Hello, and welcome to Morning Shot. Your daily dose of news analysis.
In the news today:
- How the government checkmated itself – by RW Johnson
- RW Johnson’s explanation into how South Africa changed in 26 years.
- Adriaan Basson
- A comparison of analyses.
- Ramaphosa fights the DA.
- Contradictory to his invitation for citizen’s to take the government to court, Ramaphosa files against the DA’s request to be heard in Constitutional Court.
Watch the full episode here.
How the Government checkmated itself – by RW Johnson
I have made this statement before, and I’ll repeat it now. If you don’t read RW Johnson, you don’t understand what is going on in South Africa. His latest column is no exception to that rule. He starts off by explaining how the civil service industry has been utterly destroyed.
I quote: “Only a few years into the first ANC administration, under Nelson Mandela, a major transformation of the public service industry was launched. Experienced, white employees were forced into retirement and replaced by a host of Affirmative Action appointments. Many who were political, but many more of them were in civil service from the former Bantu-Stance, who had already adopted many, nasty habits. By 1999, almost all institutional memory was wiped in most departments, and the new civil servants had minimal knowledge as to how to do their jobs.”
For anyone who deals with the civil service regularly, this doesn’t come as news. The decline of output quality by the public service has been astronomical in the past 25 years, except, ironically, in the revenue collection ones, like SARS, for example. They’re allowed to be meritocratic, but your ordinary official authority department? Nah, not needed. So, what happens when you get Covid-19 mixed in with an uncivil civil service? Disaster.
The ANC looked at what the world was doing, saw there was a lockdown happening in most countries and decided to copy them. Without any consideration for what South Africa lacks in the fiscal space, the public health system and the accumulated resources, which made this an option for Britain, France and Germany. The ANC jumped headfirst into lockdown, without having the resources required to sustain such an event, and without the civil service’s capability to actually enforce it.
Once the lock lockdown came into being, soon we had a smokeless prohibition. A military curfew, locked down golf courses and Cassper’s on Hout Bay to stop joggers and. The decision to place ANC Councillors in charge of distributing food parcels is like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.
As Johnson writes; The government not only lacks an exit strategy, it also lacks any overall game plan whatsoever. The ANC has destroyed the civil servant. It has destroyed independent, well-run institutions, imposed a lockdown that in reality, needed well-run institutions and the civil service, and then allowed their own band of merry thugs, called ANC councillors to ‘distribute’ food parcels to the poor.
These are the same people who kill each other for political positions. The grand saviour, Cyril, it seems, didn’t know any of this before starting the lockdown. He’s either thick or downright ignorant. Knowing what we know now, about what the ANC has done, what are their plans going forward? I’ll let RW Johnson explain that one.
“The President and Pravin Gordhan have solemnly vowed that a new SAA must rise like a Dodo, from the ashes, at a time when established airlines worldwide are going bankrupt, leaving hundreds of thousands of employees retrenched from the airline industry. The ANC wants to build a new South African Airways.”
These people are so out of touch with reality. It is a farce. The downside to all this? As soon as the infection actually starts increasing, and we really feel the brunt of Covid-19, should it happen, the lockdown will be well and truly over and therefore completely unnecessary in the first place.
That is what you get when you have an incapable state. Now, based on that analysis from RW Johnson, I go on to my next story.
Adriaan Basson “Analysis”
Let me show you what a journalist thinks about the very same set of facts. That journalist happens to be the editor of the biggest media website in the entire country, namely News 24’s Adriaan Basson, who wrote a piece, titled:
‘Ramaphosa wins the day, but it’s up to us to keep the economy open.’
Adriaan Basson writes: “Ramaphosa took charge of the crisis and showed the authoritarians in Cabinet that he is still the boss.”
Oh, my word. I find myself struggling to contain my laughter. Let me compose myself as much as possible. Comedy at it’s best I say. But anyway, I quote: “Starting almost on time, a determined Ramaphosa took charge of the direction of the country’s approach, after a few turbulent weeks.”
Adriaan continues, saying: “It’s been nine weeks since Ramaphosa imposed a lockdown on South African society and the economy. Despite his best intentions and advice, the lockdown has damaged the country’s vitals.”
It’s almost like saying that, despite the best intention of the hunter, his bullet damaged the vitals or the animal he just shot in the chest.
