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An appraisal of the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa: 1652 to 2018. Part 4: A basic checklist for the appraisal of executive political leaders and regimes

Gabriel P Louw

iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6190-8093

Research Associate, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

Corresponding Author:

Prof. Dr. GP Louw

Email: profgplouw@gmail.com

Keywords: appraisal, characteristic, checklist, compiling, description, designing, leaders, government, job, profile,

Ensovoort, volume 38 (2018), number 7:2

1. Background

1.1 Introduction

Understanding how to run a government effectively is important because the success or otherwise of governments is fundamental to the prosperity and the well-being of all of us, wherever we live. There is a tendency in the West, especially in the US, to see government as the problem, not least because a lot if the time government is hapless or worse. Government can be a problem, but you only have to look at what life is like when it breaks down to realize how important good government is.

—Michael Barber,1:xiii How  to run a Government so that citizens benefit and taxpayers don’t go crazy, published in 2015.

Delivering good governance to a country’s total people and fully endorsing and enacting the good intentions of a county’s constitution and its democracy, require rigid, non-negotiable principles. Central to such a political culture of integrity, sincerity and incorruptible love for the nation, stands the good executive political leader and his regime.1

Barber1 emphasizes that politicians frequently make promises they don’t keep, rendering not only the political party that runs the country a failure, but most off all, bringing this failure also to the citizens lives. It threatens the economy, safety, healthcare, education, personal security, etc. Moreover, not only the present is under attack, but also the immediate future. Two intertwined powers go hand-in-hand in a successfully governed country: good politics and good economics. Economics, it seems, is the more powerful of the two, driving good politics and its maintenance.2,3,4 Barber writes as follows on the importance and centrality of economics in governing1: xiii:

And it matters to the success of economics, at both national and global levels, because even where government is small, it takes up over 20 per cent of GDP. In many countries it is 40 or 50 per cent, and if it is unproductive it is a huge drag on economic growth.

The modern pressure on leaders to keep acting with integrity, force them to meet a new kind of expectation from the voters. The higher standards of accountability that modern electorates prescribe create new dimensions that many leaders fail to negotiate. The modern media’s scrutiny is deeper and more critical, especially when it comes to financial and political power abuses and corruption. Of course there are talented and honest executive political leaders, but there are also many failed and corrupted leaders that have been appointed to the highest offices of their countries.1

Ginsberg5 writes that South Africans must hold their executive political leaders accountable, but to do so, the voters need a better understanding of their leaders’ job description and the challenges that face them. This will allow the voters to monitor the leaders’ performances from an educated point of view as they would be in the position to gain a better understanding of the problems that leaders may encounter. Better informed voters will surely have sympathy where leaders fail due to no fault of their own. However, well-informed voters will also be able to read the signs of inability, crookedness and corruption in leaders’ failures. Voters have a constitutional right to judge a leader and to label him a bad leader if he is unsuccessful with the implementation of the policies that the voters entrusted him with or shows undemocratic behaviour and political solecism in conflict with his oath to the highest office of the country. Ginsberg offers a firm guideline here5:98:

Their job description is for them not to enrich themselves at our expense, but rather to serve us, the people who put them in power. If they do not measure up we should be free to replace them according to the rules of our democratic constitution. (Shape up or ship out).

Boon6 gave a clear warning to South African voters in 1996 (two years into Mandela’s reign) that top executive leaders can fail in South Africa. There is the potential that a leader in office could abuse his power by for instance showing autocratic behaviour, bad decision-making, or transgression of the Constitution and the Parliament6;72-73:

Autocrats very seldom create excellent teams. People usually work very hard and do what they should out of fear of such leaders. In teams led by autocrats there will be a corresponding lack of trust because of fear. People can be fired or severely disciplined by the autocrat with very little recourse. There can be no openness, no honesty and no sharing of weakness for fear of dismissal or retribution. There can be no trust, because each member of this team runs according to his own agenda in the effort to protect himself at all costs. To achieve this involves currying favour with the powerful and occasionally treading on colleagues.

In May 2009 Boon’s6 warning gave way to fear and then became reality when Jacob Zuma took the oath of office.7 Jacques Pauw,7 an investigated journalist and political writer, writes7:78:

There is no dispute: Jacob Zuma has ripped the society and state to shreds. He swore at his inauguration to be faithful to our country and that he would observe, uphold and maintain our beautiful Constitution. It was all bullshit. From the moment he became president, the Republic was in the market. Under his rule, South Africa has become a two-government country. There is an elected government, and there is a shadow government – a state within the state.

Nothing came of Ginsberg’s5 1996 statement that “if they do not measure up we should be free to replace them according to the rules of our democratic constitution.” When executive political leaders became autocratic, arrogant and corrupted, no Constitution can stop them. What made Zuma so dangerous was the fact that he was of the view that God was on his corrupted side as well as on the corrupted ANC’s side. It took nine years to convince “god” to recall him from office.7

However, bad leadership is not a new post-1994 occurrence. South Africa has a long political history of bad executive political leaders. Our memories are sometimes conveniently erased to numb our feelings of guilt or because of forgotten pasts and flattering myths. In this regard we can point an accusing finger to DF Malan, HF Verwoerd and BJ Vorster. The investigative journalist Tyron Smith8 reports on the behaviour of BJ Vorster, who was the NP Minister of Justice (1961–1966) and later Prime Minister (1966–1978). Between 1963 and 1985 fifty-six political detainees died in the custody of the SAPS, which Vorster oversaw by means of draconian laws of suppression. Smith writes8:18:

No man did more to create the environment in which thousands of anti-apartheid activists were detained and tortured by the security forces than by Balthazar Johannes Vorster – know as BJ or John Vorster.

The blood of those who died in detention is as much on the hands of the man created the conditions for these deaths as it is on the hands of these who actually pushed Timol to his death [Ahmed Timol, a journalist, was murdered while in detention].

1.2 Whose testimony should we believe when we evaluate executive political leaders and regimes?

How can one make an objective appraisal of the behaviour of executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa for the period 1652 to 2018 given the discrediting references to them in literature on our political history? Ginsberg5 suggests that the starting point is that we “must have a better understanding of the job descriptions of political leaders, must inform ourselves of the challenges facing them and the problems they may be encounter and maybe, in light of this information, we will understand their problems better and have sympathy on them”. Barber’s1 view is much the same when he suggests in his book an existential approach where we try to look at the world through the eyes of the executive political leader, or as he describes it: “from the centre of the government looking out.” Psychologists often follow this as a therapeutic approach in an effort to look at the world through their patients’ eyes with unconditional and unprejudiced empathy for how their patients see and experience their world, be it a realistic or an unrealistic view. Barber writes1: xiii:

The aim is to convey to the reader what it feels like to be in there looking at the world beyond and trying desperately to get something done so that the citizen benefits. From the outside, people at the heart of government look all-powerful; on the inside, they often feel helpless, stretched to and beyond breaking point by the weight of expectations on the one hand and the sheer complexity and difficulty of meeting them on the other side.

However, Barber1 has so much empathy that it contaminates his ability to judge a leader objectively. If we could speak to Vorster on the other side of the grave and to Zuma in the here and now, they will both tell us lengthy stories to vindicate themselves. For most South African leaders, “get[ting] something done” means promoting their own interests. One can just read some of the many biographies on our executive political leaders to see how their personal and political lives were built on lies and more lies, fraud and more fraud. Jacob Zuma claimed that he was doing his best for his people but that they just expected too much from him. He made this comment in the midst of accusations of state capture and dealings with the Gupta family.9-16

Even trusting political parties to oversee leaders is a futile exercise that serves only to promote further lies and fraud.7,10,12,13 After Zuma’s long list of ill deeds became known while in office and the ANC’s top management was contacted for reaction, the editor17 of the Sunday Times wrote17:20:

The ANC national executive committee undertook to conduct introspection and “deal with the perceptions of the ANC being arrogant, self-serving, soft on corruption and increasingly distant from its social base”.

But the ANC has done nothing to carry out this promise. Its arrogant, self-serving and corrupt leaders have been shielded in the name of unity.

South African journalists and political commentators are subjective about the country’s political leaders. Their stories about the good leadership, integrity and quality are contradicted by international research on leaders that confirms their lack of integrity and trustworthiness.9-16 Coggan reports18:2:

In January 2013 a survey of Americans found that Congressmen and Congresswomen were less popular than cockroaches and traffic jams. A YouGov opinion poll in January 2012 found that 62% of Britons agreed with the statement that ‘politicians tell lies all the time – you can’t believe a word they say’.

This 62% has risen to 80% or more among voters who support the fringe political parties such as the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the Greens and the British National Party (BNP). In addition, 57% Britons who watch political programmes like the BBC’s flagship programme Newsnight, agreed with the statement that “politicians tell lies all the time.” The British Social Attitudes Survey shows that where 47% of Britons in 1987 “trust British governments of any party to place the needs of the nation above the interests of their party,” this fell to 20% in 2010.17 A further finding of the YouGov 2012 is that when Gallup’s statistics of 1954 which reflected that 38% of the electorate believed that their representative was doing a good job is re-examined in 2012, only 12% believed that their representative was doing a good job.18

YouGov reported in January 2012 that only 24% of Britons thought that their parliament debated issues of public concern in a sensible and considered way, while only 16% thought it reflected the full range of people and views of the British electorate. Only 15% thought that the parliament represented the interests and wishes of people like themselves and only 12% thought the parliament understood the daily lives of people like themselves.18 Voters also revealed negativity on the integrity and intentions of the British Parliament and its members in the YouGov 2012. Coggan reflects18:50:

Those polled believed MPs paid more attention to the views of people who run large companies, civil servants in Whitehall and the EU and the owners of tabloid newspapers than they did to their actual voters.

The political journalist Mthombothi gives clear guidance on the South African situation when he evaluates the incoming new president Cyril Ramaphosa as compared to the recalled president Jacob Zuma and the two’s communal parent, the ANC19:17:

For all his criticism of corruption and state-capturing, Ramaphosa has stood loyally behind Zuma since Mangaung in 2012. He helped Zuma win a second term and is therefore as much an enabler of corruption as any of the other candidates.

Forget about a messiah ever emerging to save South Africa from the corrupt rabble. The party should be consigned to the wilderness where it’d have all the time to reflect anew and undisturbed on its mission in life.

It is clear from above evidence that it makes no sense to trust politicians themselves when one wants to draw up a profile of the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa. There is just too much political schizophrenia in what they say. Their opinions and claims are contradicted by the evidence we find in the writings of authorities. In most cases they are outright untrustworthy and without integrity, locally and internationally. Since most of these leaders have passed away, one cannot speak to the leaders themselves. An analysis of the various sources of our political history is undoubtedly the most appropriate approach to draw conclusions on the leadership quality of our executive political leaders and regimes.

In an effort to evaluate and describe the performances of political leaders and regimes for the period 1652 to 2018, I will study the information, descriptions, views and opinions reflected in political and historical books, authorized and unauthorized biographies and autobiographies, as well as the mass of information presented by investigative journalists, whose comments are becoming more critically every day. If the many allegations and reflections are untrue, the various political leaders who are implicated, especially at present, in political delinquency, had more than enough time to object and offer evidence to the contrary.7,10,13,20-38

1.3 A retrospective evaluation and description of the political history of political leaders

The information obtained from political and historical books, authorized and unauthorized biographies and autobiographies can be seen as subjective, but subjectivity is an inherent part of any text on politics. We cannot escape this reality. Such sources are consulted for this study by means of a literature review, with the single aim of building a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is commonly used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established body of research, as is the case with the quality of the current political leadership of South Africa. This article does not offer a comprehensive statistical model to make advanced statistical inferences to test a hypothesis, but the information (data) can be subjected to the statistical cycle of research to make it comparable with other research and to evaluate it with hypothesis testing at the end. Advanced statistical inference is outside the intent of the study.39-43

The information offered in the literature review has not been empirically tested. It relies on subjective opinion, although it has been accepted by the public as a good reflection of reality.39-43

There has never been such a collection, evaluation and description of information on the political leaders and regimes of South Africa for the period 1652 to 2018. Despite the limitations of the various analytical articles, it is a pioneering study that addresses a most ignored subject. This series does not claim to be the Alpha and Omega, but rather serves to inspire further and deeper research on the matter.

The secondary focus and intention of the series is to offer a tool to evaluate political leaders and their regimes based on a checklist that helps us to classify a leader’s performance. The intention is to determine if the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa from 1652 to 2018 succeeded in making extraordinary contributions to the country and its people and if their behaviour as leaders was impeccable. Due to a lack of space, only the most prominent leaders are evaluated.39-43

2. Method

The research was done by means of a literature review. This method has the aim of building a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established body of research, as is the case with work on the quality of the current political leadership of South Africa. The databases used include articles from 2016 to 2018, books for the period 1958 to 2018 and newspapers for the period 2016 to 2018. These sources were consulted to reflect on the political leadership from 1652 to 2017 and to put the thought, views and opinions on the South African political leadership in perspective.44-46

The research findings are presented in narrative format.

3. Results

3.1 Background to the appraisal of South African political leadership and governance

An understanding of how important it is to have an executive political leader who runs his country effectively is central to most democracies. This characteristic is fundamental to the country’s prosperity and the well-being of its citizens. There are excellent examples of political leaders who made enormous contributions to their countries’ development, growth and international status. Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt of the USA and King Henry VII of England are prominent examples. Then of course were there the many less successfully leaders, like Charles I, who became King of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1625, but who lost his head on 30 January 1649 on a cold morning in Whitehall, London, for his royal mismanagement and political delinquency. Many other delinquent political leaders have in the past gotten the order of the boot by assassinations, dethroning, up-risings and forced resignations. Many hanged on in office, doing immense damage to the psyche of the citizens and to the state coffers of the country.1

Anthony Ginsberg5 in his book South Africa’s Future emphasizes that South African voters must at all times judge the performances of their elected politicians and executive political leaders and hold them accountable if they fail in their tasks and duties. Ginsberg writes5: 20:

Members of our present and future governments should not be treated as untouchables, no matter how courageous their leaders may have been or how many years they may have struggled to achieve leadership positions. By voting them into power we have sufficiently rewarded them for their years of struggle and sacrifice. The longer we wait to demand results and answers to the harsh realities our country faces, the deeper the hole will become which we have dug ourselves into.

It is our role as the electorate to ask tough questions and to demand answers of the people we put in power. They are our servant, not the other way around.

We are the shareholders of government – the current management team is only temporary, and can be replaced by a new team with new ideas every five years if need be.

It is of utmost importance to select only a person of the highest integrity to the top office. Candidates for the position of chief executive officer (CEO) of top companies often first have to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluation to determine their cognitive and conative fitness and emotional stability. Then of course there is the prerequisite of the absence of a criminal record. Usually the job requires a high level of tertiary and professional training.6,39 This is not the case for the office of president. Persons with criminal records for murder, rape, theft, fraud and assault are sitting in parliament today.7,10,12-17,19

An in-depth review of official and popular literature on South African executive political leaders and regimes shows a very one-sided, superficial and unscientific research approach to the country’s executive political leaders and regimes. It reflects an approach that is often based on repeated quotation of very subjective and not always trustworthy information. Discussions lack objective descriptions and analyses based on sound research on historical events and facts, reliable and well-reported statistics and other supportive evidence to enlighten the role of our executive political leaders.5-17,19-38

Many of the profiles of South Africa’s political leaders before and after 1994 offered to the general public are aimed at political and personal gain. Political rhetoric about political leaders and regimes have become standard remarks in speeches, articles and other publications, which is misleading.13,19-38

Although the main focus of this article is to design and compile a checklist to determine the quality of the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa, it must be noted that the information obtained from this checklist will be used as part of a general literature review and description of our political leaders and regimes. Separate analytical articles will evaluate South Africa’s executive political leaders of various periods.41

Part 1 of the series indicated that very little is known in terms of an appraisal of South Africa’s executive political leaders and regimes. Most of the political histories of South Africa as well as the manifold biographies on the country’s political leaders have failed to make such a classification. Critical perspectives have been focused on individuals and not on a total appraisal.19-38 There are no tested scales to do this.

In an effort to overcome the absence of a checklist to evaluate the quality of the leadership of South African executive political leaders and their governments for the period 1652 to 2018, this article aims to compile such a checklist. Descriptions by various political and historical writers and the writings of business and management experts on business executive leaders were consulted.7,10,13,20-38

There are many standardized tests to measure industrial and organizational attitudes and to do values assessments on different kinds of leaders, but their use and applicability to this research is limited because it is largely a historical analysis. The same goes for performance appraisals. In cases where tests are to some extent applicable, it would be an indirect testing situation that requires a complex reworking and restructuring of qualitative data so that it could be used as quantitative data, which would make the reliability and validity of the experimental effort null and void. It is in light of these considerations that the checklist was developed.41

3.4 Experimental design

3.4.1 Problem statement   

There are no trustworthy appraisals of South African executive political leaders and regimes outside political and emotional rhetoric and other superficial literature. If the assumed descriptions and superficial literature are used, it will be false. To put executive political leaders and regimes into perspective, the political and historical books, authorized and unauthorized biographies and autobiographies, as well as articles and newspaper overviews, must first be analysed in depth and interpreted as the starting point of research and discussion. Only after that can any assumptions, generalizations, deceptions and myths around the position and role of the South African executive political leader and governance can be taken into account for discussion.

The research problem is: Did the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa during the period 1652 to 2018 make extraordinary contributions to the country and its people; and were the extraordinary executive leaders’ behaviour as leaders impeccable?▼

▲The period 1652 to 2018 is divided into different timeframes for discussion in separate articles. The total description (1652 to 2018) will be used through-out the descriptions in this article to avoid unnecessary repetition to the various timeframes, seeing that the research problems for the different articles (as well as the research aims) are exactly the same.

People refers to all the South African groups – the various races, cultural groups, tribes, etc. It includes the minorities as well as the majority.

Country refers to today’s greater South Africa as represented by the Republic of South Africa, while it also refers to the history of the Cape Settlement and Cape Colony.

Extraordinary behaviour reflects behaviour not shown daily by the ordinary citizen. Other names used are: exceptional, unusual, uncommon, special, etc., in terms of very favourable, creative, constructive and positive behaviour outcomes.

▲The impact of impeccable behaviour is far more comprehensive than excellence: it refers to behaviour totally free from any criminal, social, economical, personal and political delinquency.

3.4.1.1 Guiding theoretical argument

The main presupposition of in this study is that the performances and leadership qualities of South African executive political leaders and regimes should be extraordinary in standard, free from any suspicion of criminality, greed and self-enrichment, racism and political mismanagement and self-empowerment. The leaders of South Africa have never been tested in this regard. The past and current performances and leadership profiles of executive political leaders in the South African politics should therefore be analysed, evaluated and judged as either bad or good.41,43,46

The above approach underpins all the articles. All the arguments, literature, statements and assumptions regarding South African executive political leaders’ broad profiles are regarded as true until the contrary can be concluded with facts and evidence.

Each of the analytical articles included in this study pursues one or more specific perspectives on South African executive political leaders. They ask a true–false question, thus a hypothesis versus alternative hypothesis (the checklist makes a bipolar bad versus good classification).41,43,46

It is prominent that no such study has been done. There is a dire need for an in-depth study that focuses primarily on the analysis of the performances and leadership profiles of executive political leaders and regimes. A basic analysis and classification of historical and political facts on South African executive political leaders and regimes for the period 1652 to 2018 is therefore a priority at this stage.

The research aims are:

  • to discover if the South African executive political leaders and regimes of the period 1652 to 2018 made extraordinary contributions to the country and its people during their time in office;
  • to determine if the behaviours of the South African executive political leaders of the period 1652 to 2018 as leaders and as persons were impeccable.

The two aims above lead to two objectives, as well as two hypotheses and two alternative hypotheses.

3.4.1.2 Research questions

The following two research questions focus the research intentions:

RQ1: Did the South African executive political leaders and regimes of the period 1652 to 2018 make extraordinary contributions to the country and its people during their times in office?

RQ2: Were the behaviours of the South African executive political leaders of the period 1652 to 2018 impeccable?

3.4.1.3 Objectives of the study

The following two objectives guide the study:

RO1: to discover if the South African executive political leaders and regimes of the period 1652 to 2018 made extraordinary contributions to the country and its people during their times in office;

RO2: to determine if the behaviours of the South African executive political leaders of the period 1652 to 2018 as leaders and as persons were impeccable.

3.4.1.4 Hypotheses

The following two hypotheses and two alternative hypotheses are assumed:

H1: The South African executive political leaders and regimes of the period 1652 to 2018 made extraordinary contributions to the country and its people during their times in office.

H1A: The South African executive political leaders and regimes of the period 1652 to 2018 did not make extraordinary contributions to the country and its people during their times in office.

H2: The behaviours of the South African executive political leaders for the period 1652 to 2018 as leaders and as persons were extraordinary and impeccable.

H2A: The behaviours of the South African executive political leaders of the period 1652 to 2018 as leaders and as persons were not extraordinary and impeccable.

3.4.2 Methods

In light of a lack of sound and in-depth research findings on the executive political leaders and regimes of the period 1652 to 2018 and their contributions to the country and the quality of their behaviour, each of the analytical articles start out with a single, defined viewpoint or hypothesis to test. The researcher thus sought to build a viewpoint and to form a conclusion from the ground, derived directly from the evidence as it appears as the research develops. It is an interactive process of looping back and forth, developing ideas, testing it against new information, revising the ideas, building a basis to be broken by new evidence and to rebuild it anew. This is a continuous process of research, repeated over and over until everything forms a final whole of concepts, ideas and viewpoints to tell a coherent story. A literature review based on a descriptive method to reflect on the political life histories of the South African political leaders and regimes seems the most appropriate.41,43,46

The research design of each of the analytical articles is qualitative in nature as a phenomenon from the “real world” is explored. The lack of trustworthy information on South African executive political leaders and regimes forces down an exploratory and descriptive research approach with the simple goal of gaining insight into the situation, phenomenon and legal position of the executive political leaders and regimes based on research evidence. Basically, the thesis tells a story in the appropriate order. Sources in this exploratory and descriptive research included contemporary journals and newspapers, government documents, archive collections, memoirs and collected papers, as well as manuscript collections, political and historical books, autobiographies and biographies. (See also above: 2. Method)10-17,19-38

Although the various analytical articles are independent, they are ultimately intertwined.

 3.4.2.1 Research approach

The different analytical articles followed two discussion approaches:

  • A general research approach where the analytical articles form a unit     that reflects, analyses and describes the South African context as a     whole; and
  • An analytical research approach where each individual article attempts     to analyse and to describe a specific focus point.
  • Compilation of the checklist.
3.5.1 The complexity of evaluating politicians, top public officials and regimes

Various approaches are followed in the evaluations of people’s skills, abilities, temperaments, attitudes and behaviours to evaluate their potential or performance. Prominent methods include job analysis, psychological tests, psychological assessments, bio-data, cognitive ability tests, personality and temperament tests, as well as the appraisal of work performance. These methods are shortly discussed to provide insight into the complexity of evaluating the performances of South Africa’s executive political leaders and regimes, especially given the fact that it is virtually impossible to involve them in such a study, even if they are still alive.39

The short overview explains why a limited appraisal (based on bio-data) on indirect information obtain from historical and other sources is done and why certain steps of some of the methods can only be used to a limited extent in this study. This overview also gives an indication of the appraisal items included as well as the population focus and the statistical validity of the information obtained on executive political leaders for the period 1652 to 2018.39,40,43

3.5.1.1 Job analysis method

In any organization that relies on employees, the individual jobs performed by specific employees at specific levels are important. An organization would first define the particular jobs and then identify the skills and behaviour an employee would need to be able to perform the job. This process, known as job analysis, includes two major components: job description and job specification. Job description identifies the physical and environmental characteristics of the work to be done, whereas the job specification details the personal characteristics necessary to do that work.39 The basic intention of the job analysis is to provide a valid basis for personnel decisions. Various methods can be used to perform a job analysis, like 39:402:

  •     Direct observation of job incumbents
  •     Structured interviews with workers
  •     Collection of critical incidents from supervisors
  •     Checklists of duties and skills
  •     Questionnaires

Only one of the above methods can be used to a certain extent in this study, namely the collection of critical incidents from supervisors, which is more or less in line with the collection of data from published sources on South Africa politics and history. This approach to collecting data must be seen as equal to the bio-data method of data collection used in this research.39,46

The US Department of Labor has been busy with an ambitious process to analyse virtually all jobs in the economy according to the content or work-activities required, indicating the importance of this kind of data.39

It is clear that many jobs are not clearly defined, but a formal job analysis is not an easy task. Various structured, quantifiable questionnaires for job analysis exist, but many have significant limitations and from a scientific viewpoint are still in infancy.39 The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ), dating as far back as the 1970s, gives us some indication of the qualities, characteristics, personality traits, training and experiences to look for when appraising a political leader39:403:

  • Information input: How and where does the worker get the information needed for the     job?
  • Mental processes: What kind of reasoning, planning, and decision making are required by the job?
  • Work output: What are the physical activities performed and the tools or devices used     by the worker?
  • Personal relationships: What kind of relationship with others is inherent to the job?
  • Job context: What are the physical and social contexts in which the work is performed?

The political and historical books and many of the other sources consulted for the writing of the literature reviews on the profiles of executive political leaders and regimes as reflected in the following article (Part 5: Performance profiles of executive political leaders and regimes for the period 1652 to 1795) give some retrospective information (although they are indirect observations) in terms of the above descriptions.

3.5.1.2 Psychological tests and assessments

It is often assumed that psychological tests and assessments can solve the problem of job performance. Unfortunately the reality shows that the application of employment selection procedures is fraught with psychometric complexity and legal pitfalls. Gregory writes39: 404-405:

The psychometric intricacies arise, in large measure, from the fact that job behaviour is rarely simple, unidimensional behaviour. There are some exceptions (such as assembly line production) but the general rule in our post-industrial society is that job behaviour is complex, multi-dimensional behaviour. Even jobs that seem simple may be highly complex.

Personnel selection is therefore a fuzzy, conditional, and uncertain task. Guion (1991) has highlighted the difficulty in predicting complex behaviour from simple tests. For one thing, complex behaviour is, in part, a function of the situation. This means that even an optimal selection approach may not be valid for all candidates. Quite clearly, personnel selection is not a simple matter of administering tests and consulting cut-off scores.

