A brief scan of the contents of the M & G on-line is enough to depress the most optimistic spirit. It deals with five subjects absolutely critical to the successful functioning of a democracy:
- Service delivery; or rather the lack thereof, and its consequences, see Apolitical truth about civil disobedience. See DDF policies on local government.
- Police brutality; fifteen cops had up for murder, see Fifteen KZN police officers in court for murder. Here, at least, The Independent Police Investigative Directorate have charged the officers but it should never have happened in the first place. See DDF policies on security.
- Transparency; a cleric speaks out about ugly truths only to be told that his comments “stoop way below dignified public discourse and intellectual engagement”, see Presidency calls Pityana’s comments ‘unfortunate’. What fortunate truths would the presidency have preferred to hear? The truth is, as Pityana indicates, the buck stops at the ballot box. See DDF policies on everything Pityana complained about.
- Corruption and nepotism; the Auditor General slams the National Youth Development Agency for, amongst other things, R133 Million of irregular expenditure. The opposition party’s response – disband the NYDA. Our response is hold them accountable for every cent and jail those guilty of fraud and get the money back. See Auditor general queries youth body’s procedures. To disband the organisation would be like throwing stones at a flock of birds rather than casting a net over them. After the net and when the dust settles, if there is no legitimate purpose to the NYDA’s existence, then disband it. See DDF FAQ on meritocracy.
- Justice, or rather perversion of justice – more police misbehaviour. This time our old chum Richard Mdluli. Not content with beating up innocent participants in a non criminal domestic dispute involving Mdluli, as alleged here, it is now alleged that case files were also tampered with that related to the incident and to the alleged murder of Oupa Ramogibe – all connected. Nice chap, is our Mdluli. Here are some notes on perverting the course of justice. See also DDF policies on the judiciary.
Then there is the pièce de résistance of the day’s news – an article on how Lonmin will have to curb its workforce in order to pay for the increased wages. See Lonmin wage deal ‘will have inevitable impact on jobs’. Any way, I ask myself, what if one cut out the labour broker, or at least limit his take of the booty to 2.5% (or less), wouldn’t that have the effect of doubling the miners take-home pay without increasing Lonmin’s costs? But could Lonmin afford to do that, politically speaking?
Talk about something being rotten in the state of Denmark? I wonder what Shakespeare would have made of 21st century South Africa? I think he would feel right at home, amongst old friends, almost. But probably I do Elizabethan England and the Danes an injustice.