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Luthuli House in Johannesburg. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Luthuli House in Johannesburg. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

In many ways SA is ahead of the US in terms of political maturity. A big US party embraces the lie that it won the last election. Nearly half of its members consider the use of violence to “stop the steal” to be acceptable.

Here in SA we have the Zondo commission detailing how a big faction in the governing party set out to capture and dismantle the state. What is termed “state capture” is as much a coup attempt as the storming of the US Capitol. Only here no-one condones it.

However, as demonstrated by President Cyril Ramaphosa and former president Thabo Mbeki, our honesty still falls short. The sitting president refuses to go on to conclude that so-called black empowerment (BEE) and cadre deployment opened the door to state capture.

The demographic obsession of the ANC has in effect taken experienced minorities out of the equation when it comes to staffing the public sector. Measures of competence (and, yes, ethics) have been discarded. This almost begs an unscrupulous leader such as Jacob Zuma to insinuate his loyalists into the top reaches of the state.

If the proven ability of minorities are no longer relevant in evaluating candidates, all parameters fall away. The real tragedy is that not only the skilled minorities but also the most suitable black candidates are ignored. Loyalty to a leader who wants to make the state his plaything is all.

If Ramaphosa really wants to cauterise any future state capture attempts he must prevail upon his party to abandon so-called BEE and cadre deployment.

Willem Cronje
Cape Town

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