The Sicilian mafia, or Cosa Nostra, set the trend for modern-day organised crime syndicates.
Their primary activities included protection, racketeering, state capture, arbitrating disputes between criminals and brokering and enforcing illegal agreements and transactions. They were also not averse to the odd assassination or bloodletting.
In South Africa, it seems we have our own “mafia”, and their office is (sometimes) our parliament. Although television coverage frequently shows an almost empty parliament, they must have secret offices else where.
Their tentacles cover every aspect of government and they are also muscling in on the private sector. No wonder investor confidence is so low and successful businesses are looking to escape the country and their clutches.
Ironically, many of our political leaders are seen as “nice” – but Al Capone was also nice on a good day. Our nice political leaders arrive at their places of work where they are protected by the SA Police Service.
They step out of their very costly limousines and ignore the filth and poverty surrounding them. They have strict protocols their gatekeepers must adhere to.
They do not wish to speak to – let alone listen to – the mere mortals who voted for them. They are in power, can do as they please and use the state’s coffers as their own piggy bank.
When the piggy bank is empty, they increase taxes. Successful business enterprises are subjected to ever increasing taxes plus pressure to take in new “partners”, a form of mafia-like extortion. Whatever
money is left after their corrupt practices, they circulate by doing business with one another.
Tribal differences notwithstanding, we have our own “Xhoza Noztra”. Our “mafiozoz” wear tailored outfits and handmade shoes while their citizens are in rags and barefooted.
They dine on caviar and champagne while we must be satisfied with “pap and tik”. To get them to do something requires payment of some sort.
Supposedly, this is justified; we must pay them extra to do us poor voters a favour. Our Xhoza Noztra has set a world first: they have resorted to crowdfunding to cover the salaries of their foot soldiers, or “soldados”, that haven’t been paid in several months.
After all, it would not look good to the foreign families if our lot were put under the cosh by their underlings.
One would think that, given the amount of money that has mysteriously ended up in some of their bank accounts, they would consider a kind gesture and pay the soldados from their own bank accounts.
But no such thoughts. Another thing our mafia-like government can boast of: they are the largest such group in the world.
They have many “families” such as “the Family of Health”, “the Family of Education”, “the Family of Housing”, “the Family of Minerals”, and many more. Being the head of any family – in SA we refer to it as a government department – is a guarantee for a life of wealth and privilege.
It is no wonder our Xhoza Noztra are tearing at one another’s throats, Every capo wannabe desires to lead the most
powerful and wealthy family in the country.
In another world first, they call themselves socialists but embrace a Marxist ideology while they make government funds disappear and then magically reappear in their own bank accounts.
By forcing their view of Marxism on everyone while flaunting their wealth, they have proven to be wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Our Xhoza Noztra are capitalist-communists posing as socialists, while claiming they are democratic and have everyone’s best interests at heart. Yet they ensure the corrupt are protected and those who expose them are silenced.
To fool everyone they appoint commissions to investigate “allegations” against themselves – and then appoint oversight commissions to investigate the findings of the commissions.
But cronyism can also result in corruption investigations being rejected.
Ultimately, no-one is arrested, no-one is punished, and the cycle of deception, corruption and extortion goes on.
Our Xhoza Noztra is silently expanding its empire and its tentacles reach from the highest offices to deep into South Sudan and elsewhere.
We need our own Eliot Ness (from the film The Untouchables), and an unbiased judiciary, to break up the political cabal.
Maybe this will make them understand the frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives.
– Mashaba is a political advisor