We must also acknowledge the profound impact of legal and regulatory edicts upon I/O testing practices. Given that such practices may have weighty consequences – determining who is hired or promoted, for example – it is not surprising to learn that I/O testing practices are rigorously constrained by legal precedents and regulatory mandates.

These legal constraints are basically applicable to any method (test, questionnaire, etc.). One cannot publish the data of a president, and this makes such an approach inapplicable.

3.5.1.3 Biographical data

For purposes of personnel selection the following methods are also applied39:405:

  •     Auto-biographical data
  •     Employment interviews
  •     Cognitive ability tests
  •     Personality, temperament, and motivation tests
  •     Paper-and-pencil integrity tests
  •     Sensory, physical, and dexterity tests
  •     Work sample and situational tests

Seeing that most of the executive political leaders focused on in this study are deceased, the auto-biographical data method can only be used in as far as we have past data. The rationale behind the bio-data approach is that future work-related behaviour can be predicted from past choices and accomplishments. Bio-data have predictive power because certain character traits that are essential for success also are stable and enduring. In practice, bio-data items include attitudes, feelings and value positioning. The use of bio-data in the case of the “living” are also sometimes prohibited, like questions on age, race, sex, religion, etc.39

3.5.1.4 Cognitive ability and personality and temperament tests

Cognitive ability and personality and temperament tests are widely used in employee selection. There are hundreds of cognitive ability tests on the market. One clear problem is that such instruments may result in a negative impact on minorities as a result of its item selection as it can favour a particular group. Some personality tests are used for employee selection, but it seems that in most cases they are very weak predictors of job performance. Cognitive ability and personality and temperament tests are inapplicable for use in this study because the intention is not to make evaluations for future reference, but on the past. If past results are indeed available, caution must be shown in terms of the race factor as well as outdated items in test results.39

3.5.1.5 Appraisal of work-performance method

The appraisal of the work performance of employees is of great importance as a guideline to see where personnel must improve. Its uses centre on four major elements, namely comparing individuals in terms of their overall performance levels; identifying and using information about individual strengths and weaknesses; implementing and evaluating human resource systems in organizations; and documenting or justifying personnel decisions. Performance evaluation is a perplexing problem that needs comprehensive solutions. Peer ratings and self-assessments have mostly limited application. One of the greatest problems in the assessment of job performance is the proper description of appraisal criteria. One of the consequences of this problem is the over-generalization of one element of a worker’s behaviour (the halo effect), making the employee look much better than what he is in reality. Rater bias also plays a prominent role.39 Gregory reflects39:432:

Leniency or severe errors occur when a supervisor tends to rate workers at the extremes of the scale. Leniency may reflect social dynamics, as when the supervisor wants to be liked by employees. Leniency is also caused by extraneous factors such as the attractiveness of the employee. Severity errors refer to the practice of rating all aspects of performance as deficient. In contrast, central tendency errors occur when the supervisor rates everyone as nearly average on all performance dimensions. Context errors occur when the rater evaluates an employee in the context of other employees rather than based on objective performance.

3.5.1.6 Perspective

Considering the above reflection on subjectivity, leniency and bias in the appraisal of people, it is clear why evaluating a leader is so complex. The fact that psychological, personal and performance appraisals and temperament tests result are unavailable and that personal observation and interviews are impossible, puts strain on the appraisal of these leaders. The only way is to compile a checklist of the profiles of the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa to evaluate them indirectly based on the information offered by other researchers and writers, some of whom were fortunate enough to have personal contact with the leaders. Such an appraisal must thus not be seen as a case of absolute finality, but at most as a study that opens up the conversation. It must be seen as part of the greater literature review on executive political leaders and regimes.39

The complexity of the exercise is reflected in the fact that the legal definition of the job President of the Republic of South Africa is actually quite unclear. When does a person fail in the job as Jacob Zuma is accused of doing. Secondly, there is no comprehensive identification of the skills and behaviours necessary to perform the job of President of the Republic of South Africa effectively. To be honest, is there any valid basis against which to judge a leader as a person or to judge his behaviour as either awful or extraordinary? Did Zuma really fail the test of excellence as president? Should the oath of office that he took in May 2009 have stopped him from continuing with criminal and immoral behaviours?39

In light of the above vagueness about the president’s job description and specification, is it important to look how public bias has contaminated South African people’s thinking on Jacob Zuma as president. If you study newspaper reports there is clearly a part of the citizenry that sees him as not guilty of doing any wrong. He was sheltered for nearly a decade in Parliament by most of the ANC lawmakers, while a strong sector of the ANC’s ordinary members gave him their full support as an honest, excellent president. On the other hand there is a strong faction of especially Blacks who openly label him as a crook. Prominent here are the many Black journalists who condemning of him as a person and as a President in their public writing.5-19

However, this conflict of opinions is not unique to Zuma. If we look at South Africa’s politico-history critically, the same controversies hang around the necks of DF Malan, HF Verwoerd, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela. It shows people’s subjectivity when judging what is correct and what is wrong and the extent of the country’s delinquent thinking as a lifestyle.21,29,38

The discussion above brings us back to various writers’ references to the responsibility that political leaders have to their voters and the right of the voters to call them to book when they fail.1-2,5-6 This begs the question: At what point can we say that a leader has failed? We already saw from literature that political leaders’ words can rarely be trusted as true or sincere.1-15 But can we trust the opinion of critical writers as outsiders?1-5 Is Boon6 wrong when he claims the following from an African perspective on leadership and governance 6:123-124:

Let the manager have a written list of his community-appraisal strengths and weakness.

If it were not for this stipulated appraisal, a leader in a senior role… can quite easily get away with reprehensible behaviour. Such behaviour could be affecting many people in his community. It is therefore crucial that the community understands the nature and workings of the appraisals in detail. They must understand that the leader is accountable to them and that they can call for an appraisal of the leader if issues appear to have been forgotten.

In conclusion, senior leadership accountability takes into consideration the enhanced position of influence. Essentially, the more senior one is, the more ‘perfect’ one has to be. Roots-up appraisals emphasize that a shared community concern regarding behaviour is sufficient to activate public guidance and, where necessary, even chastisement.

Criticizing a leader is completely in tune with traditional African culture.

No, Boon6 is not wrong, nor are those writers who support his opinion on the need for evaluation and the possible recall of failed political leaders.1-5,39 This has already been done internationally with great success. There are systems that force top politicians to be responsible and accountable. Most South Africans still think of true democracy and good leadership based on a pre-modern political context where honesty and integrity are not prerequisites for becoming an executive political leader, resulting in the opposite of true democracy and good leadership. Our democracy has been captured by the masses, many of whom are still stuck in the disorderly conduct they learned during the pre-1994 liberation of South Africa.29,48

Many countries have had programmes in place for years to help them select persons of high integrity for training as leaders in the civil service. In South Africa we are still far away from a culture of good governance and a sound system to select and to train only good persons as politicians.39

Nearly thirty years ago the Canadian government started to select its top managers through an approach known as the Career Assignment Programme (CAP).39 Gregory’s39 writing gives us a good guideline for how we can get rid of criminal politicians long before they reach the gate to the political world and how we can cultivate leaders of excellence with the use of assessment centres. He writes39: 421:

An assessment center is not so much a place as a process. Many corporations and military branches – as well as a few progressive governments – have dedicated special sites to the application of in-basket and other simulation exercises in the training and selection of managers. The purpose of an assessment center is to evaluate managerial potential by exposing candidates to multiple simulation techniques, including group presentations, problem-solving exercises, group discussions exercises, interviews, and in-basket techniques. Results from traditional aptitude and personality tests also are considered in the overall evaluation. The various simulation exercises are observed and evaluated by successful senior managers who have been specially trained in techniques of observation and evaluation. Assessment centers are used in a variety of settings, including business and industry, government, and the military. There is no doubt that a properly designed assessment center can provide a valid evaluation of managerial potential.

This was exactly what the Canadian government did thirty years ago, bringing great success to their leaders’ corps today.39

3.5.2 Descriptive items for selecting and classifying information

The aim of this article is to design a basic checklist to appraise the performance profiles of executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa. Its design must be such that it can be applied for any period of reign, including the period 1652 to 2018 for South Africa as a whole, or the Cape Colony’s various regimes, for instance the VOC government (1652-1795), British rule with executive governors (1796-1872), British rule with self-government under a prime minister (1873-1909), the Union of South Africa (1910-1961), the first republic of South Africa (1961-1994) and democracy (1994-2018). This first project with five articles (Parts 1 to 5) focuses on the period 1652 to 1795 (Part 5 specific evaluates the performance profiles of executive political leaders and regimes for the period 1652 to 1795). The planned second project intents to examine the period 1796 to 2018 in five timeframes (Part 6: 1796-1872; Part 7: 1873-1909; Part 8: 1910-1948; Part 9:1949-1994 and Part 10: 1995-2018).

Guiding information was extracted from the literature review in Parts One to Three based on political and historical books, biographies and autobiographies so far published on South African political leaders and their regimes. Certain highlighted behaviours, conflicts and controversies as well as particular political events during these leaders’ and regimes’ times in office are used as indicators.20-38

The work of Barber1, Boon6, Bremer2, Chomsky49,50, Coggan18, Collins3, Ginsberg5 and Gregory39 are consulted for guidelines to evaluate a leader. Ginsberg5 offers a short checklist on South African political leadership to oversee that elected politicians deliver on their pre-election promises, but its items are limited in usefulness for this research. The literature overviews and findings of these eight researchers1-3,5,6,18,39,49,50 offer good material for the design, formulation, selection and categorizing of data to adapt as items for the checklist. The following four researchers’ descriptions on good leadership should first to be taken note of: Gregory39, Collins3, Ginsberg5 and the Freibergs51.

3.5.2.1 The CAP’s thirteen executive leadership attributes (Gregory)39

The Canadian government’s Career Assignment Programme (CAP) resulted in great success with the creation of a senior leader’s corps. They identified thirteen attributes as vital for the successfully cultivation and selection of executive leaders. Gregory reports on these thirteen leadership attributes as follows39: 422:

  • Intelligence
  • Creativity
  • Stress tolerance
  • Motivation
  • Effective independence
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Planning and organization
  • Delegation
  • Analysis and synthesis
  • Judgement
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication
3.5.2.2 Collins’s Level 5 leader characteristics3

In a study over fifteen years involving companies of good status, Collins3 found that only eleven companies out of 1 435 good companies reached the great status. Central to these eleven companies’ successes are leaders of excellence, who he calls Level 5 leaders. The unique characteristics of these leaders come down to the following:

  • They embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will.
  • They are ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves.
  • They are setting up their successors for even greater success in the next generation.
  • They display a compelling modesty, being self-effacing and understated; contributing to company’s growth and greatness.
  • They are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results. They are resolved to do whatever it takes to make the company great, no matter how big or hard the decisions.
  • They display a workmanlike diligence – more plough horse than show horse.
  • They look out the window to attribute success to factors other than themselves. When things go poorly, however, they look in the mirror and blame themselves, taking full responsibility.
  • They are not always dazzling in appearance and public reflections; seem to have come from Mars: self-effacing, quiet, reserved, even shy, paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.
  • They channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company.
  • They attribute much of their success to good luck rather than personal greatness.
  • They begin the transformation by first getting the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figuring out where to drive it. People are not your most important asset. Who the right people are has more to do with character traits and innate capabilities than with specific knowledge, background, or skills.
  • The key point is that the “who” questions come before “what” decisions – before vision, before strategy, before organization structure, before tactics – a rigorous discipline, consistently been applied.
  • They are not ruthless in people decisions; do not rely on layoffs and restructuring as a primary strategy for improving performance.
  • Level 5 leaders show three practical disciplines for being rigorous in people decisions;
  • When they are in doubt, they don’t hire – they keep looking (Corollary: A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people).
  • When they need to make a people change, they act. (Corollary: First be sure you don’t simply have someone in the wrong seat.)
  • They put best people on biggest opportunities, not biggest problems (Corollary: If you sell off your problems, don’t sell off your best people.)
  • They follow the hedgehog concept – understanding what you can be best and have the potential to do better than any other organization. Simple mantra: “Anything that does not fit with our Hedgehog Concept, we will not do – not launch unrelated business, not make unrelated acquisitions, not do unrelated joint ventures” (If it doesn’t fit, we don’t do it).
  • They do not focus principally on what to do to become great; they focus equally on what not to do and what to stop doing. Becoming a great leader in such a setup requires transcending the curse of competence. Just because you’ve been doing it for years or perhaps even decades, does not necessarily mean you can be the best in the world at it. And if you cannot be the best in the world at your core business, then your core business absolutely cannot form the basis of a great company.
  • They allow teams to debate vigorously in search of the best answers, yet unifying behind decisions, regardless of parochial interests.
  • They pay scant attention to managing change, motivating people, or creating alignment. [Under the right conditions, the problems of commitment, alignment, motivation, and changes largely melt away].
  • The vision means to get people to confront the brutal facts and to act on the implications.
  • They confront the brutal facts without losing faith in the case: maintain unwavering faith that they can and will prevail in the end and at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of their current realities, whatever they might be.
  • They are aware that charisma is as much a liability as an asset.
  • They do not link to executive compensation.
  • Compensation is not to “motivate” the right behaviours from the wrong people, but to get and keep the right people in the first place. Spending time and energy trying to “motivate” people is a waste of effort. If you have the right people, they will be self-motivated.
  • They create a culture wherein people have a tremendous opportunity to be heard and, ultimately, for the truth to be heard.
  • They create a climate where the truth is heard involves four basic practices.
  • They lead with questions, not answers.
  • They engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion.
  • They conduct autopsies without blame.
  • They build red flag mechanisms that turn information into a class of information that cannot be ignored.
3.5.2.3 The Freiberg leadership description51

The Freibergs51 identify certain characteristics intertwined with good leadership that they see as absolutes for the success of enterprises:

  • People matter: care about their employees as people, not as just another kind of asset along with machine tools and building sites.
  • Leaders make employees’ lives better, on and off the job.
  • They nourish a culture that calls upon all employees to behave ethically, support their co-workers, and fulfil the needs and dreams of customers – while earning a profit to support the enterprise and reward its owners.
  • They inspire their people to bring the totality of who are they – heart, mind, and spirit – to work every day. It is reflected in the creativity of their product and service innovations.
  • They are not superheroes. They simply have learned to lead in a manner quite     separate and distinct from the usual command-and-control model.
  •  They do go against the grain of traditional management theory; because they are pioneers in their industries; because if they fail, they face greater disgrace and humiliation than those who fail doing the expected. Of course, with very few exceptions, they don’t fail. The risks they take with their behaviour are always calculated, pure in motive, and long-term.
3.5.2.4 Ginsberg checklist5 for the selecting South African candidate executive political leaders

Ginsberg51 made a summary of fifteen questions to be answered by aspiring South African politicians on how they plan to practice their politics to better the country if they are elected and how to keep to their promises after being elected. The fifteen questions are5: 259:

What are your plans to

  • encourage job creation and dramatically reduce unemployment?
  • eliminate the huge government debt?
  • reduce crime substantially?
  • build sufficient housing for our citizens?
  • attract foreign investment?
  • increase exports and generate foreign exchange?
  • improve our educational system?
  • reduce the government’s size?
  • get rid of unnecessary regulations?
  • assist those industries which will create new wealth in South Africa?
  • reform the tax system?
  • pass laws to prevent special interest groups giving large sums of money to political candidates?
  • get rid of unnecessary perks for elected officials?
  • pass laws to stop Parliament exempting itself from the laws it imposes on the rest of the country?

These items are incorporated in the checklist discussed later on.

3.5.3 Data analysis

The qualitative data from the literature reviews were transformed into quantitative ordinal data only to offer the researcher the opportunity to class the data into two categories: Bad (0) versus Good (1). The figures 0 and 1 hold no physical meaning and are used in this research only as codes. In each article the focus is on the most prominent executive political leader or leaders’ active in that article’s time frame (this limited the focus in article 5 to certain persons, while the other leaders’ inputs were transferred to the general overview for hypothesis testing). This includes governing bodies such as the statutory authorities of the Netherlands or Britain at the early Cape.39,41

This historical research approach is primarily based on the Collins definition3 (What’s inside the Black Box?). He identified a sequence of actions that form part of a Level 5 leaders3: 9:

We came to think of our research effort as akin to looking inside a black box. Each step along the way was like installing another light bulb to shed light on the inner workings of the good-to-great process.

Collins3 states that this “growth in information” to better an existing situation with knowledge is also applicable to any data collection away from the business environment. Collins3 writes3:15:

…it is not about the old economy. Nor is it about new economy. It is not even about the companies you’re reading about, or even about business per se. It is ultimately about one thing: the timeless principles of good to great.

The data collection instrument was the biographical historical (auto-biographical) method (also referred to as a historical analysis or a life history research approach). The data come from various historical and political books, biographies, as well as other sources as newspapers and governmental documents. The rationale for the bio-data approach is that work-related behaviour of leaders can be described based on past choices and accomplices. Bio-data have predictive power because certain character traits, which are essential for success, also are stable and enduring. In practice bio-data reflect the attitudes, feelings and value positioning of leaders and regimes. Looking at historical trends is a suggestive method of getting a sense not only how South Africa’s politics looked a century or more ago, but also how its politics has changed and is still changing. However, it seems that the use of historical trends to predict the future is a poor approach, but it must be noted that future predictions were not part of this research.39,43,46

Regarding the traditional references to population and sampling, a total population for the total period of 1652 to 2018 (μ=83) was involved, which includes six smaller populations inside this total time frame [This first project consisting of five articles (Parts 1 to 5) focuses only on the period 1652 to 1795 (Part 5 specific evaluates the performance profiles of executive political leaders and regimes for the period 1652 to 1795 (μ=30)).The planned second project intents to examine the period 1796 to 2018 in five time frames (Part 6: 1796-1872 (μ=30); Part 7: 1873-1909 (μ=8); Part 8: 1910-1948 (μ=4); Part 9:1949-1994 (μ=6) and Part 10: 1995-2018 (μ=5). See also 3.5.2: Descriptive items for selecting and classifying information]. When referring to “population,” it must be noted that historical and political information reflecting South Africa’s politico-historical past is not constantly and continuously categorical and chronologically precise: some leaders are prominent reflected, while the most stayed obscured in the history. In its history of more than 350 years, South Africa has less 100 “executive political leaders,” but few can be described as true leaders. The generalized writings that reflect on regimes like that of the Netherlands and British authorities at the Cape, as well as the regimes of the two Boer republics are more than enough to fill up gaps on politico-historical information where leaders’ profiles fall short.39,43,46

The definition of Starbird of a population confirms that we can view South Africa’s executive political leaders as a population43:133:

A population is any entire collection of people, animals, plants, or things from which we may collect data. It is the entire group in which we are interested and that we wish to describe or draw conclusions about.

Note: data analysis was done simple by categorizing the information from the political-historical sources to support the researcher’s hypothesis testing. No statistical data analysis was done.52

4. Discussion

4.1 An appraisal checklist to assess the leadership qualities of South Africa’s executive political leaders and regimes: 1652 to 2018

4.1.1 Overview

The categorization of data is easy when it comes to the description of systems like “democracy,” seeing that democracy can be applied in different forms and with different interpretations (all communist countries with extreme despotic regimes see themselves as democratic, as did the NP-regime of South Africa during their Apartheid which excluded Black). It is possible to define the “democracy” of a specific country in terms of the rankings of poor (1), fair (2), good (3), excellent (4) and extraordinary (5), but when it comes to classifying criminal behaviour this ranking classification is a falsity. There are no behaviours that the law views as a “little bit of criminal behaviour” or a “huge amount of criminal behaviour” – both are criminal behaviour. The ANC “started to cleanse the country of criminality” after 1994 with their Reconciliation Act. Robin McBride, a member of MK, was involved in the bombing of the Magoo’s Bar in Durban on the 14th June 1986 where three White women were killed and 69 people injured. He was pardoned for this crime. When a newspaper referred to him as a murderer after his “pardoning” he went to court to fight them for defamation and impairment of dignity. It does not matter what the court’s view was, when it comes to research, what counts is not murder per se, but the act of criminality or a transgression of law that the history not will erase from South African newspapers or internet references (Basically the pardoning only means the crimes cannot be held against him to be appointed to a certain position or for claims by the victim’s families against him, but under the ANC it morphed into something different). In the evaluation of information for this checklist a person with a serious legal transgression that was erased by the Reconciliation Act, the person can still not be regarded as a good leader. The research must be honest enough to classify such behaviour as unexpected.53,54

The same dilemma arises with the classification of the behaviour related to responsibility and accountability of ministers in the PW Botha and FW de Klerk cabinets in the murder of Black activists during the NP-regime. The hearings of 1996 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) reveal horrific stories of the NP-regime’s atrocities against Blacks as well as White dissidents.4,55-60 Ministers argued that these criminalities had been committed without their official permission by the then South African armed and security forces. Pik Botha’s so-called recognition of guilt goes only as far as admitting that all NP cabinet ministers “suspected these killings and torturing.” If he was naïve enough to miss out on vital signs of criminality, what kind of minister was he? As a minister was he responsible for his regime’s wrongdoings. 4,55-61 Indirectly, these atrocities and murders were committed by a regime in which he was a prominent senior minister. He accepted responsibility at the moment he accepted his appointment as a minister and he, as much as Eugene de Kock, is guilty of bad or failed behaviour as succinctly described by one affected Black person when she writes57: 4-5:

If you’re willing to be in the same room as Niel Barnard, F W de Klerk, Pik Botha and their kind, to talk, to drink, add Eugene de Kock to your list. He was their foot soldier. He took the proverbial spanking for them. Apartheid was ‘prime evil’; De Kock just his loyal servant. You can not feel morally indignant to De Kock and not also about De Klerk or the devastation that apartheid has brought to black South Africans. (Own translation)

She pinpoints very clear the immediate involvement to criminality of ministers57:4-5:

I ask again: Who was it really who hell-up South Africa? A cruel policeman or those who gave the instructions? (Own translation)

This outcome reflects indirect involvement through irresponsible behaviours and the failure of certain Whites as ministers. This means that the ministers in the DF Malan, HF Verwoerd, BJ Vorster, PW Botha and FW de Klerk regimes, like McBride, can also not be classified as good leaders. Their ranking can only be done in one of two bipolar rankings, namely bad behaviour versus good behaviour: Nothing else. There is no midway in true research.

The “stretched values” that have seeped into the current mindsets of South Africans, undoubtedly strengthened by the ANC’s legal “pardoning” of many of their members’ criminality, make compiling an “objective” checklist very complicated. The extent of this obscuration of values is reflected in the comments of the seasoned political commentator Barney Mthombothi59 about the unlimited and unconditional support Jacob Zuma received from persons in high office. Mthombothi writes61:19:

At times it feels we’re on the brink, or that the country is being unhinged from its moorings and drifting. We’re not only losing direction as a country, but we seem to have lost our sense of what is right and wrong. Anything goes. Nothing is off limits.

The sight of Jacob Zuma in the dock for fraud and corruption hardly three months after he had been forced out of office brings home in a more forceful and dramatic fashion the parlous state of our societal values. For almost a decade this man was South Africa’s leader, determining and directing its destiny. No wonder we are where we are. A country, like an organization, often takes on the character of its chief executive. A fish rots from the head down. The past 10 years have been a slippery slope to the gutter. Almost.

It’s a bit unfair perhaps, and a complete cop out, to lump all our problems in Zuma’s lap. But what’s also troubling is that among the motley crowd of shysters, hangers-on, out-and-out crooks and the political aggrieved who turned out to chaperone Zuma to court on Friday [6th April 2018] were men and women of the cloth, even bishops in their flowing robes. Religious leaders and undertakers have been at the forefront of whipping up sympathy for Zuma. That’s par for the course: they usually march together burying the death. But men of God – unlike undertakers – should at least have a silver morality. Or does tribe trump morals?

This morning [8th April] these men and women of the cloth, with a deft flourish of their colourful robes, will be sweating profusely and foaming at the mouth as they preach the word of God and urge sinners to repent. The sinners they have in mind, I guess, won’t include Zuma, whom they’d eulogised two days before. The irony will be lost on them.

These matters are not about rich or poor, black or white, left or right. But we tend to make them so. We first look at who is involved in whatever misdemeanour before we either empathise, defend or condemn. To paraphrase the old Carl Schurz saying, “It’s my people, right or wrong.”

The phenomenon of the mixture of criminality and good behaviour within the ANC-regime must be understood against the background of the liberation mentality, something that has become entrenched in the general populace. Mthombothi guides us further62: 16:

…their madness and habits are embedded in all social strata. After all, the party is supreme; it is the vanguard of everything. It therefore cannot be uprooted without destabilizing or tearing society itself, leaving deep scars.

This is the lens or tradition through which the ANC should be seen.

The above description does not describe each and every Black person, far from it. Not everyone in South Africa is a crook or lacks vision and responsibility or accountability and a conscience.63,64 Magda Wierzycka65, the CEO of the Sygnia Group approximates these delinquents as numbering more or less 20 000 out of the South African population of 56 million law-abiding citizens. The massive power of these 20 000 lays in their ability to successfully infiltrate and overtake all the important centres in charge of the judiciary and financial bodies of the country, giving them the power of 2 million people. There is an overall goodness among South Africans, specifically Blacks, but the most Blacks are just too frightened to show it. As Mthombothi reflects61:19:

Many black people, like everyone else, feel strongly about corruption in the government, for instance. But they’re often ambivalent about it because at times it seems as though all black people are painted with the same brush. And so they take a defensive posture. And the real thieves and crooks are able to escape or find refuge, if not sympathy, in the crowd.

This researcher does not intend to look at who is involved in whatever misdemeanour or to defend or judge anyone. Mthombothi’s61,62 above guideline of the bad versus the good is a clear descriptive warning and will be followed throughout the compilation of the checklist to assure objectivity.

The items in the checklist were applied to all information collected in the literature review and interpreted as the researcher sees it applicable. No external experts were used to appraise the collected information on leaders and governments in terms of the bad-versus-good-classification.

In light of the political sensitivity of this study, the researcher assured at all times that the political-historical data were carefully reviewed and coded. Generalizations were not made beyond the capability of the data to support statements. The researcher guarded against his own expectations, misperceptions and the need to find answers that would support his preconceived notions.

The research does not adhere to political correctness, not as the NP interpreted it, nor as the ANC did.

