A Threefold Response to Open Letters to the South African President.
An anonymous South African, calling himself ‘Niemoller’ wrote 2 open letters to the South African President (which went viral on Social media). I sent Niemoller the following response to show how the concepts inherent in the Threefold Social Order help to understand the underlying issues and challenges in South Africa as highlighted by Niemoller in his articles and how they can be used to evolve into a healthier, sustainable society.
The links to the 2 articles which are also published below my letter are:
I have read both your ‘Open letters’ to our President. I found them very discerning and to the point. I had fun following them. Thank you.
I don’t wish to challenge too much of their content but rather to add a meaningful perspective. These concepts are not presented to shorten, encircle, diminish in any way your views expressed. I write them in the hope of entering a constructive period in SA’s path of development where good minds, as you call for many times of our President, are allowed to flourish and provide the leadership that we so desperately need, not only in SA but around the World. I put these views forward as additions, enlivening, future-oriented possibilities.
I am going to use your articles and insights as a positive springboard to launch into suggesting viable focus points for the way forward. There are some conceptual threads that run through your articles that need extraction and light shone brightly on them again so that they stay with us. Firstly you deal with all sorts of inequities that exist in our society. Secondly you deal with logic and moral compass issues. Thirdly you deal with issues that effect the economy. Yes, of course they all link in and affect each other, but please bear with me. Let’s take a look at them as separable areas and see what comes from this:
- Firstly, the inequities you point out – Cadre deployment, quotas, lack of basic services such as water and electricity, ‘Missing In Action’ policing, discrimination against employers and people working abroad, the right to citizenship, Competition Commission as a political tool and more. Who thrives in a society living under this sort of inequality? Why are people emigrating!
- Secondly, logic and moral compass issues – Are you aware that you won the insurrection battle? You have the perfect opportunity to do things right. We have a tribal problem. I cannot believe that you think that. The colour of the teacher or employee does not matter. We just want the skills and the talent. And a propensity for hard work and a good attitude.
- Thirdly, issues that affect the economy – talent, skills, propensity for understanding, not understanding where your tax base is, productivity and economic success, tax rates, WMC and more.
Let’s try and see these three key elements separately, and then, from this consciously deciding to bring them together in a more effective and dynamic way. Let me suggest a little more clarity around each of these three elements within our society and then how to bring them together.
- Equality before the law is a universal Right. It is completely unnatural to any healthy human being to want a right over another that is beneficial to them only based on their race, religion or sex. While this has been practiced all over the world for a long time, we are now at the threshold where this can no longer be allowed in any form. It is a destructive force for any society. That the ANC promotes this and the voters tolerate this is a key stumbling block. We have the chance in SA not to follow the ineffectual but to lead the effectual.
- Human Freedom of thought and religion underlies what any society thinks and their moral compass. Our schools, universities and religious movements all want to care for the development of our personal human capacities. This is a fundament human yearning. When State organs direct this yearning to be subjugated to party-political goals they interfere with the very core of what we are as human beings and our Creator. (Rather you than me.) And then these pawns end up in our economy and our judicial system and we wonder why things don’t work!
- Economy is a difficult one to point out in clarity in the modern confusion of what it really is. In essence however, economy relies on both a stable Rights environment and on people with concepts and morality believe it or not. Economy in its simplest form is drawn to one in the following link – (http://themissinglinc.org/afrika-kuamka/african-stories/). All real economy is serving the material needs of others. From this trade results. From this money, and from this tax revenues and donations. Please note Niemoller that neither area 1 or 2 above generate economy and therefore the resources that they need to fund their requirements. Money is exclusively a source generated in the economic sphere. It gets shared with the State (1) and with the sphere of Human Freedom (2).
Niemoller, you can surely see from this that our State is a bungle. It has no idea why it is a bungle. It has no correct modality to follow. It is completely confused between the conceptual pressures from capitalists on the one side and the communists on the other. The simple clarity that is required is surely made available by identifying 1, 2 and 3 above and finding ways to keep them separated as concepts and yet intertwined for the benefit of the whole. The image that might assist you to see this is the following: Within each human being we have cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems. They are quite separate but they all need each other for us to be what we are to existence. While God has done this for us as regards our bodily constitutions, the suggestion is that we therefore now need to bring these three emergences, 1, 2, and 3 above, that appear in all societies, into focus and excellence and then find ways to let them work for the whole and not against it.
