Cyril Ramaphosa: Small victory at the NEC. Picture: SundayTimes/Esa Alexander
Cyril Ramaphosa: Small victory at the NEC. Picture: SundayTimes/Esa Alexander

Dear Mr President,

I hope this finds you well after your small triumph in seeing off the hyenas who wished to use the weekend’s meeting of the ANC’s national executive council to attack you.

The desperate attempt at scapegoating by your predecessor did not do justice to the ink spilt on it. Its bluster could never begin to paper over the cracks, nay, the canyons carved into the state’s moral core by torrents of patronage and corruption in the miserable decade after 2007.

In another time, that letter would have been a triumph of reputation management written by a Wormtongue working for a foreign public relations company, but happily, Tricky Vicky and her fellow Bell Pottinger scribes are no longer writing letters on behalf of the people of SA.

The battle for SA’s soul continues, however.

And while on the themes of battle and letters, here is one written by a young soldier named Siegfried Sassoon from the Western Front in 1917.

If you replace the word "fighting men" in his letter with "the people", it is apposite for SA in 2020.

"I am making this statement," Sassoon wrote, "as an act of wilful defiance of military authority because I believe the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it … I believe that the war upon which I entered as a war of defiance and liberation has now become a war of aggression and conquest."

Sassoon finishes with these words: "I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed."

Enough of this waiting, Mr President. It is time to prosecute the crooks and, as Bo Diddley once sang, put them so far back in jail that "they gonna have to pump air into [them]."

Yours faithfully.

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