Lock-up stops corrupta virus

African National Congress (ANC) flag. Picture: Gallo Images / Thapelo Maphakela

The ANC would rather fatten their purses than flatten any curve.

Until this week, the ANC was allergic to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

But with Covid-19 fund-looting at fever peak, comrades see another opportunity to steal before any statistical plateau. They would rather fatten their purses than flatten any curve.

This has led scientists to agree that corrupta virus, which affects well-connected cadres, cannot be stopped by lockdown.

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Instead, lock up and throw away the key is the prescribed nonmedical intervention for severe outbreaks such as in South Africa.

Cookery expert and part-time finance minister Tweeto Mboweni took a break from his recipe routine to offer advice on business ethics: “A tender is an ethical contract. It is not a blank cheque to deceive and steal. And stealing from unwell people! During a Covid-19 pandemic! Please people. What kind of people are these criminals?!” he tweeted.

Indeed, how could he know what kind of people would steal from the sick? Where would Tweeto have met such folk? Not at ANC gatherings, surely?

Doctors have diagnosed selective amnesia, which afflicts politicians reshaping their past.

Tweeto can’t remember any examples of ANC tenderpreneurs stealing taxpayers’ money. In his mind, no cadres are crooks; there has never been an arms deal, Sarafina, Nkandla, Bosasa… No one captured by the Guptas had anything to do with the ANC, which consists solely of saints devoted to selfless struggle.

Selective amnesia is contagious. Tweeto may have caught it from Cyril Rama-dunno who, of course, didn’t know. Squirrel is continually shocked anew by behaviour that’s been happening around him for decades.

If Squirrel’s presidential spokesperson was male, we’d say that’s a dik ou. Perhaps the label applies to Khusela Diko’s husband and cronies who thought they had herd immunity; that no one would notice the political connections of those feasting on R2.2 billion Covid-19 tenders.

The illusion of herd immunity may explain why, before she took leave of absence, Ms Diko took leave of her senses. Somehow, she imagined the family would remain unscathed. Right now, even her friends in provincial and municipal structures are feeling the heat.

Better get those temperatures checked. Infection alert.

Throughout all of this, the myth of ANC integrity is upheld. Former ANC spokesman-turned wealthy businessman (surprise, surprise) Saki Macozoma this week told Radio 702: “Ramaphosa has the intention and will to deal with corruption, but some of the people who put him in office are the people who are leading the looting.”

The implication is that to stay in office, Ramaphosa must be soft on corruption. If that is true, the $4.2 billion (about R70 billion) IMF loan will be plundered by ANC cadres.

As Redi Tlhabi tweeted: “They are going to eat it and eat it and eat it. Children, spouses & bffs already ‘tendering’ in areas in which they have no experience.”

We don’t know the detailed conditions imposed by the IMF but spending cuts and a public sector pay freeze seem likely. Do Ramaphosa and Mboweni have the political clout to sustain such vote-shedding moves?

When thinking about the consequences, do you feel a fever coming on?

Martin Williams, DA councillor and former editor of The Citizen.

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