Let’s allow each element to flourish independently as a principle. Firstly let’s educate and allow religious freedom from family level upwards. Let’s let parents choose the school and religious leaning freely. This is a right. You will never make any religion equal to another religion in any form, anywhere on earth. It’s like trying to take the salt out of the food once it has melted. Foolish! Impossible! Dumb! All our children that are well educated in an environment of love and competence will become our future carers, educators, law makers and economy producers. Surely this is what we all need! These educated and moral people then move into our economic activities. They have competence and they care. They will even have some prickling of conscience. (If we want economies to thrive and generate tax revenues to plough back into this schooling and religious health, we need an economy based more on association between economic sectors than mad competition that actually drives prices up for the simple reason that skills and knowhow are not shared – hot potato.) If we want effective economy, we have to find a way to share knowhow. We definitely cannot have educators, priests or politicians in the economic sphere per se. Look at SAA, Eskom and AEC. Economic incompetence does not generate profits and taxes. The economy needs a certain element of free reign. In the above scenario, the State would leave the Human Freedom sphere more alone, would act – without impinging on basic rights – for all citizens equally, would not want laws that keep incompetence in power, would spend tax money a whole lot more effectively as they would be watched by both the economy and the people more closely in a structure that promoted this. This structure would provide the balance that the removal of the broadly accepted competitive drive in the economy has today (no need to panic for the Capitalist).
For our bodies to function as intended, we need all three systems functioning well so that we can be healthy physically and therefore intellectually and emotionally. It is the same with the way a healthy society can come into itself. Allow individual education and religious persuasion its space. Fund these from the State without wanting to lever false intentions of personal power or gain over the very Being of people. Let the State make sure that it manages legislation and the creation thereof for the benefit of all, not just some. Keep the State out of the economy. Let both the Human Freedom initiative and the State recognise that their funding comes from the economy. In return, let the economy understand that they need the right people to employ and a stable State. Let the Human Freedom realm recognise that if they want the funding and the stability of State, that they must be committed to giving yeast to the best in every person.
The examples that you bring in your letters, some of which were pulled out and referred to at the top of my response, are evidence of failed human competence by the ANC at the very least. What is going on in SA at present is purely and simply a failure to understand what we are dealing with from many levels. Hurling stones at each other is part of the problem, not that I am suggesting that you are doing this, rather I am suggesting that we find sound concepts and work with them. What we have now is opinion throwing, not truth. We need something more substantial to aim at. Hopefully what I have communicated is worth a discussion.
PS – I have pasted your two articles below for ease of reference.
Enough already. The brutally honest Open Letter to Ramaphosa that’s buzzing on social media
Foreigners often confuse “South African Speak” for rudeness or arrogance. A bit like the Dutch, people from the Southern Tip of Africa lack the diplomacy gene. They genuinely prefer straight and plain. Uncoded. Ever since the transition in 1994, however, much was left unsaid. For most, despite its record of idiotic economic policies, corruption and misgovernance, the ANC was given the benefit of the doubt. After the chaos of the past week, however, that generosity has disappeared and long suppressed anger uncorked. Because, in their hour of greatest need communities whose rates and taxes keep the national wheels rolling, were left to fend for themselves. Those they paid to protect them simply disappeared or stood idly by watching the methodical, fearless plundering. As a result many in the previously silent and mostly isolated majority have found each other – and their collective voice. Their ‘gatvol’ factor has scaled a new peak. This anonymously produced Open Letter to Cyril Ramaphosa captures the zeitgeist. It is circulating on social media to almost universal applause. – Alec Hogg
Dear Mr President,
You now have the perfect opportunity to do the right thing. Everyone knows this was an attempted coup, and you’ve said as much, just in different words.
It was civil society who came to your rescue. Ordinary people, living ordinary lives, across the income, gender and race divide, showing you that South Africans are one. We stand together when the odds are against us. We stood together to protect life, property, and democracy. And in an important way, we did the job the Army and Police, after years of mismanagement and cadre deployment, could not do. We protected the legitimately elected government. You, in other words.
