Monday, February 22, 2010

Meltdown the inevitable result of ANC policies

I received this in an email this morning.Wow and wow again
February 16, 2010

by David Klatzow


CURRENT SOUTH AFRICAN POLITICAL SITUATION
The ANC-led alliance came to power with many stated and lofty ideals. They flowed from the rhetoric of such American greats as Martin Luther King. "An injury to one is an injury to all", "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".

Our government, post-Madiba, has been slow to give reality to these lofty ideals. Thabo Mbeki (Mr Delivery) turned out to be Mr Non-Delivery. All functionaries in government were replaced by loyal party cadres.

Everything became ideology-driven instead of ability-driven. Government interference in the universities has become much more overt and destructive than ever it was under the Nationalists. (Exemplified by the turnabout on the housing doctorate for Mbeki.)

Our health system was functional to a high level, even for rural black people, and the urban "non-European" hospitals, while an abominable reflection of the apartheid system, worked well, with standards high and no shortage of drugs and equipment.

Now in 2010, we contemplate exactly what has been achieved in the 15 years of post-apartheid South Africa.

A previous vice-chancellor of UCT, Mamphela Ramphele, is on record as saying that Bantu Education was better than the mess we have now.

Our hospitals are dysfunctional for all South Africans who are unable to afford private health care.

The Johannesburg General, Groote Schuur, Pretoria Hospital and many others around the country are mismanaged to such an extent that they have become a threat to health. The hospital accounting systems are in a shambles and suppliers have cut off supplies until their bills are paid. The standards of repair and cleanliness have plummeted. The equipment, supplies and linen have been pillaged and pilfered.

Recently, at Groote Schuur, I encountered a neurology ward that had no toilet seats, no toilet paper, no soap and no towels. The chief neurologist there informed me that he would not use the toilets in his ward because they were too disgusting. The legacy of Manto Tshabalala-Msimang speaks for itself.

Our police service is severely dysfunctional. Too many of the serving officers are corrupt. A recent PhD thesis on the subject put it at 10 percent and probably higher.

Our erstwhile chief cop, Jackie Selebi, stands accused of corruption, while he was head of Interpol, moreover. This is a national disgrace. The arrogance of the man in running around with the likes of the criminal gangsters with whom he associated and not seeing the conflict of interests is astounding.

The government, which should be doing all in its power to prosecute Selebi to the full, is wasting taxpayers' money trying to keep certain witnesses out of court on the spurious basis of national interest.

Our education system is a complete mess. We have the results of the OBE debacle to contend with, where the only certainty is that we will produce a generation of educationally crippled youth.

We have the ANC government with its ludicrous policies of "quiet diplomacy" that have allowed the stability of the region to deteriorate. The influx of refugees across our borders is fuelling xenophobic violence and is placing scarce resources under huge pressure.

Our water supplies are dwindling and those that we have are polluted with faecal matter from the squatter camps along their courses. Cholera is waiting. Much of the water measuring equipment installed at key points on our rivers has been vandalised.

The Cape Times (February 8) has reported that "Dire shortage at forensic labs stifles justice".

What do you expect?

In my private capacity as a consulting forensic scientist, I have been warning about this state of affairs for some years. About four years ago I warned of the coming "meltdown". To no avail.

The analysts in the Health Department labs are appointed in terms of ethnicity and ideology and not in terms of their ability to do the work.

When a previous head of the laboratory in Pretoria, Dr Neels Viljoen, attempted to set an examination to regulate the incoming analysts he found that he was expected to appoint people who scored single-figure results for the elementary chemistry examinations.

The labs are swamped with incompetents and the work does not get done. The net result was that he and the other heads of the laboratories have all left the state's employ and are lost to the system. Their expertise is not even available to assist the state in pulling itself up by its bootstraps.

Nearly 5 000 samples from the Salt River Mortuary have not been analysed. The talk is that they will be discarded. So much for justice. The departmental heads are not called to account for this disaster.

Our courts have, for some time now, been grinding ever more to a halt because of the incompetence and disorganisation of the laboratories that should be there to assist them.

Morale at the police laboratories is low and the good scientists still there would leave if other opportunities crossed their path.

Recently I became aware of a delay of three years in obtaining a post-mortem report from the Tygerberg forensic department. This is just not good enough.

I have not yet started on the disaster that is coming our way when the productive farms are taken and given to persons who cannot even use them for a proper subsistence, let alone a high technology productive farm to feed South Africa.

There is only one way to stop the rot before it destroys the entire country.

The government must stop the insane racist and aggressively affirmative policies that it has put in place. Corruption should be rooted out tooth and nail.

All the available talent should be used in getting this country back on track. Stop the centralist interference in every aspect of our lives. It is not for the government to decide whether I may open a medical practice wherever I wish. All that will happen is that the available source of doctors will dwindle as they head for greener pastures.

The collective that has brought us to this pass will be blissfully prepared to blame it on the racist government. They are right about the racism, but it is their own racist policies that have brought us to the brink and not those of the previous dispensation.

Education and security must take priority in government policies and non-performing ANC appointees should be kicked out forthwith. The business of suspension on full pay is an inducement to underperform.

Jacob Zuma is a national embarrassment is so many ways that it would be impossible to list them in the limited space at my disposal. His exuberant fecundity is the least of the issues, however.

My primary problem with Zuma is his lack of appreciation for anything other than immediate gratification without appreciation for the consequences. He says what he feels the audience wants to hear, without a jot of sincerity or any intention to perform.

The appointment of Jon Qwelane as ambassador to Uganda sends the wrong message. Why send an openly homophobic man to a country where this lately achieved tolerance is under severe threat?

Why appoint Menzi Simelane to his present position? The man is constitutionally and experientially unsuited to the job and in any event it kicks the notion of separation of power (enshrined in our constitution) in the teeth.

One is left with the only rational conclusion that Zuma wants a pal who will not come after him in the little matter of corruption that seems to follow him like a black cloud.

For a man who publicly demanded his day in court, he has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid it.

The disgraceful release on parole of Schabir Shaik is a slap in the face to our foundering justice system. The only sense in which Shaik was dying was that he was dying to get out and shop. Shame on you!

It is high time, Mr Zuma, that you stop your philandering long enough to see that your party is systematically destroying this country. As a group, the ANC hierarchy is as racist and as corrupt as the Nationalists. History will judge you harshly.

By the way, we do not need aircraft (that no one can fly) and corvettes to sit and rust in Simon's Town, above education, policing and health.

Maybe I could leave you with two quotes from Martin Luther King: "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

And finally, "A riot is at the bottom the language of the unheard".

ยท Dr Klatzow is an independent forensic consultant.

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