Leon Lemmer: Die ANC as oorlogsugtige instansie

Umkhonto we Sizwe, die eertydse terreurvleuel van die ANC, paradeer
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“KZN [KwaZulu-Natal] is a province awash with violence. It is no longer the violence of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the ANC and IFP fought a bitter battle for supremacy in the province. That contest has been decided, and the ANC has come out on top. Now the murderous battles take place within the party, in the fight for office and material benefits” (Kindle 97). So begin die eerste hoofstuk van Greg Ardé se boek, War Party: How the ANC’s political killings are breaking South Africa (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2020, 256p, R215 (loot), R297 (Exclusive); Amazon Kindle $13,34). Die outeur is ‘n koerantman wat reeds dekades lank ondersoekende joernalistieke werk in veral Natal doen. Ten einde die lengte van my teks te beperk, onderskei ek nie altyd duidelik tussen Ardé en ander mense se menings nie.

Die boek is die resultaat van navorsing wat ‘n jaar in beslag geneem het (2181, 2477). “This book is highly critical of the ruling party” (1540). “The narrative points to a ruling party, an organised group of people controlling the levers of the state, who, by their collective action, be it by omission or commission, are perpetuating violence” (2490). “[The ANC] has become a war party” (2509). “Arguably a growing number [of ANC members] are getting up with murderous intent, prepared to kill one another in their quest for power or to satisfy their greed” (2513).

Die ANC is in 1912 gestig en het hom aanvanklik besig gehou met besware teen veral die paswet en arbeidsake, wat soms tot protesaksies en stakings gelei het. Die ANC het toe vir die blanke regering nie veel meer as lastigheidswaarde gehad nie. Op 16 Desember 1961 het die ANC sy tweede fase betree toe sy militêre vleuel, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), tot geweldpleging oorgegaan het. Die latere vredesikoon, Nelson Mandela, het beslag aan gewelddadigheid as die nuwe hoofkenmerk van die ANC gegee. ANC-geweldpleging word tot op hede voortgesit. Dit is dié nalatenskap van Mandela. In 1964 is Mandela tot lewenslange tronkstraf veroordeel en is die terrorisme van die ANC/MK deur ander gewelddadige kamerade voortgesit.

Omdat die ANC ‘n verbanne organisasie in Suid-Afrika was, is die United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1983 gestig om as binnelandse vleuel van die ANC te funksioneer. Hierdie derde fase van die ANC se geweldstradisie het onder die leiding van Desmond Tutu en Allan Boesak plaasgevind. Die vierde fase, met die noodlottigste geweld, het van 1990 tot 1994 geduur en is onder die leiding van Mandela bedryf. Dit was die direkte gevolg van FW de Klerk se dwase toespraak op 2 Februarie 1990. ANC- en SAKP-lede is toegelaat om vryelik Suid-Afrika binne te kom. Wapens is op groot skaal die land ingebring. Die ANC se geweldsaksie het toe van die blankes na die swartes verskuif ten einde alle swart kiesers tot onderdanigheid aan die ANC te dwing. Die ANC wou veral die Inkatha-Vryheidsparty (IVP), potensieel die hoofopposisieparty, ten alle koste vernietig, sodat die ANC politieke beheer oor die land kon oorneem.

Nadat die ANC die algemene verkiesing in 1994 gewen het, het die ANC sy vyfde fase, die vierde gewelddadige een, betree. Die huidige geweldsfase is nie na buite die ANC gerig nie. Dit is ‘n stryd om poste en materiële gewin binne die ANC. Dit is die onderwerp van Ardé se boek. Die beste karakterisering van die ANC as gewelddadige instansie is egter te vinde in Anthea Jeffery se boek, People’s War: New light on the struggle for South Africa (2009, Kindle $9,19). Jeffery se boek handel oor die vierde fase in die ANC se bestaan, toe baie meer swartes in politieke geweld deur die ANC gedood is as waaraan die blanke politieke bewind ooit met sy sogenaamde sistemiese geweld skuldig was.