4.2 Items included in the checklist3,5,39,51

  • How did the executive political leader’s intellectual abilities reflect in his/her national and international political views, opinions, thinking, planning and behaviour?
  • How did the executive political leader’s ability to engage in strategic thinking and planning reflect in the promotion of the interests of South Africa’s population?
  • How did the executive political leader’s ability to think and act with creativity in promoting the people and the country’s interests reflect from his actions?
  • How successful did the executive political leader handle the political stress of the country (like unrests, terrorism, financial turmoil, etc.)?
  •  How well was the executive political leader motivated in his general promotion of the people and the country’s interests?
  •  What was the level of the executive political leader’s independent thinking, planning and behaviour in promoting the people and the country’s interests? To what extent did the leader cooperate with the parliament and the governmental institutions’ as guided by the Constitution and how inclined was he to block the interference and intervention of a third force?
  • What level of leadership and regime of governance did the executive political leader establish and maintain during his time in office?
  •  What kind of relationship did the executive political leader have with the people of South Africa?
  • What was the level of the executive political leader’s abilities and skills to do governmental planning and organization to benefit the people?
  • How successful did the executive political leader master the ability to work as part of an intimate team and to delegate important affairs to capable subordinates?
  •  How successful was the executive political leader in steering his subordinates at all levels as well as the people of the country to debate vigorously in searching for the best answers for problems and conflicting issues and to unify them behind the final decisions regardless of parochial interests?
  • How successful did the executive political leader master analytical thinking, planning and behaviour during his governance?
  • How successful did the executive political leader master synthesized     thinking, planning and behaviour during his governance?
  • How successfully did the executive political leader make sound judgments in his handling of the government and the people’s problems and conflicts?
  • How successful was the executive political leader as a speaker in grabbing people’s attention to listen to his messages of wisdom, motivation and vision for the future?
  • How successful was the executive political leader at speaking all or most of the official languages of the country and did he use these languages when speaking to the people officially?
  • How successful was the executive political leader as a writer in mastering the people’s interest to read his messages of wisdom, motivation and vision for the future?
  • How successful could the executive political leader write in all or most of the official languages of the country and did he write in these various official languages to the people?
  • What was the standard/quality of the personal and public behaviour of the executive political leader?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will in his leadership?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader reflect ambition to promote first the state’s and the people’s interests, placing himself in the second place?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader display modesty,  self-effacement and understatedness in his role during his time of office?
  • To what extent was the executive political leader fanatically driven and infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results for the country and its people?
  • To what extent was the executive political leader willing, notwithstanding what the effort required from him to make the country great?
  • How much did the executive political leader display workmanlike diligence?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader attribute the successes he brought to the country to other persons?
  • How much did the executive political leader take the blame and responsibility on himself when the politics of the country went wrong?
  • To  what extent did the executive political leader channel his ego needs away from himself towards the society’s greater goal to build a great nation?
  • How successful was the executive political leader at getting the “right” persons into his team of government and the “wrong” persons out quickly and effectively?
  • How successful was the executive political leader with putting his best     executives/politicians on the country’s biggest opportunities and not on the biggest problems?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader understand what his party as a government could do the best and could do better than any of the other political parties to serve the country’s interests best and to bring optimal gains?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader understand the nation’s beliefs, opinions, traditions, as well as their needs, demands and cultures as separate from his and his party’s beliefs, opinions, traditions, needs, demands and culture?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader bring betterment or corrections to the nation’s needs and demands notwithstanding his and his party’s beliefs, opinions, traditions, needs, demands and culture?
  • How successful was the executive political leader with delivering on all the promises he made during his pre-election campaign?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader enforce accountability and responsibility among his subordinates (cabinet, party, civil service)?
  • How much was the executive political leader respected nationally as a statesman of excellence?
  • How much was the executive political leader respected internationally as a statesman of excellence?
  • How much was the executive political leader respected nationally as a charismatic icon?
  • How much was the executive political leader respected internationally as a charismatic icon?
  • How much was the executive political leader respected nationally as a statesman of excellence and a charismatic icon?
  • How much was the executive political leader respected internationally as a statesman of excellence and a charismatic icon?
  • How successfully did the executive political leader focus not only on what to do to become great, but rather on what not to do and what to stop doing as it is not worthwhile for the nation?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader disengage from his party’s interests and force to focus on the nation’s wishes and needs and to promote their interest as a first priority?
  • How willing was the executive political leader to confront brutal facts and to challenge them?
  • How successful did the executive political leader engage meaningfully and constructively with his opposition during government decisions and political implementations?
  • To what extent was the executive political leader successful at refraining from racist utterances in his speeches and writings?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader maintain unwavering faith that he could and would prevail when confronted with brutal political realities that endangered the nation?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader abstain from political and personal low-level “domestic” disputes outside his mandate as leader of the country?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader refrain from appointing his party’s cadres and his own cronies into political and government positions?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader understand the negative effect that his charisma as a person and leader could have for the equality of his leadership and good governance in the country?
  • To what extent did the executive leader refrain from abusing his personal and leader charisma to influence governing decisions and outcomes by mesmerizing the people?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader underwrite BBBEE, AA, RET and RST?
  • How can the executive political leader’s political position be classified? Was he an indirect representative like a commander or governor, or was he a direct representative like a prime minister or president?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader, when political outcomes went wrong, conduct political autopsies without blaming the real culprits of the failure?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader improve the fate of the workers by creating new jobs and alleviating the joblessness of the South African masses?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader nourish and propagate a lifestyle and national culture of high-level ethics?
  • How successful was the executive political leader at motivating and inspiring the individual citizen to live his life to the fullest – heart, mind and spirit – and to be work- and service-orientated?
  • How successful was the executive political leader at eliminating the huge amount of governmental debt?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader refrain from creating more debt?
  • To what extent could the executive political leader successfully reduce crime?
  • To what extent did crime rise during the executive political leader’s time in office?
  • To what extent did the executive political leader offer sufficient housing and other accommodation for the country’s poor and homeless?
  • What kinds of friends and confidants did the executive political leader gather around him?
  • How successful was the executive political leader at attracting foreign investments and maintaining South Africa’s ratings with foreign agencies?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader increase exports and generate foreign exchange?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader improve the quality of the country’s basic as well as tertiary education and make it free or inexpensive?
  •     To     what extent could the executive political leader successfully     identify incoming and developing business entities and steer these     entities by offering governmental support?
  • To what extent could the executive political leader successfully reduce the civil services over-employment and accompanying costs?
  • To what extent could the executive political leader successfully reduce the size of his cabinet, the cost and unnecessary overlapping of work areas and functions?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader streamline the tax system?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader prevent special interest groups from giving large sums of money to political candidates to prevent corruption, nepotism and fraud as reflected in state capture?
  • To what extent could the executive political leader successfully limit the extraordinary benefits and compensation of law-makers and other public officials?
  • How successfully could the executive political leader curb the double standards of the parliament so that the legislation they pass applies to all the people of the country?
  • Did the executive political leader show integrity?
  • Did the executive political leader stay clear of a criminal record for theft, fraud, nepotism, corruption or embezzlement?
  • Did the executive political leader stay clear from antisocial behaviour, assault, terrorism or murder?
  • Could the executive political leader stay away from criminal investigation until he passed away, or is he, as a living person, still under investigation?
  • Did the executive political leader willingly and enthusiastically set up his successor to obtain greater success than himself?
  • Did the executive political leader refrain from setting up his successor for failure?
  • Did the executive political leader refrain from opportunistic behaviours like self-enrichment, self-empowerment and other masked delinquent political intentions?
  • Did the executive political leader refrain from siding with specific minority groups?
  • Did the executive political leader refrain from siding with specific majority groups?
4.2.1 Values awarded to classify leaders as either Bad (0) or Good (1)

In order to be classified as a good leader, the leader and/or the regime being evaluated must receive a consistent positive appraisal for all the items evaluated, in other words a score of (1) “good” for each item. If all 82 items are evaluated, the total count must add up to 82 for a leader to be classified as “good.” If fewer items are used like 79, the total count must match the number of items evaluated. If a nil value is awarded for one item out of 79 items, the leader cannot be classified as a good leader.

5. Conclusions

All great thinkers have emphasized the ‘S’ factor – ‘S’ for Service – service to society. Dr. Einstein maintained that it is a higher destiny to service than to rule. Mahatma Gandhi was never tired of emphasizing that you must not only hold your money in trust but also your talent in trust for society – Palkhivala.66: 316

In this article we see that executive political leaders take on the leadership in very different ways. There is often little to be seen of service to the society. Self-enrichment and political empowerment often contaminate their mindsets. Even murder seems to have become something excusable in South Africa, washed away by the South African Reconciliation Act.53,54

This article intended to use political-historical literature reviews and a supportive checklist to strip the emperor naked, to bring the “ghosts” of the past back to talk to us again, to tell us honestly of their many sins and mistakes, but also of their good deeds and virtues.

Starbird43:1 writes that understanding our daily existence and the most basic aspects of our world fundamentally involves coming to grips with data. He continues43:1:

The trouble with data is that data do not arrive with meaning. Data are value-free and useless or actually misleadin

g until we learn to interpret their meaning appropriately. Statistics provides the conceptual and procedural tools for drawing meaning from data.

The intention with this article is to put an elementary instrument in place to draw meaning from the country’s political-historical data that would help us evaluate the behaviors, integrity and contributions of the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa from 1652 to 2018. In the next article (Part 5), the appraisal checklist’s usefulness as a tool to distinguish good leaders from bad ones is tested by using the checklist specific on the political leaders and regimes of the period 1652 to 1795.

It is absolutely crucial that we study the abilities, qualities and integrity of the executive political leaders of South Africa. We need this knowledge to understand South Africa and to plan for the future. As the African proverb aptly says, learning expands great souls.

6. References

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PEER REVIEW

Not commissioned; Externally peer-reviewed.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The author declares that he has no competing interest.

FUNDING

The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa.

An appraisal of the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa: 1652 to 2018. Part 2: The entities in government and society that executive political leaders used to aid their political behaviour

Gabriel P Louw

iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6190-8093

Research Associate, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

Corresponding Author:

Prof. Dr. GP Louw

Email: profgplouw@gmail.com

Keywords: appraisal, characteristic, constitution, dynamics, guarantee, hypocrisy, integrity, leadership, liberator, mindset, organization, platform, regime.

Ensovoort, volume 38 (2018), number 6:2

1. Background

1.1 Introduction

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. (Theodore Roosevelt).1: !88

Sound decision-making is one of the primary duties that executive political leaders must fulfil every day. It is an essential requirement before one could become a good executive political leader and to stay on in a leadership position. How diligently executive political leaders keep all the promises they made to their voters during their election campaigns and the degree to which they successfully do the things prescribed by their letters of appointment, are two very different issues in modern politics. Sound decision-making as a characteristic of good leadership and good governance by executive political leaders have become problematic, even in the best democracies. It was with good reason that the late president Roosevelt made the above clear distinction between good and bad decision-making. Research confirms that executive political leaders seldom do “the best thing to do” in decision-making today. Good decision-making has become a rarity. Voters have become used to massive wrongs and corrupt decision-making, often bringing nations to the verge of disaster and the rest of the world to despair. Bad decision-making goes deeper than mere error; it often testifies of immoral behaviour on the side some executive political leaders, primarily to benefit themselves at the cost of society.1-7

Roosevelt’s1 foresight about leaders who do wrongful things or who do nothing at all goes much deeper: it points to a constant growing stream of failed and bad executive political leaders in modern politics. Hard evidence shows that many of the promises that leaders present to their voters remain “true deeds in words.” Political leaders promise voters a wonderful future where they will do only good things, and they shout these promises loudly from public platforms during their election campaigns, but these promises die away as remnants of political fraud that historians can later research. These leaders, often highly talented persons, seem to deviate from the path of serving the voters and the public deliberately and selfishly. Roosevelt classifies “the wrong thing” and “nothing” as negative decisions that one would associate with bad executive political leaders and their regimes. However, the growing group of immoral politicians would often view these negative acts as positive. They see their poor leadership behaviour as equal to doing the right thing in Roosevelt’s eyes. Such leaders enter the political domain because it gives them the opportunity to do as they please.1-7

Politics, especially in democracies, has become a haven for crooks and political hooligans, basically because open systems of rule and over-seeing the country’s interests, are meant only for executive political leaders of high integrity. In South Africa, the President, as the top executive political leader, is awarded immense power. The Constitution and the Chapter 9 institutions are open to easy manipulation by him and his cronies if they are crooks. Many other public and private institutions are also vulnerable. 2,4,8-12

There has been frequent reference to possible state and private capture by executive political leaders in South Africa in the recent past, although the practice dates back to 1652. It seems to be a subject that needs an appraisal.

The aim of this article is to determine and describe the entities in government and society that executive political leaders used to aid their political behaviour.

Entities for the purposes of this article refer to the establish bodies and systems that function alongside government and within the greater society to develop, manage and steer a government’s abilities and potentials. Such entities see to it that the specific and the general obligations, duties, instructions and legal principles embedded in these entities can function without obstruction at all times. These entities can be physical or abstract in function and legal recognition, depending on their place, need and function in society and within the government set-up. In this research these entities include: the Constitution and Parliament, democracy, population composition, and media houses.

2. Method

The research was done by means of a literature review. This method has the aim of building a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established body of research, as is the case with the established entities that executive political leaders use as the basis of their political behaviour. The sources include articles from 2017, books from the period 1944 to 2018 and newspapers for the period 2017 to 2018. These sources were consulted to determine and to describe the established entities in society and government that executive political leaders use as the basis of their political behaviour and to put thoughts, views and opinions on the South African political leadership in perspective.13-15

The research findings are presented in narrative format.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1 Introduction

This article primarily focuses on the established entities within the South African society and government that executive political leaders rely on or abuse in their actions, be it good or bad actions. Some of these entities may at times to a certain extent act as determinants in the development and functioning of executive political leaders, but in general their role as determinants is very limited. They are, as said, mostly used as means that executive political leaders with established ideas use to influence the thinking, planning and behaviours of other persons, especially their followers.

The various factors that influence the development of executive determinants and that can play a role in shaping the behaviours of executive political leaders, are discussed in depth in the next article (Part 3).

The discussion in this article addresses the following subdivisions:

  • 3.2 The inherent characteristics of stupidity, self-promotion, opportunism and flawed thinking of executive political leaders as drivers of their political behaviour.
  • 3.3 The use of the latent receptiveness of the South African Constitution and Parliament for criminal and political abuse by executive political leaders.
  • 3.4 The latent receptiveness of democracy for criminal and political abuse by executive political leaders.
  • 3.5 The use of South Africa’s majority, minority, homogeneous and heterogeneous populations by executive political leaders.
  • 3.6 The odd good executive political leader versus the organized hostility of the media houses.
  • 3.7 Flawed thinking and social dysfunction as dynamics in the immoral behaviours of executive political leaders.

3.2 The inherent characteristics of stupidity, self-promotion, opportunism, flawed thinking and social dysfunction of executive political leaders as drivers of their political behaviour

3.2.1 The Palkhivala description of obstinance16

The fact that political leaders from all races and ethnic groups, educated and uneducated, from richer or poorer backgrounds and at all levels of politics show immoral behaviour brings to mind the work of Professor Nani Palkhivala16, a seasoned and world-renowned Indian academic, lawyer, diplomat, politician, philosopher and writer. He sees this as a complex problem. Our political leaders are supposed to be learned and wise men, morally above reproach, but often this is not the case, so that they contaminate society, often destroying the lives of innocent individuals.

Palkhivala16 regards the use of the entities that are available in a democracy as central to this dynamic where political leaders strive to gain political power and personal riches. Sometimes they desire power and riches only for themselves, at other times a small group of allies would benefit. Palkhivala16 attempts to understand why immoral political leaders so readily abuse these entities to reach their wicked goals. He regards this abuse as something that is steered by a variety of negative traits, thought processes and dispositions that he sees as integral parts of the kind of leader that emerges in our modern society. These traits include stupidity, self-promotion, opportunism and flawed thinking. This range of negative traits serve as “energies” or “drivers” for these leaders’ thinking, planning and decision-making, especially as it relates to the abuse of the platforms of society or the government for their sole selfish interests. Palkhivala16 classifies this odd behaviour among political leaders under a very descriptive name: wooden-headedness.

The selective immoral political behaviour of executive political leaders that renders them failed leaders, leaves Palkhivala with a question of why.16:297 Why do they do this? Why do political leaders blindly ignore the simple advice of Theodore Roosevelt?1 These questions compelled Palkhivala16 to look for clear reasons why executive political leaders and their regimes fail to be “good”. In his search for an answer to his “why”, he found that the failure of executive political leaders is a universal phenomenon, also reflected by well-known world leaders and the regimes of world powers. He writes16:297:

A study of history, regardless of the period or the type of government in authority, makes one wonder why man makes a poorer show of government than almost any other human activity. In the field of governmental activity, wisdom – which may be defined as judgment acting on experience, common sense, available knowledge, and a keen appreciation of probability – is amazingly absent. Why do men in high office so often act contrary to the way that reason points and enlightened public interest enjoins? Why does intelligent mental process seem to be so often paralyzed?

Palkhivala16 points out that this phenomenon, sometimes totally self-destructive, repeats over and over in the world’s history. Somehow leaders do not learn from the mistakes of others or their own errors. They are impervious of the negative outcomes of their “bad” behaviour, not only for other people, but also for themselves.

Palkhivala further interrogates this matter as follows16:297:

Why did successive ministries of George III – that “bundle of imbecility” as Dr. Johnson called them collectively – insist on coercing rather than conciliating the thirteen Colonies which, as a result, broke away and declared themselves as a republic, destined to be the most powerful in the world – the United States of America? Why did Napoleon invade Russia and Hitler repeat the same mistake? Why did the Kaiser’s government resume unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 despite the clear warning that this would result in the entry of the United States into the war? Why did Chiang Kai-shek refuse to heed any voice of reform or alarm until he woke up to find that his country had been irretrievably lost to him?

When it comes to the immense negative impact of wooden-headedness on executive political leaders’ governmental behaviour, Palkhivala writes16: 296-297:

Wooden-headedness is a characteristic feature of governments. Wooden-headedness assesses a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contra indications. In short, it is the obstinate refusal to learn from experience. These fixed notions bring in the most cases the focus on the selective aims or interests of the executive political leader and his intimate group inside the nation, not on the aims or interests of all the groups inside the nation, cancelling thus the overarching mandate which goes with a good executive political leader and his regime. It serves as a short-cut for the political leader – and possibly his intimate group also – to ignore willingly and intently the interests and human rights of the total nation, as well the risks involved by his under-par and malfunctioning leader’s behaviour for the total nation.

Although the description “wooden-headedness” creates the impression that the behaviour includes only stupidity, Palkhivala16 gives a detailed description of what he means with this mindset among executive political leaders. He focuses on flawed thinking, planning and behaviour in such a leader’s political behaviour. Palkhivala16 reflects further on the wooden-headed leader’s self-centeredness and disrespect for the rights of others. This description brings the possibility of psychopathic thinking as a trait in the mindset of executive political leaders to the foreground.

It is an error to think that only authoritarian states and their leaders, like Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, boast leaders who act foolishly without any grounding in reality or a view to the future, and with a total disregard for the consequences of their acts. Democratically elected leaders and the governments of established democracies act with the same political foolishness and oppressiveness. Examples include the British Empire in its early days in relation to its American and other colonies, White Apartheid South Africa in relation to Blacks, the Americans in relation to Saddam Hussein of Iraq, etcetera.1,6,7,9

Barbara Tuchman16: 29 takes the discussion on the paucity of good leadership further by saying that governments act unwisely because short-sighted politicians are driving and managing it. She argues that the politicians’ arrogance prevents them from admitting error (and if they are in an act of foolishness, they just won’t turn back in fear of losing face). Their immense thirst for political power makes them unstoppable within their role as mandated executive leaders. They lack self-confidence and magnanimity, which leads to inappropriate acts of grandeur in an effort to demonstrate self-capability. They seek to create an image as formidable executive political leaders through inappropriate behaviour (which can be immoral). Ultimately immoral acts overshadow many leaders’ initial intentions to lead effectively in terms of good executive actions. According to Tuchman’s16 postulation, it is just impossible for certain persons to function normally as responsible and good executive political leaders, bringing various forms of possible psychological pathology to the foreground. This opinion of Tuchman16 strongly supports Palkhivala’s16 view that executive political leaders’ immoral behaviour may be rooted in psychopathology.

In line with the views of Palkhivala16 and Tuchman16 on the failure of executive political leaders to act properly within the democratic set-up, Martinez6 postulates6:88-89:

Pyramid structures concentrate power in the hands of those who sit atop them. This power is always open to abuse. It enables the ideas and the priorities of a small number to be imposed on the lives of millions – ideas and priorities that have a strong tendency to include wide-ranging privileges for those doing the imposing.

3.2.2 The Boon description of takers9

Boon9, working specifically on profiles of South African executive political leaders and in line with Palkhivala’s16 so-called wooden-headedness, sketches an extremely troubling picture of the existing conditions that make good executive political leadership an impossibility. He identifies the traits of being unapologetic, ill-disciplined, self-serving, self-enriching, opportunistic and an immense lack of feeling and empathy, as central to the characters of immoral executive political leaders. For Boon9, as for Palkhivala16 and Tuchman16, these negative traits form the dynamics or energies driving the executive political leaders’ immoral. He describes this kind of immoral political leaders as “takers.” Their political behaviour focuses on milking the members of their political party, their society and the government, thus taking. The impact of these politico-pathological mindsets, as reflected in flawed thinking and immoral behaviour, undermines democracy in all its facets.9

Boon’s9 view on the present state of South African leadership is that the country is being run more and more by the takers. It is clear that not even a specific racial or cultural group as a unity is benefitting from the present South African political system, but only an exclusive group (gang) of crooks under the executive political leaderships of takers. The executive political behaviour and thus the reign of the country is based on the flawed thinking and social dysfunction of these leaders. This dark view of crooks running the present-day South African politics and society, all driven by immorality and crookery, is supported by various other studies.17-25

Boon9 writes with concern9:51:

Why have there been so many one-party states and coup after coup? The reason is that, in the past, many African leaders have been totally unapologetically self-serving. Yet the First World does not view Africa as different from itself for fear of discrimination. It is fundamentally different because the Third World Africa, which is led largely by Takers, has no discipline. It is not governed according the same ethics and values as either the First World or the tribal world, and therefore does not respond to them.

About the so-called takers, Boon9 writes9:48:

But there is a dark and utterly destructive cloud to the Third World: a massive movement of individuals turning their backs on their traditions and discipline and, in doing so, the closeness of community and ubuntu. They replace it, not with the best of the First World, but often with the very worst. They are self-serving and care nothing for the community other than what it can deliver to them personally. They seek to take, not to give or share. Many of these people have managed to educate themselves very well. They know how to manipulate Westerners and how to use, to their own ends, their once-upon-a-time tribe. They are part of the Third World but they also exist in the First World. We shall call this group the “Takers”. Takers have nothing integrity nor discipline. They serve the dollar-god of power and will do anything for it. Unfortunately, the tribal way has become confused with Takers…

But the takers seldom act on their own, often they have well-masked Western accomplices. These powerful accomplices not only steer the takings that the executive political leaders take, they also offer military and financial support for these corrupt political leaders so that they can execute, unobstructed and with ease, their immoral reign, driven by their delinquent mindsets. These leaders penetrate politics through their masterly use of the established platforms like the parliament, etc. This ganging-up of delinquent minds was well illustrated by the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Iraqi people under the executive political leadership of Saddam Hussein and his Western accomplices.9,26 Chomsky says of those pre-war times during the Bush administration26:107: “If Iraqis ever see Saddam Hussein in the dock, they want his former American allies shackled beside him”.

Political wrongdoings of whatever kind, seem to be perpetrated mostly by established criminal-minded persons who find the political and social environment’s rewards of power and riches very attractive and satisfying, and very easy to obtain. Executive political leaders are sometimes driven by extreme stupidity and psychopathology as Palkhivala16 and Tuchman16 suggest (in some cases making their behaviour non compos mentis), but as Boon9 clearly indicates with the takers, their political delinquency also reflects strongly the presence of well-planned and sound thinking. Boon’s9 and other studies3,8,26,27 reflect that these leaders are masters at identifying and selecting vulnerable established platforms from which to launch their foul play. They can overrun and capture South Africa’s public and private institutions, as evidenced in the last eight years.3,8,9,26,27

3.3 The use of the latent receptiveness of the South African Constitution and Parliament for planned criminal and political abuse and immorality by executive political leaders

The South African Constitution and the Parliament as established institutions offer immense opportunity for mismanagement and abuse. Both have a latent receptiveness in their foundations that crooked political leaders can with ease abuse as a gateway to the state coffers and to law making to enrich and to empower themselves. The Constitution and the Parliament are excellent platforms to use for state capture. This has been well illustrated since the ANC’s political elites came to power in 1994. A well-positioned and powerful immoral executive political leader can, by using his learned knowledge and experiences of statutory institutions and by implementing his corrupt thinking into the system, introduce fraud, corruption, theft and a general culture of crookery into the frameworks of the South African Constitution and the Parliament. Such a nest of crookery is very difficult to touch with the efforts of the general public and even the law-makers of the opposition in Parliament. This culture circles around a band of crooks that prey on established platforms like the Constitution and the Parliament. They plan these actions well and they aim to enrich themselves with intent. The evidence is strong that executive political leaders with immoral political thinking, planning and actions and seasoned in political delinquency, are central role players in these political wrongdoings.8,17,20,22,24,25, 27,28

Corrupt executive political leaders are in reality nothing other than members of well-oiled mafia networks that have infiltrated the socio-economic and political systems of countries worldwide. They are impossible to erase, as the Italian state’s endless fights with their mafia confirms. South Africa’s fruitless fight against its own large number of takers and the Zupta mafia, especially since 1994, equals this situation. These wrongdoers never learn from the consequences (they do not want to) and never ever stop; as soon as one political crook or despot is eliminated from the political system, the next one stands ready to take over and to better the well-oiled machine of corruption.4,8,22,28-34

It seems that there is an “inheritance of taking” in place for the next generation, ensuring the endless continuation of takers in the political system. This is evident from the continuation of a subculture of corruption in the greater South African society and the opportunities for easy profit-taking by corrupt politicians in government institutions where statutory rules are missing or have degenerated. The negative impact of political takers on a country’s people, its justice and political systems, can be immense. It can indeed lead to a dual governmental system where the Constitution and the Parliament become subordinate to the taker regime, as has happened over the last eight years in South Africa with Luthuli house becoming the government of the day. However, this is not the full story: South Africa had become, up until Zuma’s ousting, a tripartite governmental system, with Zuma and his cronies at the top in charge of the various Chapter 9 institutions and the Constitution, the so-called Zupta regime. The second leg of was Luthuli house and the ANC followers who believe foolishly that they are in charge. The third leg was the castrated Parliament and its “frozen” law makers.4,8,22,28-34

The remnants of the Zupta regime and the political leaders who formed part of this unholy union will not depart quickly, notwithstanding the fact that Jacob Zuma has been kicked out. It will take long to reinstate a regime of good governance accompanied by good executive political leaders in South Africa, if ever. Buccaneering politicians have taken rooted in the platforms of the Constitution and Parliament, they cannot be removed simply with the ousting of a president. The loot is too great to abandon without a few more tricks. The delinquent executive politicians have an arsenal of powers still at their disposal to terminate any “attack” on their power. It must be noted that the temporary acting president, Cyril Ramaphosa, fully approves of the empowerment of the Luthuli-house parliament as the top decision maker on all South African affairs. The takers are back in the South African political system, using its institutions for their own gain and in line with their flawed thinking. The most notable of takers did not leave with Zuma. Citizens should still fear them as they are devastating the coffers of the country by means of the Constitution and Parliament.17,25,35-37 Note Mthombothi’s remark21:25: “The rogues and the scoundrels are not only having a great time; they’re in charge.”

