Wednesday, 30 April 2014

South Africa Elections 2014 - Election Quotes

South Africa - Election 2014 in quotes

     Stes de Necker

(With due recognition to the author GARETH VAN ONSELEN)

While South Africa faces serious socio-economic crises on all levels of society,  members of the ANC Government seem to engage in petty-politics rather to address the pressing issues paralyzing South Africa at the moment.  

  • “A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate."The content of an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) banner, from the party’s launch. Since then its leader, Julius Malema, has said there will be no white genocide if the EFF comes to power. So, killing machines with nothing to kill. At least they can fall back on hate.
  • "We have a good story to tell."
The African National Congress (ANC) and the ANC government slogan (not that the government should have a political slogan) for this election, among others.

  • "The ANC will expand our already significant public employment programme and we aim to provide 6-million work opportunities."
The cornerstone promise made by President Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s manifesto launch, although we have heard precious little on this since.

  • "They took the undemocratic process of marching to another political party."
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on the DA’s march, demonstrating quite nicely just how little the ANC — the king of marches — understands about what is and what is not democratic, or at least how well it selectively uses the idea.

  • "When I was in Venda recently I was so impressed to see how people there express respect for other people. A woman would clap her hands and even lie down to show respect. I was so impressed. If I was not already married to my wives I would go to Venda to look for a woman."
That’s Zuma, on an endless quest for respect that constantly seems to elude him, casually suggesting he got a real kick out of women bowing and scraping before him.

  • "We can’t think like Africans in Africa generally, we’re in Johannesburg."
Zuma’s considered contribution to the e-tolls debate.

  • "Last night (Sunday) we saw a bunch of losers — unbearable, useless individuals. We must never wake up to this. We indeed have a crisis of monumental proportions, this tournament has proved. That mediocrity we saw yesterday is disgraceful."
Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, who features prominently on this list, tearing into Bafana Bafana after they lost to Brazil. Hypocrisy was never so blatant — one could apply the same sentiment to the performance of his own government.

  • "(Apartheid architect Hendrik) Verwoerd used the quota system, therefore we should too! We unashamedly say we will use quotas."
Enoch Godongwana, the ANC’s transformation chairman, completing the circle, so to speak. Once Verwoerd was evil personified; now the ANC seems to think he had some pretty good ideas.

  • "The South African government will, through existing diplomatic channels, be seeking clarification on these developments from many capitals around the world."
The Department of International Relations and Co-operation "noting" Uganda’s repulsive homophobic laws, further criminalising gays and lesbians. No one puts the amoral into diplomacy like the South African government.

  • "People must remain in the party and try to fix things internally because those who do leave will attract the wrath of the ancestors who will also bring that person bad luck."
Zuma, given a rare opportunity to actually speak (Nkandla has forced him into hiding), doing his bit to suggest magic will play a big part in this election.

  • "It passed — in four minutes it was over, and it didn’t happen again. We will not take a small event and make it into a crisis in our democracy."
Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj trying rather badly to explain away the booing of Zuma at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, which reverberated around the world on international television.
  • "All of their plans, infused in Satanism at best, will never succeed in the future because their plans are nothing else but filled with evil."
Mbalula trying to do the same thing, although he blamed the devil.

  • "There is no president in the DA. She must ask other premiers at her level to have a debate."
Zuma dismissing DA calls for a debate between him and Zille and, in doing so, suggesting the only person he would be willing to debate is himself — perhaps the only debate he is likely to win. Even then ...

  • "The toxic concoction of a lack of leadership, a lack of control and focused self-interest."
The significant quotes from Madonsela’s report into Nkandla are too many to mention. This one best captures the thrust.
  • "They did this without telling me. So why should I pay for something I did not ask for?"
After 11 days of silence, Zuma spoke out on the Nkandla report, only to suggest once again that he was a victim of machinations he did not control and was generally oblivious to and, thus, he would not repay monies as the public protector had suggested.