So here’s some advice you may care to hear about doing the right thing, and showing everyone that you really are grateful that we stood as one to defend democracy, and that you do have respect for us all, no matter who we are. And that you really care about something else other than power, and ANC unity.
Stop treating poor black South Africans like voting fodder. Enough with the failed service delivery. It’s disgusting and unnecessary. Fire people who don’t do their jobs. Make that phone call. Read the goddamn Riot Act. Start delivering services. Show you actually give a damn how people live and whether they can get clean water and drive safely on our roads. So enough with the KFC and t-shirts. It’s revolting.
Stop treating white South Africans like the enemy. Make saying “WMC” or “1652” a hate crime, like the K word. It’s actually every bit as insulting, and it’s flung about carelessly by ideologues who are just plain racist. Enough now. And tell the Human Rights Commission to do its job. They’re supposed to look after all of us. They don’t.
Stop treating coloured and Asian South Africans like second class citizens. They also suffered under apartheid. Stop with the hierarchy of disadvantage rubbish. It’s divisive and revolting. Quotas are a no-no. Dump them. Everywhere. Sport included.
Admit we have a tribal problem. Zulus moved to the ANC when they thought one of their own had a shot at the Presidency after years of the Xhosa Nostra. They were right. He did. And look what he did. The attempted coup was nothing but Zulu insurgency and resentment at having lost power, and the chance to feed at the trough again. Read your history. Just be honest about it, and move on.
Stop with the dual legal system. We are supposed to have just the one. So taxis, thanks for all the help during the riots and looting. Kudos to you. You deserve it and we’ll all be a bit nicer to you now. But tough love is called for here. Like obeying the rules of the road, having licences, and paying tax. Come now. Why must I, or anybody else, if they don’t? There are other examples – many – where there’s one rule for people who vote in a bloc for the ANC, and then we others. Like unions and the damage they cause during strikes but yet are never, ever held accountable. Enough already. People lose the will to obey the law when they see favoured people and groups flouting it without consequence.
Stop calling anti-white, anti-coloured and anti-Asian discrimination “transformation” or “empowerment”. It isn’t. It’s a thoroughly odious policy because it causes division, resentment and hatred, and mass scale emigration of our talent. Just stop it. Rather give proper tax incentives to get the unemployed into jobs, and let people compete equally so we’re not in a perpetual race to the bottom. Black South Africans are more than capable of competing. Stop infantilising them. It isn’t winning any votes, and it causes massive corruption and endless inefficiencies. You have the evidence in front of you. Enough. Just stop.
Stop discriminating against people working abroad (most of whom can’t find jobs here either because of the economy, or affirmative action). The new tax on them, when they aren’t even here and aren’t absorbing services, is noxious. Just stop. And that emigration tax? Enough. Stop. People leaving have already paid tax on that money; they shouldn’t have to pay twice. Just let them go in peace.
How dare you tell South African citizens that if they apply for another passport to which they are entitled, without first asking for permission, that they will automatically lose their South African citizenship? How dare you. Citizenship where you are born or naturalised is a right. It’s inviolate. So just stop. Having dual citizenship isn’t harming anyone. Just stop.
The xenophobia disaster needs attention and it starts with you. Violence against foreigners not only finds expression in catastrophic attitudes against Africans, but it also is evident on how you treat skilled foreigners from elsewhere in the world. Why make it so difficult for them to come here and share their skills? We have haemorrhaged skills. We need them. Desperately. Make it happen. It isn’t hard. Tell Home Affairs to start behaving like human beings. And do their jobs quickly. Why does it take six days to get a copy of a birth certificate in most Western countries, and up to six months here? What are they doing? It’s not as if Home Affairs is under-employed.
How could you agree to anything more than a wage freeze for the public sector? It’s bloated, over-employed and frighteningly inefficient. Why should the private sector bear the brunt of it all? We are all suffering, while they continue to earn guaranteed wages. Enough.
