Fire Pool and Chickens

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The ANC keeps on hammering nails into its coffin.

Barely was Nelson Mandela’s body in the ground, than we were talked down to, as a country, like completely gormless idiots, as the Zuma faction attempted to explain the “upgrading” of the Zuma homestead, Nkandla, to us.

We were told that the million Rand swimming pool was actually a “fire pool” – in case the thatched roofs of the buildings caught alight. Buckets of water, it was earnestly spelled out to us, could be drawn from this firepool to extinguish a blaze…on the second story of a large building. Right.

Chicken runs, we were told, were a security feature. No, don’t ask me why.

The compound’s roads were paved as one couldn’t navigate them “in high heels”. Which is doubtless true, but what has that to do with the security of the South African president?

Most damning, however, was the explanation for the relocating of several neighbouring families – families whose roots go back in the area at least as long as Zuma’s do _ as they were a “security risk”. Well, don’t tell me. Tell the Nats, who wielded the iron rod of Apartheid over us all those years ago, who were noted for their relocations of troublesome populations.

All-in-all, not one penny of taxpayers’ money was spent on anything other than security enhancements, totaling over 200 million Rand; some of it my money. I do resent that.

Add to this glorious display of entitlement a system of electronic tolling on the urban ring-road around Joburg – to service a several-billion-Rand-strong debt to an Austrian company – and the spectacle of Zuma’s personal friends landing at the military airbase in Waterkloof, the refusal to hand over the “spy tapes” of dubious existence, the sniggering slagging-off of neighbouring African countries (and Africans themselves) and, just today, the stomach-churning belittlement of women from the mouth of he-who-would-be-king, and we have a government whose people are turning their backs on it in droves.

The urge to say “I told you so” holds little interest for me. I could say that I knew what Jacob Zuma was the moment he pranced on to the country’s stage, singing and dancing and leering. But that butters no parsnips now.

The fact is that even the bulk of the populace – whose world view hovers mostly around the Tribal level – have had enough. Of being treasury-fodder for a few self-appointed elite. Of being talked down to as to idiot children. Of being promised housing, and amenities, and a leveling of wealth…and having those promises danced off into the sunset by a greedy, self-important, thoroughly patriarchal little arse of a man who ignores them until he is booed on stage in front of the worlds’ leaders – and who then ignores and insults them some more.

But there’s a bright side to all this tragicomedy: we are starting to become conscious of it in a big way. The uptake on e  tagging is estimated at a maximum of 15% of the people who drive the highways. There are huge, round conversations on the arrogance (a favourite word of the ANC…mirror,mirror) of a handful of people who think they can force us to cough up yet more cash, and of course the ongoing case of foot-in-mouth disease flaunted by our silly little leader.

I’m not in charge of anybody’s cognitive growth. Except, marginally, my own perhaps. The most I can do is to continue to point at the Thing, and aim words at it, and hope they make the smallest amount of an impression.

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