Ten einde sy gewelddadigheid te kamoefleer, het die ANC (grootliks) valslik gepoog om die geweldpleging aan ‘n “Derde Mag”, die blanke bewind se veiligheidsmagte (polisie en weermag), toe te dig. Dit was veral die geval ná die Boipatong-slagting in 1992 toe Inkatha die ANC vir ‘n verandering goed opgehel het. Die dodetal was 45. Maar wat moet ons dikwels in die praktyk aanhoor? Die absolute valsheid dat die 1990/94-era ‘n vreedsame oorgang na bevryding en demokrasie was. Ardé stel dit onomwonde: “Violence is the political capital [of the ANC]” (1333). ‘n ANC-lid skryf: “Never in their wildest dreams did the ANC founding fathers, when they met in Bloemfontein [1912], imagine that they were in effect colluding in the creation of a criminal syndicate … The ANC exists for no other purpose than to loot the state” (2424).

In 1990/94 het die stryd tussen die ANC en Inkatha aan die Rand en veral in Natal gewoed. Sedertdien word hierdie geweldpleging, nou reeds ‘n goed gevestigde ANC-tradisie, in veral hierdie twee gebiede voortgesit, maar hierdie keer binne ANC-geledere. Dit is waarop Ardé sy aandag toespits. Dat die ná-1994-geweld in ‘n mate ‘n voortsetting van die ANC se 1990/94-geweld is, blyk uit die feit dat daar bv steeds sogenaamde “Self-Defence Units (SDUs)” is; hierdie keer om die belange van spesifieke ANC-politici of aspirantpolitici te bevorder (128). “ANC members seem to have become more at ease with violence, be it to settle scores or to remove obstacles in the path of their enrichment or power play” (736). “Violence increasingly features in the factional disputes and competition for jobs, favours and tenders that make up life in the ANC. It is becoming the dominant currency of the party in KZN” (746).

Daar is groot werkloosheid onder veral swartes, wat saamhang met ‘n groot gebrek aan sowel talent as bekwaamheid by sommige ANC-lede. “Some people who wouldn’t qualify for jobs as labourers were earning R15 000 a month as councillors. They immediately adjust their lifestyle and thereafter clung to their jobs” (816). Dit is bekend dat sommige van hierdie politici nie funksioneel geletterd is nie. “There is no consequence management. People in power don’t answer when you question their actions. If they do, their answers are thin and evasive” (378). Dit is hierdie relatief talentlose elemente wat verbete om poste in die politiek meeding. Sedert 1994 is daar op die drie vlakke van regering (sentraal, provinsiaal en munisipaal) meer hoogslonende politieke poste as ooit tevore geskep.

“There were about 400 MP’s countrywide, 80 MPLs in KZN and more than 200 councillors in Durban alone … The remuneration packages [are] … inordinately high. Extra money is derived from the tender system, corruption and kickbacks” (820). In die Ramaphosa-kabinet is daar ‘n sestigtal ministers en adjunkministers wat elkeen buitensporige salarisse en byvoordele ontvang. Die opset is sodanig dat ANC-kamerade feitlik enigiets sal doen om politieke poste in te palm en daarna sal poog om niks te doen wat meebring dat hulle die voordele van hulle luukse leefstyl moet inboet nie. “They believe it was time to eat” (413). “The culture of ‘our turn to eat’ had developed around council posts, with business people lining up to secure favours from the councillors and benefit from municipal contracts” (1888). “Being indepedent-minded, being caring: these are scarce traits in the ANC now” (365).