Do you now understand the damage that cadre deployment has done? Even though in your evidence at the Zondo Commission, you said it would continue to be ANC policy? I can’t believe you really think that. You must have been playing to the gallery. You nearly had a coup because of it. The SAPS were woefully unprepared and completely unprofessional during these riots. They just stood by and watched people loot. As they do when xenophobia strikes. They just stand there and watch idly. Or when trucks are stopped, stoned and looted. They just stand there. In this attempted coup, the Army was late, the detachment too small, and the heads of both the SANDF and the Police might be political heavyweights, but they are professional lightweights. They are completely out of their depth. If you have to keep them, send them as Deputy Ambassadors to African countries. Then they’ll be safely out of the way and no threat to you. Professionalise both Ministries so we can respect them again.
Shut up with the Comrade this and Comrade that. It’s 1950s Soviet-speak and it’s patently ridiculous.
Tell the ANC Women’s League to stay in its lane. They are appalling. Tell us one thing, just one, that they have done to enable women to grow and succeed in this country. They’re just a political group of women with racist views and ideological confusion. Most women with a brain who I know (and that’s a lot) wouldn’t go near them with a 10-foot bargepole.
Stop treating us like children with alcohol. You’re drinking the Kool Aid of the prohibitionists. Yes, we do have a problem, like any country, and if you read the science and the stats, it isn’t a tenth as bad as you constantly make out, so stop scapegoating it. Deal with it. And that doesn’t mean more legislation, which illegals in any event will ignore. It means enforcement. It means doing your job. And education for those who need it. For the rest, just leave us alone.
Stop with this NHI fantasy nightmare. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Those of us on medical aid save a fortune for you to spend on those who can’t afford healthcare. So just do your job. Fix the hospitals. Hire more doctors. Treat nurses with respect. Professionalise intern deployment, which is a basket case of inefficiency and dire incompetence. Just do your job for crying out aloud. There’s enough money there, but useless cadres running it. If they can’t do the job, fire them.
Stop whining at private and Model C schools. Again, parents are paying for that which saves you paying for their children at public schools. The colour of the teacher does not matter. Not to us as parents, not to children, not to anyone. Except the ANC. So why don’t you do yourself a favour and learn from the private schools. They use their money wisely. They involve their parents and actually listen to them. And they run the schools professionally. They are accountable. So duplicate that in the public sector. It ain’t that hard. Start with SADTU. I shouldn’t have to tell you this.
Stop with the expropriation rubbish. It’s theft, and you know it is. You only support it because the loony members of your party wanted to take pressure off the ANC from the EFF, and the other ones just wanted a licence to steal. Stop. It’s enough. You have plenty of land owned by the State to redistribute. No one’s stopping you. Just go for it.
Stop with this “business is the enemy” rubbish. You have hashed the vaccine rollout because you wanted to control everything. But your government does nothing efficiently. Your ideological command and control has actually cost lives. You are to blame. What did you say to Jabu Mabuza’s family? Sorry, he could have had the vaccine earlier but ANC policy of control is more important? Come on.
And while we’re about it, tell the Competition Commission that their job is not to get in the way. They should also stay in their lane. They’ve turned the CC into a political tool. And while I’m about it, you can’t have a communist running trade and industry. That’s just plain stupid. Get with the programme.
Why, Mr President, are people flocking in such great numbers to the Western Cape? I won’t answer that because you know. So instead of being obstructive, try work with them. You may want to copy the concept of clean government. We might all not like those in power in the Western Cape, or even vote for them, but they work hard and they don’t steal. Stuff happens. Don’t you just want to die when you see audit reports and the only clean ones are in DA-run municipalities? Don’t you just cringe with embarrassment? You should.
You say you’re non-racial. Good. But in the same breath, you say you like “representivity” (appalling made-up word). Tell us again how many white ministers you have? Oh yes. None. Please don’t play on the non-racial bandwagon. You fell off long ago.
Do you want productivity, Mr President? Do you want economic success? Do you want social cohesion? Don’t you understand that the vast middle want all of these things? Do you want to stay in power? It’s not actually that hard. Treat us all with respect. Equally. As citizens. Who defended you when it really counted. And importantly, in too many cases to mention, the best thing for you to do is just to get out of the way.
