SIMON LINCOLN READER: Why you don’t want to bump into Faith
‘Her conduct has ventured beyond shamelessness. This was a calculated insult to the electorate. The middle finger to taxpayers’
Nine years ago, I was visiting friends in Kilburn when I was goaded into playing the childish game called, "Would you … or would you not?" Because of my initial reluctance, I was issued a bad list of candidates, akin to a menu of incurable diseases, but it was only when someone asked me the "would you" part about Jacqui Smith, then British home secretary, that I uttered expletives and walked out.
I think the wind changed direction at that moment, because for six months, I was haunted by Smith.
I caught a woman looking at me funny in Sandton City and I went and hid in Exclusive Books because I genuinely thought it was her. One night, I had a feverish nightmare about being cornered by her in one of Britain’s many carcinogenic regional nightclubs.
It stopped the day the papers revealed that she was married. My initial response was "poor bastard", but then I read why it was revealed she was married. You see, her husband, Richard, was bust being very naughty. Working as Smith’s assistant, Richard was based in her Redditch constituency, which allowed him to claim expenses.
One day, Richard lay down on the sofa, wearing only a muffin-top vest and Y-fronts, and allowed his index finger to tremble atop the play button on the remote control because he had just received his order of a DVD entitled Mature Delights Volume 3.
When he had finished, Richard gaily folded up the bill for the blue movie — and sent it to the taxpayer. Probably whistling as he did so.
So, now I’d like to play a game with you: it’s called, "Who would you rather have in Parliament … Richard or Faith Muthambi?" Without hesitation, my vote would go to Richard, or rather, the Honourable Richard — that’s right, a grubby communist, violating himself into delirium for the love of Karl Marx in the back benches dressed like Rob Davies, heading up an ad hoc committee to examine a diarrhoea outbreak in a Transkei hamlet.
This is because Faith Muthambi has been the worst ANC public official ever to "serve" in SA.
Consider her competition to grasp just how bad she has to be to be the worst: Des van Rooyen, Mosebenzi Zwane, Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane — and then below them, the Molefes, the Manyis, the Ngubanes, the scores of white monopoly capital propagandists and deranged, paranoid MPs, most of whose heads are filled with spongy, highly toxic effluent. But Muthambi trumps them all.
What makes her so appalling is the ease with which she has transformed the betrayal of an oath of office into sheer ridicule — rubbing the noses of the public in her own impunity
How is that possible, you ask? How can anyone be worse, than, say, Jimmy Manyi, who just last week "wondered" aloud if Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka was related to Chris Hani’s assassin, Janusz Walus, "because they are both Polish"? How can anyone be that blisteringly daft?
If recent allegations are proven that Faith expensed a private weekend for family and friends, her conduct has ventured beyond shamelessness. This was a calculated insult to the electorate. The middle finger: "Swivel on that, you pathetic payer of taxes!"
It’s not just her incompetence — and complicity in disaster — that makes her so bad. It is not her alleged collusion with the Guptas, her chequered history as the municipal manager of Makhado, or the disparaging remarks she made about Pravin Gordhan in a useless bit of disinformation published by The Daily Maverick.
It’s not even the perfunctory manner in which she addressed the parliamentary inquiry into the SABC in 2016 — which, obviously, featured the mandatory recusal from accountability. What makes her so appalling is the ease with which she has transformed the betrayal of an oath of office into sheer ridicule — rubbing the noses of the public in her own impunity. Thus she is a woman in President Jacob Zuma’s own image, much more so than his painful former wife because for Faith and so many others in the establishment, across the world, public service is clearly just a big fat gas.
And this is what makes the ANC’s victory in Tuesday’s motion so embarrassing. The vote wasn’t for the ANC, but for Zuma, and voting for Zuma was a tactical endorsement of his judgment — the same judgment he applies to appointments.
It comes to this: in 2017, SA is a country begging to pick up the tab for someone else’s pornography.
• Reader works for an energy investment and political advisory firm.