Month: February 2015

We need to get over Nkandla, and move ON

I think may of us would agree with with my view that the Nkandla issue is now becoming a bore and a broken record, we need to come to a conclusive end to this saga surrounding the private residence of the president of this Republic. I know for a fact that this debacle spiced with the well known chant of “Pay back the money” has sparked a huge row and interest in those who never thought they would follow or watch parliamentary channel on their television screens…

The report by the Public Protector titled “Secure in Comfort” revealed the rampant corruption throughout the project spearheaded by Public Works Department, surely heads rolled and internal disciplinary processes are taking place on those who are alleged to have had their hands in the Nkandla cookie jar.

But one can ask, is Nkandla just a single representation of the loop holes in our entire procurement systems or was this just a tip on an iceberg in how this cancer of corruption is slowly eating our entire government system?

Possibilities are abound on how we can reduce the Nkandla issue in how we should overhaul our procurement laws and procedures, thanks to Nkandla we can now breath a sigh of fresh air that this government does not take incidents of financial maladministration lightly.

However we should as a society not be found personalizing the Nkandla issue to an extent that we forget the bigger picture, yes the report did point out that the president must pay a reasonable amount on the non security related upgrades on his private residence, a recommendation which Zuma instructed the Minister of Police to come to a determination on the amount he his is duly responsible for within the stipulated over R250 milIon costs incurred.

Like any mature democracy, opposition parties are coming down very hard on president Zuma on that he must do the honorable thing and pay the money, however surely the opposition can’t expect Zuma to one day wake and go to parliament in admission that he will pay sizable portion of the total money spent so far on Nkandla upgrades, naturally Zuma needs a reasonable time to make sure that this Nkandla issue does not backfire not only to him but to the entire country.

The people out there suggests that the president doesn’t want to account to parliament over the Nkandla issue, my view is that how Zuma handles this hot potato would really determine how he will be perceived throughout his term till 2019, ideally Nkandla will either strengthen or weaken Zuma’s legacy and administration. His office and the ANC clearly do not take this debacle lightly, reciprocally so, if Zuma takes a fall, the ANC will be terribly shaken.

Again, we need to get over this Nkandla saga, so that we all continue with our lives without any dark cloud hanging on top of our country…

*Teboho Modise is a writer, blogger and political commentator*

Without Julius Malema clearly EFF won’t be red enough…

By: Teboho Modise 10 February 2015

We live in very interesting political times indeed, where people always scramble to find true political role models and well reckoned public figures, in this tricky search, people tend to fall for everything available out there. Some even want to define politics on deep moral basis, where the mistake of one political opponent is what is normally related to “one man’s poison, is another man’s food”. This narrative especially in our South African context stamps the hard reality that we are in a dire need for political leaders with high levels or decisiveness and progressive political vision.

A prudent question that one ask is that, is our country capable produce leaders who inspires confidence and hope?

I understand that anything that is written which has the name of Julius Malema in it is viewed as anti-Julius and not pro-EFF, but this assertion cannot obviously fester without any reason or fact, we all know why EFF was formed and its a known fact that after the expulsion of Malema and his right hand-men, the two were left out in the cold and were reduced to an unpleasant political wilderness. But could the ANC through its disciplinary committee could have reached a different conclusion apart from the expulsion verdict, I personally doubt in my view.

The writing was on the wall, the ANC and Julius has clearly fell out favor with each other and the only amicable solution was to part ways in 2011, EFF was then hatched, a party which is now representing anything with a suffix of “ism” ideology from Marxism to Fanonism, how a modern party can base their political conviction or position if any on such ideologies which sometimes carry huge deep contradictions in themselves, one can only wonder. Julius by many who fell out of favor with the current ANC leadership under the leadership of president Jacob Zuma is seen as a hero, a solution and remedy to stale South African oppositional politics, the red blood needed to be injected in our post democratic political arena.

However not strange enough, those who served with Julius in the ANC Youth League and those who believes the formation of his party was premature and ill-advised, are adamant that Julius and EFF is a funded project aimed at portraying Zuma’s administration as a failure and as a government that is only adamant to enrich a selected few connected comrades. They say this can be proved in many instances, from Zuma being labeled as an unrepentant polygamist to Zuma being the worst supposedly thief ever, by using the Nkandla issue as a scapegoat.

The current infightings in this new baby in politics, has proved that South Africa is still not ready yet for any black dominated party to challenge the ANC, although we live in a multi-party democracy, a political environment which is healthy, those who believe the EFF will dismantle the ANC from power are yet to be surprised yet again carbon copy of COPE led by Lekota, a party which bit the unpleasant political dust, EFF once again proved that it does not fall within the category of a political party that can be celebrated as a historic and hero-like birth of a party that can redefine our political landscape moving onward.

Only EFF can help itself from this apparent demise, the party needs to do a serious introspection if it is to rescue itself from its internally brewing storm which might wipe it away into political oblivion on what Malema has worked on supposedly so hard, EFF is his only last political bail-out, without Malema clearly EFF won’t be red enough…

*Teboho Modise is a writer, blogger and political commentator*

Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address must highlight goverment’s challenges and successes

By: Teboho Modise                             06 February 2015

Surely this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) promises to be very different from other past symbolic addresses, how so, one can ask, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) sticking to their guns that they would even go to parliament naked if they are again prevented from wearing their trademark red overalls and berets, surely the sparks certainly will fly come the 12th February when president Jacob Zuma will be delivering his second SONA since he took office in 2014.