Niemöller: A new contribution by author of brutally honest Open Letter to Ramaphosa
The Open Letter to Ramaphosa penned last week by a BizNews community member captured the zeitgeist, having been read by more than a quarter million people within a few days. The video had over 75,000 downloads in the first 24 hours. On the assumption that you can never get too much of a great thing, here is the follow up, the first of what we hope will be many contributions by “Niemöller” the nom de plume our correspondent has selected. It honours the anti-Hitler German theologian of that name whose famous poem “First they came…” resonates as powerfully today as it did when written exactly three quarters of a century ago. In the piece below, our Niemöller provides a little background to the first Open Letter – and follows up with an equally powerful second one. – Alec Hogg
I didn’t think my letter would travel quite as far and as wide as it did. I didn’t write it for circulation; it was mostly to let off steam. I’d just had enough. It looked like its many readers had too.
One should probably quit while one is ahead, but I really did have a bit more to say. Alas, freedom of speech is somewhat of an illusion in South Africa, which is why I’m still anonymous. You can call me Niemöller.
So I thought – for now – that the best thing to do to would be to double down, because there’s more on my mind. And to quote a famous South African, I write what I like.
I see I made a mistake in saying we didn’t have a white Minister, when there’s Barbara Creecy. But frankly, having one is almost worse than having none. Zero is at least politically honest.
So here we go…
Dear Mr President,
My letter to you last week seemed to reflect what quite a few people were thinking, but no one had said aloud. At least not to you. Not that you have nothing else on your plate, but I have a bit more to say. Forgive my frankness. It is – or at least was – the South African way. On the positive side, you won’t have to read between any lines.
So here is some more advice you may care to hear.
Start arresting more people for planning this insurrection. Sure, we don’t want the NPA to mess it up, but for goodness’ sake, how much evidence do you need? The Zuma daughter incited violence. It’s on Twitter. Go get her. Her twin encouraged people to “loot responsibly”. He really did. It’s on YouTube. It’s inconceivable that nothing has been done about them. And particularly the now-famous “12”. I’m sure there are others. Many of them.
Declare a State of Emergency in KZN if you still feel anxious about the temperature on the ground. It doesn’t have to be a national one. It’s not draconian, it’s sensible. They’re a problem, and we all know it.
Reshuffle the Cabinet for crying out aloud. The RET brigade lost. They have very little popular support, and almost none from the very large middle ground. Your long game is over now. Surely you can muster up enough professionals with political clout to protect you as you purge your Cabinet of these loathsome, incompetent, ineffectual people?
Start reading the Riot Act to provincial public prosecutors. Because while we’re on the subject of arrests, why haven’t obvious crooks been arrested yet? Like certain politically connected thieves involved in the outrageous rip off at VBS. It’s clear that some Provincial Directors of Public Prosecutions won’t play ball with Shamila Batohi, and are refusing to prosecute. Find a way to replace them. Otherwise, she has no power, and you know it, even if you haven’t told the public that.
Make sure that the DPP in the Free State has his ducks in a row. There’s a lot at stake prosecuting Ace Magashule. And make sure they nail Edwin Sodi while you’re about it, odious, corrupt, rent-seeking reptile that he is.
Get the NPA to get a move on prosecuting Markus Jooste, who still strolls around Hermanus, undisturbed and unperturbed. Enough. He’s a crook. It’s been four years now. You can’t possibly need more evidence – PwC provided it all – or preparation time. Get Jooste out of his mansion and into Pollsmoor. And be sure to film his trial so we can all watch him go down.
Speaking of people who haven’t yet had their day in court, where is our Deputy President? Private health care is still excellent here (at least for now) so why didn’t he check into the closest Mediclinic? And he leaves for Russia at the exact time of the looting. Odd, that. A bit like the Ayatollah hanging out in Paris until the revolution was all over bar the shouting?
Make a phone call to David Unterhalter to apologise for the appalling anti-Semitism that reared its head during his interview by a certain member of the Judicial Service Commission. It was revolting. Tell him you strongly disapprove. And where was the Human Rights Commission? Asleep again? Shout at them.
Stop already with the Cuban obsession. Have you ever visited there as a normal citizen? It’s appalling. Surely after 30 years, the ANC has repaid the favour of pre-democracy support from them? Enough now. It’s a brutal, repressive regime that tramples on human rights. We don’t need their help. Nor their social, economic or political example. So rein in Lindiwe Sisulu. She’s jaw-droppingly arrogant and stark raving mad.
