“A week is a long time in politics,” so opined British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the 1960s.  Today, it can be “applied” to politics in South Africa. It seems that the further away we move from 1994, and the belief that “true power” is synonymous with political power, the more South Africans in general and white people, in particular, forget about the financial atrocities of both colonialism and Apartheid. The mentality or pathology seems to be, “they (the ANC) inherited a bankrupt house), but at least they inherited something?

It is a staggeringly dyscognitive pathology, but not surprising given the mass psychological state-sponsored brainwashing white people were subjected to for more than five decades.

Put in perspective, Hitler of Nazi Germany only had about a decade with the German people, and look what happened to the world from 1938 onwards? There is this deeply held notion, almost on a religious type of level, that even though the National Party were racists, they were, by and large, an “honest bunch” who kept the lights on, the hospitals working (for a small minority) and the streets clean.  People believed one could rely on them to keep a “clean set of books” in a manner of speaking. 

From a historical perspective, a fair assessment of the situation becomes complicated because the National Party, under the larcenous tutelage of FW De Klerk, deliberately destroyed 100’s of tonnes of state documents, records of transactions and crucial paperwork that kept the furnaces at the then Iscor burning 24/7 for months at a time! So determined were they (the National Party) to destroy proofs of their and their predecessor’s ills that most of the state and privately owned mortuaries were kept busy, not with caring for the deceased, but rather the now lucrative trade of document destruction on a massive scale.

Logically, we all know that if you have nothing to hide, as the adage goes, there’s, therefore, nothing to destroy, right? Well, in politics, things aren’t always as they seem. The average local, state and federal government department generates 100’s of tonnes of paperwork weekly, which amounts to a virtual forest of paper and enough plastic in the microfiche that one could build Lego blocks to comfortably supply all the needs of the children on the planet. It isn’t that the National Party are any more prone to corruption and “larceny” than the average dictatorship; it’s just that dictators and Supreme leaders or political parties are always doing deals that unfortunately requires a high degree of secrecy. 

If you are wanting to purchase much-needed oil, weapons, (don’t know if one can put that in the same category), and other goods for the economy, (sanctioned as it was by the major Western powers), one expects to pay a bit more than at your local supermarket.

Okay, a lot more, as in a few 100% per cent more for everything- including greasing the palms of countless middle-men and shady companies wishing to cash in on a “cash-rich country pariah” that everyone ignores-but everyone also wants to do business with because “money is money.”  

Well, it just so happens that “out the adage” is perhaps truer than one may realise. It’s reported that Ivan Glasenberg, coal and commodities mogul who now lives in a tiny, sleepy village in faraway Switzerland, made more than R20 billion in commissions and other payments over10 years, sourcing Iraqi crude oil for the South African government…

Part III to follow…