‘President’ Prince Mashele slips into President Jacob Zuma’s skin to shed light on the subtext behind his State of the Nation address.
Honourable Members and Fellow South Africans:
I stand before you exactly 24 years after the release from prison of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the departed father of our rainbow nation. When he passed away on December 5, the whole world came to a standstill. Global leaders were as touched as ordinary folks were moved.
Even the heavens could not pretend to function normally. The angels poured their tears for more than a week, filling rivers and watering the village of Qunu to become green – all in preparation for Mandela’s funeral.
As nature was busy preparing, our government joined hands with her, working around the clock to give Mandela the best funeral ever.
In the gallantry of biblical stories, nothing suggests that there once lived a giant whose burial was attended by more than a hundred heads of state.
This is why we say, without doubt, that there has never been, there is, and there shall be none like Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
To his children and relatives, Mandela bequeathed money and material property. To our new nation he left the gift of democracy. It is a 20-year-old democracy.
There is no doubt that the story of our democracy is that of opportunities and challenges.
You have to be blind not to see the progress we have made. Today South Africans of all races are free.
We have a constitution that is a model for the whole world. The only people who don’t like it are the lunatics from EFF, even as they are themselves protected by the Bill of Rights.
Unlike before 1994, today South Africans are able to vote for political parties of their choice. This is what we were fighting for in the liberation struggle in general.
I know that the right to vote is being abused by clever blacks. They increasingly vote for the very parties that oppressed the masses of our people. How can a black man vote for a party led by a white woman?
Educated as they are, clever blacks still fail to understand that it is impossible to undo the legacy of more than three centuries of colonialism and apartheid in 20 years. I may not be educated, but I know this simple truth.
It would be wrong to attribute the poverty of the masses of our people to the ruling party. Those who are poor today are children of parents who suffered under colonialism and apartheid.
For the past 20 years, our government has been working very hard to care for the poor and vulnerable.
Millions of black people now have access to electricity, water and housing, even as miscreants burn clinics and libraries in the name of service delivery.
Today 17 million South Africans receive social grants. In line with the manifesto of my party, the government will double the number of social grant recipients after this year’s elections. Our strategic goal is to ensure that, by 2030, all South Africans receive social grants.
By further extending the reach of social grants, we are certain that my party shall rule until Jesus Christ comes back.
I am aware that by 2030, I will no longer be your president. This is why I am making hay while the sun shines.
The more than R200 million of taxpayer’s money spent to construct my palace in Nkandla is to ensure that my wives, children and grandchildren never smell poverty in their lifetime.
What my minister of public works told the nation is not true. There is no fire pool in my homestead. There is a swimming pool for me and my well-known nephew.
Let it be remembered that the nephew does business for me in the Central African Republic, which is why we deployed troops there.
I am aware that South Africans have been misled by our mischievous public protector to smell a rat in Nkandla.
Let me make it plain: a president deserves better than a king. Why are people not complaining about our king? Who is more important between a state president and a mere king of a tribe?
All I know is that, like the noise generated by the landing of the plane carrying my friends’ relatives at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, the noise about Nkandla will soon die down.
Once the noise is gone, I will from time to time retreat to Nkandla for relaxation, especially when the EFF’s miscreants burn tyres and public property in the name of service delivery protests.
No one must make a mistake; I do issue instructions from my swimming pool to the police. You must by now have realised that the police shoot to kill, whenever there is a protest.
I don’t understand why Malema and his army of protesters do not learn. Did they not see what the police did in Marikana? Why do they think we will not shoot them?
To be safe, all life-loving South Africans must never come close to any service delivery protests, for the police will not discriminate when they kill the poor.
With regard to the economy, we have already indicated in the manifesto of my party that we will create six million job opportunities.
Critics of my government complain about the language of job opportunities; they want me to promise jobs, as if our government owns factories.
The critics don’t trust Stats SA and my government when we tell them that we have created more than 600 000 jobs in 2013 alone. They believe a useless survey by Adcorp, insinuating that the economy lost 36 290 jobs in January this year.
It does not matter what the critics say, I will create six million, three thousand and sixty thousand job opportunities over the next five years.
That we did not create the five million jobs we promised in 2009 is neither here nor there.
There are also those who claim that our government is doing nothing to stabilise labour relations in the mining industry. This is a lie.
Recently, South Africans have read in newspapers that Amcu is divided, that there is an internal rebellion within this troublesome union. Who do you think has been behind this, if not my government?
In no time, our intelligence services will break the neck of this disruptive, newcomer union. I will not sit and watch the development of a powerful union outside the ruling tripartite alliance. We will also do to Numsa what we are doing currently to Amcu.
Indeed, education is at the heart of the economy, which is why I instructed my minister of basic education to lower the pass mark in order to achieve a higher matric pass rate.
We would like to congratulate the class of 2013 for achieving the highest pass rate ever, 78.2 percent.
What remains now is for my minister of higher education to ensure that our universities don’t block the progress of these intelligent students.
Encouragingly, the minister has committed himself to achieve a 78 percent pass rate in higher education.
This is what we call seamless progress in education. Once achieved, no capitalist must claim that our government does not produce enough skills for the economy.
My government is serious about performance, which is why, right from the beginning of my first term as president, I forced ministers to sign performance agreements. Not even previous, Sussex-trained presidents did it. I am the first to do it.
I have made it clear to all my ministers that I shall not tolerate underperformance. Indeed, the minister of sport had my strong backing when he reprimanded the useless Bafana Bafana. A loser is a loser, period!
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have over-performed in the area of international relations. Show me one previous South African president who managed to persuade the leaders of Brazil, India, Russia and China to admit a tiny country like ours into their exclusive club. There is certainly none.
This is why I don’t understand why clever blacks don’t like me, especially those in Gauteng. They booed me at Mandela’s memorial service, even as my government has constructed good e-toll roads for them.
Perhaps the rest of the country must accept that the people of Gauteng are mad. They think like Africans generally. They forget that roads in Johannesburg are not like some national road in Malawi.
Whether the people of Gauteng like it or not, I am the presidential candidate for my party. I shall lead South Africa until 2019.
Those who think I will not finish my second term are simply dreaming. I am not done with my mission, which is to enrich myself, my family and my friends.
I thank you.
* Prince Mashele is co-author of The Fall of the ANC: What Next?
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.