To know something of the ANC “strategies and tactics” discussion document, you don’t have to be a serial ANC elective-conference junkie, like some of us.
Pulled out to be dusted and spruced up at every elective conference, the document is intended to unmask the global and national “balance of forces”, laying bare the extent to which these injure or advance the onward march of the national democratic revolution.
But today, I wish to introduce you to the other strategies and tactics document, the one that is unheard of, the one less written about, and even less spoken about.
If the written document functions as the yin, the unwritten one functions as its yang. It is the alter-ego of the “strategies and tactics document” that you know.
What commends the unwritten “strategies and tactics” document is that it is easier done than said. Indeed, it is only done and never said.
It has one and only one golden rule, namely, “thou shall not be found out”. This cardinal principle works quite well, so that, the credulous citizens do not know what they do not know, most of the time.
If the written document is intended to facilitate the national democratic revolution, a.k.a. NDR, its unwritten alter ego advances the national corruption revolution, a.k.a NCR. Bona fide practitioners of the NCR, whose ranks seem to be swelling by the day, know why and how it “pays” to stick to the “thou shall not be found out” golden rule.
And yes, in the rather unlikely event of “thou being found out”, such as has been the case for the unlucky and careless few, in the ongoing exposé regarding Covidpreneurship, then the unwritten version of the “strategies and tactics document” come into full and immediate effect.
Here, for the first time, we articulate the seldom said, never written and unheard of, strategies and tactics, of the national corruption revolution.
Firstly, think ahead. Assume that thou might be found out. The NCR is a high-end enterprise which requires high levels of sophistication and cunningness. If you lack these crucial qualities, then rather stick to shoplifting, commonplace pilfering or street corner smash-and-grab.
Leave no foot or fingerprints anywhere. Bona fide practitioners of the NCR will establish or find a surrogate company to bid for the ear-marked tender. Either that, or arrange for a surrogate company to receive the payment. Cash in suitcases is harder to trace than large deposits into your account.
When the hard rains of allegations start to fall down, and when the cold and smelly winds of accusations start to blow in thine direction, thou shalt deny. Deny by day and deny by night.
Deny in all seriousness, deny in jest, deny in a threatening way, but whatever you do, you must deny. If your accusers mention any names of middle men and middle women, deny any (intimate) knowledge of any such characters, whom you will wisely not have met directly, anyway.
If thine tormentors persist on giving you grief, tell them that you are too busy with the NDR to know anything about the NCR.
If denial does not seem to shut thine accusers up completely, quickly run to find shelter in the tried and tested legal sanctuary, otherwise known as, “innocent till proven guilty”.
Do not demand, but ask as firmly as you can muster, that your accusers provide proof of any wrongdoing on your part. While at it, add the usual stuff about the fragility and whimsicality of the self-appointed courts of public opinion.
Wherever you go, wear your fake innocence, like a mask that covers your mouth, nose and eyes. Never mind the dirty looks, never mind the reputational damage to yourself and to the organisation, keep repeating “innocent till proven guilty”, like the religious mantra that it has become.
Should many South Africans remain unconvinced, then the glorious movement should reload and reactivate its legendary factions, especially in their 2017 Nasrec guises. Let the factions throw as much dirt at one another as they can, some of them initiating so-and-so-must-fall campaigns.
This tactic has never failed to elicit a response from the gullible masses. Sooner or later, people will take sides with one or the other faction. Even members of the media cannot resist this tactic. Before you know it, people will be shouting at each other in defence of this or the other ANC faction.
Sometimes things become so bad, like right now with the PPE graft scandals, that the president of state and party needs to step in. If, and when he does, he must put on his most earnest demeanour. With a funeral voice of gloom, he will, in his best English accent, announce the next Zondo Commission.
The report of that commission will be published in 2028 to coincide with the end of his second term. And then we will start again. And on we shall go, until Jesus comes back.
* Tinyiko Maluleke is Senior Research Fellow, University of Pretoria Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship.