Bhekisisa Mncube’s Letter To Mahlamba Ndlopfu
5 minute read
10 Jun 2022
06:43

Opinion | SA’s wicked leaders

Bhekisisa Mncube’s Letter To Mahlamba Ndlopfu

Chief Dwasaho! My President, I am laughing out of the wrong side of my mouth. No, scratch that; I am flabbergasted by your recent actions and omissions.

OPINION:


Chief Dwasaho! My President, I am laughing out of the wrong side of my mouth. No, scratch that; I am flabbergasted by your recent actions and omissions. Did you honestly keep U.S. dollars under your bed?

Since the 1980s, I have held you in high regard as the personification of what it means to be a leader, political activist, unionist and now a father of the nation. In you, before the concealed farm heist, I saw the best of ourselves as a nation. In other words, you were the proverbial “conscientious commander-in-chief of state affairs”. You were also the creature and servant of the Constitution.

When you became president, you took an oath of office and swore “to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa”, and vowed to “obey, respect and uphold the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic”. Mr President, in an about-turn, a crime was committed on your Phala Phala farm in Limpopo, and by your own admission, you failed to report it to your local police station. My leader, we are talking here about a serious crime where assailants unlawfully gained entry into the national key point, a presidential farm under the protection of the SAPS’s Presidential Protection Unit (PPU).

When you became president, you took an oath of office and swore “to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa”, and vowed to “obey, respect and uphold the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic”. Mr President, in an about-turn, a crime was committed on your Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.
Bhekisisa Mncube

The criminals made off with an alleged loot believed to be $4 million, and somehow, you found that it wasn’t worth your time to report it. Is it beneath you, my leader, to queue at the local police station and open a criminal case? What if the criminals had arrived while you were walking around leisurely admiring your cattle and game stock It beggars belief that you took matters into your own hands with the help of the head of the PPU, at least according to the cowardly and spendthrift former spy agency, Chief Arthur Fraser Zuma.

As the news cycle unfolds, dominated by your preferred criminal charges, it is apt to invoke the German philosopher Karl Marx’s aphorism that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. It is indeed a farce that you are embroiled in criminal matters like uBaba, whose descent into felony was a tragedy.

Like uBaba, you claim that you have done nothing wrong. Surprisingly, you also claim that the criminal charges preferred against you are politically motivated. That’s straight out of uBaba’s legal playbook. Fascinatingly, your antagonist is uBaba’s beleaguered former spy agency Chief Fraser Zuma. In one of my February letters to you, which you ignored as is your wont, I surmised that Fraser was still an active spy. I wrote thus: “Frankly, my feeling is that Fraser is still an active but dead spy. He is two-in-one. Dead and alive.” You are now facing a political imbroglio, and possibly a step aside is looming because you ignored this lowly-paid newspaper person.

Mr President, it is totally preposterous that as head of state, you admit to not turning to the law by reporting the case so a case number can be obtained and a detective assigned from a suitable unit to investigate the matter. Members of the Blue Light Brigade, aka PPU, have no investigative mandate as they provide close protection to the head of state and his deputy.

Mr President, it is totally preposterous that as head of state, you admit to not turning to the law by reporting the case so a case number can be obtained and a detective assigned from a suitable unit to investigate the matter. Members of the Blue Light Brigade, aka PPU, have no investigative mandate as they provide close protection to the head of state and his deputy.
Bhekisisa Mncube

The irony, of course, is that a man of disrepute, Fraser Zuma, is holding you accountable, my leader. He is the same guy who allegedly can’t explain the missing millions at the spy agency. He cannot show proof of life for his academic qualifications nor explain the parallel illegal intelligence structure he allegedly created and funded lavishly.

It makes me sad that our homeland isn’t facing wicked problems defined in the literature. In 1973, theorists Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber coined the term, “wicked problem”, to describe highly complex environmental, social and economic challenges. Over time, theorists have agreed that wicked problems are not simple in scope and require technological solutions and ethical and equity considerations. I conclude that the political quagmire we face in South Africa today isn’t a wicked problem or a Black Swan event, but its source is the wicked leaders.

I describe wicked leaders as a coterie of anti-apartheid activists turned government leaders who have risen above the people they are supposed to lead. They have a hearty appetite for unearned wealth and are fascinated by the applause from the masses of “our people”. They lack the ethical backbone required to run an honest and law-based public administration.

Clearly, my leader, “things (are) falling apart; (and) the centre cannot hold.”

Till next week, my man. “Send me to Phala Phala farm.”

• Bhekisisa Mncube is a former senior Witness political journalist, award-winning columnist and author. His latest book is The Ramaphosa Chronicles.

Bheki Mncube
Bheki Mncube.