There’s been an epidemic of charlatans, preying on gullible believers, making followers poorer.
For example, The Sowetan reported on Monday that investors who put their faith in a scheme with links to pastor Shepherd Bushiri’s church are out of pocket after their money was “lost”.
Apparently, about 250 members of the Mpumalanga branch of Bushiri’s Enlightened (yes enlightened) Christian Gathering church reported the losses to church leaders and to the Hawks. Mpumalanga investors lost about R10 million, while others from Limpopo, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng lost undisclosed amounts.
As 19th-century American showman P.T. Barnum may have said: “There’s a sucker born every minute”.
It’s the creed of confidence tricksters, who fool some of the people all the time. And they succeed often enough to profit from prophecy.
So, we shake our heads and say, “These pitiful ignorant people, how can they fall for such nonsense?”
Yet gullibility is spread far wider than a few thousand deranged congregants who obediently follow pastors’ orders to eat snakes, grass or pieces of cloth. Or who willingly drink petrol, diesel, Jik – you name it.
They are mad, we say. Yet millions of South Africans show faith in political organisations whose slogans and manifestos are also make-believe.
The most obvious example is the EFF’s outlandish, unaffordable promises that would leave SA in the Venezuela/Zimbabwe impoverishment league.
Centre-stage is the corrupt, job-shedding, incompetent ANC, which has failed to deliver on election promises in the past 25 years. “A better life for all”, they said. We still have mud schools, deadly pit toilets, and dysfunctional, disease-inducing hospitals.
About half the children who start school in Grade 1 don’t reach Grade 12. Many of those who do pass matric would remain unemployable even if jobs were available. They lack numeracy and can’t understand what they read.
We have junk status, load shedding, and millions of litres of raw sewage pumping daily into the Vaal River system. All brought to you by the ANC.
The 107-year-old organisation claims to be non-sexist but has no policy on sexual harassment. It is steeped in patriarchal culture where sexual abuse abounds. Suspended spokespersons Pule Mabe and Zizi Kodwa join an accused list that includes Marius Fransman and Jacob Zuma. Remember Khwezi, and how the ANC hounded her?
Of course, there are historical reasons why many would retain faith in the ANC, although much of that is due to propaganda rather than fact about who did what in the liberation struggle.
Even those who think the ANC alone delivered democracy need to acknowledge that the party that has been in charge for 25 years is not capable of healing itself or saving South Africa. Riven by Supra-factionalism as the Zuma-philes cling to their ill-gotten gains, the ANC is dying. It cannot be resurrected. Don’t be fooled by illusion, trickery and false prophets.
The ANC has made SA poorer.
Find a party that has zero tolerance for corruption. One that delivers houses, jobs, growth, and realistic hope.