Dit is nie ‘n verskynsel wat tot Natal of die Rand beperk is nie. Die staatsdiens en semi-staatsdiens is grootliks ‘n verlenging van ANC-politiek. Daar is nie meer ‘n (duidelike) skeiding van die wetgewende en uitvoerende mag nie. Die oorvloed poste wat sedert 1994 in hierdie sektore geskep is, is seker die ANC-regime se suksesvolste poging tot werkskepping. By verre die meeste poste is tans slegs vir ANC-lede beskikbaar. Dit bring noodwendig mee dat opportuniste uit ander politieke partye na die ANC migreer. Die verlies aan lidmaatskap wat die IVP weens ANC-geweldpleging in 1990/94 gelei het, word gevolglik voortgesit.

Ardé vertel bv van iemand wat van die IVP na die ANC oorgeloop het. “The ANC helped him set up a security company … and then they gave him government tenders” (943). Hy het vir hom ‘n luukse Lamborghini-motor aangeskaf (952). Sowel die Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as die National Freedom Party (NFP) word as surrogaat ANC-partye getakseer, wat migrasie na die ANC vergemaklik (1040). “What became clear in KZN over the years was that the ANC, having once overcome the IFP and determined not to lose against them again, absorbed many of its former enemies, especially the strongmen. Their background, ideology and personal morality are of no consequence to the ANC, especially when measured against their ability to mobilise or terrorise” (1535).

Moenie dink dat hierdie probleem slegs eie aan Natal is nie. Dit kom landswyd voor, maar in groter mate in Natal. By ‘n vorige geleentheid het ek oor die toestand in Knysna geskryf en ‘n plaaslike raadslid aangehaal: “The people instigating the riots and the violence are those who want to become leaders themselves … They can’t all be councillors … In my place is going to be one councillor … I see four of them who want to be in the race. And only one of them can win. It will split them and that is going to cause a problem” (Anelia Schutte, For the people, 2014; Kindle 3289, 3337 – Praag 5.10.2019). Die onrus sal dus voortduur. Opstoking tot geweld is die bewese manier om ‘n leier in die (swart) gemeenskap te word. Mandela het geweldpleging op die hele plaaslike samelewing losgelaat en op hierdie manier die staatshoof en selfs ‘n wêreldvredesikoon geword.

“The horror of political assassination in KwaZulu-Natal, beyond what it foretells for the country as a whole, is that people have become inured to the violence. The bloody brutality, the cruelty and the human loss have largely become masked in the public eye. It is the new normal” (610). Die plaaslike politiek en samelewing is na verloop van dekades in so ‘n mate deurdrenk van moord en verwoesting dat die inwoners geneig is om (oor)gewoond daaraan te word en gevolglik hulle senstiwiteit vir misdaad, selfs moord, te verloor. Daar is beperkte belangstelling in wat in hierdie opsig daagliks in die land gebeur, gevolglik is daar min berigte daaroor in die massa-inligtingsmedia. Aan slegs die afgryslikste gevalle word publisiteit verleen en selfs dan nie eens prominent nie. Wanneer laas het u ‘n berig oor bv ‘n plaasmoord op die voorbladsy van ‘n koerant gesien?

Ardé het ten minste met die oog op die historiese waarde daarvan ‘n groot guns aan ons en ons nageslag bewys deur die huidige funksionering van ANC-lede as gewelddadig of oorlogsugtig te dokumenteer; dus by implikasie dat die ANC eintlik’n oorlogsparty is. Dit gaan letterlik om “thousands of politically attributed murders” (49). “Mass murder [1990/94] morphed into targeted assassinations” (75). Dit is dus ironies dat “our constitution enshrines the right to life” (365).

“The ANC is spinning out of control because of violence” (370). “KZN … threatens to be the harbinger of a fully fledged gangster state where might is right and the big guns call the shots” (80). “[It is] a ‘culture of blood’ [2652] fed by greed, which prizes money over human life. In KZN murder is increasingly the currency of power … The ANC, the party of liberation, is becoming a war party” (85). Dit is waarom ek Frans Cronje se deurgaans vreedsame toekomsscenarios onaanvaarbaar vind (Praag 18.07.2020).

