I got an email here from an overseas reader which is interesting enough to blog about. Because of my books, he sometimes reads South African newspapers, why I would not know for they are as politically correct as can be and sprout mostly what smells nice. Anyway, we have a picture of our President sitting in a gold covered chair asking for investments. Yep, I am shaking my head in disbelieve in this (yet another) tactical blunder of the highest order.
You may know I don’t hold the British Royals in high regard. Taking the Mickey out of them in my books as well as the Arch Liar (Winston Churchill to you) and Pommies in general (with love, no malice, I admire the bastards) is what I do and I would never say a “royal” looks like a twat sitting on a throne with some fawning toadies around him. Nah, that is expected, it is part of the royal circus and for us colonials to laugh and jeer at. But when an African, country, not race, President sits on his throne begging for investments? Eish, I am sorry but it leaves a very sour taste in my mouth and I believe other investors also. What message do you send out, Mr President? Sitting like a tyrannical king in such a chair? Tell me, why do I not see such chairs in the White House or in the Kremlin even? Perhaps they get it that we are competing with other Eastern Bloc countries for investments, they want to see some humility from beggars. Fire your spin-doctors for they are useless and they are costing this country a lot of investments.
I remember back in 1990 when De Klerk made his prodigious promises and part of that was the word “INVESTMENTS” and how the world will now invest in a multi-racial South Africa build on the principles of democracy. Yep, they did not, really. They came to plunder, to buy out all of our banks (no loss but still), all our military technology and our mining houses immediately left to list on another stock exchange, where again? London, that shows you business confidence of a doubtful nature if ever. Prudently, they foresaw the crashing Rand. In 1990, if told we would lose every year billions to corruption and nepotism, or that the petrol price would rocket to seven times what it cost then, we would have voted “no” and continued Apartheid. What is sad about this, to me, is that the nineties were a time of hope for us. We felt we actually re-joined the world. We suddenly had many American entertainers here to make a few dollars (it was worth it to them, we were starved of any entertainment and the Rand worth having). Many others, including every second rated actor, came rushing to see Mr Mandela and post selfies of them and yes, we had hope for a bright future. It was a time of hope, even those who emigrated, they had hope for a new beginning.
I get it that politicians lie for a living, mostly, to get votes and to get the good life. Few of them could hack it in the private sector which makes Donald Trump something of a mystery to me. Here at home, one crisis and one scandal after another until the hope is gone and the people starts to riot. How bizarre is it that we have more riots now in South Africa than during Apartheid, how sad, actually. I do feel bad for the SAPS trying to control this, with every second person now having a video camera and YouTube, Facebook, etc. they are really in a corner unable to do much and are then told they are wankers. I know the feeling of frustration when you face rioters abusing you. It is not easy. By the way, the turd brigade (politicians, they talk what they float in) causes the riots 99% of the time with bad leadership and then they call the police to suppress the people. It is a never ending wheel turning to nowhere.
I wrote a book, about two years ago, called Tricks of Trade – Memories of a Rogue Lawyer – which is about the shenanigans you find in Africa - the scams any investor should look out for before coming here. It is not much of a book to be honest and certainly not an autobiography, my legal career was too boring, too short and now too secretive to write books on and when it came out many complained I was driving investors away. We should lie, they told me, tell them it is paradise you know, don’t warn them about shenanigans. Yeah, the truth will make them run away, job losses etc. Oddly, I got many emails from people stating flatly they now know what to lookout for and hence able to invest, thank you, case closed, I was right again. But what they don’t want to see is a President asking for more investments sitting on a throne, really not. They have images of a despotic African country, not race, in turmoil and about to fail and if it fails it will cost them money. This is not South Africa, by the way, it is not a failed country although we are failing and not living to our potential. Whatever the Presidency thinks, image is important, we don’t like the smell of rotting bananas and neither do the investors and they are smart people, mostly. Get rid of the throne Mr President!
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.