sign the paperwork, and the Guptas, last year denied the right to bank here because they’re total sleazebags, will suddenly be liquid in South Africa once again.
And then there’s the Russian nuclear deal…
In a drought-sick future, with the Karoo fracked to fuck and our children sucking on mielie husks for moisture, we will be forced, North Korean-like, to bow before seven giant Russian reactors that don’t work, and are home only to mutant Hadedas and rats as big as oxen. As the Americans are slowly learning, everyone has their price, and the Russians are willing to pay it…
What happens next? That, too, will come as no surprise. The currency will face plant; food and fuel prices will rise; ratings agencies will junk us; borrowing costs will explode – a steadily intensifying cycle of future imperfect phrases that will drag the country, our neighbours, and the entire region into a deepening maelstrom of economic recidivism. This is not conjecture. There are myriad examples detailing the results of just this type of fiduciary suicide.
Economists call them “terminal events”.
They take generations to remedy
Generations – in his final stretch, JZ is leaving the kind of legacy that ensures an uphill struggle for all who come after him.
Back to the economic transformation that those enriching themselves at the very top keep harping on about:
Soon, Gigaba and his masters will, in true Chaos Capitalist style, usher in the age of Zairian economic transformation, where the land and the mines and the banks are handed over to the “people” by a benevolent government which just wants to square the odds. Except in these cases, it’s not so much the policies that need to be defined – although that certainly helps – but who constitutes the “people” that requires further elucidation. If your answer is “previously disadvantaged black South Africans”, well, not so fast. Zuma has never displayed any hint of governing for the masses, and we have many years of historical precedent to judge him by.
This Cabinet reshuffle is a hack of the Treasury, plain and simple. And the ANC sat by and watched, mouths agape, as if the late great Joe Mafela was singing Celine Dion while riding a midget pony in Carnegie Hall.
So what do we do in times like these, other than drink away our misery?
It is up to no one but South Africans to finish the South African project, and to emancipate economically those who were franchised politically. In the meantime, we cannot allow our agency to be outsourced to the caprice of the ratings assholes and the global investment markets, to which our future is now subject. Nor can we hand our agency over to a family who so wisely purchased a shady politician for a few bits of silver when his previous benefactor balked at the price.
This is the end. But it’s also the beginning. Your move, South Africa.
Brilliant and f*cking terrifying.
Life will go on, but it sure isn’t pretty knowing that our country is run by a man with less backbone than a tapeworm.
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