Workers carry an advert promoting a book on Deng Xiaoping, the pragmatist leader who put China on a capitalist path. Picture: REUTERS
Workers carry an advert promoting a book on Deng Xiaoping, the pragmatist leader who put China on a capitalist path. Picture: REUTERS

I understand that the federal council of the DA has at long last accepted Deng Xiaoping’s dictum: “It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white so long as it catches mice.” Used in the context of a China nearly destroyed by the ideological monstrosities of Mao Zedong, it summed up Deng’s pragmatic policies which made China the world power it is today.

In SA the DA has finally grown sufficient cojones to dump the golden calf of black economic empowerment (BEE). While its reasoning has proceeded from strictly liberal principles, the plain fact is that BEE has not and can never succeed in growing the SA economy.

If the emigration of thousands of young graduates and older experienced middle managers, the latest tales of corruption from the plethora of inquiries and the ineptitude that has led to renewed Eskom blackouts were not enough evidence, former prime minister Najib Razak of Malaysia is now in court on corruption charges. Malaysia introduced preferential employment opportunities for the Malays over the Chinese in the early 1960s, which caused Singapore to go independent on the basis of equal opportunities for all. Singapore’s resounding economic success when compared to Malaysia is also reflected in the Irish Republic’s transformation into the Celtic Tiger in the 1980s, when it dust-binned the dead hand of Irish nationalist preference.

While the DA’s return to sanity is to be welcomed, the ANC has nailed its colours to the mast of black empowerment. Deng Xiaoping had to endure the worst man-made famine in human history as well as being purged twice during the Cultural Revolution to see the benefits of pragmatism over ideology. One can only hope that the SA electorate will spare themselves and their children much anguish by rejecting the party of black empowerment at the upcoming election.              

James Cunningham,Camps Bay