Ramaphosa slams would-be book burners

According to EWN President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that burning books and disrupting their launches is not what the ANC is about.

The Citizen reports that two ANC councillors were identified amongst the group that disrupted the launch of the book, Gangster State by Peter-Louis Myburgh.

Myburgh’s book details his allegations that Ace Magashule ran the free state like a mafia don.

According to The Citizen the two councillors were identified via pictures shared on social media as Mahadi Nkheloane and Alexis Mare.

The ANCYL meanwhile has abandoned plans to burn the books after being reprimanded by their parent body, according to The South African.

Magashule joined the rest of the ANC mother body in calling for his supporters to cut that behaviour out.

Meanwhile the protests in Alexandra have spread to the Free State accoridng to EWN – with 3 trucks torched and 51 people arrested after a violent demonstration in Kroonstad and Steynsrus.

According to News24 police had to employ rubber bullets in Hammanskraal and Orange Grove, while protesters burned tyres and used stones to block the N2  near Strand in Cape town.

Pigspotter highlighted a video that appears to show people digging up the road in Tswaing Municipality.

EWN reports that Ramaphosa applauded Alexandra residents for protesting without violence.

My Take

The launch of Gangester State I think was one of the more frustrating series of events for the ANC as a whole.

You need to buy books in order to burn them, which means that the books sales are improved by this action and that provides a marketing boost to begin with.

Not only that, but it means that attention is placed on the book meaning the rest of us are more interested in reading it.

Further disrupting the launch is just a thuggish action, that kind of proves the book’s point.

Right now the ANC is leading a series of protests of varying degrees of violence against DA municipalities across the country.

Now to some extent I think the DA is a victim of their own BS. The DA likes to talk like if we elect them suddenly everything gets better overnight, there will be a job in every house and all the corruption will be gone.

They talk like this is still 2016, and like they haven’t learned the lessons provided by Johannesburg and Pretoria, that there is such a thing as administrative momentum – you need to stop the bleeding before you can start the healing.

In other words it is going to take time, and if you don’t tell people that up front, that it is not going to be quick, you’ve got a year before they start feeling like you’re not keeping your promises.

That said, these protests are ANC led. The damage being done to infrastructure during them is – the ANC’s fault.

And that means that we look at it, and what we see is the ANC actively damaging the country in order to threaten us into voting for it.

You vote ANC, or they cut funding to housing for your city even though it is a major migration draw. You vote ANC or suddenly your province, which is prone to gangsterism, suffers major staffing shortages in its police stations. You vote ANC, or suddenly ANC members will start tearing up your roads.

We have eyes, we can see what is going on here.

At the end of the day, what matters to us as the public is not the identity of whoever is running the country, what matters to us is that the country runs well for everyone.

Which means that our interests are not inherently aligned with our politicians’ interests.

What we see from the ANC is sabotage, not just of opposing parties but of opposing factions within the ANC.

KwaZulu Natal’s assassins target opposing ANC councillors because a council job is such a lucrative source of bribes that people are willing to kill over them. State capture is a deadly game, and the factions involved are all to willing to draw blood.

We hear Cosatu, which is part of the tripartite alliance, talking about shutting down the country, making things ungovernable and that doesn’t serve the country – that serves the narrow interests of their faction.

This is part of why I objected to Helen Zille’s call for a tax revolt, it is part of what I object to with the ANC, and what has killed my trust in the ANC – that it does not work for the public good.

It is also why it is such a powerful criticism that the DA neglects wards in which it lost when it takes over a city – because its the same thing. The city should work towards the success of all of its wards, whoever the councillor may be, because that’s the job that our politicians are currently interviewing for.

What parties should work for is not simply electoral victory but the interests of the public as a whole. This does not mean an opposition should not oppose bad ideas, or corruption, or incompetence in the ruling party, but that parties should make their arguments in the form of arguments.

The flaw within our system is that rather than arguing a policy set is bad, we have actors who work to make it so that no matter what the policy set may be, the work of government cannot be done except by their party because they’ll just wreck the things that the other parties try to do.

The ANC does not have the interests of the people of Johannesburg at heart, or it would work towards furthering those interests rather than simply sabotaging the DA.

Because what we have here isn’t someone running an election campaign, it isn’t a clash of ideas, it is a situation where we the public are being threatened that if we do not vote as the ruling party prefers, well, the ruling party does not run the country for the sake of the people, it runs the country for the sake of the ruling party.

In 2015, then president Jacob Zuma said the following according to News24: “I argued one time with someone who said the country comes first and I said as much as I understand that I think my organisation, the ANC, comes first.”

Zuma wasn’t saying something that was controversial within the ANC, the party only forced his resignation after the loss of three metros – Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay.

In January of this year, The Daily Maverick reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa was on the campaign trail right next to Jacob Zuma.

The Gangster State isn’t the Free State, its South Africa.



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