MR. President, our country is sick. The prognosis isn’t looking great. My political physician says most ANC leaders suffer from the tenderinitis viral disease. Tenderinitis is a condition of the moral depravity that attacks and disables the core of being human. It is known to propel its sufferers to unearned riches and vain applause. A few sufferers of this dreadful disease are known to release smelly wind that discourages voters and investors. At higher risk, are people presenting with existing comorbidities like peddling political influence, public office and love for tender things in life. The new cluster outbreak has been traced to a Pretoria address where a decision was taken to place the country on COVID-19-induced national lockdown.
Thus the juicy tender gates of the much-vaunted personal protective equipment (PPEs) were wide opened. Strangely, the tenderinitis isn’t a novel pathogen. According to South Africa’s former top medical journal now a world-renowned predatory publisher, Umrabulo, this virus jumped from its natural habitat of the apartheid architects and apologists to decorated anti-apartheid freedom fighters without a whisper. For many years various existing medications protected a specific class of people who lived on the higher moral ground such as Rivonia Trialists and some Robben Islanders. The World Tender Organisation (WTO) has confirmed that the disease in its advanced, stage five, is known as the Moral Deficiency Syndrome. Yet, it remains an incurable upper respiratory disease. In its early stages (exposure) the would-be sufferers make promises to change the world if not the lives of “our people”. On stage two, (acquisition), the sufferers acquire expensive taste in all things tender. By stage three, the disease reaches the advanced state, when it sufferers boast about their unearned riches and vow that there’s no country without the ANC.
uBaba put it succinctly: “the ANC is more important than the country, and the ANC will rule until Jesus come.” This disease only reaches complications on stage four--here most sufferers blow hot air and lose touch with reality. They are known to mumble inaudible things like innocent until proven guilty.
A few sufferers are known to exhibit search and seizures symptoms. It is believed that only two percent of the Moral Deficiency Syndrome sufferers ever reach stage five of the disease progression. This is where there is supposed to be a period of weeping and gnashing of teeth, caused by inconvenient things such as the freezing of bank accounts, pre-dawn raids, court appearances and jail time. In recent memory, only the former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi is known to have reached stage five of the tenderinitis through sheer grit resulting in jail and death.
Mr. President, the only known cure is the State/People-imposed removal (isolation) from society for a minimum period of 15 years, and/or loss of political power or whichever occurs first. Early detection that leads to search and seizure, delictual claims, and criminal prosecution is known to work like a charm. So is the dose of specific protection of whistle-blowers and media--some scientists are touting this as the only antidote. Yet, some top medical scientists are beginning to suggest long-term prevention must include a combination of having a robust and healthy spine and showing the guts to dive off the high board.
Apparently, acting courageously helps to prevent the worst-case scenario of cluster outbreaks in the lower ranks of the political influence peddlers like in the case of the fake King of the AmaBhanca Nation, Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko. Most Western-based scientists (they should know better: colonialism was grand theft) rule out rehabilitation as an option post-exposure to tenderinitis. Ostensibly, the cases of relapse are higher amongst a specific class of tenderpreneurs, especially the newly minted crowd birthed by the "nine lost years." It is projected that the COVID-19 class of tenderinitis will double its profits and influence within the next two months if nothing is done to stem the tide of cash flow. Mr. President, the country is crying out for leadership like you displayed when you banned alcohol with immediate effect. I don't take kindly to hot air such as penning love letters to your members and creating the COVID-19 Inter-Ministerial Committee to investigate malfeasance emanating from their own departments. Is this a case of the wolf will live with the lamb, and a little child will lead them?
Till next week my man, in the meantime, please let’s appoint special envoys on tenderinitis, and open the pearly gates, eeh, I mean the jail doors. "Send me.”
Written by Bhekisisa Mncube, a former Zulu ambassador based in Pretoria, now a self-appointed head of the tenderinitis special advisory panel. He is an author and former senior Witness political journalist