Mad Thabo: Beyond Blunderdome

So the Bluff’s very own Imperator Furiosa could face charges for chasing after a bag-snatcher and mowing him down with her Tazz. That it was a woman from the Bluff doesn’t surprise me. Rough area, rough people. But who knew a Tazz was even capable of such things? It was fully airborne at one point. If I were Toyota, I’d do an ad along the lines of Mad Max: Fury Road, with angry Tazz-driving locals hunting down the baddies and knocking them over like rotten human skittles.

When ordinary people feel threatened, the fight-or-flight response kicks in. Sandy-Lee Ward chose both.

Her example of citizens taking matters into their own hands reminded me of a clip I saw of Thabo Mbeki recently. My first surprise was to see that he was still alive. He just goes on and on and on, in every sense. Worse than Kissinger. My second surprise was that he was actually making sense. No quoting from the ancient Greeks. No Shakespearean references. Just plain old common sense.

“Here we have this receding power of the state, its loss of authority and credibility, its inability to translate plans into action … this is where South Africa’s greatest opportunity for the future is to be found, in its innovative and resilient private sector and civil society, which are solving problems in the growing absence of the state and doing so successfully,” he croaked.

I was up on my feet, cheering as if Handre Pollard had just won us the World Cup.

“In years to come, South Africa will become a case study of how private initiative succeeds where states fail,” he warbled. This was truly visionary stuff. A glimmer of long-dormant hope sparked in my sunken chest.

Then he went and ruined it all.

“In political science, this is characterised as a counter-revolution, and a counter-revolution is … a direct threat to our democratic state and the welfare and wellbeing of millions of our people.”

I hadn’t seen a good thing go bad this quickly since Jacob Zuma was elected president.

One minute he’s telling us that we the people can save ourselves from the ravages of the criminally incompetent cartel running this country, and the next, he warns that this will make the Guptas seem like humanitarians in comparison.

Google cleared up my confusion. The giddy old goat had been quoting Dr John Endres, the CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations. Or, as some people would have it, the political wing of the South African chapter of the Proud Boys.

Truth is, the country is alive with people who are more honest, competent and harder working than the treacherous slothbags steering the good ship RSA toward a very rocky shore.

Sure, the general populace is also awash in shiftless cretins who’d sooner rob their grandmothers than do an honest day’s work, but the ANC has set the bar very low.

Also, if the ANC represents the revolution, then let the counter-revolution begin. What’s that? You’re right behind me? That’s the problem with the private sector. There are no elections. Who is going to lead this counter-revolution? Not me. Mbeki has made it sound like a treasonous endeavour and I can’t afford to hire Dali Mpofu to drag my trial out until I die of natural causes.

Many of us will agree that we absolutely need to prise the functions of government from the cold, dead hands of the public service. It has already begun. The homeless are directing traffic. Communities are filling in potholes. People are installing solar rather than paying Eskom.

There are many things you can do. For a start, stop complaining about the poor service at state hospitals. Spend a few hours on YouTube learning how to be a doctor and treat yourself and your friends. Turn your spare room into a surgery. Doctors pretend that you need a degree to do operations. You don’t. All you need is an internet connection. Don’t feel guilty that you’re putting state doctors out of work. They’re all going to end up in New Zealand anyway.

That’s just one example. I have others. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not advocating the wholesale privatisation of services that the government can’t or won’t provide. That would make things accessible to the elite only, and I’m no friend of the elite. Mainly because they won’t allow me to join their exclusive club.

Our small but perfectly formed ex-president began wrapping up his speech to the SA Association of Public Administration and Management by referring to the consequences of an incapable state increasingly being bypassed.

“What must be done to avoid that catastrophic eventuality?” asked the ancient philosopher king.

“Here we go!” I shouted. “Finally, someone in the ANC has a solution!”

Thabo stroked his moustache, nodded wisely, thanked everyone for listening and tottered off in search of a strong whisky.

His speech, much like his term in office, started well and ended badly. I can’t think of a more suitable metaphor for South Africa.