Dit het geen of min sin om in hierdie rubriek die name te noem van al die vermoordes en al die moordenaars wat in Ardé se boek vermeld word. Daar is ‘n lys van tersaaklike inligtingsbronne in die boek (2546-2642). Ek bepaal my by algemeenhede. Dit is eintlik bewonderenswaardig hoe die outeur die onverkwiklikhede van individuele gevalle ontrafel het. “Few journalists have the time or the inclination to unpack a welter of names, places and events to find common threads and see the bigger picture, to unearth the convergence between the hitmen, their paymasters and ANC dynamics in KZN” (1101). Ongelukkig kom hy nooit uit by breër perspektiewe oor die saak nie, soos die afbrekende rol van nieu-marxisme, die negatiewe voorbeeld wat wetteloosheid en chaos in ander lande aan plaaslike misdadigers stel en die absolute ongeskiktheid van (Westerse) demokrasie as staatsvorm vir Suid-Afrika.

As lede van ‘n gemeenskap oorwegend tot ‘n ander party as die ANC behoort, word hulle voordele ontsê, dus benadeel (173). ANC-gesinde gemeenskappe en individue, daarenteen, word bevoordeel, bv veroordeelde misdadigers word na vrylating uit die tronk in regeringsposte aangestel (205). Oud-MK-terroriste speel ‘n rol in die geweld. “The vets were demanding jobs, tenders and government houses” (205). Na aanleiding van “the 2017 demonstration by Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans who laid siege to the ANC’s headquarters of Luthuli House in Johannesburg” is gesê: “This sort of thing deliberately lays the groundwork for civil war … This is leading to the militarisation of South Africa” (374).

Korrupsie neem talle vorme aan, bv: “In 2019 it was an open secret in Richmond that R30 million worth of timber grown on munisipal land had been stolen and the … ANC councillors had turned a blind eye in return for a slice of the proceeds” (223). Die gesin van die korrupte hooffinansiële beampte van Richmond het 16 voertuie besit (241). In Umzimkhulu in daar in 2012 begin om die Gedenksaal te moderniseer teen R4 miljoen. “Five years and two contractors later, the cost of the project had escalated to R16 million but most of the work was still incomplete” (624). Intussen is drie van die betrokke persone vermoor (624), insluitende ‘n raadslid wat geweier het om dokumente vir hierdie projek te onderteken (628). ‘n ANC-kameraad in ‘n ander geval “benefited from an inflated municipal contract to run public viewings of Nelson Mandela’s funeral” (763). “The bid was awarded the contract at five times the amount that it cost to provide the service” (772), naamlik R994 500 pleks van R196 319, “a profit of R798 181 for work it did not itself undertake” (782). Sulke vergesogte munisipale dienste word gelewer pleks van die dienste wat deur plaaslike owerhede ekonomies en doeltreffend gelewer behoort te word.

Wat Ardé duidelik uitwys, is dat daar ‘n onder- en ‘n bowêreld in die ANC se korrupte geledere bestaan (268). In die onderwêreld is daar diegene wat die misdade pleeg, bv sluipmoordenaars. In die bowêreld is die ANC-kornuite wat die misdadigers betaal en deur die misdade bevoordeel word, bv met poste of ander finansiële gewin. Daar is vroeër vanjaar berig “that around 90 people with some official standing have been killed in KZN since 2015. They were councillors, political party officials or municipal officials; most were affiliated to the ANC” (274). Die dooies sluit fluitjieblasers teen korrupsie in (283). Korrupsie neem onder meer die vorm aan van die onwettige verkoop van “RDP houses” vir eie gewin (301).

