By Themba Khumalo

Lies, lies, damn lies and copious amounts of bullshitting are the major and powerful currency in politics.
In South Africa and the rest of the world, a greedy and twisted breed of politicians is flourishing. For them, lying and bullshitting are an intrinsic part of their daily fixation. This sickening fixation earns them popular appeal in some circles and extensive loathing in others. My ancestors know; I truly wish to comprehend why lying and bullshitting are so prevalent and effective in some groupings. Our country is replete with liars who occasionally glance at the truth with pretentious care. This group has the tenacity of a bullterrier when it comes to preventing others from accessing the truth. The bullshitters do not give a stinking damn about the truth. As they journey through the sewer, they couldn’t care about the difference between the truth and fallacy of their proclamations. Bullshitters have an eerie ability to just rake in crappy ideas, or worse, make the crap up, to go well with their twisted purpose. Sometimes, the line between bullshitting and lying can be thin. We should know. We have lived through it for nearly three decades. Over these decades the ever-expanding lies have held the voters hostage by a party that is infested with maggots. The party has done well by playing on people’s pain of the past so much that the importance of truth, competence, care and commitment to public service has been kicked to the curb. I also suffer from lying to myself about a future when the thieving, lying and dishonest comrades of the party that lied about being leaders of society will disappear like an unwelcome smell of a vile fart. The lying voice in my head keeps telling me that maybe a day shall dawn when the current epidemic of lies and bullshit will come to a welcome end. Because a lie is sometimes easy to believe, I will stick to my false notion that in 2024 Amasela will Not Come back.

Government always lies
The ANC government is one that has an insatiable appetite for lies. It lies because it is led by comrades who have long forgotten the difference between the truth and cock-and-bull stories. I am making a dangerous assumption that our comrade leaders ever knew the truth to begin with.
Party leaders lie because the backbenchers stand ready to dress the lies with golden robes. Cabinet ministers and all other leading party sycophants lie to get votes so they can access power and ill-gotten money. They lie because it is the easiest and rewarding thing to do.
We have seen the pathological liars slithering out from every nook and cranny of government officialdom. They do not come out of their hovels of pilfered treasure for sunshine but to tell more lies.
They unashamedly lie because lying has never caused any harm on their political careers.
When there are endless and devastating blackouts, they grab any available microphone to tell lies on a grand scale and when taps run dry they not only resort to an epic scale of lying, but also bullshit us.
When some of them are caught with their filthy thieving hands in a cookie jar they cook up a nauseating stew of lies and bullshit. They go back to their normal ways after the rancid smell of their toxic stew disappears.
This is a government peopled by individuals who understand and have fully embraced the potent political power purchased using the currency of lies. This lame-duck sixth administration, like the previous one, is full of hyenas, charlatans and clowns. Where there is supposed to be good governance, there is an echoing chamber of falsehoods.
The tall tales help comrade leaders to leap from one scandal to the next. These range from Life Esidimeni, the Marikana massacre, toilets worth millions of rands, a supposedly revamped ramshackle stadium that looks like an abandoned shack worth 15 Million to the scandal about dodgy financing of party campaigns. We shall leave the Ankole and buffaloes to graze peacefully while we wonder how millions of dollars ended up stuffed under a mattress.
The unbridled patronage, the narcissism and the epic abuse of power are so rife that some people are no longer shocked. They have come to accept that some greedy political knuckleheads will always treat our democracy with contempt. The thievery by the political egomaniacs knows no bounds. They stole millions meant for Covid-19. In KwaZulu-Natal, some politicians commandeered water trucks meant to assist disaster-stricken communities to their palatial homes.
Heartless, I say.
My good friend and brother, Neo M Matsunyane, put it well when he said: “It takes a very cruel, selfish and hard-hearted person to be a politician. These people are COLD!”
This is an administration fond of lies. It lies despite the fact that none of its fabricated stories it tells itself make sense to the citizens. It lies because the much-vaunted New Dawn has not made it beyond dusk. In its place, a beast called austerity has sauntered into the socio-economic stage and devoured whatever little hope we had.
Austerity measures, we were lied to, were meant to ‘manage the country’s fiscal, diligently’. This is a monumental blunder that could only be born out of the figment of politicians’ imagination.
The ANC peddled lies when it said: “The sixth administration will enable the government to focus on generating higher economic growth, create more jobs and serve the people of South Africa better.”
They lied to the nation because numbers keep telling us unemployment and inequality are headed for the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
At some point, they have sold themselves as an administration of entrepreneurs but the obnoxious bureaucracy is crushing entrepreneurship. They feed us falsehoods because it is convenient to lie, then accede to the truth. This has seared our hopes to ashes.
The comrades are so lost in delusion they believe their lies – a trademark of good liars. They lie because they have taken a gamble that a nation where trust has faded away will be easier to reign in than a buoyant one that demands higher standards from leaders.

Purveyors of bullshit
There are nitwit political leaders such as Gayton Mackenzie and Herman Mashaba who, through their inflammatory remarks about migrants, have made themselves bullshit artists, par excellence
Their political bullshit is buoyed by bizarre utterances. Mackenzie has called migrants, mostly of African descent, a “stain”.
Mackenzie’s utterances such as “If there’s a South African and a Zimbabwean and the Zimbabwean or Mozambican is on oxygen and here’s a South African citizen, born and bred in South Africa, I will turn that off as a leader. It is my duty”, directly feeds the false narrative that migrants have made South Africa crumble. In his and Mashaba’s immature political minds, migrants are frustrating the will of the people of South Africa. This is the trademark of bullshitters. These leaders are always in search of all forms of garbage to shape public opinion by distributing bullshit. They thrive on and rejoice in the mishmash of lies, exaggeration, double entendre and hollow gobbledygook. There are some in the ANC, and other political parties, who practice a rather refined type of bullshit. These are the ones who enable and lend credibility to rumours or blatant lies. They use this technique to dehumanise other people.
Their utterances and actions unfortunately have serious consequences. Getting bullshitters to see the folly of their ways is difficult. They are canny when it comes to choosing their use of language. They do it in a way that decimates the border between what is true and false.
These windbags are shored up by ludacris modes, such as toxic patriotism and conspiracy. Their bullshit finds audiences because it corresponds with an accumulation of prevailing lies and bigotry.
Reducing the oxygen supply to bullshit artists and liars who are the leaders of our country will take emboldened citizens to stand up and engage in a desired social appraisal to thwart our leaders’ delusions of grandeur.

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