Dear Reader: New party, same old crooks

We tried very hard to bring you positive stories, good news and uplifting tales in this festive edition. Instead we can only offer you more corruption, thievery and scandal. We’re sorry. Please don’t shoot the messenger.

Who would have thought that more than ten years after the first allegations that there were fingers in the till during the massive arms procurement transactions, new revelations of dishonesty and theft would still be surfacing?

Terror Lekota and Sam Shilowa are about to launch their new party, the Congress of the People (Cope). Both men have been ANC insiders from the time the movement was unbanned in 1990. Lekota was right in the heart of the whore – he was Defence Minister from 1999 until recently. His sidekick in Cope, Mululeki George, was his deputy minister.

Surely these men know more about the arms deal and who got what kind of kick-backs than is known publicly? Why aren’t they telling us? Dare we hope that they are going to come clean before they ask us to vote for them early next year?

In fact, that so many trusted ANC figures took arms deal bribes and kick-backs must surely be one of Cope’s strongest arguments as to why the ANC faithful should abandon the party and join them. The Cope leaders must have all the inside information proving that the ANC has become a party rotten to the leadership core.

The ANC councillors’ behaviour in Arniston (see Storm-clouds over Arniston) is yet another example of how the movement has completely lost its moral compass. And just this morning I heard a news report concerning a policeman who testified in court that his commander had ordered him to lie and cheat to prevent former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni from being convicted on drunk driving charges.

Now that the ANC has killed off the Scorpions, who is going to catch them? Was the outrageous undermining of the constitutional and high court judges by the new ANC leadership part of the scheme? Are we going the way of Angola, where the ruling MPLA leadership has stolen billions and billions of dollars of oil money? Are Zuma and his cronies aiming to become the poor man’s Mobutu Sese Seko of the former Zaire?

If Lekota, Shilowa and company don’t talk, and remain tjoepstil about the arms deal, they shouldn’t blame us if we wonder whether some of the arms deal crumbs didn’t also fall into their laps.

(Then again, I did start worrying on reading that Smuts “I didn’t struggle to be poor” Ngonyama has also resigned from the ANC to join Cope in a leadership position. Perhaps both parties should get new names: Thabo’s Crooks and Zuma’s Crooks.)

My time as Acting Editor of this august publication has come to an end. Noseweek is not exactly your run-of-the-mill magazine and my time here has been interesting and rewarding.

My one regret is that in my stint of three months I never had the chance to meet Harold Strachan, artist, writer and activist, who writes the most delightful and clever column for noseweek. In fact, I’m making plans to meet him the next time I’m in his home town of Durban.

Though we have never met, Harold has long been a part of my consciousness. Even as a young man I admired his activism and integrity.

To discover that he is such a fine observer of human behaviour, and such a brilliant columnist, was a bonus.

Find yourself a comfortable place to sit down and read Harold’s piece on his trip to the Drakensberg with his son.

I hope noseweek will bloom in the months and years to come – and that advertisers will wake up and realise that there is no better vehicle for targeted marketing than this quirky publication with its loyal readers and serious credibility.

Have a joyous and peaceful holiday.

The Acting Editor

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