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A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

FAILING THE BAD SMELL TEST

Before #LanceArmstrong was finally shown up as a liar and a cheat and whilst he was still protesting his innocence, I read an article in which the journalist said something along the lines of: It doesn't matter how many drug tests he claims to have passed, the one test he fails outright is the bad smell test, and absent any other hard evidence the bad smell test is often the most reliable. How does #Zuma do on this test?

Our Teflon-President, Jacob Zuma, has consistently adopted the deflect, avoid, deny and deflect-some-more strategy so favored by the ANC government in relation to rape charges, corruption charges, the Nkandla scandal, the Gupta aircraft landing at a military airbase, his friendship with the Gupta family, the firing of the respected finance minister Nene and subsequent replacement with two more finance ministers and recently the revelations of a senior ANC minister and an MP that they were offered particular Cabinet positions by the Gupta family with the acquiescence of Zuma. Now, as far as I am concerned, no matter that no court of law has yet convicted the man of anything, if this isn't an out and out dismal failure of the bad smell test, I don't know what is. In fact, on the bad smell scale, this is an abject failure of the appalling stink test.

There are now so many people on the "recall Zuma" bandwagon, including (at last) a number of senior ANC cadres and officials, that anything less than a recall by the National Executive Counsel at its meeting this weekend will induce such an overwhelming odor as to cause the remaining right-thinking South Africans to have to don gas masks. The problem of course is that the NEC didn't get onto the NEC by mistake - they are Zuma's men and women, for the most part, no doubt put there as a reward for doing or not doing something either at Zuma's or the Guptas' behest, meaning that it will take great acts of courage from the NEC members to turn on Zuma when they risk themselves being exposed for corrupt activities.

It seems hardly believable that the movement which claims credit for bringing down apartheid and which spawned a leader of the standing of Nelson Mandela, can have have become so morally bankrupt and, more importantly, completely lost its backbone. 

The NEC has the opportunity to try and claim back some moral highground in an environment where all trust in the leadership has been lost. The question is whether someone will rediscover his or her backbone and lead the ANC leadership out of the sewer of corruption and abuse of the beloved country. To quote Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Watch this space, but keep your gas masks handy.

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