The Open Letter to Ramaphosa penned final week by a BizNews group member captured the zeitgeist, having been learn by greater than 1 / 4 million individuals inside just a few days. The video had over 75,000 downloads within the first 24 hours. On the idea which you can by no means get an excessive amount of of an awesome factor, right here is the observe up, the primary of what we hope will likely be many contributions by “Niemöller” the nom de plume our correspondent has chosen. It honours the anti-Hitler German theologian of that identify whose well-known poem “First they got here…” resonates as powerfully at present because it did when written precisely three quarters of a century in the past. Within the piece under, our Niemöller gives a bit background to the primary Open Letter – and follows up with an equally highly effective second one. – Alec Hogg
I didn’t suppose my letter would journey fairly as far and as vast because it did. I didn’t write it for circulation; it was principally to let off steam. I’d simply had sufficient. It seemed like its many readers had too.
One ought to most likely stop whereas one is forward, however I actually did have a bit extra to say. Alas, freedom of speech is considerably of an phantasm in South Africa, which is why I’m nonetheless nameless. You may name me Niemöller.
So I assumed – for now – that one of the best factor to do to could be to double down, as a result of there’s extra on my thoughts. And to cite a well-known South African, I write what I like.
I see I made a mistake in saying we didn’t have a white Minister, when there’s Barbara Creecy. However frankly, having one is sort of worse than having none. Zero is at the very least politically trustworthy.
So right here we go…
Pricey Mr President
My letter to you final week appeared to mirror what fairly just a few individuals had been considering, however nobody had mentioned aloud. At the very least to not you. Not that you don’t have anything else in your plate, however I’ve a bit extra to say. Forgive my frankness. It’s – or at the very least was – the South African means. On the constructive facet, you gained’t should learn between any strains.
So right here is a few extra recommendation chances are you’ll care to listen to.
Begin arresting extra individuals for planning this rebel. Positive, we don’t need the NPA to mess it up, however for goodness’ sake, how a lot proof do you want? The Zuma daughter incited violence. It’s on Twitter. Go get her. Her twin inspired individuals to “loot responsibly”. He actually did. It’s on YouTube. It’s inconceivable that nothing has been achieved about them. And notably the now-famous “12”. I’m certain there are others. Lots of them.
Declare a State of Emergency in KZN in the event you nonetheless really feel anxious in regards to the temperature on the bottom. It doesn’t should be a nationwide one. It’s not draconian, it’s smart. They’re an issue, and everyone knows it.
Reshuffle the Cupboard for crying out aloud. The RET brigade misplaced. They’ve little or no well-liked help, and nearly none from the very massive center floor. Your lengthy sport is over now. Certainly you’ll be able to muster up sufficient professionals with political clout to guard you as you purge your Cupboard of those loathsome, incompetent, ineffectual individuals?
Begin studying the Riot Act to provincial public prosecutors. As a result of whereas we’re with regards to arrests, why haven’t apparent crooks been arrested but? Like sure politically linked thieves concerned within the outrageous rip off at VBS. It’s clear that some Provincial Administrators of Public Prosecutions gained’t play ball with Shamila Batohi, and are refusing to prosecute. Discover a technique to exchange them. In any other case, she has no energy, and you recognize it, even in the event you haven’t advised the general public that.
Be sure that the DPP within the Free State has his geese in a row. There’s lots at stake prosecuting Ace Magashule. And ensure they nail Edwin Sodi when you’re about it, odious, corrupt, rent-seeking reptile that he’s.
Get the NPA to get a transfer on prosecuting Marcus Jooste, who nonetheless strolls round Hermanus, undisturbed and unperturbed. Sufficient. He’s a criminal. It’s been 4 years now. You may’t presumably want extra proof – PwC offered all of it – or preparation time. Get Jooste out of his mansion and into Pollsmoor. And make sure you movie his trial so we will all watch him go down.
Talking of people that haven’t but had their day in court docket, the place is our Deputy President? Personal well being care continues to be glorious right here (at the very least for now) so why didn’t he verify into the closest Mediclinic? And he leaves for Russia on the actual time of the looting. Odd, that. A bit just like the Ayatollah hanging out in Paris till the revolution was throughout bar the shouting?
Make a telephone name to David Unterhalter to apologise for the appalling anti-Semitism that reared its head throughout his interview by a sure member of the Judicial Service Fee. It was revolting. Inform him you strongly disapprove. And the place was the Human Rights Fee? Asleep once more? Shout at them.