The capture of the Constitution and the Parliament has deeper rotten roots. The Zupta regime captured the political heart of the ANC as a party and corrupted it. The ANC’s monopoly in South African politics provides criminal politicians with easy access (and knowledge of how and where they can abuse the system) to the Constitution and the Parliament. Tshabalala38, with good reason, warns38:13: “Beware, the snake might be dead but those who share its secrets can still bite.”

It seems as if South African politics attracts more crooked-minded persons than persons of good character. This happens for a reason: the latent receptiveness of the South African Constitution and Parliament makes them easy platforms from which executive political leaders can easily launch their criminal campaigns. Two facts are clear: our politics makes corruption easy and crime pays with money and power. Nelson Mandela warned early in his term that many crooks had become politicians of the ANC-regime after 1994.39 This sincere warning was undoubtedly in vain. Widespread corruption under the auspices of the ANC is running the county down and has started gobbling up Mandela’s beloved ANC. The investigative journalist Gumede18 focuses on the most prominent culprit guilty of this delinquency when he writes18:13: “Zuma has single-handedly reconfigured South Africa’s post-apartheid politics. His actions have reduced the ANC’s political dominance, intellectual hegemony and leadership of the country broadly, and in black society in particular.” The editor of the Sunday Times is also very clear on this issue in his editorial column!0: 20: “This space is not big enough to accommodate the long list of transgressions President Jacob Zuma has committed since he first occupied the high office.” What he fails to say is that Zuma is only one of many executive political leaders with long lists of transgressions since 1994 and that many are waiting in the wings to indulge in the feast of South Africa’s assets.

3.4 The latent receptiveness of democracy for criminal and political abuse by executive political leaders

The abuse of political power, as reflected above, often lies in an abuse of democracy by the crooked-minded politician. Democracy, just like the Constitution and Parliament, lends itself to abuse. In South Africa it has aided many immoral politicians in their efforts towards self-enrichment, self-empowerment and state capture. It is an easy vehicle for majority groups and political parties that have been infiltrated by corrupt leaders. South Africa has been an excellent example of this mechanism from 1652.8,17,22,27,29-31,36,40-42

Democracy does not give the people control of the country, although many voters think so. Democracy, as a dynamic, energizing political process, only means that the people have the opportunity to accept or reject a candidate. However, what a candidate promises before the election and what he does after he has been elected, are two very different things. Chomsky writes about the arrogance of politicians who ignore the voters (and true democracy) after they have been elected26:82-83: “The political leadership will pat them on the head and say, ‘I’m for you, vote for me’. The people involved will have to understand that maybe they’ll do something for you, that only if you maintain substantial pressure can you get elected leadership to do things – but they’re not going to do it on their own, with very rare exceptions.” This is evident from the political dynamics in what is actually a sound democracy. The post-1994 democracy of South Africa as an institution has fallen victim to false political leaders, making it a false democracy. The reason for this is its latent receptiveness for criminal and political abuse by executive political leaders.8,17,22,27,29-31,36,40-42

Chomsky26 elaborates on false politicians cum failed executive political leaders. He describes them as persons who have been contaminated by arrogance and malign intentions. These leaders, empowered by their high-ranking positions inside the country’s executive political hierarchy, prey on the defenceless and vulnerable public and other statutory institutions when the country’s political and social systems collapse. The dynamics of immorality has penetrated and contaminated the system and the psyche of these executive political leaders long ago. They are untouchable and an unavoidable enemy. Chomsky reflects on the manner in which such leaders force their immense political power on the system26: 14:

It does not matter whether these leaders are elected or appointed, or hold their office through blood or advantage of wealth or even as the result of some level of educational attainment useful to a ruling elite.

Coggan writes as follows on the negative dynamics brought about corrupt leaders40:2:

The cynicism of voters in the developed world is, in part, the result of a series of scandals that have shown politicians willing to cheat on both their expenses and their spouses, and to break the solemn promises they made to voters before their election. Many people also have the feeling that, in practice, there is little difference between the main parties; that, however citizens vote, policies will not change.

It is with good reason that Coggan40 expresses great concern about the abuse of democracy by politicians when he concludes40:ix:

All this inspired me to look back at the early debates about democracy, and I found that the issues that concern us today also worried Plato, Aristotle and the American founding fathers. In turn, that made me worry that democracy might be more fragile than most people assume.

The new German ambassador to South Africa and a man seasoned in the dynamics of South African politics since 2007, Martin Schäfer43, points out the fragile state of present-day democracies worldwide, including the South African democracy. When asked to comment on the present South Africa on the 4th of February 2018, he said with great concern43:12: “Ten years ago, we would not have had any doubts about the stability of democracies and the rule of law in the West but beyond. We cannot be so sure any more.”

Professor Deon Rossouw44, CEO of The Ethics Institute, looks at the negative impact of delinquent thinking, planning and behaviour on our democracy and state capture from another angle when he writes44:18:

More than at any other time since the dawn of new South Africa, people are agreeing that there is a clear and urgent need for ethical leadership in the country. The cost of getting us to this level of awareness has been painfully high — it took corruption on a grand scale in the public and private sectors being exposed…

Holomisa45, also very negative about the capture of the country’s democracy for abuse by the crooked leader, elaborates as follows on the situation45:18: “An attitude of animosity has captured South Africa. A culture of mistrust, contempt and one-upmanship. A culture of destruction.

These comments bare evidence of how immoral executive political leaders have captured the democracy. They have changed it into a failed democracy. Democracy made it possible for them to capture the state.

The rule of a country and its people is driven by two intertwined energies, namely money and politics. He who has the money rules the politics and he who has the politics rules the money. Chomsky writes about this link that the26:55: “… concentration of wealth leads almost reflexively to concentration of political power, which in turn translates into legislation, naturally in the interests of those implementing it: and that accelerates what has been a vicious cycle leading to, as I said, bitterness, anger, frustration and a very atomized society.”

More than a hundred years ago the political financier Mark Hanna was asked what he regarded as important in politics. He answered26:82: “The first is money, the second one is money and I’ve forgotten what the third one is.” Is it different today? Chomsky says26:82: “Today it’s much more extreme. So yes, concentrated wealth will, of course, try to use its wealth and power to take over the political system as much as possible, and to run it and do what it wants, etc.” This dualistic empowerment is the reason why crooked person are attracted to politics.

Individual writers as Coggan40, Schäfer43, Rossouw44, Holomisa45 and Chomsky26 are not alone in their concerns about the many political crooks who have captured modern democracies and who are holding the citizens of these democracies at ransom. Other researchers are also vocal about the prominent role of corrupt political leaders and the creation of a culture of crookery. South Africans, Black and White, have since 1652 up to today been ruled by a range of surreptitious democratic rulers and their democracies. They leave few good memories.8,9,27-29,31,33,36,39,46,47-51

Boon9 possibly gives the best explanation of what democracy rule means and what mob rule means. This offers a very good guideline to evaluate the South Africa’s governance and political systems to get an idea of the degree to which it has been infiltrated by mob politicians over the years. In this indication Boon9 first describes a mob as a group of people who, in their selfish effort to reach their corrupt goals, use strategies devoid of any true democratic principles or traditions. These political mobsters are absolutely intolerant. They quickly eradicate all order, the presence of minorities and the rights and dignity of their opposition. Their coercive actions are often characterized by destruction, threats and killings and other similar brutalities. All their power is focused on the establishment of their reign. This mob does not respect the majority as the ruling entity, and any member of the majority who opposes them simply becomes part of the minority and is treated as such. Dissidents are forced to change their mindsets to accept the mob’s consensus on decisions or they pay greatly for their beliefs. Boon9 describes democracy as a statutory entity that seeks to understand minorities and to tolerate minorities. In a democracy the majority makes decisions in cooperation with the minority to obtain consensus, collectiveness and inclusiveness in decision making. It assures dignity, care and compassion for the minority and their opposition. Of the mob in practice, Boon writes9:75:

Without adequate focus on principles and positive values, democracy can easily be hijacked and become a mob. The mob then continues to call itself democratic as ‘the majority has decided’ on a course of action. But when the values of the group no longer underpin dignified, positive, democratic norms and aspirations, it is no longer a democracy; it is an unruly, negative and destructive mob. Russia, under Stalin, is an excellent example of such an abrogation and hijacking – complete shift from socialism to dictatorship and autocracy – and the ultimate result of mob rule.

But is Russia the only culprit when it comes to dictatorship and autocracy? What about South Africa under DF Malan? He changed the country from a “half-democracy” to a dictatorship and autocracy that supported the Afrikaner Nationalists in their practice of Apartheid. What about the ANC’s continuation of their pre-1994 unruly, negative, intolerant and destructive behaviour as a liberation movement to establish and maintain a dictatorship and autocracy in post-1994 South Africa?

When people are offered democracy, they welcome all the democratic rights that traditionally accompany democracy like a free press, competing political parties, an independent judiciary, etc. However, in today’s new socio-economical, personal and political environment, citizens expect far more from their executive political leaders in the form of better labour rights and a bigger share in the national gross domestic product (GDP). Of course they also want a sympathetic ear that would listen to their complaints and leaders who would do something about.8,18,22,27,29-31,36,40-42

In reference to above situation, Chomsky26 points out that the governments of many democracies have recently scored their lowest approval in history, while the ratings of the accompanying institutions are not much higher. He clearly reflects the dissatisfaction with false democracies lead by false leaders26:54:

The population is angry, frustrated, bitter – and for good reasons. For the past generation, policies have been initiated that have led to an extremely sharp concentration of wealth in a tiny sector of the population. In fact, the wealth distribution is very heavily weighted by, literally, the top tenth of one percent of the population, a fraction so small that they’re not even picked up on the census. You have to do statistical analysis to detect them.

Does the above sound strange for South Africa? Consider that the country had White radical economic transformation (WRET) from 1948 to 1994 and from 1994 ongoing Black radical economic transformation (BRET), where 10 per cent of the population steals at the cost of 90 per cent of the population simply by masterly use of democracy.

Failure to meet the usual demands and the many new needs and demands of modern voters creates doubt about the right and mandate of a “good” executive political leader to be in charge of the government and of the democracy. Many promising leaders lose standing with citizens as they have a new frame of reference with stricter criteria for leadership. In South Africa the response of citizens was effectively repressed by the country’s leaders since 1652. Prominent here is the use of suppressive legislation and the informal and formal management of disinformation. South Africans have become used to efforts to create false impressions of the noble intentions and characters of our political icons and saints.8,18,22,27,29-31,36,40-42

The failures of democracy are often a direct result of the public assuming that leaders are noble and able. However, the incompetent leaders who assume executive political leadership for selfish reasons know from the beginning that they would never be able to satisfy the demands and needs of the people. The immediate benefits overshadow the interests of their voters. Such persons are false leaders in a false democracy, and they gradually destroy any hope of ever establishing true democracy in societies. These leaders have skewed thinking and are focused on self-enrichment long before their voyage into politics. The current South African politics is at the mercy of this kind of leader.8,18,22,27,29-31,36,40-42

When one considers South Africa’s political history, it is clear that since 1652 false executive political leaders and regimes dubbed in crookery and delivering incompetence services had successfully captured the platform of democracy and had abused this platform. These leaders often acted contrary to true democracy; harming human decency, love for mankind, equality, and psychological and emotional normality. The political histories and biographies of some of these politicians reveal their poor judgement and their failure as persons and leaders in real life.8,9,20,27,30,31,33,39,52-54

Reckless political decisions and undemocratic behaviour has resulted in conflict from the side of with voting rights and the voiceless masses in the past. The great injustice that was Apartheid unfortunately shed a very negative light on those who come from a certain minority group, even if some do have the potential to be good executive political leaders that would benefit the greater society. Racism, discrimination and domination by any ruling group are unforgiveable, and it seems in South Africa unforgettable too. It leads to long-term estrangement and hostility between the conflicting groups. These conflicts are at the basis of the ANC’s outright rejection of the NP leaders Malan, Strydom, Verwoerd, Vorster, Botha and De Klerk as good executive political leaders, contrary to how they are seen in the eyes of the most Afrikaners and certain international sectors. The leadership of these persons also motivated the ANC’s decision to fight the Afrikaners and the NP with terrorism to overthrow their regime. The injustices of Apartheid is now engrained as permanent cultural and racial hatred in the mindsets of the most South Africans, undoubtedly a direct outcome of the flawed thinking of the false leaders of the NP as part of the two false White democracies (Union of South Africa and the Verwoerdian Republic). Unconditional, or even conditional acceptance of Malan, Strydom, Verwoerd, Vorster, Botha and De Klerk by Blacks was not and is not possible. These political leaders intentionally abused the platform of democracy for political gains. (However much hostility and aggression there is towards the present-day ANC-regime, their transgressions are in all honesty not an inch worse than the political regimes before 1994).8,9,20,27,30,31,33,39,52-54

We must take note of the phenomenon of a false democracy with false executive political leaders if we want to take care of our future in the new South Africa. South Africa becoming a sound democracy with a genuine democrat in charge after the recent Ramaphosa election is something that must first be seen to be believed. South Africans heard the same promises with Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma before.29 Gumede18 seems a little bit over-optimistic when he speaks about the “post-Zuma South Africa” and a bettered system to keep out false leaders and better safeguards to protect the South African democracy from becoming false again. His hope is a good guideline in our search for good executive political leaders and a good regime of governance. He writes18:13: “It is now very likely that the actions, decisions and behaviour of future leaders and governments will be scrutinized much more deeply by citizens, civil society, the media and democratic institutes.”

What Gumede18 must remember is that although Parliament gives the final vote on the president’s election, the ANC is still the majority party in Parliament. Their candidate for the state presidency is selected by only 5 000 ANC members before he arrives in Parliament for approval. Their integrity, as we see from the loyalty to and support of a corrupted Zuma as president for a very long time, is questionable. Does 5 000 ANC voters who choose on behalf of 56 million South Africans speak of true democracy?55

Ginsberg4 takes the criticism on this false democracy that South Africans created themselves a step further with his comments on our chaotic present Parliament representation4:98:

Unfortunately our new electoral system of proportional representation allows many MP’s to ride into Parliament on the backs of one or two party stalwarts. Under the previous constituency-based system these candidates would be compelled to go out and campaign in the field – in their constituency, where they would be forced to address the concerns of their fellow citizens. To make matters worse, since no Members of Parliament are currently directly elected, there are vast areas of South Africa that have no real voice or real representation in the national legislature, as the majority of members hail from a few large cities. At present many of our MP’s are among the most out-of-touch and unaccountable politicians South Africa has ever elected.

South Africa’s problems with good executive political leadership and good governance are to a great extent self-created in the form of its vulnerable state structures and a lack of legislation to put a process in place to keep out crooked politicians and to assure that South African voters experience true democracy under a true representative executive political leader of good standing. Over the years no efforts have been made to put a lock on the door of the platform democracy to keep out corrupt politicians. To the contrary, it seems as if the door was opened wide in 2012. So far no improvement has been evident under Ramaphosa – indeed, the chances of further misuse of the Constitution, Parliament and democracy further for political gain and the emergence of stronger and more corrupt executive political leaders until the 2019 general elections are very high. Every day there is more evidence for this suspicion.

The current South Africa, as before 1994, is a false democracy, created in the first place by the people themselves. We, the voters, ourselves opened the door for false political leaders to get entrance into the highest office of the country. We are wrong to blame Jacob Zuma for his tricks: it was we, the moaning South Africans, who created the opportunity for him to become president. We did the same with the incoming leader.25,36,37,42,55-57 The dynamics of corrupt politics that date from the days of Jan van Riebeeck seem to be too entrenched to be stopped.

We, the voters, have become uninvolved and passive spectators of the South African political failure that is our own doing. Boon9 uses the word spectator to describe South Africa’s passive “onlookers” who fail to better their negative position, a situation that needs their intervention. This label fits our passive South African onlookers who fail to take a stand against political crooks. The problem that Boon9 describes dates from South Africa’s earliest times. It is not a new phenomenon that came with the ANC regime. Indeed, the Afrikaner Nationalists were overwhelmed and manipulated from 1948 by their executive political leaders. They were also spectators from a distance. Boon9 allows us to look into a mirror. He writes9:99:

Spectators make up the greatest sector of humanity. These people are observers and critics, and they are only positive when the side is winning. They have a high concern for self and are very critical of change agents. Although negatively critical, they will very seldom do anything to change the circumstances they dislike. They simple prefer to get more vocal and more negative in their criticism of ‘appalling leadership’ when things do not work out to their satisfaction. Circumstances rarely work out to the satisfaction of spectators, so their primary characteristics are negativity and selfishness. I’m sure everyone has heard someone say: “They should do something about it. This is a disaster”.

Spectators never expose themselves and avoid the concomitant vulnerability at all costs. It is as if they instinctively know that by becoming vulnerable, they will be challenged and forced to become accountable for their own actions, views, utterances and behaviour. Spectators are characterized as negative, selfish and highly critical; they never expose themselves, refuse to accept accountability and are often devious.

If the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders could steer their followers to spectator-obedience in 1948, is it possible for the Afrikaners to change in 2018? If the Afrikaners failed to challenge their despotic leaders since 1948, how can we expect the ANC followers to take on its autocratic leaders since 1994? Wishful thinking! For many years we had given corrupt leaders the freedom to do what they want. The miserable state of our politics in 2018 confirms this.

South African politics in a sense mirrors the ironies of the replacement of the weak and corrupt King Sihanouk by the bloody revolution of extremist Communists in Cambodia. Malloch-Brown reflects5:80: “A weak king had been replaced by Communist butchers because the country lacked a democratic stage on which any other ending might have been played out.” Basically both the failed pre-1994 and post-1994 democracies of South Africa do not offer a political choice to its people that they can exercise to make a success of their lives. South Africa was and is a failed state, whichever way we look at it.

3.5 The use of South Africa’s majority and minority populations by executive political leaders for political gain

Executive political leaders have always and are still using the population of South Africa as a tool to make their immoral actions possible. It is also used by some delinquent executive political leaders as a platform to steer their dogmas, doctrines and ideologies and to penetrate and misuse the formal political system for their own gain. The structure of South African society developed slowly from 1652, and today this complex and layered society is used by politicians with ulterior motives. Since the early times of the British authorities at the Cape society was used as a very useful platform to steer new political dogmas, doctrines and ideologies. In 1910, with the founding of the Union of South Africa, political dogmas, doctrines and ideologies around a White minority against a Black majority, White and Black homogeneousness versus a South African heterogeneousness, were used as a gateway by the Whites to isolate Blacks for eighty-four years from any formal say in the government of the day. This skewed political thinking on the side of the White executive political leaders led them to capture society on many occasions since 1910. Apartheid and its racism, which are still dashing the hopes that South Africa would become a true Nation, are sad reflections of this.33,45,58-69

The next subdivisions provide an in-depth discussion of past and present misuse of the South African society as an easy gateway. The discussion focuses on how bad executive political leaders smuggled their ideas into South African politics to serve their own interests.

3.5.1 Majority versus minority populations

It is important to note that in most heterogeneous nations, the majority, empowered by an integrated democratic system, is allowed to rule over the minority groups through its executive political leaders as part of a model empowers all groups. Communist and despotic countries always portray their regimes as democratic, but in practice the majority has unlimited power over the minorities. The contrary can also happen, as was the case during Apartheid in South Africa. A minority ruled a majority as a result of White power that dates from 1652 at the Cape.6,7,40

Usually, the most disliked minority groups receive the worst treatment. This is usually a result of the disempowerment of minority groups, further strengthened by earlier conflicts between the two groups. Apartheid, practiced by the minority group of Afrikaners and the rulers until 1994, now out of government and political disempowered, is the direct reason for the discrimination against Afrikaners by the now ruling Black majority. The current treatment that Whites receive under the Black majority government is very different from the treatment that the other two minorities (seen as “Black” enough), the Coloureds and the Indians, receive. This is a good example of a majority versus minority rule where the “democratic” rights obtained by the Blacks as the majority after 1994, are abused to serve the political aims of the rulers.6,8,27,33,39,40,48 It is a typical mobster case according to Boon’s classification9. Revenge for the past is prominent.33 These outcomes are because the established platforms of majority and minority groups offer delinquent executive political leaders unlimited opportunities to take revenge and to give expression to their autocracy in the governmental, societal and political systems.

History shows that the majority’s “democratic” decision-making are not necessarily always the best option. The negative rule of the democratic majority on many terrains in South Africa after 1994, confirms this. A minority ruler is not better, basically because it is not democratically selected and thus not politically representative of every citizen. However, in some cases there could be good characteristics that can make a minority government better with the delivery of certain services and an appropriate ruler of the majority. The NP in South Africa from 1948 to 1994 was successful on certain economic, social and political terrains. However, they also abused their rule for the domination of Blacks. This tragic outcome is more or less similar to what is presently unfolding in South Africa, only in a reversed edition.17,18,27,29,30,31,33,70

In most cases the concept “minority” is racially, ethnically, educationally, religiously and culturally applicable, and thus enormously emotionally laden. This often freezes rational thinking on both sides of the majority-minority duality. The majority think they can rule a country as a whole better because they are backed by majority opinions, views, traditions, customs and beliefs in decision-making. The minority/minorities experience these opinions, views, traditions, customs and beliefs in decision-making on their behalf as false, vicious and outright revenge. As said, these hostilities are mostly based on race, religion or culture and they are often senseless attempts to correct historical wrongdoings. In South Africa these attitudes do not stem from the general population so much, but from executive political leaders on behalf of their people. These self-appointed political leaders’ decisions on behalf of the population are not based on the true sentiments of the voters. Most Blacks of South Africa do not hold grudges against Whites and have outgrown Apartheid. The true drivers behind these resentments are the executive political leaders and they keep hatred alive of their own interests. When leaders break through on these various population platforms, they gain power and riches, and also enormous support from the group (s) they pretend to “help”, giving them more energy to continue with their behaviour. 6,17,18,27,29,30,31,33,40,70

Delinquent executive political leaders often have a history of trauma and they lack insight into right and wrong because of social and mental dysfunction and underdeveloped superegos. They abuse issues like race, ethnicity, poverty, democracy and problematic minorities in their exclusive planning of their delinquent actions to benefit only themselves. The basis of their success is the upfront establishment of a strong group of corrupt cronies in power, as is the case with the untouchable sector inside the ANC in South Africa.6,8,17,18,27,29-31,33,40,49,51,54,70,71,73

On the legal dilemma (and tragic finality) of minorities in society, Coggan reports40:27:

The rights of those minorities are dependent on the goodwill of the majority, unless they are protected in law. Even then, the dilemma is not solved. Either the majority has the right to abolish or dilute such laws (in which case the minority’s rights are theoretically under threat and democracy is undermined) or they do not have the right (in which case the system is not fully democratic).

The above outcome of the infringement of minority groups’ political and human rights, even threatening their future existence as citizens in their homeland, is a direct consequence of the NP’s racist regime, which was overseen by ultra-strong executive political leaders and their cronies from 1948 to 1994 (including the Afrikaner Broederbond and the Dutch Reformed Church). This was an excellent example of a minority regime that governed falsely under the mantle of a so-called democracy (a false democracy upheld by the White military and other security forces and an oppressive constitution). The early conflict is now reversed, and we see more and more in post-1994 South Africa that the Constitution is frequently ignored the concept of democracy is stretched. This is particularly evident from the treatment Afrikaners receive from the majority ANC’s liberation-driven executive political leaders. There is a constant and continuous abuse of democracy, Parliament, etc. to penetrate the political systems, and to rule the masses without obstruction or limits.4,8,17,27,29-31,33,35,39,73

This vicious circle of political disorderliness present within the ANC was already spotted by Nelson Mandela’s official biographer, Anthony Sampson, in the middle-1990s. Sampson writes39:518:

By the end of Mandela’s first year as President, the honeymoon had ended. White South Africans were complaining bitterly about the crime wave, the falling rand, corruption scandals, upheavals in hospitals and schools. Liberals were disillusioned that a black government was ignoring their advice; other whites never thought it would work anyway.

The ANC’s executive political leaders (in this case Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Mandela’s so-called “care-taker president”) quickly came to view the White minority as of little importance, and this included their rights as citizens. This is reflected in the following quotation by Sampson on behalf of Mandela39:518: “White South Africa had been a uniquely privileged society under previous regimes, protected both from Black competition and from the world marketplace, and found it hard to adjust to an open democracy”.

