Wednesday, 22 August 2012

President Zuma; Bloomberg TV & Miss 'Shut Up'

I think we've seen enough political farce emanating out of Europe recently to understand the financial implosion when confidence fails. Is South Africa, as a consequence, steadily walking the ratings plank?

One or two issues have become evident in the aftermath of the Lonmin debacle.

Firstly, there's very little evidence, if any, that the Lonmin board acquitted itself. Corporate South Africa should, as a consequence, initiate an introspective interrogation of individual competence at board level. There is in mitigation, however, a vast chasm between insensitivity and incompetence. Time will confirm Lonmin's transgressions either way and very soon.

The gist of the Lonmin demonstration and ensuing violence arose, seemingly, from a long-standing inter-union dispute between NUM and AMCU. At a stretch, perhaps, you might argue that Mr Ramaphosa, hitherto NUM's first General Secretary, now a non-executive director of Lonmin and a pivotal player in the current ANC-led government, predisposes an element of bias or perhaps even a conflict of interest at Board-level in favour of NUM. Then again, Mr Ramaphosa is both a formidable negotiator and a respected businessmen.

Secondly, whoever fired the first round doesn't excuse the ensuing violence. In addition, the response in the international media by the highest ranking members of the South African Police Services lent very little to restoring confidence in South Africa's executive. Yesterday's public display by the National Executive is also concerning. At a special parliamentary debate on the Marikana massacre the Honourable Minister Shabangu (Mining) rather naively, given the circumstances, preferred to attack her political opponents on unrelated events rather than address the issue at hand. Whilst a Nation mourns is it too much to expect a modicum of humanity from the Executive?

President Zuma, deflecting from the events that led to the deaths of 44 people and lamenting the insensitivity of the Lonmin board post the massacre, might well have said enough on Bloomberg to quell the fears but there's no denying that behind this leadership veneer there exists a great deal of confusion. This has been brutally exposed and the consequences for us as a nation might well be devastating.

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