Decent South Africans have been crying for good political leadership since Nelson Mandela called it a day.
Every incumbent who followed was a disappointment, lacking statesmanship and without the presence to inspire and unite a nation of diversity. This pathetic mix included Jacob Zuma, who in one fell swoop brought the country to its knees and set up a nest of crooks.
Now we have President Cyril Ramaphosa, who we had hoped would make a clean sweep of the fiscus plunderers. Sadly, he hasn’t put his hand up and the rot continues — and there doesn’t appear to be anybody in the wings to radically break the logjam.
Then again, perhaps there is a strong candidate to come to our rescue. I saw him in action at a news conference on television, and, ironically, he already fills the post of a president. I’m referring to Patrice Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football. He was answering questions about the deadly crush outside a stadium at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
He has the looks, charisma, presence, poise and — of great import — a voice that arrests and keeps your attention. And he talks sense. Not one ANC president has been blessed with these characteristics.
Some more irony. He is the brother-in-law of Ramaphosa. If the latter still cared for his country he’d twist the arm of Motsepe to enter politics and stand for the top position. A clean swap would save the day. And he’d set the nest alight.
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