By Themba Khumalo

What is in a good fairy tale? It has an invincible and caring knight in shining armour. His actions give the follower a tale of bountiful joy. For the follower, such a tale has that je ne sais quoi.
In the summer of 2017, just a bit before midnight on 18 December, a knight in shining armour rode into town on a moral high horse. He came bearing a bag full of promises – of victory against dark forces.
Like the archetypal knights, who reside in fairy tales, he is the brave fighter – a man who shows up at the hour of need to save the day. He is endowed with the power to make all the hurt vanish. He is, without suffering even a tiny scratch, able to whisk a damsel in distress away from a murderous mob baying for blood.
As your capacity matures enough to decipher the rubbish that floats around your head, you know almost all of what is relayed in fairy tales is a truckload of bull dung. The concern I have is that among us, live men who believe they are knights in shining armour…guys who suffer from the knight-in-shining-armour syndrome. In our country, those who suffer from the knight-in-shining-armour syndrome are a dime a dozen. At the head of these riders, we have Cyril Ramaphosa who came screaming promises of a new dawn. He made many believe that his sword possessed the magic to cut the ropes of graft that is making it hard for citizens to breathe. When he won the presidency of the ANC by a slight margin, his horsemen went berserk…their happiness reached orbits of unimagined ecstasy. They were so overjoyed with the victory of their knight that they forgot no one is infallible and that Ramaphosa was not going to save South Africa from the brokenness and the darkness, especially not a knight on a one-legged moral high horse.
Even some who are not supporters or members of the ANC saw Ramaphosa’s ascension to power as the arrival of a Messiah. How can Ramaphosa be a Messiah when he is a product of the very predatory party led by wolves out on a feeding frenzy? This is the very party that treats us like mushrooms…keeping us in the dark and feeding us excrements of sorts. During the so-called nine wasted Zuma years there were intense Messianic expectations. This was not the first time expectations were at intensely dizzying level – during Mbeki’s term there were many who looked up the cloudy political mountain for a Messiah.
Those expectations were no different during the period of Madiba’s presidency.
Coming back to the Messiah who came as a knight in glistening armour; if the events of the past few years are to be used as a yardstick to measure Saint CR’s leadership, then we might be forced to look for another Messiah. We have done so, many times…
The South African reality, as in other countries weighed down by debilitating socio-economic problems, has proven that expectations of Messianic rescue are a figment of our fertile imagination.
The Messiahnisists tend to be zealots who judge critics as unintelligent creatures who are not gifted adequately to realise that Ramaphosa is the desired one for the nation. He is armed with a magical sword sharp enough to cut through the nation’s endless torments, they reckon. He is the saviour who, given eternity, will take us all to the promised land of milk and honey.
He is a visionary who is able to play a long game, they tell us.

Messiah, Messiah, my foot!
We need a leader who does not treat being a president as a side-hustle…not a Messiah.
Writing about the coming of the Messiah in, Mark Eastman quotes from Haggai 2:6-9: “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more, it is a little while, I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.” This portion of scripture makes several specific predictions.
The Lord is going to shake heaven and earth. All the nations will come to the “Desire of All Nations,” an idiom for the Messiah. God would fill “this temple,” i.e. the Second Temple with glory.
The glory of the Second Temple would be greater than the first. Finally, notice the emphasis on the timing, “It is a little while.” To the minds of diehards of the faction-riddled ANC, especially those who are in the CR camp, Ramaphosa’s presidency is thought to be a gift from the gods…a gift that has genuinely shaken the heavens and the earth as related to South Africa. They reckon a second term will enable him to cause an event that will restore the hopes of a nation that seeks rescue from pain and suffering.
According to them, Ramaphosa’s reign is the desire of all citizens required, not only by members of the ANC, but by even those who think the Messiah’s robe has fallen and left him naked.
The othering tone from the devotees of the church of CR rises each time someone points out that the Messiah is turning right instead of turning left with us, as per his promise.
Their chosen one is beyond reproach and we must give him time and stop throwing mud at his shining armour. When you tell them the knight is rolling in mud, as every buffalo does, they get mad at you.
To view leaders through rose coloured glasses and Messiahrise them is dangerous.

The Messiah of the unholy Republic
When Ramaphosa took over the levers of power, a revelation of dubious funding flooded the media. Being the buffalo he is, he stampeded to the courts to have the CR17 campaign bank statements sealed. If he was the upright man that he and his followers would like us to believe, he should have, out of his own accord, unsealed his campaign’s funding records and also dared other candidates to do the same. Sealing the records made some people extremely suspicious of his commitment to fighting endemic corruption. Also, it must be remembered that Ramaphosa had his tongue tied in multiple knots when his son, Andile, was linked to a dodgy deal with Bosasa, a company that specialised in providing services to government, particularly prison services. At the time, Ramaphosa Senior and Junior were not keen to reveal details of the deal with Bosasa even with the Promotion of Access to Information Act requests and questions in the National Assembly. The less said about the Marikana “concomitant action”, the better. Ramaphosa is yet to face the families of those who were injured and massacred in Marikana a decade ago. A host of events have shown us that the buffalo mocks us. It has no willpower or clear purpose except to run wildly in the jungle called the ANC, trampling on the other factions. The buffalo is a misbegotten product of the ANC, a beast which some cannot live without, while others are willing to see it die an excruciating political death in the mud. When Rama-duck-and-dive rose to the highest office in the land, he did so with the grand promise of putting an end to the gloomy years of ruinous plunder of our country. A presidency that was supposed to usher in tangible change has turned into a horrible comedy of endless errors. As is wont with ANC leaders, he has jettisoned accountability and transparency which is supposed to be the core of his administration’s value system. Phala Phala has clearly shown us that Ramaphosa is happy to give the nation the middle finger. The man has been ducking and diving…at times, using all kinds of verbal gymnastics to avoid accountability. Not only has he failed to take the nation into his confidence, he has also plainly refused to give a full account of what truly transpired at the farm. When probing questions are asked, Ramaphosa lamely hides behind legal processes on why he cannot provide Parliament with unambiguous details as to what really took place. The damning allegations that he sent his flunkies to deal with the robbery in what appears to have been done in a dubious manner, is worrying. There is no doubt that former spy master, Arthur Fraser, was driven by a political agenda to open the case against Ramaphosa, but that does not serve as an exoneration or render the allegations against Ramaphosa consequently without foundation. It is neither here nor there that Fraser may have been driven by shady motives to make the Phala Phala robbery public. There are compelling hints that Ramaphosa has a case to answer.
We are sick to the core of our souls to continue being governed by a party whose leaders avoid public scrutiny. Ramaphosa is trying hard to downplay the matter, but the danger here is his actions and that of his comrades caustically influence public ethics and notions of leadership.
He continues to duck and dive instead of being candid to the nation about the incidents that transpired at Phala Phala farm in 2020. As citizens we deserve better than this.

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