  • "When President Mbeki proclaimed that he was an African, born of the people of this continent, our spirits soared. We shared his pride. President Mbeki helped get our economy on track. He presided over the roll out of RDP houses, water, sanitation and electricity. Social grants were a lifesaver for the poor. It was President Mbeki who introduced black economic empowerment. The policy wasn’t perfect, but it signalled that the injustice of apartheid would be redressed. We believed that the party that liberated us from apartheid would liberate us from unemployment and poverty. That is why I voted for the ANC. I had no reason to look anywhere else."
DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane, waxing lyrical about former president Thabo Mbeki, whom he supported because, from HIV/AIDS to Zimbabwe, he saw "no reason" to look anywhere else. The DA has made much hay out of championing Mbeki in this election.
  • "Those poty poty communities must give a taste and give those that don’t have the luck of experiencing poty potys. I’m saying somebody took a decision to deliver these things to other human beings. What’s wrong if other communities, somewhere, in the same province, in the same city, they have an experience."
Former national police commissioner Bheki Cele, in a virtually incomprehensible piece of gobbledygook, trying to justify the actions of poo-flinging protesters in the Western Cape.

  • "It’s just Helen decides and everyone must follow, and everyone else is an idiot. You dare not differ, she will use vilification and her minions will go after you."
Former DA stalwart Grant Pascoe, now an ANC member and one of more than 20 people to defect from the DA in this election, using the opportunity to denigrate his former leader. The DA argued in response that Pascoe had been on the verge of being sacked for poor performance.

  • "God is with the ANC and that is why we will win the 2014 general elections."
ANC national executive committee member Mcebisi Skwatsha making up for the absence of Zuma’s usual electoral suggestion that the ANC, God and Jesus are one and the same.

  • "It is not because of the ANC’s ways that we are in government ... it is through God’s will."
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe promoting more religious nonsense to voters in the Free State. The party has more than made up for Zuma’s general absence from the electoral stump.

  • "This thing of witchcraft is when a witch does nothing for the people but they still get re-elected. This is what we find ourselves in here in the Western Cape. We are being governed by witches."
Mbalula again, still fascinated by the dark arts, this time accusing Zille of being a witch. Ironically, the argument he makes applies far more appropriately to Zuma.

  • "A vote for the ANC today means a vote for the Guptas, for people who are parasitic on the state, for people who want to accumulate."
Former ANC stalwart, now disillusioned ANC stalwart, Ronnie Kasrils, promoting his spoilt-vote campaign, much to the chagrin of the ANC. What he doesn’t seem to get is that a spoilt vote is a relative vote for the ANC anyway.

  • "Nxamalala (Zuma) has increased grants, but there are people who are stealing them by voting for opposition parties. If you are in the opposition, you are like a person who comes to my house, eats my food and then insults me."

KwaZulu-Natal agriculture and environmental affairs MEC Meshack Radebe behaving like any seasoned democrat (seasoned in demagoguery), suggesting grants demand political allegiance to Zuma and the ANC.

Monday, 21 April 2014

About the National Coalition Party of Canada (NCPC)

About the National Coalition Party of Canada 

                                                                                                                              Stes de Necker

The emergence of a Popular Nationalism Political Movement is taking place in Canada through the National Coalition Party of Canada (NCPC). There are two main perspectives on the origins and basis of nationalism. One is the primordial perspective that describes nationalism as a reflection of the ancient belief perceived by evolutionary tendency of humans and citizens to organize into distinct groupings. The other is the modernist perspective that describes nationalism as a recent political phenomenon that requires the structural conditions of modern society and sustainable government reform through the democratic political process.

In terms of historical political development; inconsistency between institutional governmental system, the people civil societies has resulted in a situation of anomie that nationalists and nationalism seek to resolve, correct, change, and reform for the purpose of the well-being and greater good of the people within the nation in which they live and abide. Our Party is the only Party in Canada which main platform is established on the principles of individual freedom, social responsibility, equality, social justice, economic opportunity for everyone, humane principles;  people-caring through civil rights and human rights. The party is strongly and amazingly continues to gain a significant amount of national and international support as it continues to achieve its political mission.

The Party’s ideology combines freedom with responsibility and democracy. Our basic and fundamental values are cantered on education, fiscal balance, healthcare reform, employment, tolerance, youth leadership, fairness, gender equality, indigenous inclusiveness; rewarding and caring, private business, civil and corporate society. The party also values multiculturalism and diversity. Our political mission has been shaped by ideas of social reform and social justice which have all contributed to the current ideology. The party's Women's agenda also works to strongly bring women together and focuses on improving gender equality in Canada and around the world. It believes that women and men must have the same opportunities and rights to come to life, grow up, receive education, and participate freely in public and global affairs.

