SIMON LINCOLN READER: The 'white' South Africans who are not cheering for Ramaphosa
The greatest casualties of the Zuma era were not doorman savages or Steinhoff Philistines, but ‘clever blacks’ who were labeled ‘askaris’ for articulating independent thought
There are two profiles of white SA for whom Cyril Ramaphosa’s election is bad news. The first belongs to the friends, admirers and acquaintances of Duduzane Zuma (who are unlikely to read this as the Tasha’s chain of restaurants prefers displaying car magazines to newspapers).
By general extension this profile of white SA is synonymous with the murder of mining personalities and blonde models, gangland assaults and killings, tow truck warfare, selling ecstasy to children, biker gangs, guns, brothels, extortion and intimidation rackets, steroids, debt collection, tattoos and vulgar T-shirts. Yes, these people are Duduzane’s friends.
In matters relating to Jacob Zuma, state capture and wanted fugitives associated with the Gupta bandit axis, their participation in current affairs peaked at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.
As scrutiny of Nhlanhla Nene’s sacking intensified, I watched in disbelief as hoards of these whites leapt to Duduzane’s defence by asserting the destroyed monopoly capital narrative, quoting fantasies manufactured by Gupta-retained or Zuma-aligned buffoons such as Steven Motale and Pinky Khoabane. These were not "bots", just very, very stupid humans.
The second profile belongs to the white SA that has spawned Markus Jooste and various confidence men of Stellenbosch pyramid schemes. There can be no doubt that it was this profile the late Sampie Terreblanche took such exception to, and rightly so, because they are just bullies who believe that their own accountancy or commerce qualifications or interpretation of the Old Testament serve as a singular, just basis of existence.
I say this because the greatest casualties of the Zuma era were not doorman savages or Steinhoff Philistines, but "clever blacks", whose media personalities were called "askaris" for articulating independent thought, whose bureaucrats were maligned in favour of low grade people such as Des van Rooyen and Faith Muthambi and whose entrepreneurs were accused of being "ungrateful" for their reluctance to accommodate the rent-seeking apparatus erected by Zuma patronage systems.
Merely appearing to dismantle these same systems will effect wholesale changes to the confidence of black excellence. Policy reviews of land (whatever that ends up meaning) and new procurement prescripts, minus Zuma-appointed gatekeepers, will only serve to buoy the aspirations of an ambitious middle class whose prominence has slipped in the past decade thanks to the fact their president despised them.
The white people belonging to the two profiles, whose anger at Zuma was limited to his impact upon the currency, were actually insulated from a more competitive market by him.
Despite making the loudest noises within the race, these people would not be able to tell you the name of the head of ANC policy under Thabo Mbeki, much less the names of the two thugs who arrived alongside Van Rooyen at Treasury offices on December 10 2015 (one of whom is the son-in-law of ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte).
Stories are emerging that detail Zuma’s technical incompetence with the functions associated with office. They are being told by people for whom a veil of fear has been lifted, who can now speak of their harrowing experiences of the former president’s ineptitude without reprisals. People who do not possess adequate emotional intelligence or reasonably informed political maturity would not be able to appreciate just how hard this is.
If these white profiles refuse to or cannot distinguish between gatekeeping and excellence, then they should be excluded, or encouraged to join their cousins in Perth.
• Reader works for an energy investment and political advisory firm.