Hendri Pelser
3 minute read
2 Aug 2020
1:56 pm

It was a tough week to be a cadre

Hendri Pelser

They say a week is a long time in politics and it has been one hell of a week.

Picture for illustration purposes. The doors to the Pretoria Magistrate's court can be seen closed for decontamination after cases of Covid-19 were found among staff, 20 July 2020, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

By all accounts it sounds as the ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa, had a torrid time pretending to be the party’s leader over the weekend.

Attempts to institute internal investigations against Covid-19 profiteering and corruption by elected ANC officials did not seem to amount to much at this stage.

And why would it?

Who in their right minds would start an investigation into alleged corruption by Luthuli House’s cadres?

Then follows the wishy-washy statement issued by the South African President, also Cyril Ramaphosa, on Saturday.

With spokesperson Khusela Diko on special leave (we’ll circle around to this shortly), it seems someone picked up that South Africa will pass the psychological barrier of 500,000 Covid-19 confirmed infections and that the commander in chief should say something about it.

He did. Say a few things. That is.

Nothing very interesting or important besides making sure that we all know that the lockdown worked and that we only have 152,676 active Covid-19 cases.

Oh, there was a single paragraph on the corruption he waxed so lyrically about in his address to the nation only a week and a half ago.

One single paragraph. Forty-one words.

Remember, that address to the nation was just days before the Diko bomb blew and the spate of other accusations suddenly came to light…

What a week, comrades

They say a week is a long time in politics and it has been one hell of a week.

Here’s a quick recap:

The Presidential spokesperson, Diko, goes on special leave after it emerges that her husband, the king that’s actually a chief but insists that he’s a king, scored a tender for R125 million-odd in PPEs.

(The Dikos deny any wrongdoing).

Next up for a holiday was the Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku, who was joined by his wife, Joburg’s group corporate and shared services MMC, Loyiso Masuku.

(They are close to the Dikos and deny any wrongdoing).

But the party only got started as we play the hottest new game in town: Guess who got a PPE contract, and/or other emergency tenders… “allegedly”?

Some of the names dropped included former minister Nomvula Mokonyane’s daughter Katleho (R2.7m), ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s sons Tshepiso (R2.29m) and Thato (R427k), and a couple of connected people taking care of Andrew Mlangeni’s funeral.

(Ace denied strong-arming anyone into giving his offspring any tenders).

Today, City Press reported that the Eastern Cape government is probing R1.2 billion worth of Covid-19 tenders.

The list grows longer by the day and given the reports surfacing from the ANC’s National Executive Committee’s (NEC) meeting over the weekend, not much is going to happen from the party’s side… to put an end to the emergency procurement party.

Hate him or love him, Mbeki nailed it

This week the last of the Rivonia Trailists was laid to rest.

It is sad that Mlangeni’s funeral became overshadowed by military personnel smoking, the lack of social distancing or allegations of selective procurement.

But, when former President Thabo Mbeki dropped his own bombshell in his eulogy, the awkwardness could not have been any more palpable.

Mlangeni had “very good cause” to be concerned about the state of African National Congress, the man of mixed reputation himself said.

Why be concerned?

Because a man of significant reputed moral character, hailed by peers with equally principled histories, would be ashamed of the organisation he sacrificed so much for.


Not shem.

Because shem, it has been a tough week for the cadres.

Hendri Pelser is the acting Digital Editor of The Citizen.

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