The Afrikaners, as a minority group, were betrayed by their executive political leader FW de Klerk, who was gobbled up by the ANC elite. For the Black liberator Mandela and his followers it was a case of finished and goodbye: you deserve it and that is it. The ANC leadership’s tendency to discriminate against the Afrikaners as a White quickly degenerated more under Mbeki and Zuma. It now seems as if the incoming executive political leader of the ANC and acting president, Ramaphosa, is starting to make the same noises as Zuma.17,21,27,29,30,32,33,35,54,74-78

3.5.2 Homogeneous versus heterogeneous populations

Boon1 emphasizes that discriminatory and suppressive behaviour elicits immediate reaction from minorities, sometimes with deadly consequences. When a group’s immediate future is threatened, they fall back on community and homogeneity. The endangerment of a person’s cultural identity – language, religion, beliefs, custom, opinions, traditions and race – brings homogeneity and heterogeneity to the foreground. These two concepts are far more comprehensive in meaning than simple majorities and minorities and immoral political leaders use and abuse them. It must be noted that these four concepts often function in an intertwined manner, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively.4,9,33,39,46-49,52-54,58,61,63-66,79,80

Homogeneity plays an important role when a minority group’s cultural identity is endangered by a homogeneous majority group that governs a country and that is guided by immoral leaders. The reactions that are elicited from such discrimination can be very specific and devastating. On the other hand homogeneity can play a very destructive role under the leadership of crooked politicians. The governing group’s members are mobilized through false ideas about the opposing groups. At the centre of such delinquent executive political leaders’ thinking lies the abuse of homogeneity for their own gain.4,9,33,39,46-49,52-54,58,61,63-66,79,80

People’s sense of belonging to a homogenous group is sometimes unexpectedly revived in times of danger. The insecurity that danger brings is amplified if they are a minority group. Boon writes in this regard9: 62-63:

If a community comes under threat, there is an immediate psychological shift back to the tribe. This happened among many communities in the period immediately prior to South Africa’s first democratic elections: the AWB, the Zulus, the English and the Jews. A quick check was casually done, just to establish where the community/tribe was, so that they could be contacted if the need arose; a check to get the tribe’s perspective on the treat. The same thing occurred in business.

The realities of the African environment do not allow us to deny tribalism, although some people do. Hopefully, truly free and enlightened people do not choose to revert to tribe whether they like it or not.

Prominent is here the “phenomenon of return” of passive members to their tribe or group as a safe-haven like as in the distant past. They want to be lead out of danger. The point of focus here is that they fall in behind the (old) executive political leaders of their tribe. We saw this outcome after 1902 to 1908 with the Boers in the two Boer republics (then turned into British colonies): gathering themselves around their old Transvaal and Free State burgher groupings and behind their old Transvaal and Free State executive political leaders like Smuts, Botha, Hertzog, De Wet and other. Executive political leaders then have to act as the guardians of the minority and homogeneous group (in the Boers’ case, the Transvaal and Free State Burghers) against the majority’s executive political leadership’s power (the British Government, the British South African Colonial Authority and the liberal Cape Dutch of the Cape Province). The leaders have to face and fight off the threats to the minority.4,9,33,39,46-49,52-54,58,61,63-66,79,80

But, as Boon9 says, as soon as a group experiences threats and is marginalized on the grounds of their features and characteristics, they start forming new groups. They revert back to tribal or group support, as Boon9 illustrates. Often these unanchored and bewildered minorities fall prey to unethical political leaders and they submit to them as a last hope to survive or to gain back their previous better positions. The AWB and its executive leadership after 1994, and the ANC- and the PAC-leaderships before 1994, as well as the NP in 1948, are excellent examples of organizations that became attractive safe-havens for factions of the population. In some cases these executive political leaders – like that of the NP after 1948 and the ANC after 1990 – become more than just guiders as result of the dire need and mass numbers of their new followers. They receive a mandate to think, to plan and to act on behalf of their confused followers, notwithstanding their own internal rotten political characteristics and behaviour. The executive political leadership characteristics that have become embedded in the leadership of the NP and the ANC started as corrupted bonds to steer and to guide their new generation of executive political leaders. This creates a vicious circle of more bad executive political leadership. 8,27,33,39

Louw33 comments on the contaminating potential of executive political leaders when he describes how Afrikaners surrendered their independent thought to their leaders33:218-219:

Afrikaner status, Afrikaans as an exclusive own Afrikaner language, Afrikaner radical economic transformation, Afrikaner state capture, the racial purity of the Afrikaner, race separation, the limitation of Black politics, Afrikaner social and economical empowerment, Afrikaner nation identification, Afrikaner group identity above individuality, etc., became the dominant propaganda of the Malan era.

For the Afrikaners, especially the bruised and vulnerable Northern Afrikaners still battling with their psychological scars after the Second Anglo Boer War, this Afrikaner messiah [DF Malan] and his message were like manna from heaven. Extreme apartheid was born, driven daily by a growing authoritarian Afrikaner leadership who gradually broke down individual thinking, planning and decision-making of the ordinary Afrikaner in exchange for the establishment of an exclusive Whiteman’s utopia. The ordinary Afrikaners’ dependence on their NP-AB-DRC leaders to meet all their needs as citizens in time became internalized in most of the post-1910 Afrikaners and the following three generations up to 1994. It not only led to grand apartheid to manage the ever-growing and ever-present “Black danger”, but also contributed to the rigid and ruthless reinforcement of apartheid for nearly five decades to follow.

The “goodness” or “badness” of political leaders is often linked to the racial or ethnic tension that accompanies the person’s reign. Such tensions re-awaken people’s sense of belonging to either the majority or the minority group. It also rekindles feelings of revenge. Conflicts that had been over rise again (think for example of the Great Trek and how these ideas were rekindled during the First and Second Anglo Boer Wars). Past conflicts and ideas are rekindled however inapplicable they may be, because followers want to go back to what worked in the past. This happened in 1948 with the Afrikaner Nationalists. They were guided by outdated and dangerous ideas. The immoral ideas that led to the changes in 1948 date from 1908. The founding fathers of Afrikanerism elicited strong feelings of resentment directed at English-speaking White South Africans, dissident Afrikaners and Black South Africans. Outdated racist ideas with their foundation in the Cape of the 1700s were invigorated by Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders (persons like DF Malan, HF Verwoerd and BJ Vorster, with a smack of religion and/or Nazism into their political mindsets) and became engrained in the mindsets of many very naïve Afrikaners. They used these ideas and emotional appeals to gain power. 4,9,33,39,46-49,52-54,58,61,63-66,79,80

Racism was formally introduced in South Africa by Whites in 1652. Racism is still very much alive in present-day South Africa, now kept alive also by Blacks. All of these centres on majority versus minority and homogeneity versus heterogeneity, and all the entities are at the disposal of leaders who want to profit from this. Leaders use the problems between groups to gain political ground. South Africa has always been a mixture of races and it will remain one, which means that there will always be racial and ethnic minorities. The people of the country should wisely and calmly oust delinquent executive political leaders and prevent them from using the countries institutions as a gateway for abuse.

Boon9 writes as follows about the racial dynamics in South Africa9: 63:

There is no point in denying that ethnicity exists. It simply does, whether one likes it or not. It is in the context in which the tribe is seen that is important. If it is a support group or away of life, there is no problem. But when ethnicity is used to fan hatred of other groups, evil is being done.

Some of the post-1994 leaders are power hungry and corrupt, and they were transferred from the liberation movement directly to the government. Many have become untouchable icons. This obscures the efforts to executed pure government: the overwhelming number of delinquent political leaders who abuse the different platforms will be difficult to eliminate from politics.39

3.5.3 Critical perspective on the role of divisions such as majority, minority, homogeneity and heterogeneity in political manipulation

It seems as if democracies and their executive political leaders function best where the population is homogeneous, either by birth or by the gradually incorporation of different races, ethnicities and cultures into a “mixed” new, homogeneous nation, as has happened in the USA to a great extent over a period of 400 years. Although the American Dream of a homogeneous American people seemed to work for a long time, this unity is now slowly starting to crumble, bringing minorities and racism and ethnicity to the foreground. In the USA many of the minorities are moving slowly into a non-White heterogeneous majority. Although we refer to the UK, France and Germany as homogeneous nations, their homogeneity is also under attack due to a growing mixture in their citizenry. A part of this comes from the colonial ventures of these countries. The influx of migrants from the Middle East into Europe is eroding homogeneity in Europe. This new trend of migration is eliciting strong negative and racist feelings among the European population, especially with reference to the religious militancy of the incoming groups, while the impoverished and destitute migrants are left in the cold by most of the executive political leaders of Europe. This is leading to immense conflict between the newcomers and the permanent inhabitants, creating strong hatred, especially against the few struggling executive political leaders fighting in some way for the human rights of migrants and their incorporation into Europe. The negative classification of these pro-migrant executive political leaders in terms of an ultra-right classification, as failed leaders because of their sympathy for the migrants is totally unacceptable in terms of the strict principles prescribed for a regime of good governance. Unfortunately, these good executive political leaders who openly under-write, propagate and promote human rights, are mostly forced out of active politics as bad executive political leaders. The migrants and their problems are ignored, and in many cases the migrants are labelled as criminals, troublemakers and terrorists. The leaders who are “tough” on migrants can be sure of a political future. One should remember that the present migrant crisis is a direct outcome of Europe and the USA’s unasked interference in the Middle East for their own interests, like oil and minerals.2,3,6,26

The problem described above is a clear reflection of the complexity of categories such as homogeneous, heterogeneous, majority and minority and the fine balance there should be. These categories of populations can either co-exist, or be pitched against each other. A country can have a homogeneous population that functions excellently, like Switzerland. On the other hand a country can consist of various minorities, lacking a dominant majority that clearly stand out as the ruling group. In such cases co-existence depends on the racial, ethnic, cultural, economic and social characteristics and interests of the inhabitants, making it a well-functioning country. When one takes a look at the old Union of South Africa, the Northern Boers (Transvaal), Southern Boers (Free State), Cape Dutch (Western Cape) and the Karoo Boers (Northern Cape) functioned well in their Afrikaner racist enclave and their political system of Black suppression. Yet the Union failed as a political entity, because the majority of the South African population, the Black South Africans, were excluded from the government and proper citizenship until 1994.2,9,33,39,49,81,82

Another example is where a country has a heterogeneous population and is governed by more than one majority. This can sometimes make the governing of a country very difficult if consensus is lacking. Belgium, ruled together by its two majorities, the French and the Flemish (both White, but differing in language and religion, as well as certain cultural habits, customs, traditions and beliefs, etc.), is an example of such a 50:50 government system and its problems. The fourth outcome is where there is a heterogeneous population, consisting of various heterogeneous minorities (various Black tribes, like Xhosas, Zulus, Venda’s, etc., each with their own different languages, certain cultural habits, customs, traditions and beliefs), but belonging to the same branch of the ethnic family tree (Black). They then form a homogeneous political majority, like the Blacks in South Africa on whose behalf the ANC is governing today.2,9,33,39,49,81,82

The various successes described above do not always reflect the true situation of the everyday reality of governmental management. It is basically impossible to obtain an overwhelming homogeneous majority population inside a country’s borders. Even Switzerland is experiencing more and more dissidence of small pockets of minorities who, notwithstanding their Swiss nationality, are culturally rooted in neighbouring countries. What keeps the Swiss people together is Switzerland’s extraordinary democracy and the direct say that every citizen has in the affairs of the country. There are no long-term successes among the countries with small homogeneous minorities that govern autocratically (like the Afrikaner groups of the Union and Republic of South Africa tried to do), basically because the autocratic homogeneous minority model ignores a homogeneous majority (in this case the Blacks) in the political system and the minority is ultimately conquered by the majority. The Afrikaners are currently in a process of dissolution because of its minority status.2,9,33,39,49,81,82

Classifications like heterogeneity/homogeneity and majorities/minorities are complex. Very few executive political leaders understand it and know how to master and manage it effectively. It seems to be the crooked executive political leaders who are willingly to engage with it, but only because it suits them. They do not really consider needs or risks in the long run. They have in mind rule and self-enrichment, and they learn to use such concepts to their benefit.2,9,33,39,49,81,82

In present-day South Africa it is important for any capable government to take note of Malloch-Brown’s5 warning that they do not understand the immense responsibility around concepts such as homogeneity, heterogeneity, majority and minority inside the global plan of governance. Every task entrusted to the executive political leader should be successfully executed for him to be a good leader and for the country to fit into the global plan of governance. The comparison of the ANC regime’s democracy in South Africa with the democracies of their BRICS partners can bring negative surprises in the next five years, as well as new challenges will have to face within the global context of governing. Malloch-Brown5:253 emphasizes that South Africa’s invidious global comparison will not go away, and neither will the demand for change: obtaining a place in the global society is a hard task to master as it always tests the actions of a regime and the state of that society. For South Africa to compete globally there should be sound governance. This is difficult to attain and maintain. Even the honourable Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma83, the previous president, had to admit in public that it was far more difficult for him to run South Africa than it was for him to fight for its freedom. The outcomes of his presidency confirm this.

Apartheid South Africa was, in terms of the use of homogeneity, heterogeneity, majority and minority as political vehicles, possibly one of the best successes ever in modern times with its creation of various homogeneous minority (racial) states, so-called independent homelands or nation-states (negatively labelled Bantustans). Each state had to accommodate one homogeneous group. The sub-group of Afrikaners who sought an independent homogeneous homeland (a revival of the Boer republics) is also such an example, but the lack of a region to occupy led to its failure and in the end also to the NP’s policy of “separate development.” The ultimate failure of the Afrikaners’ own homeland was a direct result of the Afrikaner Nationalists’ executive political leaders’ selfish and politically blind policy to allocate more than 80 per cent of South Africa to the Whites as a homeland, keeping the best areas for themselves. The short-lived policy of the Apartheid homelands mirrored the 1908 efforts to institute, in the place of the Union, a loose federation of separate South African states, based on homogeneous and minority populations (Tswana’s, Venda’s, etc.). This would surely have healed or prevented many of today’s political and racial pains that come with the majority-minority conflict. In a federation there is minimal opportunity for an immoral executive leader opportunity to play off various heterogeneous and majority groups against each other. It would also have limited the chances of such leaders penetrating the formal political system for their own interests.2,9,33,39,49,54,61,64,80-82

The ANC, when taking over government in 1994, did not focus as a political party cum liberation movement on any tribal interests and preferences, because such a policy would have directly endangered their political power base. For them there was only one way to go: a mini-empire of multi-nations. Inside this mini-empire of multi-nations the chances were plentiful to reduce some groups to powerless minorities. The independent power of tribes and minorities would have limited their ability to manipulate the various peoples of South Africa, forcing the executive leaders of the ANC (even before the 1994-dispensation) to start to dismantle the project of independent homelands (a mini-empire of multi-nation states) as fast as possible. Prominent ANC figures who actively led this dismantling from 1994 onwards included Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma. In this case the ANC’s outdated ideology of liberation drowned out the political wisdom to steer the country into the global community. Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma’s dismantling of the homelands went deeper: it represented the dismantling of minority rights in South Africa. It also confirms their inability to be good executive political leaders to serve every citizen independently, irrespective of his religion, politics, culture and colour in the post-1994 South Africa.2,9,33,39,49,54,61,64,80-82

The 1994 promise of the ANC to make South Africa a democratic state of national unity after 300 years of Apartheid did not realize. They show the same tragic short-sightedness as the Afrikaners. The grey policy of the ANC, ignoring the issue of race and numbers in politics, initially gave the ANC a free hand to abuse homogeneity, heterogeneity, majority and minority without any resistance. By falling back on majority as a point of departure they captured the formal government system to benefit corrupted leaders. This is still the case.2,9,33,39,49,54,61,64,80-82

South Africa is burdened today by not only a Black-White differentiation, but also Black tribal differentiations (well hidden from the public), which is growing (with the Zulus and Xhosas as the two majority Black tribes), as well as a growing population of Coloureds and Indians. As a state it is struggling more and more to keep its various minorities happy inside the ANC’s “homogeneous” state where the Black ANC members, as the voting majority, governs the country. So far the ANC’s executive leaders could keep the true nature of the problem of minorities away from the party, but the cracks are starting to appear.33

The histories of the USA, UK, France and Germany confirm that, even if states are overwhelmingly homogeneous, total majority vested in total homogeneity, as the ANC tried to establish in South Africa with its grey nation, is a impossibility. This is aptly formulated by Coggan40:29:

Problems certainly arise when there is a minority within a state who would like to live in their own, or another, state; or when the majority population of a state treat a minority as second-class citizens (as African Americans were treated by many of the state’s legal structure until the 1960s).

As a significant minority group the Afrikaners are diminishing in numbers as a result of their own actions; it is possible that they will disappear within a century’s time. This means that their daily pleas in the ears of ANC’s mean nothing to the party. However, there will always be remnants of this group making ongoing demands, even if there are only ten Afrikaners in a population of 100 million. Even as only a few spectators in the crowd they can be rowdy sometimes!33

The creation and maintenance of the “perfect homogeneous” state is a fable and cannot be attained. It must be admitted that meeting every individual citizens’ needs and demands is a impossibility in any regime. Plato and Socrates warned us long ago about this myth. South Africa, as a modern state, is therefore not extraordinary in failing to bring political satisfaction to every one of its citizens, but the ANC’s executive political leaders failed outright as they promised shamelessly since 1994 that they would meet the needs and demands of every Black citizen.33,40,83

To argue that South Africans are free of class, group and tribal differences, functioning perfectly as citizens in a homogeneous majority state, as was done recently by the Member of Parliament and the President of the United Democratic Movement, Bantu Holomisa45, are the empty words of just another misinformed politician45:18:

We, the people, must take back the promise of 1994. We are not Zulu or Venda, men or women. We are not Catholic or Zionist, Indian or coloured. We are not gay or straight, clever or stupid. For if we are, we are lost. We are South Africans. Period. Rise not to this reality and we are lost indeed.

Holomisa45 is wrong and his understanding of homogeneity is lacking when it comes to the intimate cultures of groups. South Africa is heterogeneous, scattered with minorities and deeply troubled by its different peoples’ various needs and demands. With the abolishment of Apartheid and the diminishing of the Afrikaners as a political danger to Black supremacy, inter-ethnic conflicts, specifically between the Black tribes, are gaining momentum. The liberation dogma of the ANC of promoting non-tribalism and non-heterogeneity, is crumbling. Minorities and homogeneous groupings are alive in New South Africa. However, the concepts of majority-minority and homogeneity-heterogeneity seem to be less open to abuse. A younger generation of Afrikaners is replacing the political fossils of the late NP with the dynamic, young executive business cum political leaders of various Afrikaner bodies, while the anti-ANC Blacks are looking to the executive political leaders of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) for leadership. The perception of the goodness of the executive political leaders of the ANC that captured the imagination of the majority Blacks in 1994 has given way to a reality check.33

Louw33 writes as follows of manipulation by means of the concepts discussed above33: 279:

The Afrikaner’s drive to create a mini-empire of multi-nations (Union of South Africa with various provinces), followed by his mini-empire of multi-nation states (South African Republic with various semi-independent Black homelands under a central White homeland), all failed for various reasons, like the Afrikaner’s political and financial incompetence after 1990, an underestimation of the ANC’s political and thinking power, and a Black majority as upcoming political role players, etc.

Some of the factors above are affecting the ANC too, but the only ones not to see this is the ANC themselves.

Louw33 argues that these regimes that manipulated minorities and majorities had only the slightest idea of what they were doing and what the outcome of their political self-empowerment would. He writes33: 281:

They mostly collapsed in a short amount of time. Their shelf-life is indeed limited, as confirmed by the various Empire states of the 20th century: the duration of the Bolsheviks’ Social Union lasted from 1922 to 1991 (69 years); Bismarck’s German Reich 1871 to 1918 (47 years); Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich 1938 to 1944 (12 years); Japan’s Colonial Empire 1905 to 1945 (40 years). The People’s Republic of China was established in 1949 and is still functioning in 2017, but is only 58 years old. For these five states, the average is 45 years.

It is thus not a surprise that the NP and its nationalist Afrikaner style mini-empire of multi-nations (or the unofficial managed “NP Union”) only lasted from 1948 to 1961 (13 years), and its mini-empire for multi-states (Republic) only from 1961 to 1994 (33 years), while the Union of South Africa (exclusively British-orientated) under strong British influence lasted from 1910 to 1948 (38 years). This reflects an average of 24 years for the three regimes.

History tends to repeat itself: the main role players in these failed states are those political leaders whom Palkhivala16 describes as suffering from wooden-headedness, people driven by selfishness and self-enrichment. The above references to the World’s political histories and that of South Africa should serve as a warning to the ANC.33 Their misuse of homogeneity, heterogeneity, majority and minority by their political leaders for their own gain can start to fail them.

3.6 The odd good executive political leader versus the hostility of the media houses

There are undoubtedly executive political leaders of high quality in the South African society, Black, Coloured, Indian and White. Very few of them reach the top positions as Level 5 executive leaders or are even recognized as leaders of stature.84 They are often unseen as they are blocked out by corrupt leaders. There are also various other role players with the intention to keep good leaders from moving up in the hierarchy of the country’s leadership.

3.6.1 The odd good executive political leader

Political leaders of good, even great world status – persons highly qualified, skilled, able and blessed with extraordinary intelligence and wisdom – have in the past been selected and appointed as top executive politicians in South Africa.84 But the troubled South African political system and the people of the country’s immense ethnic, racial, social, cultural and economic dissimilarities and internal conflict kept these executive political leaders from implementing and permanently planting their good values and virtues in the country. A sound leadership foundation and a sound form of governance are crucial. It would help with the selection and training of new executive political leaders and would serve as a guideline for how to govern correctly and ethically. The time that some of the extraordinary persons spent in office – persons like JC Smuts and JBM Hertzog – were just too short to cultivate a culture of good leadership and a regime of good governance. Their positive contribution was quickly overshadowed by the Afrikaner Nationalists’ racially driven executive leaders DF Malan, JG Strydom and HF Verwoerd (persons from the same racial and cultural group as Smuts and Hertzog, but who held totally different ideas). There was little difference between the regimes of Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma (and now also Ramaphosa). There is no evidence of good executive political leaders in the ANC, making their contributions to the establishment of a culture of good leadership minimal.9,27,39,46,47,52,58,60,79,82,86

When considering the Collins-Freiberg-Ginsberg models4,84,86, the Barber-Bremer models1,2 and other guidelines by researchers3,5 on good-to-great/gutsy business enterprises, government systems and leaders, principles that are also applicable to good-to-great political parties, governments and leaders, it seems that most governments and leaders do not meet the strict requirements to be classified a Level 5 executive political leader (Collins model)84. Indeed, executive leaders of extraordinary talent and quality have been supplanted by popular larger-than-life celebrity politicians and their intimate advisers. This is also the case in South Africa. South Africa has never held its leaders to these high standards. Such standards would assure that only humble, colour-blind, emotionally stable visionaries and nation builders free from crookery and dishonesty would be selected to these important positions. The political emancipation of 1994, often driven by the self-conceit of some of the new executive political leaders of doubtful character inside the ANC, which itself was contaminated over many years by its liberation foundation, further contributed to the political failure of South Africa. The party has allowed delinquent leaders to misuse every one of the platforms that were intended to assure good reigning of the country.9,27,39,46,47,52,58,60,79,82,86

It is not even necessary to test the post-1994 leaders against the standards set by legislation to see their rottenness. One can simply look at the company they keep. Mthombothi30 wisely comments30:25:

If you want to know a man and judge his character, look no further than his company. But if he walks in the company of rogues, criminals and hooligans, that man is probably a scoundrel.

This is why it should not be difficult to find out what kind of a man President Jacob Zuma is – just look closely at who he counts among his closest friends. You will see that though our president is not known for unwavering loyalty to his friends, he certainly feels comfortable in their in their circle of corruption.

In the selecting of an executive political leader the “primary principle must be that only people who are respected, knowledgeable, capable and enlightened will lead. Rank should not be something that is imposed – it should be earned”, writes Boon.9: 104

In the selection of leaders three powers are present: the “ordinary strength or power” (in African language: amandla) with its opposite of “negative energy to destroy power” (umbango), and the “strength that comes from many people” (ibandla). With his indigenous South African approach and reflection on leadership, Boon9 very successfully reveals the presence of the odd good executive political leader versus the abundance of bad executive political leaders in the country’s politics in general and in particular in the leadership of the present-day ANC. On the modus operandi of the scoundrels when they overpower the political system and push out the odd good executive political leader, Boon9: 91 writes:

In an umhlangano [interactive forum], maximum positive criticism and creative energy is generated. In the umbango, one finds individuals who negatively criticize to achieve their own ends – perhaps even to dethrone the leader. In an umhlangano, criticism is made to strengthen the leader and one another. There is a very fine line between the two concepts. South Africa, in particular, because of recent history, tends to have difficulty differentiating between the two. In the umbango, one argues for position. In the umhlangano, one argues to build and strengthen what is being created.

One of the ways in which the umbango gains strength is to nullify positive arguments, refuse to participate and to intimidate anyone whose thrust is towards openness and togetherness. This is achieved by creating subversive dissension and fear, by isolating the leaders of the positive thrust and attempting to discredit them. An effort is made to position the leaders as the enemies of the people.

In the past, one would often hear the word impimpi. Roughly translated, this means ‘sellout’. It was and sometimes still is used to stop people from participation openly with one another, and, more particularly, with management. In this way, one shifts from an umhlangano to an umbango. Forcing the openness of all procedures and discussions works directly against the umbango. Openness works against politicking and the formation of camps. In an open environment, the umbango will die.

As part of his “African perspective” on effective and good leadership for South Africa, Boon9 brings two other perspectives to the foreground, both deeply intertwined with executive political leaderships, namely 1) our present-day Western governmental system and its applicability on future South Africa’s government; and 2) our present messy system of leadership. Here he makes us think again (and provides insight into the ANC’s confusion about effective and good executive leadership and a regime of good governance since 1994), when he says9: 64:

One of the dangers of a rapidly developing Africa is that we lose sight of balance. In pursuit of being First World, of displaying the success of our progress away from the tribe, we can easily lose ourselves in intellectualization.

We are Africans! We are not Americans or Europeans. We are Africans. And yet, in a state of sad and sometimes aggressive ignorance, many black people have lost touch with their African roots. In many instances, they are more ‘Western’ and more ‘intellectual’ than apparently Western whites. Because of this, they are even more lost, for now it is they who intellectualize everything. They are desperately clinging to intellectualism so that they can find themselves. In reality, they are taking future generations down the same road that the West has discovered is the way to lose one’s humanity. This is reflected in the great drives in search of self, humanity, emotion, community and success.

