Our politicians speak in forked tongues

03 September 2018 - 08:35
By Reader Letter
Deputy president David Mabuza.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi Deputy president David Mabuza.

Deputy president David Mabuza gave a surprisingly incisive response to questions in the National Assembly on investment in the township economy.

He said South Africans often looted foreign-owned businesses more out of envy than any wrongdoing by the foreign business owners.

Mabuza refused to accept that there can be no-go areas in South Africa, nor did he accept the excuses proffered by the police for not detecting and preventing last week's xenophobic attacks in White City, Soweto.

He stated emphatically that there would be criminal prosecutions of anyone found looting.

If you were impressed by his straight-talking, tough love address to South African small business owners in the township, you might have missed the utter lack of detail on the most critical question - now that you've diagnosed the problem, what are you going to do about it?

The Department of Home Affairs must make sure all immigrants are here legally. But what is the plan of the ANC government in accomplishing that? He didn't say.

It's unacceptable that CrimeIntelligence did not pick up on the attack before they started. It should have the capacity to do so.

So how is the government going to deal with Crime Intelligence failings?

He didn't say.

We must make sure that all foreign-owned businesses are properly licensed. But what steps is the government taking to ensure that proper oversight is actually exercised?

No answer was forthcoming.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's team is doing a stellar job of making Mabuza look credible. Their public relations machine and speech-writers are good. But there is no debate good enough to create the illusion of sound policy or political will to solve critical problems where there is none.

We fall for the new dawn farce at our own detriment.

Martha Kunene