When President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses South Africa, many of our citizens talk about feeling led.
Together with the Minister of Health, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, they have become perhaps the two government officials people are most willing to trust.
The problem is, and I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, what the ANC says and what the ANC does tend to exist on different paths. During lockdown itself, President Ramaphosa’s words have been undercut by the likes of Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Fikile Mbalula, and Bheki Cele.
Cele, in particular, has really lost the plot, and he must bear some responsibility for the deaths suffered by our citizens at the hands of police and SANDF members during lockdown.
The past week has seen other ANC members show a quite staggering degree of stupidity and hypocrisy, starting with ANC Limpopo councillor, Tebogo Mamorobela.
The lady is an ANC Cllr in the Makhado Municipality, Deputy Chair of ANC in the Makhado Sub-Region & provincial convenor of ANCWLYWD Tebogo Mamorobela. She’s breaking the lockdown regulations & she’s asking “uthini uCele” to the amusement of her drinking buddies. pic.twitter.com/RnMPLsX5yr
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) April 17, 2020
Setting a wonderful example there.
Mamorobela was arrested, along with two other people, and released on R1 000 bail. National police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo says the case has been remanded to June 5 for further investigation, reports IOL.
She can probably afford it, given that the bottle of booze she is waving around above can cost upward of R2 000 a pop.
Not to be outdone, an ANC chief whip in the Eastern Cape stepped up to the plate this weekend. Here’s EWN:
Police said Madoda Papiyana was driving under the influence on Friday.
Spokesperson Vish Naidoo said Papiyana was handcuffed after refusing to stop at a police roadblock.
“His vehicle was chased down to the Ngcobo area where he was stopped. The driver of the vehicle appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, he was subsequently arrested for drinking and driving as well as for the contravention of lockdown regulations as well as the Disaster Management Act regulations.”
Officers also found alcohol in his vehicle.
Papiyana is a Chris Hani District Municipality councillor.
Drunk driving, refusing to stop at a roadblock, and transporting liquor – he is also, it would appear, an utter imbecile.
All of that above is infuriating, but it pales into insignificance when compared with the allegations of food parcel looting that have been reported in eight provinces.
City Press reporting has uncovered claims “that those in charge of the distributions – mostly ANC councillors – were not giving the food to the families that were most in need”:
Government’s attempts to feed the poor and vulnerable during the extended lockdown are being hampered as opportunists – mainly local councillors – allegedly divert the aid to themselves and their supporters, and, in some instances, sell them on.
In some parts of the country, councillors have been accused of demanding food parcel donations from businesses – parcels which never reach the intended recipients…
There are fears that food-related protests, which have flared up in some provinces, could escalate if national government does not intervene…
ANC councillors have been accused of distributing food parcels only to their own constituencies in Tshwane and Emfuleni, excluding those who are most in need but who reside in wards controlled by the opposition.
Read more about those allegations here.
Even those who have received the food parcels themselves point out that something stinks, and it’s the familiar smell of corruption:
According to the ANC this things cost R1200. pic.twitter.com/wC5cuH0sbn
— cabonena alfred (@alfred_cabonena) April 19, 2020
@OfficialSASSA @The_DSD Is This Grocery is worth R1200.00 ? Well this is what your Office in Mhlontlo Municipality in the EC is saying. @JacksonMthembu_ @NoncebaMhlauli @AthiGeleba @KhuselaS Ngenelelani Hayini Sisono Esi Kudlalwa Ngabantu Bakuthi. pic.twitter.com/HXxWc7LnSE
— Nkululeko Mhlaba (@MhlabaNkululeko) April 19, 2020
Trying to pass that off as R1 200 worth of groceries is criminal, but it’s a modus operandi that we’ve seen time and time again.
Writing for TimesLIVE, Justice Malala spells it out nice and simply:
Corruption in SA is laughably straightforward. It starts with the dodgy politician. Then he brings in the middleman and woman. If government spends R400m on food parcels, for example, then the politician and middleman are probably taking a R100m of that in bribes. That’s why there are many politicians nicknamed “Minister 10%”, 20%, or even 50%. That’s their price. Then the food parcels don’t even go to the hungry. They go to their friends, relatives and supporters.
A closer look at those food parcels above, and it would appear ‘Minister 80%’ has been operating.
The only province that isn’t named in the food parcel corruption allegations is the DA-run Western Cape, although the party has come under fire from many quarters for how it is handling the city’s homeless population during lockdown.
Therein lies the truth of the matter – in the most trying of times, it is always the poor and vulnerable in our society that suffer the most.
President Ramaphosa talks a good game, and should be applauded for our early and decisive action in the fight against COVID-19, but lower down the food chain the rot continues.
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