Stop prioritising the employed and start worrying about the unemployed. The employed don’t need your help. Enough with the stranglehold of labour legislation. Stop with this Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. It’s a disaster.
Disbelieve business if it says it broadly supports this new Act, because many of them don’t. They’re just too timid to withstand the accusation of being “anti-transformation”. Rather have some honest one-on-one conversations.
Here’s the headline: modern South African capital is agnostic; it just doesn’t care.
What do you really think – that executives sit around in dark, smoke-filled rooms dreaming up new and imaginative ways to exclude black and women executives from their companies? Capital doesn’t care, Mr President, it just doesn’t care. We are so critically short of skills in this country that even the most unreconstructed racist would concede that the pool was too small to discriminate.
The fact is that we don’t care if a job applicant is a dreadlocked, gay, disabled person who self-identifies as a Martian every alternate Thursday. We just want the skills and the talent. And a propensity for hard work and a good attitude. We judge them on these things, and the content of their character. The rest is really irrelevant. We don’t think about it. So why do you insist on this ruinous policy which just further divides South Africans, is of questionable public or economic benefit, and only serves to chase skills away to foreign countries? It seriously isn’t winning you any votes.
Introduce us to a live beneficiary of affirmative action. Bet you can’t. Because if you ask any black South African if they’re in their job because of it, they’ll take it as a deep insult. They’ll assure you that only merit, skill and ability played a role. So, if it’s so offensive, why have it as public policy? If it’s such a worthy pursuit, why do the courts find that calling someone an affirmative action appointment or quota player is racially offensive? Surely if your policy is aspirational and ethically defensible, beneficiaries should consider it a source of pride? Please do us all a favour and think deeply about the screaming hypocrisy of this.
Get some real skill into the government – fast. Hire more people like your Minister in the Presidency. She is self-confident, assertive, smart, no-nonsense, and everything all your ministers should be. If you know what’s good for you, chain her to her desk and refuse any attempt for her to leave. There must be more just like her. Find them. Hunt them down.
Stop with the planning already. We have enough plans. You’re like a field marshal who comes up with brilliant military strategy, but has no battalions. Success lies in execution. So execute a Marshall Plan for South Africa, because we sure as hell need one.
Call in the best and brightest, and don’t drown them in politics, bureaucracy and brick walls, like you’ve done to Martin Kingston. Ask Standard Bank to free up Sim Tshabalala for a few months – he should have time on his hands now. Call in Dikgang Moseneke, Vincent Maphai, Malcolm Wyman, Shameel Joosub, Jay Naidoo, Adrian Gore, Sipho Maseko, Cheryl Carolus, Calvo Mawela, Koos Bekker, and yes, even Trevor. There are many others. They are all brilliant, networked tacticians who only want what’s best for the country. Get them on board for a few months – their companies will spare them because there’s so much at stake. Make that phone call. Give them some real power so they don’t get frustrated and exit stage.
Lose the National Democratic Revolution rubbish. It’s long past its sell-by date and it’s destructive, divisive, and so anachronistic that it’s just plain ridiculous in a modern democracy. You’re not a liberation party anymore, you’re the damn government. Enough now. There is no revolution to win. You’re in power. Grow up and behave like it.
Zapiro’s In Charge. For more of Zapiro’s brilliant work, please visit www.zapiro.com.
Sort out state security for goodness’ sake. Bheki Cele is just plain incompetent and the SAPS is dire. Khehla Sitole is even worse if that’s possible, and unforgivably MIA during the looting. Ayanda Dlodlo doesn’t exactly look like she’s cracking her job either. They’re so busy sticking knives in each other’s backs that they’re not doing the job they’re paid for. Admit it. It’s a mess. R4-billion a year on criminal intelligence and they couldn’t spot the insurrection coming?
Stop with this new gun control nonsense. What do you think citizens were armed with when they stood up to the looters and defended democracy? The only people who obey gun control laws are those who use them responsibly anyway.
Clamp down on illegal firearms, particularly those circulating on the Cape Flats, largely gifted by rogue SAPS members (you know this to be true). And while I’m about it, what the hell are your people doing with Jeremy Veary and Andre Lincoln – and a few others? They’re the corruption-busting good guys. Where are their commendations? Nope, just years and years of targeted harassment by half-witted, under-skilled, corrupt, politically motivated morons in the SAPS leadership. Enough. Pick up the phone.