Looking critically at Boon’s9 view, the question arises: is the present South African executive leadership of the ANC not in an African grip, while they have to function in the Western system left by the NP’s reign? Is this “African” context not directly responsible for the present mess of our executive political leadership? Think here of Zuma’s behaviours in personal and public life as reflected at his home and public meetings, even in parliamentary sittings. Specific in relation to Boon’s9 above description: Can Zuma in terms of his leadership qualities and characteristics, intellectualize anything?

On a more sober and clear note, Boon9 concludes by commenting on the need to kick out political “clingfishes” like Zuma who are trying to make the presidency a heritage for a bloodline of crooks and who are intent on erasing the odd executive political leader for ever from our politics:9: 104

Mature leadership dictates that we routinely and constantly attempt to employ people who are more capable than us or who, at the very least, have the potential to be. If this does not happen, the organization will, over the years, gradually slip into mediocrity and disappear. The culture of employing less capable people is perpetuated by people we employ, who in turn employ people who are less capable than them, and so on. To reverse this takes enormous confidence.

The writers Boon9, Collins84, Freibergs85, Ginsberg4 and Mthombothi30 stress that good executive leaders promote and assure the growth and development if an organization, as well as the growth of new, bettered executive leaders to take the organization into the future. The growth of a new generation of executive leaders must thus be based on amandla. The umbango of the crooked executive leaders should be fought. 9 Boon writes9: 104:

By employing people who are ‘better’ than us, we become driven. By surrounding oneself with ever-better people and by stimulating their personal growth, one empowers the organization, giving it life, passion and fortitude. They push us, challenge us, and force us to learn, grow and lead in ever-improving ways. Should we reach a level at which we can no longer progress, and those following us can, we must accept that it is right for them to overtake us. We do, after all, think highly of them and respect them, because that is why we brought them into the organization!

These kinds of leaders are undoubtedly not on the lookout for gateways to penetrate our social and political systems for their own gain.

Can this also be said of the present-day dynamics of the ANC’s executive leadership? Undoubtedly not. Our present-day leaders have become caught in their abuse of the various platforms, entities and institutions that are meant to be noble instruments with which the executive political leader may rule.

The odd good executive political leader is an endanger species: the scoundrels, criminals, hooligans, rogues and crooks who have positioned themselves well in the present-day executive political leadership of the country, are just too powerful.

3.6.2 The hostility of the media houses

It must be remembered that satisfying the needs and demands of an entire nation, especially one as complex as that of South Africa, is difficult for any executive political leader, however extraordinary politician he might be. Often very sincere politicians are portrayed very negatively. The South African media’s various branches are central to this phenomenon. They use umbango and impimpi to disempower the odd good executive political leaders if they do not view him as meeting their requirements. Prominent role players are the press, the radio and the television. Chomsky writes as follows about this blind subjectivity of the media houses26:83: “There is nothing wrong with giving tentative support to a particular candidate as long as that person is doing what you want.” An excellent example is the constant variety of personal and leadership attacks on Donald Trump by American and world media associated with liberal thinking and media sympathetic to the Democratic Party of America. Built into this organized media hostility against Trump is the fake news and misinformation about him. What applies to Trump also applies to the political leaders of other countries, including South Africa.9,39,40,79

What is unique to South Africa is the capture of the media by the majority in their organized effort to manipulate information on political leaders. This is not only reflected in Black-versus-White politics, but is also very prominent within the ruling ANC leadership in their efforts to discredit their own good executive political leaders. They rather promote scoundrels, criminals, hooligans, rogues and crooks as executive political leadership. The recent efforts from within the ANC’s inner circles to isolate and discredit Cyril Ramaphosa by spreading false information to get him reject from the ANC’s lists of presidential candidates, is a good example. It is difficult to believe, but often these media manipulations and false information to the voters and the general public, works effectively, with serious long-term negative consequences for the good leader.29,30,86,87

Coogan40 writes the following on this negative state of affairs40:3:

The disillusionment of voters is fed by the way that politicians are portrayed in the media. Long gone is the age of deference in which journalists addressed political leaders as ‘sir’ and reported their words with reverence. When our leaders are not mocked on comedy shows, they are denounced as traitors or crooks on talk shows.

As if the press and TV are not enough, the Internet is a haven for conspiracy theorists and trolls, who can use the anonymity of the Web to spew abuse without comeback. Sometimes it seems as if it is no longer possible for reasonable people to disagree reasonably; unpopular views on the part of a politician are often automatically taken as a sign of corrupt motives or moral turpitude.

Martinez6 emphasizes that impartiality is unattainable in the media world: it is impossible to present information objectively, neutrally or impartially. Certain ideas, perspectives and facts are side-lined by the subjective agendas (and often with very bad intentions) of editors, executives in charge and the media owners (and crooked politicians who often have corrupt relationships with the media). The media and have much to gain and their actions must be aggressive and direct: “Methods now are by propaganda, consumerism, stirring up ethnic hatred, all kinds of ways.”26:83 In the middle of this muddle the good executive political leader is basically naked, depending on some loyalty and support of certain less biased media houses. Even for a very popular politician (notwithstanding always good), the process of obtaining the goodwill of the media houses for various opportunistic reasons can quickly turn wrong. The politician can be turned into a public political failure by misinformation on the radio, television and in newspapers aimed at the uninformed public.6,40

On information manipulation, Martinez writes6:177:

The power of voters is dependent on what they know. Information is the oxygen of democracy: its health depends on the quality of the ideas and facts circulating through society. If voters can be systematically misled, they can be systematically manipulated.

If a politician wants to have any hope for success in politics, the first step is to gain the favour of the mass media. Martinez6 writes that to establish a candidate’s suitability for entrance into a political career, his “political status” must be evaluated first as one of “acceptability,” after which these6:327: “…findings have to traverse the political battleground of the corporate-owned mass media before they can permeate the public consciousness”. For the good executive political leader to make it just to the corporately owned mass media’s entrance door for evaluation and consideration is basically a near impossible task. Getting a thumbs-up from them when evaluated according to their requirements for successful politics is another story.

Good executive political leaders are plentiful, depending on the group to whom they belong and thus the group who had put them in power as executives (majority, preferable homogeneously driven). Those leaders coming from the majority (empowered) are in general evaluated more positively than those from the minority (disempowered) group. Individuals and groups active outside the dominant majority or homogeneous group’s affiliation – opposition leaders who are mostly seen as representing the political, economically, racially and social losers (minorities) of the population – are mostly portrayed by subjective media houses as bad leaders whose political influences and impact must be erased. In South Africa, internal Black conflicts (the executive political leaders of one tribe against another tribe’s executive political leaders), as well as resistance from the other minorities, like the Afrikaners, can, with well-steered contaminated media influencing, cause serious ethnic and racial unrest and even revolution. This kind of planned influence can quickly overturn the present ANC regime, in the process taking down their executive political leaders. A totally new group of executive political leaders, thus far unknown in the country, can be created, notwithstanding the fact that they are not at present part of the ANC majority.4,7,17,29,33,39

It is clear that the organized media is being used extensively as a specific platform in the making as well as the unmaking of executive political leaders in South Africa, depending how successfully a leader or his group can use the media to attract the public’s attention. The outcome of discrediting the truly good political leader is prominent in this process.

3.7 Psychopathology in the behaviour of executive political leaders

Many studies postulate that cold-blooded executive political leaders, for example Adolf Hitler, reflect psychopathology, especially the psychopathic personality. These leaders do not care about the interests and lives others in the least. What they preach in public as politicians and what they plan and do in private as politicians are opposites. Africa has had its share of murderous autocrats and despots who disregarded the foundations of the democracies they took over (either by selection or force). Usually the lives of their country’s people are of zero importance.2,4,3,9,39,84

However, there is also evidence that psychopathology is not necessarily generally present in executive political leaders who make them guilty of serious offences, like terrorism, against their enemy. The study of Martinez6 confirms the lack of an overwhelming presence of psychopathology in terrorists’ mindsets.

Powell7 confirms this when he writes7: 18:

There are indeed psychopaths in the ranks of terrorist groups, but Louise Richardson says ‘terrorists, by and large, are not insane at all. Their primary shared characteristic is their normalcy, in so far as we understand them. Psychological studies of terrorism are virtually unanimous on this point’.

Powell7 quotes Richardson7:18 to support his view:

‘…terrorists are neither crazy nor amoral but rather are rationally seeking to achieve a set of objectives’. It is true to say they have their own rationality: something is driving them to take up arms and they want undoubtedly something to achieve.10

Remember, Menachem Begin, the leader of the terrorist group Irgun Zvai Leumi in Israel that was very active in the large scale murdering of Arabs in the 1930s to 1940s, was a hard-core terrorist who had learned his terrorist tactics from IRA campaign of 1919–1921 and the campaigns of the Russian anarchists. The original IRA studied the terrorist tactics of the Boers used in their guerrilla fighting (equal to terrorism) against the British between 1898 and 1902. Each one of these groups had their own reasons; often they were persons who took up arms because they had something to achieve, as did the terrorist ANC’s executive political leaders in their struggle for Black freedom or the executive leaders of the Voortrekker Boers in their terrorism against the Blacks when occupying the Transvaal and Free State regions. These various persons and groups were certainly not all crazy.7

Another argument is that all these people are atheists, an attribute that would supposedly make them cold-blooded as people. Nelson Mandela was specifically labelled an atheist. Although it is true that many of the ANC’s executive political leaders seem to be atheists (a characteristic which certainly does not make them insensitive to other people’s well-being or make them ‘bad’ persons per se), there is also overwhelming evidence that many of ANC’s executive leaders who were indeed terrorists were Christian believers. Belief in God, especially Christianity, is not a guarantee that such believing politicians will not get engage in terrorism: the Irish Christian terrorists and the Christian NP leadership’s involvement in the killing of their opponents confirms that religion per se is not a restraint. In fact, some studies confirm the presence of extreme religiousness as a specific characteristic of some terrorists.6,7,33,39

Louw33 is of the opinion that the Afrikaner problem of Apartheid is too complex to simplify it as some kind of psychopathology. Many other unrelated negative external determinants are also involved. A comprehensive study is needed to understand the racism of the Afrikaners. He emphasizes on the other hand that psychological and emotional problems can form the basis of serious social, even criminal, behaviour. Indeed, a psychopathic foundation makes the individual insensitive, exploitative and cold-blooded towards other persons, but the presence of clinically significant psychopathy is rare in the greater society. Louw33 reflects that studies on the behaviour of people from ancient times until the present show that the mass behaviour of the greater society can reflect behaviour bordering on psychopathic. He writes33:87-88:

The stories from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible describing in-depth the Jews outright and totally murdering of innocent non-Jews communities that hey conquered in their entrance into Israel from Egypt, instigated, and instructed mostly by their religious leaders in the name of the “God of the Jewry.” The Nazis leadership’s successfully mesmerizing of the Germans to commit the genocide of Jews as well as other non-Germans confirms this internalizing of doctrine further. Basic to these behaviours stand mass discrimination; In the Jewish and the German cases more ethnic orientated against people of the same race as the Afrikaners’ discrimination against people of another race. To be coerced into such mal-behaviour requires a tendency and latent disposition in the mindset of the culprits to be acceptable for these doctrines of misbehave and to commit it. To argue subjective that these culprits also as nations were permanent evil or psychologically genetically malfunctioning, is wrong, and inapplicable. Other activating and contaminating powers are also involved to activate and up-keep mal-behaviour in the mindsets of ordinary people and nations as a whole.

About the presence of on possible psychopathology in the Afrikaner mindset, Louw writes33: 80:

On the other side bad behaviour cannot originate in the individual’s mind without his own reasoning and permission, understanding, acceptance, and a willingness to participate in it. This indicates the presence of a latent cognition in his mindset, waiting and ready to be activated by external stimuli, ending in various forms of abnormal behaviour. It seems as if the Jews and Germans (and the Afrikaners in their Apartheid dogma) fell prey to this faulty cognition.

On the extent to which negative external influences can contribute to dangerous behaviour among the Afrikaners, Louw33:89 postulates:

In this regard it must be noted that the majority of ordinary nationalist Afrikaners a mandate to their leaders through the ballot box to act on their behalf and on their own discretion to drive and manage apartheid, knowing well that this included the cold-blooded murder of political opponents and dissidents. They never tried through elections to make a turn-around, and this makes them party to these crimes and brings their cognitive judgement and thus general mental health under suspicion.

Louw33 comments on the abuses by Afrikaner leaders by stating that they should have learned from the mistakes of other nations, such as the Nazis. Louw reports33: 88-89:

It is clear that a manifold of negative external influences, examples, circumstances, and environments, events over a short period or coming over centuries, can be used by cunning, manipulative leaders with flawed thinking as drivers to establish deviant doctrines and ideologies in the mindsets of large groups and to activate and internalize bad behaviour like the practice of discrimination. In the case of the Jews as well as the Germans, these external causes were seemingly manifold, causing common people to accept leaders who “lead and defend on their behalf their rights, property, cultural and religious lifestyles and nationhood”…

When he writes specifically about the Afrikaners’ behaviour during Apartheid Louw says33: 89:

In the case of the creation and practice of the Afrikaner’s Apartheid there seems, as with the Jews and the Germans, to be clear and specific historical causes that over centuries led to the internalizing of discrimination against non-Whites. The Afrikaners came to view it as correct, acceptable, and normal. This internalizing dimension does not acquit the Afrikaners as individuals or as a group from their flawed thinking in their racial discrimination…

Looking critically at possible psychopathology among the Afrikaners in their practice of Apartheid, it seems that there are strong signs of it. It is impossible to make a diagnosis on a general observation without formally testing all Afrikaners for psychiatric or psychological pathology. Looking on the severity of the practice of Apartheid’s atrocities, and the fact that the most Afrikaners ignored the signs of murder, also confirms the presence of psychopathology among the general Afrikaner people. The best conclusion that can be made under the present circumstances is that of Louw33: 89: In light of their public acceptance and formal acceptance of Apartheid at the ballot box, knowing very well the serious transgression going with it, the judgement and thus general mental health, of Afrikaners is under suspicion.

It must be accepted that the psychopathology of the Afrikaner was manipulated by the psychopathic leaders. Here psychopathology refers to the mindset of thousands of Afrikaner supporters of Apartheid and the mindsets of their executive leaders.33

4. Conclusions

The soap opera of politics and governments will never be eliminated. This is a cause for celebration – human judgement in all its fallibility will ultimately reign supreme. However much we know and however much power we wield there will always be the unexpected development to throw us of course. For those with power, hubris is always a risk. Pride comes before a fall, in government above all (Barber2:288-289).

Barber2 continues to say that the pride of executive political leaders drives a variety of negative characteristics such as self-promotion and self-service, recklessness, ruthlessness, opportunism, delinquency and crookery, cold-bloodedness, racism, lack of integrity, manipulation murderousness, flawed thinking and social malfunctioning.2,9 Boon9 describes the South African politicians excellently with his two classes: takers and mobsters. These are the true identities of most of the South African politicians, but instead of seeing this, we honour them with bronze statues; the naming of buildings, townships and airports; specific years of national remembrance; honorary doctorates, half-knighthoods and knighthoods; and even, it seems, as saints and semi-gods.2,9,33,88

This research shows they are driven by four main aims and intentions in life: self-enrichment, ownership of immense and unlimited political power, cold-blooded rule and if needed, extinguishing the lives of other humans and a life of unlimited crookery and delinquency. It interesting to look at the attempted assassination and successful assassinations of politicians in South Africa: from 2000 to 2016 more than 1 000 attempted assassinations were reported. It seems that from 1994 for certain ideological political reasons the focus shifted from killing to mafia-style violence against opponents, bring down the murder count. Although many of these attempts are purely economically and gang driven, some were political. There have been a number of successful assassinations of politicians, especially in Kwazulu-Natal. These assassinations of politicians are not a post-1994 trend, but as the TRC reflected, a phenomenon that was also part of the NP regime’s political “solutions”. This is further confirmation of the extent to which crooks had infiltrated the South African politics and their focus on remaining in power. It can be expected that political assassination up to the 2019 general election can become much more focused on prominent executive political leaders of the ANC.89-92 Remembers that many of the new leaders who were elected in 2018 are not Xhosas or Zulus. Again, take note of Tshabalala’s warning38:13: “Beware, the snake might be dead but those who share its secrets can still bite”.

Looking to our political history it seems to be the Whites, especially the Afrikaners’ executive political leaders, who were at the forefront of transgressions in South Africa. This is with specific reason that Smith writes93:18: “No man did more to create the environment in which thousands of anti-apartheid activists were detained and tortured by the security forces than Balthazar Johannes Vorster – know as BJ or John Vorster”. These unbelievable wrongdoings are not limited to Grand Apartheid (1948-1994), but stretch back over three hundred years of our history. The former PAC-leader, Motsoko Pheko94, is more than justified when he refers to role of specifically Whites (Afrikaners) in the colonization and land expropriation of South Africa (and Africa), saying94:10: “…though colonists called it the spreading of ‘Western Christian civilisation’, it was in fact, colonial terrorism”, and: “This was a crime against humanity. It was theft.” Indeed, the TRC failed to settle the “bad accounts” left by the NP-AB-DRC-alliance leaders, especially their failure to send the “accounts” to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for collecting.

But the Blacks — from the ANC to the PAC (and the PAC’s Motsoko Pheko, who is now crying “White terrorism” and “White crime against humanity”) — are equally guilty of Black terrorism and Black crimes against humanity.33,94 Here I am not referring to the ANC and PAC’s terrorism between the 1940s and 1990s (one can almost pardon this due to the oppression that the Blacks suffered and their fight to obtain equality in South Africa up to 1994), but is goes as far back as Shaka and Mzilikazi, and then of course, their post-1994 modern failed executive leaders, starting from Nelson Mandela up to Jacob Zuma.2,33 They and the Afrikaner leaders are birds of the same feather and were the main reason that debts to pay could not be sent to the ICC.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) closed it eyes to the actions of the Whites and the pre-1994 Black actions via the ANC. Instead it keeps itself busy with the atrocities of various Northern African delinquent political leaders whose political atrocities were not that much different from the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders or the political atrocities of the ANC’s leadership. At the same time it seems as if the ICC turns a blind eye to the West’s killings and atrocities, especially in the Middle East. The ICC’s view on South Africa’s pre-1994 transgressions on both sides is seemingly in line with the convenient “illegal but legitimate” view on the Serbian killings by the Western forces. The judgment of the International Independent Commission of Inquiry (IICI) reads: “It was illegal because it did not receive approval from the UN Security Council…but it was legitimate because all diplomatic avenues had been exhausted and there was no other way to stop the killings and atrocities in Kosovo.”3:122 This verdict and interpretation are stretching international law in an extreme form and is deplorable. South Africans, Black and White, got away with the same kinds of acts as their Western (White) counterparts by the ICC. South Africans have not improved since 1994, in fact, their thinking has deteriorated.

What is so surprising is that both Blacks and Whites suffered oppression and their turned around and oppressed in response. It is a good example of Herodotus’ revenge-counter-revenge theory.95 We are repeating the vicious circle of wooden-headedness. The post-1994 ANC executive political leaders, as were the White and Afrikaner executive political leaders up to 1994, are also takers and political mobsters.9,16,33,94,95

Ultimately the failed Afrikaner executive political leaders learned the hard way, and Barber2 offers a sincere warning applicable to the Blacks2: 288-289: “For those with power, hubris is always a risk. Pride comes before a fall, in government above all.” The chances are good that they will also learn that hubris is always a risk.

Many leaders have come and gone in the South Africa political history. Some left no footprint whatsoever; others were remembered for a while before they became ghosts of the past. Some became icons, also to disappear into the archives of history as numbered files. The pictures of more recent ones are still colourful and are shown around; the pictures of older ones yellowed with time, cracked and the faces indistinct. Some are still loved, at least in some way; others are despised and bitterly hated. Some called it a day and resigned freely from their posts; others were recalled; some passed away peacefully; others died violently. If we would be offered the opportunity to speak to our dead leaders in the afterlife, why would we, even if we could? In life they failed South Africa as executive political leaders; what can they now teach us besides mistakes, mistakes…and wooden-headedness? When it comes to the few living ex-leaders, we have stopped talking to them long ago; we don’t want to hear more lies and wooden-headedness from the living dead.

There is no point in denying that ethnicity and racism exist, writes Boon9:63: “It simply does, whether one likes it or not. But it needs not to be negative. It can be the most inclusive, colourful, wonderful and positive thing”. But when ethnicity and racism are being used to fan hatred of other groups, evil is being done. This evil is exactly what the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders did with the “Black danger” from 1948 to 1994 to attract the votes of the common Whites. Since 1994 the ANC has started fanning ethnic and racial hatred of Whites. The ANC’s executive political leaders captured the platform “White danger” for their own gain. It seems that they learned a lot about wrongdoing from their White twin brother.

South Africa’s political dividers and disrupters must learn there is much wisdom, empowerment and blessing in the Swahili proverb: Unity is strength, division is weakness. Such a positive political concept can only come with a re-evaluation of good-versus-bad executive political leaderships and good-versus-bad regimes of governance. Trouble-making executive political leaders must learn that their time as political masters of manipulation and opportunism, takers and political mobsters are over in the South African politics.

The behaviours of South Africa’s executive political leaders are inexplicable and border on the insane. The remnants of the ideological wars between the Whites and the Blacks will be with us for a long time to come. We still see the remnants of Willem Adriaan van der Stel, Paul Kruger, DF Malan and HF Verwoerd’s actions in the thinking, planning and actions of many present-day Afrikaners. The same can be said about the negative remnants left by the executive political leaders Shaka, Mzilikazi, Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma. Their actions affect the thinking, planning and actions of some of the present-day Black executive political leaders ruling South Africa.4,9,27,33,54,58,60,61,63-68,95

It is no wonder that Engelbrecht23,97 after he reviewed Ronnie Kasrils’s97 book on Jacob Zuma, says23:12-13: “Kasril’s book reveals a serpent’s nest that confirms one’s suspicions that most politicians – everywhere, not just in South Africa – are cunning and dangerous snakes.” [Own translation].

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PEER REVIEW

Not commissioned; Externally peer-reviewed.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The author declares that he has no competing interest.

FUNDING

The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa.

An appraisal of the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa: 1652-2018. Part 1: Leadership characteristics in perspective

Gabriel P Louw

iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6190-8093

Research Associate, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

Corresponding Author:

Prof. Dr. GP Louw

Email: profgplouw@gmail.com

Keywords: appraisal, characteristic, constitution, executive governance, guarantee, hypocrisy, integrity, leadership, liberator, mindset, organization, regime.

Ensovoort, volume 38(2018), number 6:1

  1. Background

1.1 Introduction

The concept leader is prominent in the South African literature when reflecting on the country’s past and present executive political leaders. In this context the term executive political leaders refers specifically to governors at the Cape Refreshment Station, of the Cape Colony and the other colonies, prime ministers of the Union of South Africa and presidents of the Republic of South Africa.

Leaders are usually identified by descriptive adjectives like great, famous, traditional, strong, interactive, powerfully, true and mature. The user’s primary aim with these adjectives is to reflect and describe the quality of the person and the reign of these leaders South Africa. Some descriptions, overviews and opinions on the executive political leaders are contain classifications such as good, poor, under-par and failed leaders, depending mostly on the political and racial orientation of writers. This descriptions, overviews and opinions are also applicable on regimes.1-4

A critical analysis of South African literature reflects that these descriptions are not only very subjective, but also vague. It fails to define and to describe in depth who and what an executive political leader is and the characteristics and behaviour unique to each individual leader. This failure to offer complete descriptions is also reflected in considerations of the various regimes of South Africa, from the rule of the Dutch and British, to the South African Party (SAP) and the National Party (NP) in the period of the Union and the NP and the African National Congress (ANC) in the management of the Republic.3,5-9

This article, Part 1: Leadership characteristics in perspective, is the first in a series of five articles in this project (Project One) to evaluate and describe the performance profiles of the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa (previously the Cape Colony) for the period 1652 to 1795.

The articles that make up the rest of this series are:

  • Part 2: The entities in government and society that executive political leaders use to aid their political behaviour;
  • Part 3: Factors that influence the development of executive political leaders;
  • Part 4: A basic checklist for the appraisal of executive political leaders and regimes;
  • Part 5: Performance profiles of executive political leaders and regimes for the period 1652 to 1795.

This project will be followed by a second project (Project Two) with another series of five articles on the performance profiles of executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa, covering the remaining period of 1796 to 2018. In this case the focus will be on the performance profiles of executive political leaders and regimes in five timeframes: 1796 to 1872 (Part 6), 1873 to 1909 (Part 7), 1910 to 1948 (Part 8), 1949 to 1994 (Part 9) and 1995 to 2018 (Part 10).

The aim of this article is to put the characteristics of executive political leaders of South Africa in perspective.

  1. Method

The research was done by means of a literature review. This method has the aim of building a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established body of research, like on the topic of the quality of the current political leadership of South Africa. The sources used include articles from 2017 to 2018, books for the period 1944 to 2018 and newspapers for the period 2017 to 2018. These sources were consulted to put the characteristics of executive political leaders into perspective.10-12

The research findings are presented in narrative format.

  1. Results

3.1 Current general public opinions and views on the executive political leaders and regimes of South Africa

Political commentators give us various opinions and views on the South African executive political leaders, sometimes in a very one-sided manner from a subjective corner. This is especially true of commentators from among the Afrikaners, who feel like derelicts in the post-1994 political environment and see such writing as an opportunity to litigate. Historians try to base their views and opinions on historical facts, but in many cases the history of Apartheid contaminates the work of historians with feelings of guilt that subtract from their objectivity.

Some comments are cited below to provide a bit of perspective on South African executive political leaders and their regimes. These passages reflect how some South Africans in general, and Afrikaners specifically, see these leaders.

Elmer Bredenkamp recently wrote13:10:

Paul Kruger plunged the Boers into a war with the powerful British Empire with tragic consequences, and then fled overseas. Genl. Jan Smuts’s obsession with the British king plunged his people into further poverty. John Vorster and PW Botha started a war outside our borders in Angola, which held no danger for South Africa, and tried to solve the country’s internal problems with violence. FW de Klerk was the weakest of them all. He negotiated a good handshake for himself and plunged the Afrikaner into a no man’s land with inhumane racist legislation. Not one of these leaders had been elected democratically, but rather by a small group of self-serving, greedy souls of a political party [Own translation].

