Dubai

I’m flying to Dubai today, and that’s got me quite excited.

Travelling is exciting anyway, but Dubai is especially thrilling.

Reason: Loads of ANC-related people seem to have gone to Dubai in the past, and returned with lavish gifts, bonuses, jobs and property. (Not literally property, obviously, but the legal documentation thereof.)

Now, I’m not an ANC-related person, but I really don’t see how this will adversely affect my chances of hitting the big time in the commercial hub of the Middle East. It seems to me that all I have to do is attend a meeting that I will thereafter swear never took place, say yes to the right people, and suddenly Atul and Ajay are my metaphorical uncles.

Ker – if you’ll bear with me for one more moment – Ching.

I can’t wait. I might even take a R600m bribe if when I’m offered it.
Well, it’d be rude and wholly ethical not to, wouldn’t it?

And I’d hate to be rude.

I’ll be back presently, and in the meantime, blog posts will obviously continue, as they always do. Once I’m completely captured, I’ll be able to travel a lot more to Dubai, launching 6000.ae before potentially retiring there and avoiding numerous criminal charges.
Impunity and immunity can like to be my middle names.

I mean, have you seen their extradition policy with SA?
No? Exactly.

One for December

Just leaving this here.

Oh no. Wouldn’t it be awful if there was some sort of previously unforeseen problem with the election process for a new ANC leader and we were stuck with Jacob Zuma for an (as yet unspecified) further period of time?

Mmm. Anyway… as you were.

Confident?

It’s a potential watershed day for South Africa today. Yet another no confidence vote on our rotten president in Parliament, but this one has an edge on the previous versions in that it’s a secret ballot. And the opposition parties even had to go to court to get that ‘concession’.

Albeit that the ANC has slowly been losing ground in our comparatively young democracy, it still holds a huge majority. So at least 20% of the ANC MPs must vote against Zuma in order for the motion to pass (assuming that all the opposition MPs also vote that way, which seems (mostly) likely).

JZ and his people have worked hard – in various ways – to ensure that they are well supported within the party. There’s clear evidence of corruption and wrongdoing, but a lot of ANC MPs are involved in those nefarious acts, or they’re willing to overlook them, or they simply don’t care. Previously, anyone from the ANC sticking their anti-Zuma head up above the parapet has been swiftly dispatched, so the secret ballot is an important step. But then what personal reward is there for being on the right side of history if you’re voting anonymously?

Will it be enough to succeed? Probably not, but I’m not sure that anyone actually has any idea. Apart from the fact that the vote might be quite close, there could be individuals who are saying one thing and doing the other – to the benefit of either side. It’s politics, hey?

Here’s how a secret ballot happens in the RSA Parliament.

And if it succeeds, what happens then? This.

If a vote of no confidence is successful the President and the entire Cabinet will have to resign. The Speaker becomes acting president. The NA must (within 30 days) elect a new president from among its members.

So Baleke Mbete as Acting President. Frying pans, fires.

And if it fails?

Personally, I think it will be a bigger blow for the opposition parties that they’d like to admit. This is definitely their best chance yet at removing JZ, and they seem to have high hopes. Of course, they’re going to talk up their chances, but when you put that public face on, you have to publicly accept the consequences if or when things don’t go your way.

That said, every time there’s a no confidence vote in Zuma, it damages and fragments the ANC further, and so they will surely go again. The ongoing danger is that by next time, the ruling party has worked out which MPs voted against Zuma and has moved to… remind them of their party “obligations”, and realign them with the JZ faithful.

There’s an air of expectation over Cape Town today. It feels like a big day. It feels like things could change. But no-one is willing to stick their neck out and call it just yet. Personally, I think that there’s no chance of the vote succeeding, but I’m just a humble bacterium wrangler and world famous blogger, not a political expert. And I really have no problem with being wrong on this one. None at all.

 

Protest

Bit of a weird one, this. Weird because I’m writing something about a very fluid situation and I’m writing it four days ago*. So it might not make any sense by the time you read it. Hell, it might not make any sense by the time I’ve written it. I’m struggling already and we’re only 50-odd words in.

Today is supposed to be a day of national protest in South Africa. Well, as I’m writing this (four days ago), it is. It’s also a normal day of work (except it obviously won’t be) and right now no-one seems to know what to expect, save maybe for the Presidency and chums ignoring whatever protests do occur.

The thing is, South Africa is such a diverse and divided nation that any coherent mass protest action is terribly difficult to organise. While individual political parties and organisations can raise their own demos, no-one has really managed to successfully mobilise across all racial, political and social classes. And that’s why JZ and friends have happily got away with it all so far. It’s also why things need to change if today’s action is to have any effect.

Look, there’s enough support for the protest, but it’s completely fragmented. Already, as I am writing this (four days ago, remember) people – supposedly on the ‘same side’ – are questioning the basis for people’s anger, arguing and fighting about the legitimacy of some protesters with superb logic like: “if you didn’t protest against (a) then you can’t protest against (b)”. Because obviously there are rules for being allowed to express your viewpoint on any given subject.

It’s a phat, public mess and Zuma must be loving every minute of it.

Obviously, people need to look past their individual grievances and try to find common ground if this is to have any chance of working. And I do recognise that that is much easier to say than to do.

I believe that there are many reasons for getting rid of this rotten, corrupt regime. Whatever yours is, today is a day – even more than any other – when you need to recognise and respect that others may have their own reasons too.

 

* All will become clear on this bit tomorrow. 

Er, Julius…

As Julius Malema heads to the Constitutional Court to ask them to impeach Jacob Zuma, and tells us:

 

We rack our brains to try and remember who the “They” that did the choosing actually were… [link]

 

Or:

The words there of one… er… Julius Malema.

 

Ja. Things change, fair enough. And it’s all very well trying to remove the President now.
Equally, it’s all very well to say that it was a mistake for the ANC to promote and elect him in the first place.

But to pretend that you weren’t involved… No, Julius. That stinks.