Dit is dikwels moeilik om die veroordeling van misdadigers te bewerkstellig omdat die saaklêers gesaboteer word (310) of verdwyn. Getuies word geïntimideer om nie in sulke hofsake te getuig nie, of word selfs vermoor (507, 597, 1893, 2305). Party keer verdwyn ‘n hoofgetuie in die niet (1518). Die polisie word soms omgekoop sodat sulke sake nie ondersoek word nie (561). “Police incompetence and political manipulation” kom voor (838). “50 magistrates … had been found to have taken bribes between 2014 and 2019” (2319). Dit is nie duidelik of hierdie getal op KZN of die land in sy geheel betrekking het nie. ‘n Gebrek aan getuienis lei dikwels tot die ontslag van misdadigers, insluitende moordenaars (702). Die regskoste van ANC-kamerade wat van misdade aangekla word, word soms deur die ANC betaal (324, 422). As iemand ‘n lojale of invloedryke ANC-lid is en aan misdrywe skuldig is, word hy dikwels in ‘n ander pos herontplooi (328, 422). Diegene wat wel in ‘n hof tot tronkstraf gevonnis word, word (spoedig) op parool vrygelaat (383, 471).

Hoe gevaarlik die situasie vir ‘n raadslid kan wees as hy korrupsie probeer bestry, blyk uit die geval van iemand wat om hierdie rede binne ANC-geledere geïsoleer is. Hy is voor ‘n keuse gestel: “If he didn’t resign, he would be dead … [He] didn’t trust the police to help. He also ‘did not trust the security company that was contracted by the municipality'” (444). ‘n Munisipaliteit soos Dundee verkwansel maandeliks R1 miljoen aan veiligheidsdienste (477). In die Gwala-distrik (Kokstad, Umzinkhulu, Bulwer, Ixopo, Underberg) is R8.7 miljoen vir sekuriteitsdienste in ‘n enkele jaar betaal, terwyl dit veronderstel is om R241 000 per maand te kos, maar “in some months payments ballooned to almost double that amount” (667). In Gwala het ‘n raadslid verplig gevoel om sy besware op skrif te stel: “about the financial irregularities and misconduct of comrades and [he] sent it to the ANC provincial head office. It was suggested that he be charged with misconduct for bringing the ANC into disrepute” (667).

Dit is nie net Natal wat ‘n oorlogsone is nie. Die hele land gaan gebuk onder geweld veroorsaak deur ANC-kornuite of geweld wat voortspruit uit die korrupsie en ondoeltreffendheid van die owerheid. In 2017 is berig: “South Africans spend R45 billion a year on private security, 30% more than the government allocated to the police force. In that year there were 490 000 active private security personnel in South Africa, working in armed response, cash-in-transit, and guarding. By contrast, the South African Police Service employed 194 852 people and the South African National Defence Force 77 597 … In 2018 … government spending on private security had ballooned from 6.1 billion in the 2015/16 financial year to R7 billion in 2017/18” (956).

Soos by begrafnisse vóór 1994 word die begrafnis van ‘n raadslid wat in onguns verval het deur die ANC gekaap (458) en word daar dan valslik voorgegee dat die ANC teen korrupsie gekant is en daarteen optree. Daar word beweer: “As the ANC we are a law-abiding organisation, and we will always abide by the law” (698). ‘n Waarnemer het egter gesê: “The national evil … has seen the ruling party manipulate and undermine the rule of law and effectively replace it with the politics of the stomach, enforced mainly in KZN through the barrel of a gun” (914). “ANC leaders in KZN often claim that their actions are aimed at advancing peace but it often seems more like entrenching ANC hegemony at any cost” (1540).

In 2016 is die Moerane-kommissie aangestel (785) om “violence in KZN between 2011 and 2017” te ondersoek (794). Verslag is in 2018 gelewer (802). Advokaat MTK Moerane se verslag “is a damning indictment of the politics of KZN” (798). “The violence in KZN demonstrated the ‘depravity to which human beings can descend … to murder another human being for material gain'” (811). “Corruption is the backbone of South African politics, Moerane said. ‘And that’s the cause of violence'” (824). ‘n ANC-kameraad het voor die kommissie getuig: “The only way to stop political killings would be for his beloved ANC to lose at the polls” (861). “Moerane’s report seems to be largely ignored by the government” (785). “The exercise cost R15 million” (802). “He slated the political deployment of ANC cadres in government” (802). Onlangs het dit uit persberigte geblyk dat twee van Nelson Mandela se dogters, Zindzi en Zenani, as ambassadeurs in onderskeidelik Denemarke en Suid-Korea gedien het. Sover ek weet is geen beswaar teen sodanige kaderontplooiing in die onlangse koerantberigte geopper nie.