Above opinion to a certain extent seems to be subjective and right wing orientated. It criticizes Afrikaner leaders for seemingly failing in the long run to be effective, good political leaders who govern and steer South Africa and for cold-bloodedly betraying the Afrikaner cause. This view is a good representation of a so-called minority view on South African politics within the country’s heterogeneous population that is governed by a majority group13.

Other literature1,2,6-8,14,15 on South African executive political leaders and regimes, covering the period 1652 to 2018, also reflects certain deviant behaviours of the executive political leaders and their regimes, very much in line with the opinion of Bredenkamp.13

From critical literature it seems as if the Black successors of the White political leaders of South Africa after 1994 have not been doing much better than Kruger, Smuts, Vorster, Botha and De Klerk. The idea that the political leadership of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki showed infallible integrity and were free from self-conceit, self-enrichment and opportunism is a falsity. This is evident from the literature available on their respective rules. It is argued that the criminality that so undermines good executive political leadership was already awakened in 1994 by the incoming political leaders of the new regime, run by the elite of the African National Congress (ANC), long before the controversial Jacob Zuma arrived on the scene as the ultimate delinquent political leader.16,17

The South African academic and political analyst, Dr Piet Croucamp, writes18:8:

“The first cracks in the ‘morality of liberation’ were revealed under former pres. Nelson Mandela when ‘the face of all that could go wrong’, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, showed poor judgement that resulted in corruption” [Own translation].

The role of Mandela’s successor, Thabo Mbeki, in the Arm’s Deal Scandal and his selective “Alzheimer memory and ongoing amnesia” about his direct involvement in the matter is still a criminal controversy today, indicating his overall failure as an executive political leader with integrity. His immense overall shortcomings as a political leader directly led to his recall as the president of South Africa by his own party in September 2008.2,17-19,20

Croucamp18 describes the corrupt and substandard political leadership of the most recent president of South Africa, the “most honourable” Mr Zuma, who egoistically reign the country through the Zupta-gang and the ANC’s Luthuli house parliament, as follows18:8:

Many South Africans, probably most citizens of this country, regard pres. Jacob Zuma with some contempt, even hate. He is undermining, criminal and without conscience in his understanding of the democratic process. Without changing the Constitution, he changed, broke and manipulated the political rules of the game in the country until most South Africans lost their trust in the sustainability of the 1994 compromise [Own translation].

Boon1:25, in the context of good versus bad executive political leaders and regimes, written about the deviant behaviour of Black executive political leaders from 1810 to 1840. He focuses on the murderous conquest and rule of some tribes over other Black tribes, specifically Shaka, king of the Mthetwa and Zulu tribes, during the early 1800s to the middle 1800s. The land and human rights of other established and independent Black tribes were ignored by aggressive executive political Black leaders (who Boon1 calls “great,” seemingly sanctioning their histories of outright murder as good to present them in the literature as the “fathers of the Black nations”). These were all Black leaders who brought excruciating hardship and blooshed to hundreds of thousands of Blacks in South Africa. Boon1 writes about the Zulu leader Shaka’s rigid, uncompromising and selfish behaviour (very much in line with the rigid, uncompromising and selfish behaviour of Afrikaner leaders Kruger, Smuts, Botha and De Klerk towards Blacks during Apartheid as portrayed by Bredenkamp13), as follows 1:26:

Soon Shaka had decimated his northern neighbours, the Ndwandwe, and his Zulu armies were the undisputed power in a region extending from the Tugels River in the South, to the Pongola in the north, and the Buffalo in the west. His expansionist policies had a further devastating effect on the region. In the south, all the way to the Umtata River, people gradually lost everything to the Zulus – their cattle, their ability to raise crops (which were constantly taken by foraging Zulu armies), their young women and, eventually their dignity. Henry Francis Fynn, who travelled through the area at that time, wrote of emaciated and desperate people, who were dirty, terrified and, in some instances, turning to cannibalism as their means of survival. Thus began a period of migration of people who fled from Shaka and tyranny, as he raided and terrorized the tribes bordering Zululand.

Ginsberg21 elaborates further on the actions and qualities of executive political leaders and their governments at the Cape during the 17th century. He first refers to the Dutch and then to the British governors who came after 1806 with their autocratic powers. Especially prominent was the British establishment’s enforcement of autocratic imperial rules at the Cape Colony in the 1800s. He writes as follows on the impact of these foreign rules and management on the mostly Dutch-orientated inhabitants21:98:

Remember the days of Simon van der Stel, the 17th-century governor of the Cape: when the Dutch settlers grew dissatisfied with him, he was recalled to Holland. Unfortunately, the 1830s saw trekboers (Boer farmers) resorting to every conceivable means of expressing their grievances, but with no power to affect government policies they ultimately took the radical step of entering the interior of an unknown continent [Great Trek].

Linking the above with the current situation, it seems as if the new South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, is already starting to play to the masses. The investigative political journalist Barney Mthombothi writes in short22:21:

But could it be that Ramaphosa is also struggling with a transition of his own — from obsequious underling to the headstrong honcho plotting the political demise of his former boss? How can one be a servant one day and a master the next? Or play both roles interchangeably, which Ramaphosa seems to be doing.

The above descriptions, however emotionally coloured “they may be”, are penetrating the political mindsets of many South Africans and require an answer. This discourse shows the urgent need for an appraisal and an evaluation of the quality of the South African executive political leaders and their regimes from 1652 up to today. They should be evaluated in terms of a broad set of criteria of good versus bad executive political leadership and their unique characteristics.

3.2 The effect of South Africa’s hate speech legislation on criticism aimed at incompetent executive political leaders and their practices

In politics there are no holy cows: not Gandhi, Churchill, Verwoerd or Mandela can escape critical appraisals and evaluations. Criticism is the democratic right of the individual. In practice, the contrary has occurred many times. Leaders use false propaganda and cover-ups, like the ANC’s parliamentarians did with their misinformative media statement in November 2017 when Zuma was unmasked in public for his immense constitutional and other wrongdoings, especially his disregard for parliament. Munusamy writes9:26:

The African National Congress lauds President Jacob Zuma for his continuing and undeterred commitment to account to the people of South Africa by regularly appearing before parliament to answer questions on a number of the most pressing issues facing South Africa today.” This false reflection comes after Zuma repeatedly made a mockery of parliament and the ANC caucus with his absence from parliament. When attending, he acted the fool to divert attention away from his wrongdoings.9,17

The above illustrates that during any critical unmasking of prominent political leaders and regimes, there are always efforts to subdue such critism, either by law, abuse of the media and even physical attacks. It has become difficult to evaluate executive political leaders critically, notwithstanding the fact of their corruption, fraud and theft, especially when they are still alive and acting. South Africa’s foolish but effective gagging hate speech legislation sees to this. This obstacle to criticism makes for crooked and ineffective leaders who clearly fail to reach as much a level 1 as leaders when judged according to the Collins-Freiberg-Ginsberg classification.21-24

Many succeed in escaping the unmasking of their wrongdoings. The superficial sugar coating of the post-1994 South African executive political leaders as good persons and as good leaders, is well-reflected by their biographers. They only write of excellence, affected by an icon-saint syndrome where no one dares to challenge or to critize. The fact that the hate speech legislation became intertwined with the informal post-1994 policy of political correctness and some formal pieces of security legislation effectively gags historians and political commentators. This is all to clear from the present threat of criminal and civil legal actions against the political writer Jacques Pauw17 after the appearance of his book The President’s Keepers. The book reveals just too much about Jacob Zuma and the ANC as a political party. Historians and commentators are not welcome to evaluate, appraise and describe South Africa’s executive political leaders in depth and critically.

The country’s politico-historical sources have to be tapped for information. Critical appraisals and descriptions of every South African politician, regime and leader are crucial. No former or current political leaders should ever be protected from unmasking and revelation of the truth.1,-8,16,17,25-52

At the moment it seems the leaders who came into parliament with the change to the ANC regime are above reproach. What is more, it has become fashionable to subject the pre-1994 executive political leaders, both White and Black, to ruthless scrutiny. This scrutiny has turned into a one-sided political attack on races that stand on the margins under Black rule. Misleading public statements about the Whites’ status as settlers and colonialists abound (notwithstanding the fact that the Black ethnic groups of South Africa are settlers themselves…but no whisper about this). Strong and justified responses to the attacks by these executive political leaders of the ANC (including attacks on the characters of former leaders) are often silenced by the ANC with a call on hate speech legislation and prosecution. In the meantime they offer doubtful and untrustworthy arguments and excuses to escape attacks on their wrongdoings and incompetences.2,53-68

Research cannot and must not be blocked or captured as has been the case lately when the reprehensible actions of Jacob Zuma were highlighted in the media. The South African nation needs to know the truth. Every member of the ANC elite took part in this silencing of the media when they wanted to report on the failed executive political leadership. The new president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, was the vice-president and a senior ANC member under Zuma and a willing party to the constant cover-up and the silencing of critics of the ANC. It is time that these ANC leaders are called to book, notwithstanding their various tactics and lies to escape justice.15,17-19, 69-73

Publishing on failed executive political leaders and their regimes in South Africa is not only a right, but indeed a must. It does not matter if it is Jan van Riebeeck, the Afrikaner icons Malan and Verwoerd, the Xhosa icon Mandela or the Zulu Pimpernel Zuma (Here, simple tribal references like Xhosa, Zulu, etc., can result in legal action against critical writers). The democratic right to criticism forms the foundation of this research, covering the executive political leaders and regimes from 1652 to 2018.

Palkhivala74 is clear on the right to freedom of speech and to expression of opinions in terms of a country’s constitution. Citizens have the right to take on any executive political leader or regime that was in office previously or is in office at present. If a country proudly claims a foundation of democracy as South Africa has been doing since 1994, citizens have the right to focus on evaluations and criticism of political leaders and regimes’ contributions in general, be they positive or negative, or on every citizen’s political and civil rights and their well-being in a country (ironically the most suppressive communist states also claim to have these foundations). Palkhivala states74:296-297:

The right to dissent is at the heart of every democracy. This right becomes the duty of every knowledgeable and right-minded citizen, when government acts in a manner detrimental to civil liberties or otherwise against the public interests. The right to dissent is conferred by the Constitution: the duty to dissent is dictated by the realization that in a democracy citizens have to practice obedience to the unenforceable.

Palkhivala74 reacts to the assumed “mandate of unlimited power” of executive political leaders (and their regimes) in charge of the populations who elected them by citing the legal opinion of Justice Frankfurter, who puts it clearly that in a democracy the highest office is not that of the Number One executive (president or prime minister), but that of being a citizen. It is something for which the citizen himself always and constantly must strive and fight for74:297:

Democracy is always a beckoning goal, not a safe harbour. For freedom is an unremitting endeavour, never a final achievement.”

Only with the constant public exposure of rotten executive political leaders and their regimes can democracy be upheld and renewed. Of cause executive political leaders of good standing can be kept upright in this way as well.16,17,25,75

3.3 Lack of literature reflecting the true nature of South African executive political leaders and their political regimes

South Africa lacks in-depth literature that offers descriptions of the quality of the performances of its executive political leadership, specifically with reference to leadership as practiced by its various executive political leaders and their regimes from 1652 to 2018. Only limited references to the behavioural and political practices of the executive political leaders and their regimes are available.

The multiple biographies, articles and books on South African executive political leaders, as well as various autobiographies by these leaders themselves, offer sparse information and descriptions on the precise nature of their leadership, their contributions, or any measure of their quality. Most of research on South African leadership offers many postulations, opinions, viewpoints and “facts”, data that are mostly subjectively influenced by parties, self-conceit and intentions to promote political agendas.It often leads to the personal glorification of substandard and corrupted political leaders and their governments. Literature is used to detract from the failures of these leaders. Even with failed political leadership, some of these political leaders have become icons, even with worldwide status, with very few criticisms lodged against them to point out criminality, psychological pathology and other deviant behaviours associated with them or their regimes. Never ever do researchers dare to ask questions such as: Did leaders so and so serve every citizen of South Africa equally every day before, during and after their reign with the same love and dedication, honesty, justice, objectivity, and benefit? Were they free from racial and cultural biases and did they have the guts to take on immoral socio-political systems and delinquent political leaders without regard for the consequences this may have for their political careers? Moreover, did the many forms of resistance that leaders claim to have shown, the anti’s, keep political leaders on the right tract and their souls pure? Was this resistance really part of these leaders’ personal and political lifestyles – anti-Apartheid, anti-poverty, anti-joblessness, anti-uneducation, anti-corruption, anti-nepotism, anti-racial hate, anti-stealing, anti-lying, anti-religious domination, anti-cultural domination, anti-tribalism, anti-self-enrichment, anti-self-empowerment? 1-4,6-7,16,17,25-37

Can the top South African politicians say with pride and sincerity that Mahatma Gandhi’s goodness is part of their psyche? Not one of the many autobiographies and biographies available offers a convincing answer to the simple “anti-questions” listed above. The many wrongs done by political leaders are kept silent in many of these beautiful accounts that praise them as politicians. The truth is baked into sweet pies of lies by politicians and their autobiographers.

Hard-core facts that can unmask world figures, icons and heroes are just left out. Not even the brilliant authorized biography of Nelson Mandela (undoubtedly one of the best biographies ever to be published on a South African statesman), notwithstanding its honesty and a strong under build of objectivity, really stripped the icon naked. When there is sensitivity about the past, there is always more than the eyes can see, especially when famous politicians are involved. The hypocrisy of the British on political leaders like Begin, Kenyatta, Makarios and Mandela is a reminder of the hard reality of the crooked mindsets of politicians that has spread into the heart of democracy and respectability (and most importantly, objective research).

Daphne Caruana Galizia76, the leading Maltese investigative journalist and fearless critic of corruption who was murdered by means a car bomb in October 2017, was absolutely correct when she on the day of her death said76:23: “There are crooks everywhere you look now.

The above lack of well-grounded critical evaluations on South African executive politicians in general means that this matter should ideally be addressed in a comprehensive study and not within the limited scope of a series of articles. Nevertheless, this series of articles serves to make a start to this endeavour.

3.4 Confusing and subjective descriptions of the good executive political leader

The various declarations, definitions, opinions and views on who and what an executive political leader is and should be, are very complicated, confusing, and indeed controversial. Who or what an executive political leader is for the one writer or government depends on whose side the leader is on: the same person may be a terrorist and a murderer in the eyes of one government, but a hero and a godsend to others. There are also frequent and extreme changes in the valuation of leaders. This is accompanied by radical changes in the values of writers and governments. They change their opinions and views of certain crooked leaders, erasing overnight their memory of the chequered past of the murderer or terrorist, awarding them the status of a saint. Powell77 illustrates excellently how a person can be a terrorist one moment, hunted by many governments, and then the next moment morph into a distinguished executive political leader of world calibre, most welcome in respectable countries. Powell77:1 writes:

The British government called Menachen Begin a terrorist and tried to kill him, they described Jomo Kenyatta as a terrorist and imprisoned him, and they labeled Archbishop Makarios a terrorist and exiled him to the Seychelles – and yet later welcomed all three to London as distinguished leaders of other countries.

Nelson Mandela himself publically admitted2:9: “I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies.”

The question is thus what specific leadership and personal characteristics make a person a good executive political leader. What leadership and personal characteristics fail the “official” test of goodness? The same can be asked about what kind of behaviour must be reflected to elevate a person’s poor leader status to one of good standing. Prominent in this regard is for example the extreme changes in the status and the descriptions of the political leaders Begin, Kenyatta and Makarios by the British in their reclassification of these leaders as good executive political leaders and the British establishment’s accommodating acceptance of these leaders as good persons.2,77

It must be noted that Begin was seen and honoured as a good leader and a good person by the Jews and his Irgun-group in Israel long before the British changed their opinion of him (in this context murder and terrorism are simply dismissed). The same applies to Kenyatta in Kenia with the Mau-Mau and Makarios with the Maltese Cypriots. The extreme differences in the good-versus-bad classification between various populations and nations confirms the complexity and conflicts that subjective, emotional and cognitive dispositions bring to the appraisals and classifications of political leaders as either good or bad. Of cause, many other factors are at play in the change of mindset decribed above. For instance, the direct and long-term economic, political and diplomatic interests of the UK play a role, since the new political winners in regional and world politics, like Begin, Kenyatta, and Makarios, can play an important long-term role. This can be used opportunistically by showing approval, nullifying and conveniently forgetting the cruel past.2,77

The sudden changes described above are not extraordinary. The British showed same re-evaluation and reclassification of a bad political leader as a good political leader in July 1996 with towards President Nelson Mandela of the Republic of South Africa. In this context Anthony Sampson2, Mandela’s authorized biographer, writes2:xxiii:

In the past, many of the politicians in the audience had regarded him as their enemy, who should never be permitted to lead his country. Many Conservative Members of Parliament had condemned him as a terrorist: the former Prime Minister Lady Thatcher, who is sitting near the front, had said nine years before that anyone who thought the African National Congress was ever going to form the government of South Africa was ‘living in cloud-cuckoo land’. Now cloud-cuckoo land arrived in Westminster Hall.

The above was written when Mandela was honoured in July 1996 as a visiting head of state in Westminster Hall, London, the ancient heart of the House of Parliament, in a ceremony that happens only once or twice in a lifetime. It must also be mentioned that this British mood swing with regard to Mandela already started in March 1995 with the British Queen awarding him the Order of Merit, the most coveted British honour, during her state visit to South Africa.2

Degrading British names used in the press, like St Mandela, quickly changed to Mister and President Mandela. Hypocrisy becomes a normal personal characteristic in the political mind when blurring self-enrichment and political empowerment seemingly overtakes sound thinking and argumentation on good versus bad leadership.2

Such hypocrisy is not unique to the English when it comes to classifying and reclassifying political leaders. In South Africa Nelson Mandela was, in terms of Black thinking, unjustly jailed for political reasons for a long time, receiving a prison number as name, stripped of all human dignity. The NP in turn labelled him with names such as a revolutionary, guerrilla leader, prisoner, violent terrorist and the Black Pimpernel under the executive political leaderships of his biggest political opponents, BJ Vorster, PW Botha and FW de Klerk, and their cronies Pik Botha, Kobie Coetsee and Louis le Grange. Then, suddenly, these arch-enemies officially changed and reclassified his status (and their mindsets also?). They came to call him a statesman and the President of South Africa, the chief executive political leader.2

There can also be a dramatic reclassification when a good executive political leader comes to be viewed as a bad executive political leader, as has been confirmed by the Robert Gabriel Mugabe case of Zimbabwe. This reclassification was again executed by the British, seemingly as part of their local comic: Britain rules the waves versus Britain waves the rules. Mugabe, a well-educated man holding seven degrees, including one from the University of London, initially became notorious for his political group’s atrocies against the Whites in Zimbabwe during the Smith-regime. These murderous inclinations were further extended to Whites after he took power in 1980. However, his murderous inclinations are best reflected by his Fifth Brigade’s massacre of an estimated 20 000 Zimbabweans in the 1980s, mostly from the Ndebele tribe. He ruled Zimbabwe from the 1980s as a despot, ignoring human rights and lives, including that of Zimbabweans. Notwithstanding this murderous record and thus outright failure as an executive leader in terms of world standards and surely also in the eyes of the World Court for Humanity, his indiscretions only increasingly from 1980 to 1994, the British Queen, her Excellence Elizabeth, knighted him in 1994 for his “role in the development of Zimbabwe-UK relations.”78:15 The reference “relations” already indicates British opportunistic intentions and not good leadership based purely on good personal standards and integrity on the side of the UK.78

The question here is clear: How did the British measured the initial goodness of Mugabe as an executive political leader to give him a knighthood in 1994 when his personal and political behaviour at that time had been out of line with the behavior of a good statesman for a long time already? It is only after continued murderous deeds against Whites and Blacks and many other multiple criminal wrongdoings (and an immense rise in hostility towards the British state), that the Queen stripped him of his knighthood in 2008. It took a full fourteen years after his hypocritical mark-up to good on the good-versus-bad classification (enough to meet to the requirements of knighthood), that he was downgraded on the scale to bad, where he indeed belonged from the beginning. The true meaning of hypocrisy and the blurring of sound thinking on the quality of leaders becomes evident from the fact that Mugabe was also shortlisted for the Nobel peace prize in 1981 after his election victory to become Zimbabwe’s first democratically elected president in 1980.78

When considering above negative reflection on Mugabe as a failed executive political leader (ousted as a dictator in Zimbabwe at last, but only in 2018), it is interesting to see that the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the so-called leading countries south of the Congo River and South Africa’s neighbours of good standing, harbours more and more despots and other failed executive political leaders. This includes Mugabe, Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Jacob Zuma (ousted in 2018), as well as the failing executive political leaders of Tanzania, Angola and Zambia. Notwithstanding the negative political actions of these leaders, as presidents they continue to represent independent nations as their heads. They enjoy good status as leaders internationally. Their oppression and the genocides of their own people are not strictly measured and tested on the good-versus-bad classification (or even discussed) anywhere in the Western world because it is not in the West’s interest.79

3.5 The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s reflection on poor political leadership and regimes

The 1996 hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)2,45 revealed horrific stories as both perpetrators and victims of Apartheid described cold-blooded details of torture and assassinations. The two main culprits: the ANC and its executive political leaders with their own dark history of political crimes, many times against their own people; and the NP-regime’s atrocities against Blacks as well as White dissidents, argued by their executive political leaders to be committed without their “official permission” by the South African armed and security forces. Notwithstanding this laughable disclaimer, the then active political leaders of the NP, De Klerk, Pik Botha, PW Botha and Magnus Malan stood central to these cold-blooded torture and assassinations. Malan went scot-free after a botched court case, while De Klerk remained evasive and even denied involvement till the end, notwithstanding an “avalanche of evidence”, as Archbishop Tutu2:74 calls it.

Pik Botha’s acknowledgement of guilt with regard to the NP regime’s atrocities goes as far as admitting that all NP cabinet ministers “suspected these killings and torturing”, while PW Botha refused blindly to appear before the TRC to be questioned.2 However, there has been no sign of a proper appraisal and classification of the actions of the NP executive leaders as good or bad.2,45

Mandela’s own response to the prominent NP leaders’ failures as executive political leaders was that De Klerk “allowed the slaughter of innocent people because they are black”.2:474 He had no doubt that De Klerk had to be involved as the top executive political leader of the country. Still, notwithstanding the evidence, the TRC never officially condemned De Klerk and his cronies as failed executive political leaders.2,45

Mandela’s most condemning public statement on the matter of De Klerk as a failed executive political leader was undoubtedly his comment when he was asked whether De Klerk is a “political criminal.” He replied2:474: “Almost everybody in [the NP] government is a political criminal.” This pinpointed for the first time the NP’s failed executive leaderships – justified or not, true or false. Mandela classification extends to De Klerk’s intimate cronies. Mandela, now officially a statesman, one made by De Klerk himself, was forced to step in to denounce De Klerk when the TRC failed to officially admit the failures of the leadership of the Afrikaner regimes from 1910, especially the racist NP-regime from 1948 that also harboured De Klerk.2

Mandela opinion on the quality of South African political leadership cited above raises a very important question that can guide our thinking on and definition of executive political leadership: Is there any integrity left in a person when he or she becomes a successful politician? Formulated differently: Do politics contaminate the mindsets and harm the integrity of people with good and bad attributes so that they end up embracing only their bad attributes? Looking at Apartheid and the ANC’s terrorism in the Struggle years, integrity seems not to be a strong attribute among politicians, and many politicians seem to be besotted by crookery.1-8,16,17,21

On the part of the ANC2, besides their TRC confessions regarding their own bad executive political leadership during the Struggle years, Mandela himself condemned the bad executive political leaderships reflected by ANC politicians after 1994, when, the ANC became2:571: “…lenient towards corrupt Ministers, and too slow to condemn and root out bribery and abuses of power, particularly in the provincial governments, which Mandela admitted were the Achilles heel of democratic governance.” In February 1999 he publically took the leadership to task about failed executive political leadership inside the ANC (something the NP leaders under FW de Klerk failed to do, even today)2:571:

Among the new cadres in various levels of governance you find individuals who are corrupt – if not more – those they found in government. When a leader in a provincially legislature siphons off resources meant to fund service by legislators to the people: when employees of a government institution, set up to help empower those who were excluded by apartheid, defraud it for own enrichment, then we must admit that we are a sick society.

Mandela, as well as De Klerk (and of course all their intimate cronies, at all times playing the ball of hypocrisy with great eagerness), could learn a lot on clean executive politics and how to behave correctly when you are trusted and allowed into the position of an executive political leader of a country. They should in the early days of their political careers have read and studied intensively the old writings of some of the world’s politically wise men, such as those of the Indian trade unionist and politician, Sardar Patel. On the 10th of October 1949 in the Indian Constituent Assembly he said74:263-264:

Have you read history? Or, is it that you do not care for recent history after you have begun to make history? If you do that, then I tell you we have a dark future. Learn to stand upon your pledged word…Can you go behind these things? Have morals no place in the new Parliament? Is that how we are going to begin our new freedom? Do not take a lathi and say, Who is to give you a guarantee? We are a Supreme Parliament. Have you supremacy for this kind of thing? To go behind your word? If you do that, that supremacy will go down in a few days.

Patel74 here sets out a simple consideration of good and bad leadership that a person must think through before embarking on a political career. This consideration is seldom done, simply because politicians are seldom honest and pure in integrity. They hate the truth about their well-masked bad qualities as political leaders. PW Botha and FW de Klerk revealed this at the TRC and Mandela was forced to unmask their bad qualities on their behalve.2,74

What Mandela2 said in February 1999 and Patel74 in October 1949, although indirectly, is that political environments corrupt some people and the intricacies of politics do not hold respect for anyone or anything. For crook-minded politicians politics is heaven on earth, because Mandela and Patel’s pre-selection guidelines for executive political leaders are just seen as after-thoughts and not guidelines to be followed by executive leaders in their politic career choices or their groups’ in-house committees on the selection of good leaders. Any pre-appraisal or guidelines make the selection of good leaders and the rejection of bad leaders possible. This threatens the dubious leader’s future and is therefore disregarded.

  1. Discussion

The above intimate overview of the quality of South African executive political leaders and regimes from the1600s, but especially from the 1950s up to today, on the one hand confirms how bad personal characteristics and qualities have become part of the personalities and behaviour of political leaders. On the other hand it shows how such leaders carry their crooked personal characteristics and qualities into their executive leadership positions, contaminating not only their political regime, but the whole society.

