President Cyril Ramaphosa could be the world’s most boring man. His 2021 State of the Nation Address was another snoozefest, delivered in his trademarked monotone, without any humour, emotion or hope. That is only part of the problem, he could also be the world’s most ineffective leader.


It has often been said, that if a lie is repeated often enough, people will believe it. If this is true, it is only true to a point, and that point has been reached in South Africa.


Our President would have us believe that he runs a capable state who will suddenly perform better because his Cabinet Ministers will sign performance contracts. Suddenly a contract will make these Cabinet Ministers wake from their slumber and do what we pay them to do. The same people who do not honour the oath that they took when they were appointed will become energised because they signed a contract issued by a man who is scared of his own shadow.


He would have us believe that his government is committed to tackling corruption despite everything that has emerged at the Zondo Commission. A new commission will hold his colleagues to account. His 815th commission will do the job that the Hawks, police and integrity commission seem to be unable to do. Suddenly, comrades will be prosecuted despite twenty years of doing nothing while our newspapers have bulged with proof of corruption. The same people who earn a gross annual salary of one million rand, yet drive sports cars worth two will be brought to book. I will believe this when I see it.


Cyril tells us tales about a department that only he seems to know about, where you can register a company, register for UIF, SARS and open bank account within 24 hours. He says this to a population living the daily frustration of Home Affairs, where it takes a month to renew a driver’s licence from a surly gum-chewing, government official. He looks the people straight in the eye and tells us about this Japanese-like efficiency one month after his Minister of Social Development cowers in a police van and orders police water cannons to be turned on pensioners who are just trying to receive their pensions from her inefficient department for three days


President Ramaphosa will have us believe that Eskom is on the road to recovery. Apparently they will be more efficient because it is about to be split into three divisions and this will be easier to run than one company. Eskom can’t even keep its brand new plants running. Coal can’t be delivered because it is raining. This is the same Eskom that can’t keep the power on despite the country being locked away under house arrest, with a child-like curfew.


The ANC promises to uphold the law and give effect to “the best constitution in the world”, while the Secretary General of the ANC, Ace Magashule tells us that the South African Constitution is “not sacrosanct” and his deputy, Jessie Duarte tells us that the Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Raymond Zondo “practices his craft on the narrow parameters of existing laws”. When people tell you who they are, believe them!


Mr President you have run out of runway.


During the Second World War and the Nazis where getting beaten on every front. As the Allied forces closed in on Berlin, Hitler never stopped telling their people that they were on the verge of victory. Eventually, even the most loyal Nazi supporter knew that the game was up. The German population knew that they were being fed lies because of they were the ones with dead relatives; these were the people who had bombs raining down on their heads and these were the people who couldn’t feed themselves let alone their families. Even in these dying days, Hitler told them they were winning and shuffled his cabinet. The people stopped believing him.


You reach a point….


South Africans have reached this point.

Kind Regards
Michael Sham

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