Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, August 25, 2006

I know the entire blogospohere is posting about this but I need to vent. I cannot understand how the senior ANC leadership cannot comprehend - or care about - the way their adulation of Yengeni is perceived by ordinary South Africans, and what example it sets for the rest of the country. Who knows, perhaps I do not reflect the mindset of the ordinary man in the street, but I just cannot fathom how any government could show such overt support for a man who has been convicted by it's own independent courts of law as a criminal, and even go so far as to dispute that he has committed a crime.

A raft of ANC leaders led Yengeni on the shoulders of ANC supporters in to the Pollsmoor prison. Provincial ANC chair James Ngculu addressed crowds, saying that "In our own view, Tony didn't steal money. Tony was not found with his hands in any pie or till. He didn't declare a discount." The man was given a discounted car in order to create leverage in him pushing through legislation on the Arms Deal. Pure and simple. This is not discounting a car at a dealership, however hard the ANC tries to portray this. This is simple corruption, and the ANC's visible support makes a mockery of Mbeki's efforts to clean up his government.

More humour from correctional services ministerial spokesperson Luphumzo Kebeni, who stated that Yengeni would be treated like any other prisoner; ""We don't have a category of more important or less important inmates". Funny then that Yengeni was embraced by Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour as he entered Pollsmoor, that Pollsmoor wardens were toyi-toying with Yengeni outside the gates of the prison, that unlike any other prisoner he is being allowed to keep his cellphone in jail and that only minutes after he arrived, Yengeni was whisked from the tough Pollsmoor prison to the relative luxury of the Malmesbury prison.

An absolute joke...