If Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves took place in South Africa, the phrase Open Sesame would most appropriately be replaced with Jacob Zuma. Recent evidence in the latest Gupta family scandal suggests that the name has far superior magical properties locally. These range from helping to secure economic favours to opening all sorts of doors, including those of a supposedly secure military Air Force Base.
The much anticipated Gupta report was released last week. It was meant to expose what happened behind the scenes to allow the Gupta wedding party to land their private bhangra-powered plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base. As usual, the opposition were all excited and optimistic that they might have some dirt on Jacob Zuma that will stick. As comically usual, they were sent packing with their tails between their legs.
It turns out that the major sin that was exposed is nothing more than name-dropping. As far as social no-nos go, name-dropping has been around for ages. Hell, even Jesus did it:
“If you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you,” said Jesus to his disciples.
Wonkie jokes and it’s seemingly silly on the surface, but this is a manifestation of the deepest underlying corruption in South Africa.
If “secure” military base officials and public tender awards are so easily swayed by the mere mention of Jacob Zuma’s name, it is obvious that public (and private) institutions are fraught with poor governance practices. Since, for the most part, tenderpreneurs and other people are getting away with the likes of name-dropping, it also indicates that there is a severe lack of accountability and real consequence.
In the end, President Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe have strongly voiced that anybody name-dropping to get things done in the future will be assured a limp-wristed slap. And that’s this Gupta saga – done and dusted.
So not only was the nation and opposition incensed over something they can realistically do nothing about, there is also little indication that anything will change going forward. Where are the ministers who should be questioning why and how Zuma’s name was used in the incident in the first place?
If you’re just irritated that you can’t pull off name-dropping as well as the Gupta’s can then perhaps now is the time you should consider the future of South Africa and your role in it. If emigration immediately pops into your head as an option, you should probably check out this great website or Wonkie’s own play UK lottery from South Africa page, and have a go with some carefully chosen numbers to hopefully make your decision to relocate easier.
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