Four prominent questions arise from the above discussion:

  • How can good political leaders be identified and described when there is no well-formulated definition of a good leader?
  • What criteria are there in place to select only good persons as executive political leaders?
  • Are there cultural differences between Blacks and Whites and between the various Black tribes regarding the characteristics each group feels are needed in a good executive political leader in South Africa and/or for the tribe as a leader?
  • Are these differences, if they exist, not similar to the pro-Begin Jews of Israel’s hypocritical view of good versus the anti-Begin     British’s hypocritical view of bad?

This project will try to deal with each of these questions as the research progresses.

4.1 The role of opportunism and self-interest in the good-versus-bad classification of leadership and regime

It is important to focus the attention on the immense political and personal subjectivities that can go with these four questions. It was already demonstrated how the English made a turn a round on the status of political leaders, basically for selfish and opportunistic reasons. There were also, as with the English, very clear selfish and opportunistic reasons for the NP’s turn-around on Nelson Mandela2. The NP elite knew very well in the late 1980s that the South African economy was in shatters and that maintaining Apartheid through war would bring immense loss in human live, especially for the Blacks, which the outside world would not allow to go unpunished.2,46

The common members of the Afrikaner–nationalist groups, abused for nearly five decades by their opportunistic and radical executive political leaders, also became tired of political turmoil and war. They started to reject and to denounce their role as racists and the oppressors of Black South Africans, making the collapse of Afrikaner supremacy and rule by the executive political leaders of the NP-AB-DRC-Alliance, unavoidable. The only person who could get the executive political leaders of the NP-AB-DRC-Alliance out of their growing political mess, was the Black Pimpernel Mandela, the most prominent, but unseen ANC leader. While it is true that he was acclaimed throughout the world as the great liberator, the new Moses or Mesiah, he was an unofficial South African political leader without a tangible power and lacking a convincing liberation army to overrun the NP.2,26,45-46

His leadership benefited from the fact that his prison ordeal transformed him not only into an excellent reflective and influential political leader with vision and finesse, but also into a classical Black hero. This overshadows his many other leadership shortcomings as Sampson eloquently shows in his biography2. In prison, he, the Black hero, became the only saviour and saver of the struggling Blacks in the country under the autocratic Apartheid regime. For the executive political leaders of the NP-AB-DRC-Alliance, he was indeed also the saviour of their personal, political and financial interests in the 1990s in a future South Africa: the ultimate person that must be incorporated into a kind of NP-ANC-alliance. The NP-elite had to adapt to majority rule, not out of goodwill towards the Blacks or Mandela, but to safeguard their own interests and to save their skins. They did this by changing their minds about Mandela.2,46,75

The examples of Begin, Kenyatta, Markarios and Mandela are in line with the findings of South African literature in that the classification of many of the South African executive political leaders who had failed the test as good leaders resulted solely from the personal views (framework of references) of certain journals, writers, regimes and politicians (which are been seen as subjective and false by the opposition supporting the failed leader). Supporters of such disgraced, criminal leaders (as Mandela was classified by the Afrikaner nationalist executive leaders for a long time), oppose any condemning views and opinions that attack the good status of their leaders. For the pro-Mandela supportive groups, their views and opinions on Mandela represent only the truth (which can also be subjective, as guided by their opposing framework of reference). These conflicting classifications found in South African literature with regard to good versus bad executive political leaders, are applicable to both White and Black political leaders, as well as on the various NP as well as ANC executive political leaders.2,77 (These possible kinds of outcomes will be appraised and evaluated in various articles, starting from Part 5 covering the period 1652 to 1795).

This trend in the literature basically nullifies these contradicting literatures. The consideration of South African political leaders depends on the specific time, political regime, race, voter empowerment and sentiment. The total disdain for DF Malan and HF Verwoerd on the side of Blacks in the post-1994 South Africa after they had been glorified as heroes by Afrikaner nationalists during Grand Apartheid, are excellent examples.2,77

The above outcome raises four more questions:

  • Is there really such a thing as a bad political leader or regime in politics?
  • Can an objective definition of a good executive political leader or regime ever be formulated?
  • Does the sheer complexity of a study that aims to compile and describe the good characteristics of a good executive political leader and  his good regime make such a project impossible?
  • More specifically, is it scientifically possible to offer a trustworthy appraisal and evaluation of the executive political leaders and regimes of a country in terms of a “good-versus-bad” classification?

The above questions are tested in articles starting from Part 5.

4.2 Confusing decisions on the moral standing of executive political leaders and regimes

Some political scientists, politicians and lawmakers (usually established in political power and not open to the competition of strong opponents in an unstable environment) propose that persons with criminal backgrounds (like terrorist and freedom-fighting activities), should not be allowed into political positions in any way. This changes an inclusive entrance to politics and possible executive political leadership to an exclusive, strict political entrance, totally cutting out ‘criminals’ from politics in the hopes of ensuring a better class of candidates for politics. The trend of political leaders committing criminal acts (notwithstanding their “clean” record before entering politics) once in public office, defies this requirement of “no criminal record.” Some of the “crime-clean” NP politicians when measured according to this criterion became criminally driven politicians once in office, as their Apartheid atrocities confirm, while many of the “terrorist” ANC politicians, involved in serious atrocities during the struggle and thus “criminals” from the beginning of the ANC regime in 1994, did not get involved in crime while in parliament. It must be emphasized that the lack of distinction between right and wrong by high level politicians and governmental executives in decision-making and behaviour is not limited to the NP and ANC leaders, but a worldwide phenomenon, whether these officials were elected or not.2,80-86

The confusing opinions of regimes and world leaders on whether a person or political leader is good or bad is not only illustrated by the examples of Begin, Kenyatta, Markarios and Mandela, but also by American president George Bush’s lack to distinguish between good and bad realities, and ultimately between good and bad politics.87 In this case the decision-making bordered on dangerous hallucinations and delusions. Bush was blinded by quasi-political-religious infections. It is reported that Bush proclaimed87:108: “God told him to strike at al Qaida,” which he then did, and then “again that God instructed him to strike at Saddam,” which he again did. It is also reported that he said he87:108: “received the command of the Lord of Hosts, the War God, to fight the problems of the Middle East.” Besides the fact that financial, political and military opportunism can drive the leaders of regimes to appraise and to evaluate a foreign executive political leader subjectively and faultily, is it clear that the subjective (faulty) religious foundations of empowered political leaders can also blur their views on any other executive political leader (driving them to act against them in cold blood, as happened with Saddam Hussein). Such religious evaluations can be untrustworthy and can activate dangerous politics. This is confirmed by various other researches.77,87 Powell77 warns in this context that religiously inspired persons are less susceptible to rational thinking. He quotes a former Israeli minister, Dan Meridor, as saying77: 346: “When you get God into discussions, God never compromises.”

When the top executive political leaders, like those of the USA, classify the executive political leaders of countries in conflict with the USA in terms of an exclusive religious evaluation, the classification undoubtedly becomes superficial, false and dangerous. Remember above saying: “God never compromises [for others’ politics and rights]”. Indeed, the devil can be “present and very active” within the mindset of the eager and judgemental executive political leader himself.77,87

It seems as if politics make the corrupt more corrupt and the virtuous less virtuous. Although this statement can be seen as a sweeping statement, there seems to be some truth in it when looking critically at the histories of South African executive politicians and regimes from 1652 to 2018. What is very clear is that these negative outcomes bedevil the formulation of an acceptable definition of good executive political leaders. It also gives some insight into why there has so far not been a comprehensive evaluation or appraisal in South Africa on the political leaders for the period 1652 to 2018. It seems just too complex and too impenetrable to undertake.2,80-86

4.3 The effect of democracy on our idea of good executive political leaders and regimes

Regarding the issue of good political leadership, it is clear from South African and international literature, that political leaders who fail to deliver on their promises or leaders who deviate from democratic politics in their management of countries, attract much attention (but voters fail to force them to rectify their failures). Political leaders and regimes try to make real improvements, often succeeding in bettering the lives of their voters, seldom receive praise.86

Barber86 emphasizes that the process of delivery – and thus the practice of good leadership at all time – is important to politics since a politician’s future is threatened if he fails repeatedly to deliver on promises. Matthew d’ Ancona argues that86:xiii:

…successful political leadership is becoming increasingly challenging as leaders face ‘higher expectations of government, raised standards of accountability and media scrutiny more intense and unrelenting than at any time in history’.

Political leaders of both talent and genuine goodwill, of which there are many more around the world than public commentary would have you believe, find themselves struggling to deliver their promises.

Clearly good executive political leaders have to adhere to ever-rising standards. Good leaders still fail to fulfil their tasks in the public’s eyes as good executive political leaders (whatever fails means in this context).

4.4 Accountability, responsibility and ethics as unique characteristics of good executive political leaders and regimes

Some researchers have tried to take the good-versus-bad classification further, at least in some way, by identifying certain characteristics unique to good leaders. Many researchers 2,17,80-87 highlight the failure by executive political leaders to act accountably and responsibly and with regard to ethics principles. These failures are mostly direct outcomes of crooked doings or the result of shortcomings in the abilities and skills of political leaders.2,17,80-87

Chomsky writes87:14:

Chomsky knows full well the limits of leaders and their advisors, the arrogance, posturing, and malign intentions he finds in their words. It does not matter whether these leaders are elected or appointed, or hold their office through blood or advantage of wealth or even as the result of some level of educational attainment useful to a ruling elite. He is aware that oligarchs do not rule as trustees for others, but for themselves. They have in mind the destruction of democracy if it ever proves to be more than a rhetorical fig leaf, when it means the redistribution of economics and political power along the ideological lines of Adam Smith and Tom Paine, or when it means the renunciation of imperialism. There is a direct line between the antidemocratic elites and the establishment of secret organizations such as the CIA, which know and do things that a democracy would not begin to understand or countenance – until democracy is deadened through propaganda.

Regarding the reference of Chomsky87 to the negative impact of secret organizations on politics and the upkeep of democracies worldwide, the politics of South Africa was and is not free from secret organizations and their hidden bedevilling activities on the country’s political functioning. The wrongdoings of the secret Afrikaner Broederbond (AB), a crooked and intimate associate of the NP during Apartheid, is well known. ANC is comparable with a faction of its elites (specifically the exiles and the veterans who maintain their liberation dogmas, doctrine and ideology) belonging to the secret MK organization, still going strong today as a destructive liberation organization in the South African politics. It is not very different from the AB, which promoted undemocratic political acts during the heydays of Apartheid. And, of course, there is also the ghost of the PAC’s PQCQ.16,17,25,26,75,82

Chomsky87 states that the politics of many countries were in the past and are at present still driven by “old Wild West politics”, justice and business, its cowboys and crooks, its crooked town councils and crooked sheriffs, all working together to run and to oversee the whole crooked business. Corruption, theft, mismanagement, injustice and killing as correct values, customs and traditions, have successfully replaced the concepts decency and of law and order in the intimate executive political leadership’s functioning. There is not a single rule of integrity in this kind of politics – most politicians are driven by their own interests, with the interests of the voters only a vague idea and memory. In this political environment it does not matter who the sheriff is, as long as he has a silver star pinned to his chest. Who pinned it on for him, is also of little importance.16,17,87,88

South Africa’s own politics did not escape this Wild West, its crooked town councils and its crooked sheriffs with their silver badges. Our political history tells us this story over and over – of crooked regimes, crooked governors, crooked prime ministers and crooked presidents — and still we vote into power these crooked sheriffs and crooked town councils. In this context the question becomes prominent: Can South Africa’s various governments, governors, prime ministers and presidents with the many allegations brought against them be seen in general as good executive political leaders and good regimes of governance? This is one of the questions that this research project of nine articles will try to answer.16,17,88

In South Africa, poor executive political leaders and poor regimes of governance have a long history, going back to the honourable Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. It gained momentum from 1948 with the Apartheid regime of the NP. The post-1994 period shows a further rise in the lack of accountabilility and responsibility by the executive political leaders, a phenomenon that Chomsky87 warns us is plentiful worldwide and which Mandela2 also pinpointed in the ANC leadership since 1994. The following warning is clear85:20:

Accountability is a cornerstone of our constitution, which is replete with mechanisms to ensure that public officials, both elected and employed in the public service and in state entities deliver on what they are paid to do. The ease with which public officials pass through the wringer, to emerge apparently unscratched at the other end, is unsettling.

4.5 The failure of the Constitution to enforce good executive leadership principles

The failure of the Constitution80-83,85 to set down measures for the strict implementation of its rules for good executive leadership is a direct result of the fact that the South African Constitution is only designed for a honest statesman as the executive political leader at the helm: a person immune to corruption, nepotism, fraud inside his own government and the public service and to onslaughts from outside by the private sector. The mass executive juridical and political power vested in the president leaves him free to abuse it if he lacks accountability, integrity, ethics and basic honesty, all of which are essential for a good executive political leader and the upkeep of a good regime of governance. Crooked invaders from the public service and the private sector can quickly create political and economical havoc and a constitutional crisis if the President is a failed executive political leader and a crook himself. Africa has become known for such bad executive political leaders. It was not without the deepest concern about the calibre of executive political leader in charge of South Africa that the EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi referred to Zuma as the “constitutional delinquent.” He endangered the Constitution, and this concern is still valid with application to Ramaphosa. There are many other constitutional delinquents in the ANC planning to become the executive political leaders of South Africa in the future.1,2,16,17,21,89

The current envisaged change to the Constitution to allow land-grabbing as part of the ANC’s policy of radical economical transformation (RET) and radical social transformation (RST), offer these constitutional delinquents of the ANC the opportunity to encircle and to close down Western democracy, accountability, responsibility, integrity, ethics and honesty, all essentials for a good executive political leader who oversees a regime of good governance. But, to be honest, this constitutional delinquency such as that in the ANC’s inner circle is not new in South African politics. It is exactly what DF Malan and his constitutional delinquents did in 1948 within Western democracy to the Constitution of the then Union of South Africa. The Grand Apartheid of the Afrikaner nationalists took constitutional delinquency to its utmost limits.89,90

Mthombothi83 writes about the above dangerous flaw in the South African Constitution, giving executive political leaders some scope to act with bad intentions and to promote their own interests83:21:

Some of the Chapter 9 institutions have proved useless in curbing the powers of the executive. We need to craft a system that makes power directly accountable to the people. Structures that are themselves removed or distant from the masses cannot be expected to ameliorate overweening power.

Ranjeni Munusamy9, a South African political-investigative journalist, writes about the concourse of a crooked President who is fully and solely in charge of the Constitution, with the failed Chapter 9 Institutions, also under his strong hand9:26:

…Zuma repeatedly made a mockery of parliament and the ANC caucus, most notably in the Nklanda saga.

Zuma has become accustomed to fobbing off serious allegations against him as if he is a private citizen and nobody is entitled to know his business.

He has also mastered how to cheat accountability mechanisms.

As a result, he has managed to escape culpability for bending the rule of law, violating the constitution, instructing state officials to give contracts to his friends, making cabinet appointments on instruction from his benefactors, receiving payments from business people and gangsters, and paralyzing the security agencies to prevent prosecution.

… the president also owes millions to the South African Revenue Service, which he has no intention of paying thanks to one of his keepers…

4.6 The contaminating effect of the public-private sector intertwining on the quality of executive political leaders and regimes

To understand the contaminated effects of bad accountability, bad responsibility and bad ethics active in the present South African leadership environment, it must be noted that the South Africa private sector and public sector had become totally intertwined over time. To divorce the South African private services from the public sector when it comes to political management and business systems is impossible: What is happening in the one can not be separated from the other’s practices of corruption, poor governance and accountability. Our immense state capture is an outcome of this public-private sector’s “bastard birth” in 1994. This entanglement, which is leading to poor outcomes on many terrains of society, also spread deep into the two sectors’ executive leaderships.69,91-94

It is clear that South Africa is in trouble, and indeed in very deep trouble, due to its lack of good executive leaders and good governance. Corrupted accountability, ethics, responsibility and governance seem to sprout from a well-placed cocoon of political and business crooks; active simultaneously in the private and public sectors, functioning as a well-intertwined web of deceit.69,91-94

It must be noted that there are still many executive political and business leaders of good standing. Magda Wierzycka, CEO of the Sygnia Group, is of the opinion that, proportionally, only a small group of bad executive business and bad executive political leaders have captured and contaminated South Africa. She put this group on 20 000 well-positioned corrupted transgressors against a population of 56 million South Africans outside this culture.95

4.7 The executive political leader as the central guiding figure in good governance

The concept leader (in this study more specifically the executive political leader, meaning the top executives of the country) is central to this study. As previously said, many references are found in the literature to the words leaders and leadership, but most definitions provide no guidance. For this study is it important to give a short overview on the important role of good leaders and good leadership in the political and business sectors, and why the researcher sees a politico-historical appraisal or evaluation of the contributions of South Africa’s executive political leaders as a necessity.

One of the best studies that shows the importance of good executive leaders and leadership in extraordinary successfully American enterprises, is that of Jim Collins,23 titled Good to Great. Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, which was published in 2001.

The Collins-study23 focused on 1 435 American companies, classified as “good” companies in 1985. Collins and his team observed these companies from 1996 to 2000 with reference to a schedule of 15 years of performance (1985-2000). When considering these fifteen years only, only eleven companies (0.7%) could be classified as great. The crucial question for Collins23 was: What did the eleven good-to-great companies share in common that distinguished them from the other 1 424 comparatively good companies. Certain findings emerged; one outstanding was the presence of extraordinary executive leaders in these eleven companies, who he named Level 5: Executive Leaders or good-to-great leaders. This kind of leader was absent from the other 1 424 companies, notwithstanding their status as good and their business successes.23

Some of the characteristics unique to this Level 5 leader are the following: they built enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will; they are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce results; they make productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits; they contribute individual capabilities to the achievement of the group’s objectives and work effectively with others in a group setting; they organize people and resources towards the effective and efficient pursuit of pre-determined objectives; they catalyze commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision; and they stimulate higher performance standards.23

What is of direct importance to this research project is the fact that the intent with Collins’23 study was initially not on the quality (good or great) of leaders per se, but solely on the business profiles and functioning of the eleven good-to-great businesses itself that set them apart from among 1 435 companies. The prominence and importance of executive business leaders emerged only as it became clear that they were the main drivers to turn the eleven good enterprises to great enterprises in a period of 15 years and to uphold this good-to-great status. What Collins23 also identified, was that his findings were not limited to the private business sector, but applicable to every sector of the society, including the various segments of the public sector.

Read about Collins’23 initially negative attitude about the role of executive leaders in the success of business enterprises and organizations as compared to his Rubicon-acceptance of good executive leadership based on sound empirical findings, as an absolute necessity in good management. It does not matter if it is in business or politics. His full text, describing his Rubicon, is quoted to give an in-depth understanding of the aims and intentions with this series of articles and the need for this study on executive political leaders. The title of the study: Leadership characteristics in perspective, says it all. Collins writes23:21-22:

We were not looking for Level 5 leadership or anything like it. In fact, I gave the research team explicit instructions to downplay the role of top executives so that we could avoid the simplistic “credit the leader” or “blame the leader” thinking common today.

To use an analogy, the “Leadership is the answer to everything” perspective is the modern equivalent of the “God is the answer to everything” perspective that held back our scientific understanding of the physical world in the Dark Ages. In the 1500s, people ascribed all events they didn’t understand to God. Why did the crops fail? God did it. Why did we have an earthquake? God did it. What holds the planets in place? God. But with the Enlightenment, we began the search for more scientific understanding – physics, chemistry, biology, and so forth. Not that we became atheists, but we gained deeper understanding about how the universe ticks.

Similarly, every time we attribute everything to “Leadership”, we’re no different from the people in the 1500s. We’re simply admitting our ignorance. Not that we should become leadership atheists (leadership does matter), but every time we throw our hands up in frustration – reverting back to “Well, the answer must be Leadership!”—we prevent ourselves from gaining deeper, more scientific understanding about what makes great companies tick.

So, early in the project, I kept insisting, “Ignore the executives”. But the research team kept pushing back, “No! There is something consistently unusual about them. We can’t ignore them”. And I’d respond, “But the comparison companies also had leaders, even some great leaders. So, what’s different?” Back and forth the debate raged.

Finally – as should always be the case – the data won.

The good-to-great executives were all cut from the same cloth. It didn’t matter whether the company was consumer or industrial, in crisis or steady state, offered services or products. It didn’t matter when the transition took place or how big the company. All the good-to-great companies had Level 5 leadership at the time of the transition. Furthermore, the absence of Level 5 leadership showed up as a consistent pattern in the comparison companies. Given that Level 5 leadership cuts against the grain of conventional wisdom, especially the belief that we need larger-than-life saviors with big personalities to transform companies, it is important to note that Level 5 is an empirical finding, not an ideological one.

The good executive leader is a fact, a reality, a must for a society that wants to be successful. He is the modern-day Messiah of a company, a institute, a regime, a country – he can get it through troubled times and steer it to Utopias, because he has integrity, accountability, responsibility, personal ethics, vision, sound thinking, balanced emotions, honesty and is against self-enrichment and self-promotion. For him the group and its interests come first. South Africa’s good executive political leader and regime must have the same qualities as those reflected by the Collins research23, if not at a higher level. They must be able to steer the country and its people towards success.

How do South Africa’s executive political leaders and regimes fit into this picture? This question is explored in article 5 (Part 5) of this project for the period 1652 to 1795 (The inention is to explore on a later date also the period 1796 to 2018 in Project Two).

  1. Conclusion

Anthony Ginsberg21 in his book South Africa’s Future emphasizes that South African voters must at all times judge the performance of their elected politicians and executive political leaders and hold them highly accountable if they fail their tasks and duties. Ginsberg writes21:20:

Members of our present and future governments should not be treated as untouchables, no matter how courageous their leaders may have been or how many years they may have struggled to achieve leadership positions. By voting them into power we have sufficiently rewarded them for their years of struggle and sacrifice. The longer we wait to demand results and answers to the harsh realities our country faces, the deeper the hole will become which we have dug ourselves into.

It is our role as the electorate to ask tough questions and to demand answers of the people we put in power. They are our servant, not the other way around.

We are the shareholders of government – the current management team is only temporary, and can be replaced by a new team with new ideas every five years if need be.

Boon1 and Ginsberg’s21 statements, together with five other studies, form the appraisal base of this series of five articles of project one. The project is focused on positioning the executive political leaders of South Africa and their regimes for the period 1652 to 1795 on a continuum of good and bad. The intention of this series is much broader and more in-depth than the intentions of Boon1 and Ginsberg,21 who put only the current South African executive political leaders in perspective. The primary aim of Project One (with the focus on the period 1652 to 1795) is to create a basis for a second project that will evaluate and describe the performances of South African executive leaders from 1795 to 2018, with President Cyril Ramaphosa being the focus end-point in a classification of good performances versus bad performances. The two projects explore how accountable, responsible and ethical executive political leaders were in the past or are at present. The intention is to offer a descriptive overview and conclusion on the contributions of executive political leaders and regimes to the well-being of every South African and South Africa’s politics overall. The outcome of this overview and the conclusions must be seen as an effort to know our past so that we can understand our present and can appraise our future. In line with the guidelines of Boon1 and Ginsberg,21 the overall appraisals of political wrongdoings and praise for executive political leaders and their regimes of governance where they did well, are organized according to six timeframes (Parts 5 to 10) in the period 1652 to 2018.

This first project (Project One: including Parts 1 to 5) offers an appraisal of the leaders and regimes of the period 1652 to 1795 (with the evaluation of the profiles of the leaders and regimes in Part 5).

What we need is a dramatic change in the thinking on South Africa’s political problems, especially those that have became entrenched in most South Africans. South Africa can take an important lesson from Jonathan Powell77, a well-known international mediator between governments and terrorist organizations, when he reflects:77:366-367:

…there is no such thing as an insoluble conflict, however bloody, difficult or ancient.

Believing that a solution is inevitable is nearly as dangerous as believing a conflict is insoluble. If people sit around waiting for a conflict to be ‘ripe’, or for the forces of history to solve it for them, then it won’t be resolved.

What we need are more political leaders prepared to take the necessary risks…

The solution to South Africa’s political problems is no more complex than the solutions to the problems Powell77 addressed. In as sense our executive political leaders are part of the insoluble conflicts themselves; they are the instigators and zealots of the ongoing racial, social, economical and political conflicts. The leadership must change before any other changes can occur. The question is who will bring about the change, their former partners in crime? Thankfully history shows that there are always insiders in a defective system who are willing to change and who would work to change their partners and their organization to steer them away from wrongdoing. It is a difficult task, but often very successfully. Powell’s77 positive opinion that even the most serious political problem can be solved, gives us hope that the problem of South Africa’s ineffective executive political leaders can also be solved. However, as Powell77 warns, we can not sit around waiting for it to solve itself. It is ancient, but not bloody at the moment.2,16,17,21,25,74,77 This study can make a positive contribution in this regard.

The South African politico-historical literature has thus far failed to ask the following basic questions about the country’s various executive political leaders:

  • Did the said executive political leader serve every South African citizen’s interests every day before, during and after their political reign with love and dedication, honesty, justice, objectivity, and free from racism and cultural bias?
  • Did the particular leader have the guts to take on the country’s socio-political system, not fearing the consequences this would have for their political careers?

A further question that arises from the above questions is:

  • Did the executive political leaders under discussion pertinently distance themselves from any racial, ethnic and cultural discrimination, domination and siding, and did they belong to groups that reflected any ethnic, racist and violent political behaviour, be it justified or unjustified?

In South Africa the same leader would be hailed a hero in some politico-historical sources and a villain in others. This has become a point of controversy. These conflicting and controversial views and opinions do not serve the South African history and its political culture well. These views do not help to steer the development, the establishment and the upkeep of a culture of good executive political leadership and good governance.

It is time that the above daring questions be answered, however simple they seem. We cannot shy away from it anymore: He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever (Chinese Proverb).

Hopefully, articles two to five (Parts 2 to 5) will shed some light on the above questions. The research will perhaps also help politico-historical researchers let go of their fear of looking like fools for asking the right questions.

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PEER REVIEW

Not commissioned; Externally peer-reviewed.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The author declares that he has no competing interest.

FUNDING

The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa.