Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
THE two weeks of the June 2009 Confederations Cup zoomed past as if it were a dream. Countries braved the roaring excitement of our stadia to raise their flags. We got a taste of what it means to host the world, so to speak. Some won and others lost. The hospitality was, nevertheless the same for winner and loser alike.
While some wanted to shield the repercussions of their silly passions in hotel rooms by pleading crime, Fikile Mbalula would not take this lying down. Mbalula came out with guns blazing, reducing to rubbish media reports that sought to give credence to juvenile claims.
All was, therefore, forgiven in the name of the game. Brazil lifted the trophy after a comeback-kid-like display that saw the United States hit the dust by a goal's margin. With the nation keeping its eye on the ball, the 33rd commemoration of June 16 quietly went by. In the given excitement of hosting the Confederation Cup, the country had every reason to make do with some healing laughter, but without forgetting its tears.
The unforgettable memory of June 16 1976 carries with it heroic names, sacrifices and landmarks immortalising the epic battles of brave children, without whom the laughter that so cheerfully grace our grandstands would not have been the celebrated feat of a post-1994 South Africa. Strong nations are those that never forget and know the value of remembering.
Another offering that got eclipsed by the Confederations Cup was the release and launch of a book, Architects of Poverty, by conscientious objector Moeletsi Mbeki.
Conscientious objectors, by the way, are people who would otherwise still live comfortably in unchanging societies but took the trouble to wrestle with an unrelenting reality that kept the majority in conditions of subordination.
If the Confederations Cup has taught South Africa the moral of playing the ball and not the man, then the country should have no difficulty rising to the occasion that Mbeki is drawing attention to rather than being fixated with who he is. Whether he is a beneficiary of black economic empowerment or not is an inquiry that should not detract from the heart of the argument he is making. Given a choice between a lying angel and a truthful devil, a discerning ear would not deny itself the benefit of what rings true irrespective of the source.
At issue is the fact that BEE policy intent and application are not yielding the desired outcomes. When angels take to the river with the intention to bring back a fish and instead deliver a snake, we should be men and women enough to accept the factual assertion that the trip has yielded the wrong delivery, even if it were to be the devil saying so.
This is the devilish point that Mbeki is making. He is not finding fault with the purpose of the trip. He is raising hell about the outcomes of the trip that keeps yielding a snake instead of a fish. Only zombies will demand robotic submission in the face of circumstances that call for rebel capitalists to take a stand. Left to greedy devices, BEE is paradise to criminals posing as philanthropists and entrepreneurs. And there are none as blind as those who refuse to see.
To be a winning nation, South Africa must have an eye to see grain from chaff and remember those that have so selflessly given us the proud flag that flies our skies. And the courage to listen to unacclaimed truths is the staff by which stronger nations are made.