Cease already with the Cuban obsession. Have you ever ever visited there as a traditional citizen? It’s appalling. Certainly after 30 years, the ANC has repaid the favour of pre-democracy help from them? Sufficient now. It’s a brutal, repressive regime that tramples on human rights. We don’t want their assist. Nor their social, financial or political instance. So rein in Lindiwe Sisulu. She’s jaw-droppingly conceited and stark raving mad.
Cease prioritising the employed and begin worrying in regards to the unemployed. The employed don’t want your assist. Sufficient with the stranglehold of labour laws. Cease with this Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. It’s a catastrophe.
Disbelieve enterprise if it says it broadly helps this new Act, as a result of a lot of them don’t. They’re simply too timid to face up to the accusation of being “anti-transformation”. Relatively have some trustworthy one-on-one conversations.
Right here’s the headline: fashionable South African capital is agnostic; it simply doesn’t care.
What do you actually suppose – that executives sit round in darkish, smoke-filled rooms dreaming up new and imaginative methods to exclude black and ladies executives from their corporations? Capital doesn’t care, Mr President, it simply doesn’t care. We’re so critically in need of abilities on this nation that even essentially the most unreconstructed racist would concede that the pool was too small to discriminate.
The actual fact is that we don’t care if a job applicant is a dreadlocked, homosexual, disabled one who self-identifies as a Martian each alternate Thursday. We simply need the talents and the expertise. And a propensity for onerous work and perspective. We choose them on these items, and the content material of their character. The remainder is absolutely irrelevant. We don’t give it some thought. So why do you insist on this ruinous coverage which simply additional divides South Africans, is of questionable public or financial profit, and solely serves to chase abilities away to overseas international locations? It significantly isn’t successful you any votes.
Introduce us to a reside beneficiary of affirmative motion. Guess you’ll be able to’t. As a result of in the event you ask any black South African in the event that they’re of their job due to it, they’ll take it as a deep insult. They’ll guarantee you that solely advantage, talent and talent performed a task. So, if it’s so offensive, why have it as public coverage? If it’s such a worthy pursuit, why do the courts discover that calling somebody an affirmative motion appointment or quota participant is racially offensive? Certainly in case your coverage is aspirational and ethically defensible, beneficiaries ought to think about it a supply of pleasure? Please do us all a favour and suppose deeply in regards to the screaming hypocrisy of this.
Get some actual talent into the federal government – quick. Rent extra individuals like your Minister within the Presidency. She is self-confident, assertive, sensible, no-nonsense, and every part all of your ministers must be. If you recognize what’s good for you, chain her to her desk and refuse any try for her to depart. There have to be extra similar to her. Discover them. Hunt them down.
Cease with the planning already. We have now sufficient plans. You’re like a subject marshal who comes up with good navy technique, however has no battalions. Success lies in execution. So execute a Marshall Plan for South Africa, as a result of we certain as hell want one.
Name in one of the best and brightest, and don’t drown them in politics, paperwork and brick partitions, such as you’ve achieved to Martin Kingston. Ask Customary Financial institution to liberate Sim Tshabalala for just a few months – he ought to have time on his fingers now. Name in Dikgang Moseneke, Vincent Maphai, Malcolm Wyman, Shameel Joosub, Jay Naidoo, Adrian Gore, Sipho Maseko, Cheryl Carolus, Calvo Mawela, Koos Bekker, and sure, even Trevor. There are lots of others. They’re all good, networked tacticians who solely need what’s greatest for the nation. Get them on board for just a few months – their corporations will spare them as a result of there’s a lot at stake. Make that telephone name. Give them some actual energy so that they don’t get annoyed and exit stage.
Lose the Nationwide Democratic Revolution garbage. It’s gone its sell-by date and it’s damaging, divisive, and so anachronistic that it’s simply plain ridiculous in a contemporary democracy. You’re not a liberation social gathering anymore, you’re the rattling authorities. Sufficient now. There is no such thing as a revolution to win. You’re in energy. Develop up and behave prefer it.
Kind out state safety for goodness’ sake. Bheki Cele is simply plain incompetent and the SAPS is dire. Khehla Sitole is even worse if that’s potential, and unforgivably MIA in the course of the looting. Ayanda Dlodlo doesn’t precisely appear like she’s cracking her job both. They’re so busy sticking knives in one another’s backs that they’re not doing the job they’re paid for. Admit it. It’s a large number. R4-billion a yr on prison intelligence and so they couldn’t spot the rebel coming?
Cease with this new gun management nonsense. What do you suppose residents had been armed with after they stood as much as the looters and defended democracy? The one individuals who obey gun management legal guidelines are those that use them responsibly anyway.
