THIS is no longer a nation state. It is simply a vast criminal enterprise conducted by a Mafia run, in turn, by dons and their consiglieri.
It is a gangster state in which petty civil servants demand bribes, in which state or provincial or city contracts are rented out to a descending structure of subcontractors all taking a cut while the contract is seldom if ever fulfilled.
This is all financed by hard-working taxpayers, of all races, whose tributes enable the political criminal class to maintain the 15million of the peasantry who keep them in office as welfare dependants of the state.
To these unfortunates their benefactor is not the state, but the ANC. They labour under the illusion that their benefits come from the party rather than the taxpayers and the party encourages them to believe this is the case. Thus a vote for the ANC is a vote for welfare payments which inexorably lead to the ruin of those who receive them.
Dependency, whether on dagga, alcohol, gambling or welfare payments, is destructive. Such addictions rob their victims of self-reliance, ambition and the energy and determination to look after themselves and those they love.
To add insult to injury, those who corruptly bilk the system in our gangster state are given to ostentatious displays of bling. They drive about in multimillion-rand Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Maseratis and, at a pinch, top-end Mercedes. They own mansions, farms, private aircraft and luxury holiday homes.
To somewhat clumsily paraphrase Winston Churchill, never in human history have so few become so rich so quickly.
This sort of extravagant behaviour on the part of those paid to serve the public is exemplified by the story in The Times about the oenological pursuits of one Tshediso Matona, now director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), or should we say public disasters such as SA Airways, Eskom, Telkom et al.
At a recent charity wine auction, Matona was the highest bidder for items including a six-bottle set of La Motte wines for R5500 and a single bottle of Chateau Margaux 1962 at R6000.
That's right, R6000 for a bottle of wine paid by a civil servant.
This worthy was formerly director-general of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under the well-known communist Rob Davies. There Matona blotted his copybook in the matter of the award of the celebrated Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro) contract to some entity known as ValorIT.
On his watch, ValorIT won an enterprise content management contract from Cipro with its bid of R153-million. This was slightly higher than the R63-million bid by JSE-listed Faritec, which had better black economic empowerment credentials than ValorIT.
Also on Matona's watch a quick R56-million was paid to ValorIT when it delivered a few CDs to the DTI. This is what Davies said at the time: "Did the DTI pay R54-million for a box of CDs? No, the sum [paid] was R56-million... That was paid [within] three days after awarding the contract."
Two senior Cipro members, Keith Sendwe and Michael Twum-Darko, who both reported to the wine-loving Matona, were suspended on suspicion of criminal behaviour. Interestingly, Matona had given Sendwe a R105228 bonus for exceptional performance. No details were ever supplied supporting this award.
This matter is buried under a mountain of endless litigation. The DPE failed to respond to queries after promising to do so. One can hardly blame them for inaction under a DG who spends his time blowing a miner's monthly wages on a few bottles of wine.
Notwithstanding his atrocious record at the DTI, Matona now probably earns an annual package of about R1.5-million as DG of Public Enterprises, which can keep a family in reasonable comfort.
But a modest lifestyle apparently doesn't appeal to this civil servant. He clearly enjoys the bling life. I wonder what limo he tools about in at our expense.
*This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times