Die omvang wat ondoeltreffende bestuur en administrasie, asook korrupsie, by munisipaliteite aanneem, is ongelooflik. Byvoorbeeld: “When we visited, Newcastle had debts amounting to about R1.3 billion and its income was less than its expenses. Ten years earlier the municipality had cash reserves of R248 million” (516). R400 miljoen is aan ‘n nuwe seweverdieping munisipale gebou bestee terwyl die inwoners meer as R1 biljoen aan onbetaalde dienste skuld (530). ‘n Vorige burgemeester het ‘n R2 miljoen selfoonkontrak aan sy broer toegeken (525). Hierdie burgemeester het sedertdien sy multimiljoenrand huis verkoop en na Dubai uitgewyk (521). “Most Newcastle comrades … seem equally tainted and to have benefited from a range of multi-million-rand contracts either not completed or shoddily finished, including a swimming pool and two community halls” (602).

Daar is entrepreneurs in hierdie moordbedryf. “He will arrange the hit and take a percentage. He doesn’t do the shooting. He gets the hitman” (746). Sluipmoordenaars word in die taxi- of privaat sekuriteitsbedryf gewerf (498, 746, 1296) of in die (afgetrede) geledere van die polisie en weermag (971). “Hostels [are] reservoirs for hitmen” (870). “Between 70% and 90% of [hostel] residents are unemployed” (874). “Residents living in blocks controlled by hitmen were forced to pay ‘protection money’, the funds from which bought guns and ammunition, paid for killers, and used to bribe police officers and court officials” (879). “Too many cops were on the take” (1342).

“Hitmen … often … come from the rural areas and are known as izinkabi (singular inkabi) … They are increasingly being used in political assassinations, in the factional feuds within the ANC, to eliminate opponents” (1296). “Izinkabi … are there because the government doesn’t regulate [the taxi] industry” (1342). “The real masterminds behind the killings, the mafiosi, remained untouched” (1347). “All types of weapons are in circulation and it is not effectively controlled” (842). Soms word “state-issued R1 firearm[s]” in sluipmoorde gebruik (685) of polisiedienspistole (975). “State-issue firearms, such as R4s and R5s, police radios, uniforms and other police and army equipment were often recovered during hostel raids” (883).

Die taxibedryf is ‘n prominente werklikheid in Suid-Afrika. Ardé wy ‘n hele afdeling in sy boek daaraan omdat dit ‘n integrerende deel van die geweldskultuur is. “According to a 2017 report, the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) estimated there were 200 000 minibus taxis in the country, generating R90 billion in fares a year, or R450 000 on average per taxi for every owner. Other figures suggest there are upwards of 250 000 minibus taxis … The industry is reputedly the biggest purchaser of fuel in the country and it pays significant indirect taxes, including the fuel levy imposed on petrol and diesel sales and value added tax on vehicle purchases and spare parts” (1113). Dit word as ‘n “wildly profitable industry” beskryf (1118).

Gewone sterflinge betaal egter ook al die genoemde belastings maar daarbenewens ook inkomstebelasting. Die kern van die saak is dat die taxibedryf inkomstebelasting op groot skaal vryspring. “No receipts are issued” (1624). “A taxi running the route between Chatsworth and the Durban CBD made about R15 000 a week, mostly tax-free” (1150). Daar is bv eienaars met ‘n vloot van 20 taxi’s (1136, 1166). “[A] taxi boss told me he made R25 000 a day in profit on his fleet … ‘The only reason to have taxis is to steal from SARS” (1180). ‘n Ander taxi-eienaar het 24 taxi’s met ‘n maandelikse omset van R400 000. “He had a string of luxury cars, three wives and eight children” (1459). Dit is ‘n voorbeeld van “a culture of bling” (2466).