Our Platform for Action

1 - Economy - competitiveness and finance
Markets must work as freely as possible and unfair practices and protectionist measures against free competition and free trade need to be abolished. Canada needs a steady, coherent, ambitious, growth-oriented and long-term economic and financial perspective. Labour mobility and job creation are of high importance in this context. Small and Medium Sized businesses as well as large businesses are the backbone of our Social Market Economy because their job-creating capacity is the biggest contributor to the Canadian labour market and the national economy. Economic policies should lead to stable and sustainable public finances, sound fiscal policy, tax reform, and should consist of demands on surplus, demands on a balanced budget, reducing public debt to less than 60% of GDP, more free trade, competition and continuous economic reform within Canada and abroad.

2. Justice, Civil Rights, the Courts and National Security
Increased irregular migration, illicit arms, drug trade and human trafficking, as well as international terrorism are challenges of the globalised world. Canada needs to protect its borders and find a balance between minimizing security threats and maximizing ease and convenience for travellers. Canada is a nation of freedom, justice, security, safety and peace, and needs clear structures in support and protection of basis and fundamental individual civil rights and human rights. Strengthening external border security by enhancing the military is an urgent necessity. We must also effectively cooperate with external countries’ border security authorities, especially countries that are identified as a source or transit route of irregular migration

3. Immigration and integration
Mobility within Canada and immigration from outside of Canada are realities that have enriched our nation for decades. The Canadian economy is interested in attracting highly qualified employees from all over the world, but immigration should not be promoted as the sole answer to demographic challenges. It will always be necessary to provide asylum for people who are persecuted. Immigrants and refugees must be treated on the basis of respect for human rights. It is imperative to address the results of illegal immigration and lack of integration, particularly with the emergence of parallel societies of immigrants in which the core values enshrined in our constitutions are disregarded, such as individual freedoms and the equality of men and women before the law. Human rights, freedom and tolerance must be respected within any cultural or religious community in Canada.

4. Energy
We believe in energy independence. We support an “all of the above” approach that encourages the responsible production of nuclear power, clean coal, solar, wind, geothermal, hydro-power, as well as drilling for oil and natural gas in an environmentally responsible way. We oppose so-called cap and trade legislation that would impose a national energy tax on families and small business that would kill jobs and raise utility prices. It is essential that Canada reconstruct its security strategy in order to integrate energy policy in its foreign policy approach to third countries with the aim of building a strategic external policy with key partner countries. It has to enhance and develop an approach to climate and energy policy that will increase the nation’s energy security, including access to natural resources and raw materials.
5. Agriculture
Canada is well known around the world for its high quality agricultural products which are the basis of our gastronomic heritage, and this quality needs to be maintained. Strict standards are required to be set for production of safe and healthy food and to promote organic products even further. Agricultural Policy will have to be further reformed to foster a sustainable model of farming, taking into account food scarcities as a consequence of population growth and climate change as well as the economic role of the countryside. This reform should take into account the new and sharply increasing global need for agricultural products, a substantial change in nutritional patterns and the use of bio-fuels. At the same time, we have to take into account the decreasing capacity of agricultural production in some areas outside of Canada because of climate change and the scarcity of water, and therefore the continuous development and adaptation of Canada’s agricultural capacities should be facilitated. 

6. Environment 
A Social Market Economy has to be based on the principle of environmental sustainability; that implies an ever greater attention to renewable energy sources, phasing out unsustainable energy production, energy efficiency, the preservation of biodiversity and the conservation and regeneration of natural resources such as water, air and land. It also means that economic growth should support those factors which increase the citizens’ quality of life. Canada possesses significant negotiating experience and power when speaking with one voice and technological know-how, and it should continue its leading role in combating climate change and global warming, as well as in coping with their effects. Increasing natural disasters around the world, as well as the rise in gas and oil prices, show the need for a rapid and courageous move toward the most modern and efficient technologies.

7. Family and society
We are in favour of the Social Market Economy because economic development, based on everyone’s contributions, cannot foster wellbeing and peace unless its fruits are shared with the aim of improving the living conditions of each person. It is important to safeguard competition between market forces as well as to promote solidarity and social justice. Subsidiary expresses itself not only vertically in the political system but also horizontally in society, based on the premise that society can be constructed in freedom. The NCPC encourages a vibrant civil society through the activities of NGOs and the creation of associations. The NCPC should foster direct relations with associations of producers, consumers, trade unions, economic chambers and other socio-economic and societal actors. Family is irreplaceable as the core institution where love, charity, sympathy and human solidarity are cherished and instilled, thereby uniting different generations. It is the place where parents and children take responsibility and practice solidarity for each other. Strong families are also a precondition for better demographic development. We emphasize the need to recognize the work of parents as educators within the framework of social policies. We also believe that fiscal policies should support families and solidarity between generations.