EFF since Zuma’s last appearance in parliament was disruptive whilst the president was responding to the motions presented to his office…They chanted “bring back the money song” where within all the pandemonium erupted, the police had to be called in.
Since then, EFF and other opposition parties vowed to make sure that Zuma appears in front of parliament to account in whichever way possible.

EFF has again wrote to the speaker of parliament, Baleka Mbete in their persistent call for Zuma to have his day in parliament, the party further mentioned that they won’t mind to make sure the SONA does not take place. In response the office of the Speaker came out to remind EFF that parliamentary rules will be applied and further measures would be put in place to neutralize any outward developments.

However, on the other hand the ANC government I believe should use the coming Zuma’s address as a platform to acknowledge the government’s shortcomings or challenges whilst obviously highlighting the current government’s achievements.

The challenges facing the ANC government range from energy security (ESKOM and load shedding), to wide range of economic issues especially on the issue that unemployment rate is still high in this country especially that over 50% of young people in this country are still without jobs or rather are discourages to go out for employment.

Strategically it would prove to be on the advantage of the ANC government that it comes out more clearly on the current service delivery protests which has been seen mainly in the Limpopo and Northern Cape provinces.

This again brings into the fore the question on how capable is our municipalities in delivering efficient and effective services to the communities, do municipalities have the financial muscle plus relevant skills to carry-out properly their mandate.
Since the shooting of a 14 years old boy in Soweto apparently by a Somali national, the surrounding townships have seen the looting and violent acts by angry communities, the situation is still volatile and foreign shop owners have been advised not to return to their shops as yet.

Apart from the criminal nature of this whole debacle, clearly the issue of idling youth roaming the streets whilst they are supposed to be at school or running their own businesses warrants the attention of the Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu.

The rate of our economic growth has been sluggish in the past months, a situation which is dire to our country in creating much needed jobs in order to bolster household income and in putting bread to the table of many people who go to bed hungry everyday.

The successes of the ANC are enormous and forthright, they range from the government achieving a commendable matrix pass rate, to the ANC being able to increase its footprint in terms of decreasing the mother to child HIV infection, to the increased accessibility and provison of ARV’s at various health centers.
The ANC can pride itself in stabilizing the economy of the country through its inflation targeting and management of interest rate, policy interventions which has proved to work over the past 20 years.

Our country’s foreign policy has seen SADC through the much lauded intervention of our country stabilizing the volatile political impasse in the bordering mountain kingdom, fortunately, Lesotho is heading to general elections end of this month.

One can go on and on, however having mentioned all that, I believe it is prudent to note that the road ahead leading to the achievement of the National Development Plan (NDP) won’t be easy and won’t be a smooth ride and therefore, this reality requires an ANC government that is conscious and is speedily responsive to the economic challenges it is faced with.

*Teboho Modise is a writer, political commentator and a blogger*

Political cracks slowly showing in EFF

By: Teboho Modise                                      04 February 2015

It’s common and prevalent that those who enjoyed political closeness and ally-like relations to wake one day and be on each others throats, it takes a number and considerable series of developments for those who used that to drink from the same political well to come out guns blazing publicly denouncing each other.

The new political baby in our South African political sphere called Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) most recently couldn’t be spared from internal political volcano to erupt abruptly into the open since their landmark People’s National Assembly held in December last year in Bloemfontein, in the Free State.

Allegations are rife that an unscrupulous list was circulated during nominations and election processes, this list was said to have been “cooked” to favor those aligned to the EFF’s top six leaders whom most of them were elected uncontested including EFF leader Julius Malema.

EFF’s internal conflict(s) surely are of interest in what many would agree with me that EFF promised that it will never fall on the same trap that COPE, UDM and others are the political victims of, initially parties which have their deep rooted political convictions on that of the ANC seems to be following the same pattern of disintegration, whether this reality is good or not for our young democracy, surely the ANC and the DA will be the biggest winners if EFF is structurally weakened moving forward.

But the most pertinent question that I ask is that, can EFF get rid of its “one man party syndrome” a state that glorifies a certain individual leader, who in one stance is linked to the birth of a party. Obviously in retaliation, EFF can claim that those who are opposed to the current elected leaders are power hungry and are public sympathy seekers who don’t understand fully the party’s democratic centralism if any.

Ramakatsa, Andile and other leaders who were sidelined in the buildup or post EFF’s elective conference has before signaled that all is not good in the EFF and it was only a matter of time before the internal leadership battles cracks will start to resurface and be in the open…

These apparent leadership tussles although normal but not healthy in political organization has potential to further strengthen the party or they can crumble the fighter’s party into political wilderness which will not be a new feature in our political landscape.

After all, EFF must never forget that it was voted by over a million voters and these voters are watching developments within EFF with hawk’s eyes, before EFF can know it, they will again have to face the same voters next next year asking for votes and it might prove difficult for the party to regain the same zest of confidence most of these voters had in the last year’s general elections.

*Teboho Modise is a writer, political commentator and a blogger*

© 2017

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