It has been a significant week in our country’s history with our democratically elected president surviving yet another vote of no confidence.
Fear of victimisation has left many of our members of Parliament too terrified to put their money where their mouths are as they petitioned to make a crucial decision, affecting each and every one of us, from behind a cloak of anonymity. However, not even a secret ballot could topple the ivory tower, chicken coops, fire pools and all, as JZ still occupies his golden throne, sending the rand down a porcelain one.
Number One is clearly not going anywhere any time soon and while many were left dumbstruck by the outcome of Tuesday’s vote, the ousting of the man from KZN is unlikely to happen much before Duduzane needs to jet-off to Dubai to deal with daddy.
While all this drama has dominated headlines, giving all of us plenty of food for thought, especially our president, somehow, a certain deputy minister of higher education, whose name rhymes with banana but is worth the acknowledgement of mention, managed to steal some of the limelight from Nkandla’s most famous resident.
Following an incident at a nightclub in Johannesburg, during the early hours of Sunday morning, at least one high-ranking government official deserves to join many of the people who put him in power in the line at the Sassa offices, waiting for unemployment benefits.
That is, at least until the outcome of his criminal trial when he will either be found guilty and prosecuted or cleared and probably promoted. Either way, it will be the taxpayer who finances his existence, be it in Parliament or Pollsmoor.
A sane person is highly unlikely to do something, on impulse or otherwise, unless they believe their actions are an appropriate response to their current circumstance. This is what makes this alleged assault that much more deplorable.
Here we have an individual who should, if nothing else, attempt to set an example for the public who he is paid handsomely to represent.
Instead, he deems the act of merely questioning his sexual preference so offensive that, in his mind, an appropriate response is to resort to public, physical and completely disproportionate violence.
This, knowing full well that it’s Women’s Month in a country where the official line is that domestic violence is wrong.
Sadly, crime stats indicate that what is said and what is practiced could not be further apart, making the late night shenanigans of a certain deputy minister that much more inexcusable.
When communication breaks down, or at least when one party is too stupid, incompetent, irrational or inebriated to use their words to express themselves, violence is often seen as a feasible option.
However, the reality is that by the time you need to beat someone up – man, woman, or child – to win an argument, you have already lost.
It was a week where the top echelons of government were fearful that they could soon be out of a job. For a second, even Number One was in deep number two.
The last few days have shown us that many of our leaders are only willing to stand up for their convictions if there are no consequences for believing in what they do.
In the National Assembly, on Tuesday, cowardice was rife and camouflaged in confidentiality as the fear of being kicked off the gravy train was sure to have weighed heavily on the minds of many.
While many top officials will be breathing a sigh of relief, one deputy minister doesn’t just deserve to be kicked off the gravy train. He should be tied to the tracks.