8. A Competitive World Class Education
We believe that maintaining a world-class system of primary, secondary, post-secondary and higher education with high standards in which all students can reach their potential is critically and vitally important to Canada’s socio-economic future. We believe parents should be empowered to send their children to the school of their choice. Our country’s system of higher education, public and private, secular and religious, large and small institutions is unique for its excellence, its diversity, and its accessibility. Learning is a safeguard of liberty. Post-secondary education not only increases the earnings of individuals but advances economic development. We must ensure that our higher education system meet the needs of the 21st century student and economy and remain innovative and accessible.

9. Job Creation and Growth: Getting Canadians Back to Work 
The best jobs program is economic growth. We do not offer yet another made-in-Ottawa package of subsidies and spending to create temporary or artificial jobs. We want much more than that. We want a roaring job market to match a roaring economy. Instead, what previous parties and governments have given Canadians is years of unemployment above normal. NCPC will pursue free market policies that are the surest way to boost employment and create job growth and economic prosperity for all. In all the sections that follow, as well as elsewhere in this platform, we explain what must be done to achieve that goal. The tax system must be simplified. Government spending and regulation must be reined in. Canadian companies must be more competitive in the domestic and world market, and we must be aggressive in promoting Canadian products domestically and abroad and securing open markets for them. A federal-provincial-private partnership must invest in the nation’s infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports, ports, and water systems, among others. Federal Work training programs have to be overhauled and made relevant for the workplace of the twenty-first century.

10. Businesses and Entrepreneurship 
Canadian businesses are the backbone our economy, employing millions of workers. Businesses create the vast majority of jobs. Businesses are the leaders in the world’s advances in technology and innovation, and we pledge to strengthen that role and foster small, medium and large business entrepreneurship. While businesses have significantly contributed to the nation’s economic growth, our past governments has failed to meet its small business goals year after year and failed to overcome burdensome regulatory, contracting, and capital barriers which in turn impedes their growth. We will reform the tax code to allow businesses to generate enough capital to grow and create jobs for our families, friends and neighbours all across Canada. We will encourage investments in small businesses. We will create an environment where adequate financing and credit are available to spur manufacturing and expansion. We will serve as aggressive advocates for businesses overall.

11. Tax Relief to Grow the Economy and Create Jobs 
Taxes, by their very nature, reduce a citizen’s freedom. Their proper role in a free society should be to fund services that are essential and authorized by the Constitution, such as national security, and the care of those who cannot care for themselves. We reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs, or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts politicians and government representatives. Our goal is a tax system that is simple, transparent, flatter and fair. In contrast, the current tax code is like a patchwork quilt, stitched together over time from mismatched pieces, and is beyond the comprehension of the average citizen. A reformed code should promote simplicity and coherence, savings and innovation, increase Canadian competitiveness, and recognize the burdens on families with children.

12. Securing Adequate Housing and Eradicating Homelessness 
The federal government has a role in housing by enforcing non-discriminatory laws and assisting low-income families and the elderly with safe and adequate shelter, especially through the use of housing vouchers. Home ownership is an important goal, but public policy must be balanced to reflect the needs of Canadians who choose to rent. A comprehensive housing policy should address the demand for apartments and multi-family housing. Any assistance should be subject to stringent oversight to ensure that funds are spent wisely. Home ownership expands personal liberty, builds communities, and helps Canadians create wealth. The new NCPC “Canadian Dream” is not a stale slogan. It is the lived reality that expresses the aspirations of all our people. It means a decent place to live, a safe place to raise kids, a welcoming place to retire. It bespeaks the quiet pride of those who work hard to shelter their family and, in the process, create caring neighbourhoods. Home ownership is best fostered by a growing economy with low interest rates, as well as prudent regulation, financial education, and targeted assistance to responsible borrowers.