Clamp down on unlawful firearms, notably these circulating on the Cape Flats, largely gifted by rogue SAPS members (you recognize this to be true). And whereas I’m about it, what the hell are your individuals doing with Jeremy Veary and Andre Lincoln – and some others? They’re the corruption-busting good guys. The place are their commendations? Nope, simply years and years of focused harassment by half-witted, under-skilled, corrupt, politically motivated morons within the SAPS management. Sufficient. Decide up the telephone.
Reel within the Competitors Fee. You merely can’t block a overseas acquisition on the idea that BEE could be diluted. What does that imply in apply? That black shareholders are caught with their shareholdings and may by no means promote their shares except it’s to a different black South African shareholder? You’ve simply worn out the worth of their shareholdings, for goodness’ sake! To not point out the message you’re sending overseas buyers. Inform the Fee to get out of the way in which and cease meddling in stuff that doesn’t contain them.
Cease giving teams and people a free move on tax. The type that’s simply sitting there, laughing at you. Taxis, shebeens, spazas. The unlawful industries are thriving – liquor, tobacco, playing, textiles. Do one thing. The unlawful markets for liquor and tobacco are almost as large because the authorized market now – how’s that for a gangster state? It’s a howler.
Get Edward Kieswetter a military of enforcers to get on the market on the streets, and demand these guys pay what’s due. No tax return? Easy. Shut it down. Authorized taxpayers have significantly had sufficient of paying Scandinavian ranges of tax for just about no return, when others casually flip a center finger on the tax collector with no consequence. In the event that they don’t pay up, jail them. When you don’t, tax morality will drop even additional by the ground.
Put Kieswetter again in his field when he talks to the dwindling variety of legislation abiding residents. How dare he say he’ll ask taxpayers properly solely as soon as? No. Simply no.
Inform your SARS Commissioner to get down on bended knee and thank each taxpayer for his or her contribution, and to genuflect on the toes of the highest 1%. We have now one of many heaviest tax burdens on the planet. With out us, you’d be in actual hassle, and you possibly can say goodbye to social stability. Kieswetter is likely to be uncorruptible and have a stratospheric IQ, however he might do with an enormous dose of humility.
Inform SASSA grant beneficiaries the reality about the place their cash is coming from. It isn’t the ANC. Over 30% of the inhabitants receives a grant, so don’t you suppose there must be “Your SASSA grant courtesy of the taxpayer” printed on each SASSA receipt?
Cease opening your mouth to vary toes. How might you defend MPs’ salaries by saying that they battle to make ends meet? On R1-million a yr plus advantages? Are you severe? A lot of the personal sector have had deep cuts of their salaries throughout Covid, with some shedding their advantages altogether, to not point out those that really misplaced their jobs or companies. And these are people who find themselves retaining the financial system going, sustaining jobs and paying tax. Simply how tone deaf are you? Couldn’t you may have simply achieved a cuddle-up with MPs and defined that on these salaries, they’re within the prime 4% of earners in SA, and that they higher simply make do since the remainder of us have blood on the ground? Come on, significantly.
Cease individuals considering that any criticism of the federal government is subliminal racism. That’s genuinely juvenile. Most South Africans couldn’t care much less what color the federal government is. They simply need clear authorities. Good providers they pay for. Honest taxation. Respect. Legislation and order. The chance to trade their abilities for truthful compensation. Honest therapy underneath the legislation. The fundamentals. We don’t a lot care about the rest. So inform them to develop up.
Let me finish by asking you a real query. Do you not really realise that you simply’ve gained? Since you certain as hell don’t appear like it.
I don’t imply the election, I imply the rebel. Residents throughout the board gathered to man the barricades, shoulder to shoulder. The dangerous guys had been repelled. Sanity re-emerged. The RET brigade misplaced. South Africans stood collectively to defend not solely their lives and property, however the Structure and the democratic state. The one you lead. So, the RET gangsters misplaced the battle, but additionally the psychological one. And the political one. It was a close-run factor at occasions, however the centre held.
I’m not in politics (there’s a God) however it is best to know this out of your earlier life: in enterprise, half the trick of profitable management is behaving like a pacesetter, and the opposite half is sounding like one. So why don’t you? When your enemy is down, you don’t begin enjoying an extended sport of chess, you kick him. We don’t see any proof of kicking, and it’s making us nervous.
The tried coup was an inflection level. It’s not the time to drop the ball. Run with it.
Get out of the Fresnaye bunker. Take the tough choices. Do a little bit of shock and awe, and the momentum of resolute motion will likely be unstoppable. Convey the nation with you. All of us. As equal residents. Begin appearing like a winner. Lots depends upon it.
Niemoller is the nom de plume of a member of the BizNews group who prefers to stay nameless.
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