Die taxibedryf is feitlik uitsluitlik in swart besit. Om hierdie rede is die ANC-regime hierdie bedryf goedgesind. Talle ander bedrywe en beroepe ly groot finansiële verliese weens die Covid-19-inperking. Met hulle het die ANC-regime min simpatie. Die taxibedryf, daarenteen, is vir regeringsbystand van miljoene der miljoene rand uitgesonder, al ontduik die eienaars inkomstebelasting. Pleks van dankbaar te wees, kla taxi-eienaars steen en been dat te min Covid-19-skadevergoeding aan hulle betaal word. Hulle het daarop aangedring dat taxi’s (oor)vol gelaai moet kan word. Die ANC-regime het voor hierdie eis geswig ten spyte van die wesenlike gesondheidsgevaar wat dit inhou.

“On the face of it, the taxi industry is out of control, resistant to regulation, and a law unto itself” (1687). “Even the violence that marks it is a means of regulating the market, by keeping competition down and prices up … With its estimated annual turnover of R90 billion, it bears comparison as a form of organised crime with the illicit tobacco industry” (1691). “They were now run like a mafia and the leaders had become warlords” (1718).

Omdat taxi’s so ‘n lonende bedryf is, asook weens die grootskaalse werkloosheid, is daar sterk kompetisie in hierdie sektor (1145), wat op sy beurt tot omvangryke geweldpleging, insluitende moorde, lei. Volgens ‘n waarnemer was daar in hierdie sektor volgens mediaberigte 458 moorde in 16 jaar (1243). Daar is te veel mense wat in hierdie rykdom wil deel. “The market is overtraded” (1180). “Route dominance was down to firepower” (1175). “The problem with the taxi industry … is that too many cops are involved. They own taxis or they take bribes” (1170). “[A] taxi cop described the industry as a ‘mafia business driven by sheer greed” (1225). “It is not unfair to accuse the police of not having a handle on taxi violence” (1252). “Too many cops and government officials are involved” (1230).

Die taxi-oorlog (1101) woed veral oor die hoogslonende langafstandroetes (1092). “Short routes like Soweto to Johannesburg are small potatoes … The big money is made on long-haul routes like Durban to Johannesburg. Twenty-two-seater [Toyota] Quantum vehicles run these routes and the fares were R450 per passenger one way. The profits are massive … The income is R9 900 per trip. Petrol for one trip is R1 200, tolls about R250, and you pay the driver one passanger fare of R450. So R9 900 less R1 900. That is R8 000 for your pocket …If you have 10 taxis, you are making R80 000 profit a day … With that kind of money at stake, no wonder that protection rackets have sprung up in the industry, enforced by big, well-armed security firms” (1189). “PSIRA, the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority … has 1.5 million security guards on its books, though only 500 000 are active and they work for nearly 9 000 security firms” (1221).

Taxibestuurders is dikwels die enigstes in die bedryf wat die gramskap van die publiek moet verduur. ‘n Taxibestuurder wat nie ‘n taxi besit nie, het egter geen weelderige of gerieflike lewe nie. “Most Johannesburg [taxi] drivers worked six or seven days a week and earned on average R2 000 a month … They had no job security and put in 14 to 16 hours a day. The pressure on them to turn a buck and their fatigue made them liable to cause fatal accidents” (1722).