13. International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment 
International trade and foreign direct investment is crucial for our economy. It means more Canadian jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living. Every $1 billion in additional Canadian exports means another 5,000 or 10,000 jobs here at home. Thus, NCPC Leader and Prime Minister will insist on full parity in trade with other nations and stand ready to combat commercial disparities. Victimized private firms will be encouraged to raise claims in both Canadian courts and at the World Trade Organization. Judicial measures will be imposed on foreign firms that misappropriate Canadian technology and intellectual property. Because Canadian workers have shown that, on a truly level playing field, they can surpass the competition in international trade, we call for the restoration of Trade Promotion Authority. It will ensure up or down votes in Parliament on any new trade agreements, without meddling by special interests. A NCPC Prime Minister will complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific and Trans-Continental Partnership to open rapidly developing Asian markets to Canadian products. Beyond that, we envision a worldwide multilateral agreement among nations committed to the principles of open markets, in which free trade will truly be fair trade open for all.

14. A Twenty-First Century Workforce, Safer and More Secure Retirement 
The greatest asset of the Canadian economy is the hard-working Canadians. The high rates of unemployment over the past years disastrously high among youth, minorities, and veterans have thus been a tragic waste of energy, human resources and ideas, compounded by the waste of billions in stimulus funds with no payoff in jobs. Nothing matters more than getting the Canadian people back to work. In addition to cutting spending, keeping sound tax policy, we must replace outdated policies and ineffectual training programs with a plan to develop a twenty-first century workforce to make the most of our country’s human capital. The NCPC will take aggressive action to close the retirement gap in Canada. We shall commission Clear Path Analysis to carry out qualitative research to create new retirement policies and reform existing programs into the future of our pension system aiming to achieve a more balanced retirement plan by strengthening funded pensions. People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments and we don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations.

15. Action for People with Disability
We are committed and dedicated to defending and advancing the equality rights of people with disabilities in Canada. We believe that individuals with disabilities should live with dignity and participate fully in our communities. We pledge to work with all sectors and the disability communities on law reform and policy initiatives and community development. We support the creation of a multidisciplinary committee forum of disability experts and several organizations both governmental and non-governmental in order to facilitate the mainstreaming of disability issues in all relevant policy areas. This work is particularly appropriate in the light of the challenges faced by contemporary society in its efforts to promote inclusion and participation for all. Efforts must be made to create an environment where people with disabilities are encouraged and are able to participate in politics at local, regional, national and international levels.

16. Health Care Reform: Putting Patients First through Integrative Medicine 
Health care spending in Canada reached $160 billion, or 10.6% of GDP, in 2007 and $171.9 billion in 2008, or $5,170 per person. There is considerable variation across the provinces/territories as to the extent to which such costs as outpatient prescription drugs, physical therapy, long-term care, home care, dental care and even ambulance services are covered. We support common-sense public health care reforms that will lower costs, ensure quality health care; an all inclusive Health Care based on Prevention and Integrative Medicine and less dependency on crisis medicine, medications and surgery. This will reduce our health care costs and make us the leading nation in preventive medicine. This is the medicine of the future where we can reward people to become healthier and follow proper balanced life style, exercise and taking full responsibility for healthy living. This is a timely event since most Canadians do favour the focus on prevention instead of intervention and which will result in a more cost effective health care system by encouraging all health care professionals including medical doctors, integrative doctors, natural doctors, nurses, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, dieticians and other allied professionals to get paid only when their client becomes healthy and not to push medications on them for life. By 2020 we will have a demographic shift that will require the focus on preventing diabetes, hypertension and obesity to avoid bankrupting our current health care system that will fail to cope with the ageing of the population.

17. Foreign Affairs, Diplomatic Relations and Human Rights 
The NCPC is involved in shaping the rules and norms of the new international system. A globalized world requires global governance, and strengthening international organizations is imperative, in particular with regard to the United Nations (UN), IMF and WTO. Flexible institutions such as the G20 will grow in importance, highlighting the increased weight of emerging economies in Asia, Caribbean, the Arab Nations, the Americas and Africa. Strengthening the Common Foreign and Security Policy as well as the Security and Defence Policy will be crucial for the further development of Canada. The NCPC has to remain vigilant and strengthen its efforts in the non-proliferation of weapons of mass-destruction, terrorism, and organized crime as well as regional conflicts.

