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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bwa ha ha, giggle, smirk...followed by a grumble

This wonderful article was sent to me by my good friend, Guxxi, and was a wonderful note to wake up to.

Check out:

Is Bush Really The Devil?
Satan has better taste in shoes. Is far sexier. Can actually spell 'Venezuela.' I mean, come on
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

And while we're on the subject of politics, I just want to have a bitch about Zuma. I'm pissed off about this whole debacle for many many reasons, most of which any Saffa who reads the news will know - so I'm not going to go into them. Instead, I'm boiling down my criticism to a kind of petty, self-motivated rant.

As regular readers of this here insignificant little bloggy will know, I'm unemployed. Really really unemployed. Have been for almost a whole month. Moving home and setting up a flat really eats into your savings and has desecrated my meager bank balance. How does this tie back to Zuma?

Well, my saftey net of savings that I've painstakingly transfered to my SA account is now worth virtually nada because the exchange rate took a dive, because the scorpions case against Zuma got thrown out, and then he made a bunch of scary speeches (not least of which bashed homosexuality as being "un-African").

I'll admit that all I know about economics is gleaned from a couple of years of university debating, and dating an economics major, and a lot of the time, the nitty gritty goes over my head until I get Jono to explain it to me, but the when the news of the Zuma trial derailing broke the exchange rate went from around R11 or R12 to the pound to now almost R15 to the pound. And since I've already committed myself to this selfish, jumping-to-conclusions rant, I'm wholly pissed off!!!

Okay, now my ever more thoughtful better half just came home for lunch and reminded me that its not Zuma's fault that the case was thrown out and our justice system is being questioned world wide, and actually it was closer to R13 to the pound before this started, so my rant may be a little less well placed than I angrily imagined.

But the situation is still frustrating, not least of all because this man's support seems to be rallying and some are saying that there is a very good chance he may be our next big chief Sitting Toad. Is this for real? A man who believed taking a shower would protect him from contracting HIV, a man who longs for the days when "When I was growing up an ungqingili (a gay) would not have stood in front of me. I would knock him out." (

According to a facinating article on the Mail & Guardian website by Jocelyn Newmarch:
"One economist who asked not to be named said that the real risk of a Zuma presidency would be the perception that corruption is tolerated. South Africans 'could end up with a state where everything is for sale'."

As someone who is usually the ultimate optimist about my beloved country, I'm at a loss for words to express my frustration. I think Jacob Zuma as president would mark a dramatic step backwards from all the human rights and liberal progress we've made.

Please argue with me! Please tell me I'm wrong, way off, and over-reacting!



hawk said...

Not sure if it's much consolation, but there is a lot of speculation at the moment that much of the pro-Zuma hype actually isn't - it's really just people who're pissed off with Mbeki and as soon as the Mbeki successor (because there are two camps in the ANC) is named, the real battle will begin - between Zuma and someone else. So nothing at all is cut and dried just yet. C

Kate said...

Thanks, Hawk,that goes some way to calm me.
But, tell me, who is a real option as a successor? Manuel doesnt want it. Mlambo-Ngcuka is NOT an option. Please dont say Manto or Dlamini Zuma.

Ask your varsity/debating peeps to start weighing in here. Lets hear it out. What are the options? Who has support?

Anonymous said...

Close your eyes, cross your fingers and let's all hope like hell that Cyril Ramaphosa decides that he'd like to be the head cheese. As if Mr. JZ does become the next head of state, clearly homosexuality will be outlawed (like it is in some other progressive African democracies), AIDS will ramp even further beyond control (showers and all that) and all semblance of economic policy will go to the dogs.

Just one thing though - the Rand movement really had very little to do with the Zuma trial. The enormous current account deficit is to blame there and the Rand took the first hit in late May when investors started getting out of emerging markets (as they are STILL, unfairly, regarded as overly risky). Couple with that some poorly timed speeches by Gov Tito (the speeches were good and needed to be made - but if you're looking to Rands in the UK to support yourself, poorly timed the speeches were).

guxxi said...

*sigh* I so wish I disagreed with you. But I just don't. :(

Kate said...

Thanks Kev. I do still think that the court case had something to do with further knocking investor confidence, even if its not to the extent that I originally assumed. But I am seeing a lot of assumption in my original post.

What do we think of Ramaphosa?

Kate said...

P.S. Kev: how Yoda-esque is your last sentence in that comment? On purpose, was it?

hawk said...

I'm with Kev on the succession. Here's hoping!!! :)

TiggerTash said...

My entirely too-smart digsmate (Janet, since they're all too-smart), reckons that Zuma won't leave the ANC because he won't take nearly enough supporters with him, and people will still be voting the ANC into power for a long time, since they are the talismanic struggle heroes.

So, since we know that the ANC big-wigs don't support JZ, it's highly unlikely he'll become party president, which means he can't be president.

As to the gay remarks, I'm glad he made them. Every stupid thing he says drives another constituency further away from him.

And as a closing remark, I'd like to point out that I wholly support Manto for president. Her innovation, drive and commitment to truly African solutions is a beacon, and I think she rocks! :)

Kate said...

Let's all pray that Janet is just the right amount of smart this time, and JZ hasn't a prayer.
P.S. I still dont believe you about Manto!

Rrramone said...

That may be the greatest article ever written. :-)

Kate said...

I assume you're refering to the George Bush article then? Pretty wonderful, I thought too! :)