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I’m not sure when it happened, but South Africans have become a morbid, distrustful lot.
My guess is that the state capture saga has played a significant role in turning us into glass half-empty visionaries.
I noticed this phenomenon again with the appointment of Andre de Ruyter as the new CEO of Eskom. Before the ink on his contract had dried, a flood of criticism engulfed the media.
Every conceivable reason why he should not have been appointed was aired – from his skin colour to his tenure at Nampak was decried as reasons why he is bound to fail in his endeavour to rectify one of the ANC’s biggest failures.
To be honest, the man is taking over at the worst possible time. Eskom’s debt is unpayable. The infrastructure is failing. And let’s not pretend there will be no political interference.
If he has any plans to cut off defaulters like Soweto or Zimbabwe, he’d better think again.
The predicament he finds himself in reminded me of a joke:
A man comes home from work and his wife sees a blonde hair on his shoulder. In a rage, she accuses him of having an affair, demanding he divulge the name of his blonde lover.
Needless to say, he ends up sleeping in the spare room.
The next day, he comes home and his wife sees a red hair on his lapel. Again, she rages, accusing him of having an affair and describing in detail what she will do to the “other” woman.
This time he literally is in the dog box.
The next day, he arrives home and his wife sees a black hair on his coat. Her reaction is a repeat of the previous two days, but with more volume and intensity.
The next day, when he arrives home, his wife scrutinises him from head to toe. Finding not a single hair, she explodes, accusing him of having taken a bald lover.
I fear South Africans have already started scrutinising De Ruyter, even though he only takes office next year.
And, in typically South African fashion, we will not let the absence of any incriminating evidence stop us from leading him to the gallows.
Good luck, sir.
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