18. Addressing Corruption: Supporting the Creation of a National Integrity Commission 
We need to call on our politicians and public officials to be accountable for their actions. How can we trust them if we don’t know what they’re doing? We must demand that they put in place regulations which will force them to act openly. Then corruption can’t hide. And our trust in the political and electoral processes will improve. When party leaders act transparently, showing us clearly what they do, we can make informed choices when we vote. And we can hold them to account once elected. The NCPC supports the creation of a National Integrity Commission (NIC) which main objectives are to evaluate government operations, both in terms of their internal corruption risks and their contribution to fighting corruption in society at large. When all the pillars in a National Integrity System are functioning well, corruption remains in check. If some or all of the pillars wobble, these weaknesses can allow corruption to thrive and damage a society. A National Integrity System assessment examines both the formal framework of each pillar and the actual government institutional practice. The analysis highlights discrepancies between the formal provisions and reality on the ground, making it clear where there is room for improvement.

The National Coalition Party of Canada (NCPC) is the only Party in Canada which main platform is established on the core and fundamental principles of individual freedom, social responsibility, equality before the law, civil rights values, human rights standards, children and youth well-being, gender equality, social justice, economic opportunity for everyone and the rule of law. My desire, dream, hope and vision to continue to build up our party so it will become the largest party in Canada and in Parliamentary Government. To also be open to everyone who reside in Canada; to engage everyone to be active in society, to stand up for things that are important to them, to talk about them, and to work to change them for the betterment of our nation.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Licensing and Elections

Licensing and Elections

                                                                                                            Stes de Necker

                                                               With due recognition to my dear friend Harriet

I was sitting in a bar the other day admiring how young and virile I looked in the photo on my driver's licence when I noticed that it had expired. Last November already. What's the point of having one of these things if nobody ever asks to see it?

I feel a bit like that about my willy these days.

I decided to get it renewed, but only because I had read that the Free State Traffic Department would be enforcing a clause in the Criminal Procedures Act that says a fine is the same as a conviction. In other words, the moment you pay a fine – whether it be for parking on a yellow line or driving 295km/h in a 60 zone – you automatically incur a criminal record.

This is the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977. Want to know what other great laws were passed in 1977? The Prohibition of the Exhibition of Films on Sundays Act, for one.

A survey by the Automobile Association found that three out of four drivers break one or other traffic law every day. Oh, please. Most South Africans break at least five of the Ten Commandments every day.

The traffic department and God – sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the two – shouldn't have made it so easy to break the rules.

Expecting us to come to a complete standstill at a stop street is as unreasonable as expecting us not to covet our neighbour's maidservant. Good help is damnably hard to find these days.

And keeping within the speed limit is as impossible as keeping the Sabbath day holy. Bottle stores in Bloemfontein are open on Sundays. You won't find that in Cape Town. That's why people who live there are going to heaven. We Bloemfontein people, on the other hand, are all going to hell. And we're gonna be ripped to the tits when we check in. Yeehaa! I can hardly wait.

I don't know about you, but I'm not going to take this nonsense lying down. Actually, that's exactly how I'm going to take it. Every time I get a fine, I am going to throw it in the bin, open a beer and lie down.

Since you only incur a criminal record once you pay the fine, the solution is glaringly obvious. Don't pay. Ever.

Of course, this also means never answering your doorbell. Once you've signed a summons, you're screwed. Although not necessarily. If there is one thing this country has in abundance, it's loopholes. And wiggle room. Lots and lots of wiggle room.

President Zuma is the überwigglemeister. Watch and learn.

I did a bit of research on where the nearest licensing bureaus were. I went onto Google Earth because it's easier to get directions via a complex communication system involving satellites than it is over the phone.

“Could you give me directions to your offices?”
“Awwwhhh. The lady, she is not here. You call tomorrow.”
“I just need directions. Where are you?”
“Me? I'm standing here in the office.”
“Can you tell me how to get to your office?”
“You can take the stairs.”
“I'll be coming by car.”
“Eish! Ikona wena. You can't drive up stairs.”

Google Earth told me that Hamilton is the nearest to where I live. I came across a couple of websites critiquing their services. Most of the complaints seemed to be from white people. They made it sound as if they had stumbled into a scene from Dante's Inferno. My kind of place.

It's a good thing I was driving a 4X4 because I had to park in some kind of flooded parking lot. I was then set upon by a mob of Magashule boys who offered to take my picture. It made a nice change from offering to take my wallet and phone. They gave me a broken school chair to sit on and someone took my picture with his cell phone while his buddy held a torn sheet behind me.

“Allahu Akbar!” I shouted. “Death to the American infidel!” They were meant to laugh and pretend to cut my head off with an imaginary panga, but I suppose they don't get to watch much al-Jazeera.

