At tip of the Turdberg, SA stuck in ANC-created cesspit – Ed Herbst

Veteran journalist Ed Herbst

JOHANNESBURG — Amid recent revelations of state capture and more in Jacques Pauw’s blockbuster book ‘The President’s Keepers’ as well suspended Eskom legal head Suzanne Daniels’ revelations to Parliament recently, it appears that South Africa has become a mafia state already. Ed Herbst picks up on these feelings in this brilliant piece in which he blows open the sad state of affairs that the ANC has brought upon the country. – Gareth van Zyl

By Ed Herbst*

Inevitably the book has raised a massive stink: that’s what happens when you break open a sewer. The surprise‚ however‚ has been the depth of the cesspool that is our national crisis. The Guptas‚ we now know‚ were just three large turds bobbing on the surface. It turns out its shit all the way down. – Tom Eaton The Times 10/11/2017

Having insisted that he was not at Melrose Arch with the state capturers on the day the meeting is alleged to have taken place, Ben Martins could not tell journalists where he was that day. This is despite, as a matter of policy, his security detail being supposed to document all their movements with him. Unburden yourself deputy minister, you are obviously hiding something – Ben Martins – Mampara of the week Hogarth 12/11/2017

So was Ben Martins at that sinister Melrose Arch meeting with the barefoot Ajay Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and the shadowy Salim Essa on 29 July as Suzanne Daniels recently told parliament?

There was only one way to find out.

I had to embark on the dangerous and labyrinthine process of contacting my Browse Moles, the whistle-blowing deep throats of satirical and whimsical mien who lurk in the dark, dank and dirty bowels of Loot-freely House.

To my surprise they said they could not give me an immediate answer – the Jacques Pauw matter was obsessing everyone at Loot-fully House, so they had been somewhat busy – but he could well be telling the truth.

Throw the book. More of Zapiro’s brilliant work available at

It could be, the Browse Moles suggested, that the Deputy Minister could have been elsewhere and distracted by the Lorraine Masipa matter and I had to admit that the overnight disappearance of R60 million could tilt your axis somewhat.

With the ANC elective conference hanging the balance everything is suspect and, in a previous article, I pointed out the similarities between the Masipa and Matilda Gaboo scandals.

I interviewed several whistleblowers in the Matilda Gaboo scandal and I was startled by the opinion of one of them.

African National Congress (ANC)

The whistleblower said it was difficult to get one’s head around the mindset of the ANC-deployed SABC snouters who have now reduced the state broadcaster to bankruptcy for a second time.

They see it as a chess puzzle – there’s this money sitting there and the question is how to access it in the easiest way with the least amount of risk.  They say they are morally obliged to do this as recompense for the way in which they and their forebears suffered under apartheid.

To someone with the wisdom of hindsight gleaned in the biblical three score years and ten, that is a startling thought.

The Afrikaner suffered grievously under British occupation during the Boer War and they built monuments and created public holidays as testimony to their pain. There is, however, no evidence that I can ascertain that the Afrikaans civil servants and rank and file employees at municipal or provincial level or in state-owned enterprises saw it as their ethical duty and a moral imperative to steal from the public purse in recompense.

To verify that observation one only has to compare the bottomless ANC-created pit of faecal matter that is Medupi or Eskom’s Tegeta scam with the fact that the apartheid-era Eskom built a bunch of power stations – Taaibos, Highveld, Komati, Camden, Hendrina, Grootvlei and Kriel –  without a whiff of scandal, on time and on budget and, back then, we had more cheap electricity than we could use. Now, after years of wanton and unchecked ANC snouting, Eskom is effectively insolvent.

Or read Jacob Dlamini’s eloquently–articulated book on this theme.

Instead of stealing from the public purse, the Afrikaner fervently embraced the National Party ‘Helpmekaar’ philosophy as a means of emerging from their slough of despond by pulling themselves up not by theft but by their bootstraps.

If one needs a case study with a media theme then read my article on the comparison between how Naspers originated and the way in which the PIC, after doing the necessary due diligence of course, gave the Sekunjalo consortium a billion rand plus – an ‘investment’ which increasingly seems unable to generate the dividends which civil servants would be happy with. If that comes to pass, it will not be without ANC precedent.

A protestor holds a banner suggesting the ANC is “For Sale” during a nationwide march against corruption in Cape Town. Photographer: Halden Krog/Bloomberg

Within two decades the African National Congress has dissipated in riotous and licentious squander the goodwill generated by Nelson Mandela. We are, once again, a polecat in the eyes of the international community and an IMF bailout beckons.

Nothing and no one is safe anymore.

And, as Tom Eaton, points out in an anchor quote on this article, while current technology is unable to plumb the depths of the ANC-created cesspit, we do know that that the tip of the Zuptoid Turdberg hides unspeakable evil – ask the Moerane Commission – they’ll tell you.

  • Ed Herbst is a retired veteran journalist who writes in his own capacity.
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