Reel in the Competition Commission. You simply can’t block a foreign acquisition on the basis that BEE would be diluted. What does that mean in practice? That black shareholders are stuck with their shareholdings and can never sell their shares unless it’s to another black South African shareholder? You’ve just wiped out the value of their shareholdings, for goodness’ sake! Not to mention the message you’re sending foreign investors. Tell the Commission to get out of the way and stop meddling in stuff that doesn’t involve them.
Stop giving groups and individuals a free pass on tax. The kind that’s just sitting there, laughing at you. Taxis, shebeens, spazas. The illegal industries are thriving – liquor, tobacco, gambling, textiles. Do something. The illegal markets for liquor and tobacco are nearly as big as the legal market now – how’s that for a gangster state? It’s a howler.
Get Edward Kieswetter an army of enforcers to get out there on the streets, and demand these guys pay what’s due. No tax return? Simple. Close it down. Legal taxpayers have seriously had enough of paying Scandinavian levels of tax for virtually no return, when others casually flip a middle finger at the tax collector with no consequence. If they don’t pay up, jail them. If you don’t, tax morality will drop even further through the floor.
Put Kieswetter back in his box when he talks to the dwindling number of law abiding citizens. How dare he say he’ll ask taxpayers nicely only once? No. Just no.
Tell your SARS Commissioner to get down on bended knee and thank every taxpayer for their contribution, and to genuflect at the feet of the top 1%. We have one of the heaviest tax burdens in the world. Without us, you’d be in real trouble, and you could say goodbye to social stability. Kieswetter might be uncorruptible and have a stratospheric IQ, but he could do with a huge dose of humility.
Tell SASSA grant beneficiaries the truth about where their money is coming from. It isn’t the ANC. Over 30% of the population receives a grant, so don’t you think there should be “Your SASSA grant courtesy of the taxpayer” printed on every SASSA receipt?
Stop opening your mouth to change feet. How could you defend MPs’ salaries by saying that they struggle to make ends meet? On R1-million a year plus benefits? Are you serious? Most of the private sector have had deep cuts in their salaries during Covid, with some losing their benefits altogether, not to mention those who actually lost their jobs or businesses. And these are people who are keeping the economy going, sustaining jobs and paying tax. Just how tone deaf are you? Couldn’t you have just done a cuddle-up with MPs and explained that on those salaries, they are in the top 4% of earners in SA, and that they better just make do since the rest of us have blood on the floor? Come on, seriously.
Stop people thinking that any criticism of the government is subliminal racism. That’s genuinely juvenile. Most South Africans couldn’t care less what colour the government is. They just want clean government. Good services they pay for. Fair taxation. Respect. Law and order. The opportunity to exchange their skills for fair compensation. Fair treatment under the law. The basics. We don’t much care about anything else. So tell them to grow up.
Let me end by asking you a genuine question. Do you not actually realise that you’ve won? Because you sure as hell don’t look like it.
I don’t mean the election, I mean the insurrection. Citizens across the board gathered to man the barricades, shoulder to shoulder. The bad guys were repelled. Sanity re-emerged. The RET brigade lost. South Africans stood together to defend not only their lives and property, but the Constitution and the democratic state. The one you lead. So, the RET gangsters lost the battle, but also the psychological one. And the political one. It was a close-run thing at times, but the centre held.
I’m not in politics (there is a God) but you should know this from your previous life: in business, half the trick of successful leadership is behaving like a leader, and the other half is sounding like one. So why don’t you? When your enemy is down, you don’t start playing a long game of chess, you kick him. We don’t see any evidence of kicking, and it’s making us nervous.
The attempted coup was an inflection point. It’s not the time to drop the ball. Run with it.
Get out of the Fresnaye bunker. Take the difficult decisions. Do a bit of shock and awe, and the momentum of resolute action will be unstoppable. Bring the country with you. All of us. As equal citizens. Start acting like a winner. A lot depends on it.
- Niemoller is the nom de plume of a member of the BizNews community who prefers to remain anonymous.