13 thoughts on “Mad Thabo: Beyond Blunderdome

  1. Judy says:

    Strange you should bring up the subject of Leadership. The concept is becoming strangely blurred not only here but in most places in the world. I think we are waiting for a Zelensky kinda guy who doesn’t seem to care for silk clothes and Rolex watches and wears the same khaki clothes when in the company of everyone from soldiers to heads of state! Somehow it is easier to trust him?? Mind just looking at that image of Charlize I reckon maybe it is going to take some sassy lady – with brains – who doesn’t just ague for the sake of it. Zille started so well and then messed up on Twitter!

    Ben says he won’t take charge so the position of South African Unofficial Leader [SAUL] and I think The Bible has many clues other than the #40….? Our Politicians don’t seem to have the charisma so we need someone with Star Quality.
    Charlize, are you up for it?

  2. Jacqueline Truzzell says:

    Love your piece. Unlike the majority of our African National Criminals running this country into the ground, at least Thabo has a few brains. Perhaps the deadly fights for every kind of bloated government job with a fancy salary where they happily bump one another off will expand in popularity until there are no ANC members left. They actually started stealing right from the beginning. It started small in the mayoral office in Sandton. We went there for a meeting and there were no longer any glasses, water jugs, coffee cups – nix.

  3. Charlotte says:

    I think South Africa needs to be a federation of states like the USA.

    I’m picturing this… Please excuse me for (quite a while), my mind needs to go off and have a boggle…

    … then we can have “civil” wars…

    1. Judy says:

      Have you noticed what a mess the US is dealing with now?

  4. Charlotte says:

    I was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and smiley after voting in the 1994 election.
    But I reined in my enthusiasm – after all, being over-optimistic only ends in snot-en-trane, n’est-ce pas?

    Someone once told me that there was a very good reason why Moses vroetel’d around in the desert for 40 years when he was leading the Hebrews out of Egypt , just a few centimetres up the map to the Promised Land (and then he never even entered it himself (tsk tsk).

    – (What IS it with the bible and the number 40??)

    Anyway, the reason why this trek took 40 years was a good one, this person explained to me: Apparently the old corrupted (??!) generation had to die off so that the Promised Land could be filled only with the bright-eyed etc new generation…

    So, I thought I’d give South Africa 40 years to properly settle into our “new” perfect country…

    And waddaya know! all it took was 30 years for the cANCer to completely f*ck up the country.

    1. Themba Dube says:

      Nice one, Charlotte. By the way, the numbering in the bible is suspect. For instance, the bible says that Noah (the geezer who built an ark) was 950 years old when he finally kicked the bucket. Yeah, right.

  5. geoff says:

    Good Morning Benjamin. Do I get a prize for being first to comment? A Kit-Kat or small Bar One as with guessing the correct numbers at Parkrun?
    In terms of Einstein’s Relativity thing, I really like Thabo, flaws and all, and light years ahead of the others! OK. so you could not get lower than Zuma-the most evil man to inhabit this Earth for many a Century, and then Ramaphosa for whom (note PROPER English) I had such high hopes but turned out to be a BIG disappointment(sp?). But he does at least speak quite well.
    We love you Ben – for making us smile when we should be lying in a heap on the floor sobbing uncontrollably.
    ps Remember, to be born BRITISH is to win first prize in the lottery of life and the more(we British) control of the planet, the better it is for the human race!

    1. David says:

      Zuma might have been the greediest, but I’m not sure about the most evil. Hitler comes to mind, among many others.

      1. geoff says:

        Sorry David. I had forgotten about him, but Zuma must be a shoe-in for Number 2.

  6. This is a good laugh but sadly it’s true. He re in my town potholes are filled in sands by the homeless. My meighbous who can afford are installing solar and inverters. Some arw resorting to home schooling. The sick will rather die at home than going to the hospital. It’s a sad of affairs. Now they want to take over the Western Cape which is working perfectly.

    1. geoff says:

      Lebitsi-we need people like you to spread the word. There IS a better way and for a short while longer the solution is in our hands. Leave it too late and we become Zimbabwe led by a Mnangagwa clone. Then the struggle for freedom has to start all over again!!

  7. Malinda Nel says:

    What a blundering a…….hole. And aren’t they all suffering from the same b/s The ANC, I mean.

  8. Twakkie_ZA says:

    “treacherous slothbags” ROFL I can just see Jacob struggling to even pronounce that, never mind admitting to being one!

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