Die laaste afdeling in die boek handel oor Durban, wat beskryf word as “the city central to the rot that had spread through the ruling party during Zuma’s years in the presidency” (1924). Die taxibedryf is so uitermate lonend nie net omdat inkomstebelasting ontduik word nie, maar ook omdat ander openbare vervoer gebrekkig is. In stede soos Kaapstad en Durban is gepoog om owerheidsvoorsiende openbare vervoer per bus en trein te verbeter. Maar dit maak inbreuk op die aanvraag en dus winsgewendheid van die taxibedryf (1549). Daar word dus met eise vir skadevergoeding vorendag gekom. Omdat dit ‘n manier is wat nooit bevredigende resultate kan oplewer nie, word die toevlug tot die Mandela-opsie, geweld, geneem.

Die poskantoor kan nie sinvol skadevergoeding eis omdat elektroniese boodskappe sy eertydse glorie geknou het nie. Maar die taxibedryf beskou homself as ‘n uitsonderlike geval wat op vergoeding van owerheidsweë geregtig is. Hierdie dispuut het al in Durban tot sluipmoorde gelei (1567). Die voorgestelde vervoerstelsel word GO!Durban genoem. “GO!Durban promised to reduce violent taxi competition … More than a hundred taxi drivers and bosses had been assassinated in west Durban in recent years” (1602). Diegene in beheer van die taxibedryf kla dat daar nie genoeg met hulle oorleg gepleeg word nie, maar terselfdertyd word vergoeding geëis vir die tyd wat hulle aan samesprekings met die owerheid moet afstaan (1593).

Dat daar groot fout in die bestuur en administrasie van Durban is, blyk uit die feit dat die eThekwini-munisipaliteit, die plaaslike owerheid vir Durban en omstreke, nie voor die Moerane-kommissie getuig het nie (1764). Hierdie gebied word gekenmerk deur dieselfde misdrywe en misdade as wat elders in Natal voorkom, soos mense, bv getuies, wat vermoor word om hulle stil te kry (1838, 1847). Daar is onmin oor wie die ANC-leiers en -lede mag wees (1870). “Armed guards controlled who was allowed to enter meetings and policed what was allowed to be said. Other allegations include branch numbers being inflated with ghost members and legitimate members not being informed of last-minute venue changes for meetings … The ANC’s internal democracy … was being suppressed as a result, and careerism and corruption had become institutionalised in the party. In poor areas … becoming a branch leader or a councillor seemed to be one of the few ways out of penury … Manipulation of the process of selecting councillors … stoked political violence” (1879). “Procedures were manipulated and votes were bought” (2158).

Munisipale bouprojekte word vertraag omdat hulle onderbreek word weens geldafpersing (1951). Ouditeure word verhinder om hulle werk te doen omdat hulle met die dood gedreig word (1968). Soos elders in die land is daar onwettige water- en elektrisiteitsverbindings (2042). Dit kom onder meer voor by huise wat televisie-ontvangs het (2047). Ensovoorts. Durban toon in geografies gekonsentreerde vorm al die onverkwiklikhede wat in die res van die provinsie aangetref word.

‘n Ingeligte waarnemer, Adriaan Kruger, het plaaslike bestuur in Suid-Afrika soos volg gekarakteriseer. “Imagine a retail chain with nearly 300 outlets, supplying essential services to a captive market, with guaranteed annual price increases and no competition. It would be unbelievable if this retailer struggled to survive, especially if taxpayers were forced to support the enterprise to the tune of 40% of its annual turnover. Kruger said municipalities were essentially retailers of water, electricity, refuse removal, sewerage services and car licences. Municipal revenues were nearly R400 billion in the year to September 2019 … Of that, R106 billion went to salaries. Municipalities wrote off R16 billion to bad debt and spent less than 10% of their budget on the maintenance of infrastructure such as roads and water pipes” (2429).

Is dit moontlik om entoesiasties oor en positief beïndruk met die nuwe Suid-Afrika en talle van sy inwoners te wees? Gaan die ANC/SAKP se helde na. Hulle het nie opgebou nie. Hulle het afgebreek. Die nuwe Suid-Afrika is ‘n noodlottig gebroke weergawe van die ou Suid-Afrika.

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