Max du Preez
And there, 22 years after we became a democracy, ANC members proved that they could also be good parliamentarians and keep the executive accountable, which is their actual job.
But as I sat and watched the proceedings of the parliamentary investigation into the SABC board, I remembered that these were the very same ANC MPs who had recommended these same board members that had failed so miserably to the president for appointment.
I have personally witnessed the charade of those vettings for the SABC board. ANC MPs walk in with a list of sycophants from Luthuli House and regardless of merit, those on the list are the ones that will be appointed to the board.
Let’s face facts, that dangerous clown that has embarrassed virtually all South Africans and managed the SABC to the brink of collapse, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, is a creature of the ANC itself.
This is an expensive lesson for the ANC, one I hope they’ll learn properly. Because the ANC will govern at least until mid-2019.
All indications are that the ANC had made another bad appointment that the country will also pay a heavy price for: the new Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
From the day she walked into her office, her behaviour and utterances have left the strong impression that she has no intention of continuing Thuli Madonsela’s brave work.
Frankly, there is reason to suspect that Mkhwebane is firmly in the Zuma/Gupta camp.
I shared the DA’s apprehensions when she was appearing before Parliament as a candidate. Her background in state security set off the red lights for me.
I have seen enough evidence the last year or two to conclude that the state security machinery under Minister David Mahlobo views the protection of Jacob Zuma, his inner circle and their band of state capturers as its primary task.
Now that the ANC’s parliamentary caucus members have discovered their backbones, they will probably have the same frustrations with Mkhwebane sometime next year than they’re having with Motsoeneng now.
I hope the ANC took notice of the overwhelmingly positive public reaction to what happened in parliament with the SABC board investigation.
This, comrades, is how you can try and be re-elected in 2019; how you can prevent the once mighty ANC from declining to a tiny opposition party in the next decade: serve the people of the country instead of the interests of a president or a section of the party.
A good start would be to choose knowledgeable, capable and independent-minded people to the new SABC board, people who could return the public broadcaster to its erstwhile glory during the first five years after 1994.
There were other lessons for the ANC MPs.
With the presentations of journalists of the SABC8 group they witnessed what a journalist of integrity looks like.
This is something to be proud of and cherish, not fear.
Journalists like Thandeka Gqubule, and there are many more of them in our media, are flag bearers of our democracy and open society, not people who should be seen as enemies who should be undermined and declared as enemies.
The ANC MPs were visibly unhappy and even embarrassed with the reactions of minister Faith Muthambi to their questions.
The ANC under Zuma has never had high standards when cabinet ministers were appointed, but Muthambi and other Zupta-insiders like Bathabile Dlamini, Des van Rooyen and Mosebenzi Zwane represent an all-time low.
You are the ANC, comrades in Parliament, not Zuma.
For the sake of South Africa, for the sake of the once proud ANC and for the sake of your own survival, get rid of these bad apples.
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