I continue to find myself having to stifle my laughter at this ‘analysis,’ and I use the term analysis so very loosely. Basson writes:
“The President’s announcement of a country-wide downgrade to level three, including the Western Cape and hotspot metros, is welcomed. It is a clear sign that he is still in charge of the executive, and in a considerate, and presidential fashion, he acknowledged the diverse and sometimes challenging views of the scientists and health professionals in our country, which stimulate public debate and enrich our response.”
Where to start with this, I wonder. On the one hand, RW Johnson just told us the civil service has been decimated. The SANDF is a bunch of paid authoritarian thugs. The police are corrupt and decimated. On the other hand, Adriaan Basson, editor of the biggest media websites in the entire country, says, the President is trying his best.
Who reads this and thinks; Yes, that’s correct? How far up Cyril’s arse is Adriaan Basson? Oh, and the thing about Cyril thanking the diverse debate and diverse views by professor Glenda Gray? How’s that turning out? Oh, wait. She’s being censored by her own board, and her board has apologized to the government for her comments. That’s working so very well. Excellent diverse debate there, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to Adriaan Basson. Cyril Ramaphosa is ‘presidential.’ However, let’s review how presidential he has been. He has imposed a lockdown, knowing very well the state is incapable of sustaining it. He has willfully ensured that hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs and go hungry. He has implemented a military curfew, in a liberal democracy like South Africa. He’s made the GDP contract, no doubt, by close to 10% for the year. He has centralized all food donations throughout the entire country – that was turned over in court only recently. He allowed Ebrahim Patel to let rip, destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs in the eCommerce Industry. The ‘presidential’ Ramaphosa, has pushed for land expropriation, without compensation, national health insurance, minimum wage, and the bailing out of state-owned enterprises.
On what planet is this man presidential? It never fails to amaze me that most politicians are inept. But, that the analysts, and journalists, who are supposed to keep them accountable, are even more incompetent, boggles the mind. If this is the level of analysis we deal with on a major news website, it is no wonder that we are dealing with a political party like the ANC, who is only in it for themselves, profoundly corrupt and don’t care about democracy at all.
But don’t worry guys, Ramaphosa is in charge, and he’s ‘presidential.’ Adriaan Basson – Circa 2020.
Let’s see how well that analysis holds up in a few years.
Ramaphosa files paper against the DA.
Remember in ancient history, last week, when the President wrote his Letter to the Nation saying that he welcomes all court cases against the government? Because, essentially, that is what a democracy is about – holding the government accountable for the actions that they take.
It seems that sentiment was very, very short-lived. Late yesterday afternoon, the President filed opposing papers, to the DA’s application, to make the Disaster Management Act unconstitutional.
Those of you follow this channel, would know, the DA is going to court, straight to the Concourt actually. To ask them to declare that the Disaster Management Act is unconstitutional since there is no parliamentary oversight in said Act. According to the DA, this goes against the very Constitution. However, The President and his ministers think otherwise. The government legal team has countered, stating that the DA supported the enactment of the Disaster Management Act and that they failed to take any legislative or judicial steps to address its shortcomings. It also argues that; the DA waited for two months of the lockdown before making an urgent application. Also, The President is calling on the Constitutional Court to refuse the DA’s request for Direct Access.
For those who are not in the legal field, Direct Access means that you ask to apply directly to the Constitutional Court, for them to hear a matter. Usually, constitutional cases are settled in the High Court and in the Supreme Court of Appeal. After which, if there’s still no clarity, it goes to the Constitutional Court. But, in extenuating situations, you can appeal directly to the Constitutional Court to have your matter heard there, and for them to make a declaration about whether something is constitutional or unconstitutional.
The DA wants to take their case straight to the Constitutional Court. The President has said that should not happen.
As for the notion that the DA supported the lockdown, and now, two months later, they don’t favour it? Well, John Steenhuizen was on my channel just last week, and he said that the DA had sought relief in various other ways during the lockdown, without going to court. As there is a rule in law; You have to exhaust all alternatives before going to court.
According to John Steenhuizen, exhausting the alternatives is precisely what the DA has done. The last port of call is to go to the court to have the Disaster Management Act declared unconstitutional. The danger arises, that if the Constitutional Court does not give direct access to the DA’s application, they will have to go to the High Court, then to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and then only to the Constitutional Court. That could take months or even years. By then, we won’t even care whether the Disaster Management Act is actually constitutional or not. All we will care about is which dog to choose to eat for dinner.
By then we will most certainly be like Venezuela, or closely resembling it.
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Ramaphosa’s request for rejection: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/ramaphosa-asks-constitutional-court-to-reject-das-challenge-of-disaster-management-act-20200525