The licensing department itself was designed by the same people responsible for the refugee camps in western Sahara. I can't be in a queue of more than three or four people without my heart filling with murderous intent. Here there were 80 people slumped on some cold stainless steel benches. The people in the middle row looked as if they no longer cared whether they lived or died. I sat down on the last available seat. Ten minutes later, everyone stood up and shuffled one seat up. I cracked and ran for the pickup.

Another outfit near the Woman’s Memorial could even have been closer and you could see more of an effort had been made to make the place ‘user friendly’. 

The plastic chairs were occupied by people who seemed to have not yet given up on life. There was air conditioning. There was also a bit of chatter. Someone even laughed.

Then two of the five people doing the testing went on lunch and the mood soured. A ripple of dark mutterings moved up and down the queue. People had jobs to get back to. Meetings to attend. I said nothing. Everyone there could see I had nowhere else to be. I should have shaved and not wear my dirty khaki trousers.

On my way back from the licensing office, the upcoming election almost killed me. I was trying to read the party posters that hang like condemned men from the lampposts but kept drifting into oncoming traffic.

A DA poster has some smug bloke with his arms folded. The slogan reads, “I want to fight corruption.” Who are you? Superman? I wouldn't vote for anyone who leapt out of bed first thing in the morning and shouted, “I want to fight corruption!” I imagine it's the sort of thing Hitler did as a young man. “I want to invade Poland!” Or a teenaged Jacob Zuma shouting at the goats, “I want to be president!” That kind of aggressive ambition hardly ever ends well.

Same with the DA guy proclaiming, “I want to help grow small businesses.” No, you don't, dude. You're, like, 19 years old. You want to help grow weed. You're looking forward to the weekend. You don't want to get local enterprises off the ground. You want to get laid. Be honest.

The ANC's election posters look like police 'wanted' posters. That's the price you pay for having Jacob Zuma's face on them. “Together we move South Africa forward.” It's a jarring message coming from someone who shows every sign of moving ahead so fast that the rest of us are eating his dust. Bulldust.

And to have his grinning mug on the same poster that says, “Defend Madiba's legacy” is taking irony to frightening new heights.

The ANC also goes big on the bragging. “11 million households electrified!” screams one poster. Never mind that. What this country needs is 11 million people electrified. That'll empty out the prisons. We could turn them into housing for the poor.

One man, one cell.

“16 million people get grants!” screams another. You know what would have made a more effective poster? One that said, “Nine people get grants!” That would have demonstrated that the country isn't full of broken people depending on government handouts for their survival.

“3 million people have free housing!” Free? Really? I was under the impression taxpayers might have had something to do with paying for them.

Mamphela Ramphele is still urging us to register to vote. Her election posters will probably go up three weeks after the results are announced.

Cope insists that South Africa deserves a better government. They aren't necessarily offering to provide it. They're just saying.

I saw several Freedom Front posters of Pieter Mulder shouting ‘Saam kan ons meer doen’. Kom nou, Pieter. Those people might have voted for you in 1994, but not now. Anyway, most of them are now in Perth or London.

The DA is big on their, “Together for jobs” posters. I'm not a huge fan of jobs. I think they are an evil perpetrated on the sheeple and the entire system needs a good overhaul. You want me to do what? And in return you'll let me stay at home for 21 days a year? Are you out of your fucking mind?

The “Together for jobs” slogan comes with a picture that is presumably meant to represent South Africans. Indian guy, black guy, black woman, white woman, coloured woman. They are all smiling. Why are they smiling? Because there is no white man there telling them what to do.

Anyway, he's not on the poster because he already has a job. 


Quilt Holes

                                                                                                                  Stes de Necker

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along
with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many
piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together
into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how
ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant
holes. Each square was labelled with a part of my life that had been
difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday
life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole
here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich colour and the
bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and
empty, like binding air.

Finally, the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the
light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up
their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me
and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly
fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter. But there had also been
trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my
world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled
with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick
up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for
help and guidance in my life.. I had often been held up to ridicule, which
I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that
I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who
unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth.. My life was what it was, and I had to
accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.
An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared
at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes,
creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with
warmth and love in His eyes. He said, 'Every time you gave over your life
to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.

Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me
shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.'
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine

God determines who walks into your's up to you to decide who you
let walk away, who you let stay and who you refuse to let go.'

When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you