Shambles as leaders bumble

The absent hand of our incompetent politicians lies heavily on the country - and nowhere worse than in the xenophobic attacks and the way we are treating victims.

The absent hand of our incompetent politicians lies heavily on the country - and nowhere worse than in the xenophobic attacks and the way we are treating victims.

Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and her husband Charles, nominally in charge of our safety and security, seem to reside in a Cloud Cuckooland far removed from our own.

He is responsible for controlling our borders; she for dealing with the flood of humanity once they have been breached.

Both have failed dismally.

Her department is in such disarray that observers such as Jackie Cilliers, head of the Institute of Security Studies, can't see how its "near collapse" under her tenure can be turned around.

Her good spouse failed to control the sea of desperate foreigners flooding South Africa. And once here his forces were incapable of protecting them against murderous marauding locals.

Three weeks after brutal scenes that shocked the world and robbed us of our hard-earned respect among the nations of the world, officials wake up to the fact that at least 40000 displaced people need shelter.

But their bumbling efforts were so inadequate that everyone from Medecins Sans Frontiers to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees blasted their ramshackle efforts.

These worthies are in good company. Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils and his motley crew remain smugly complacent with their abilities, and not one of his spooks foresaw the violence.

Where were they while 60 Somalis were being murdered in the Cape alone over the past two years?

And while the country burnt, literally and figuratively, the grey eminence of the president flitted from one overseas engagement to the next. Thabo Mbeki returned only after talks on the sidelines of an international conference persuaded him we had a problem back home.

Someone, anyone, please take over our governance and provide us the services we don't get. You can't do worse.

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