Must be nice: ANC punishes Rasool with a promotion

Ideas

Must be nice: ANC punishes Rasool with a promotion

Long ago we rubes actually thought it was scandalous for a politician to pay journalists for puff pieces

Columnist


Accountability at last. Ebrahim Rasool, disgraced and recalled as premier of the Western Cape in 2008 for allegedly bribing Independent Media journalists, and having just overseen the ANC’s worst ever election result in the province, is reportedly being punished. By being sent to the Western Cape legislature. Yay, New Dawn!
If any teens are reading this and struggling with the bit about “disgraced and recalled”, I should explain that long, long ago we rubes actually thought it was scandalous for a politician to pay journalists for puff pieces. Nowadays that’s called “the business model at Independent Media”, thanks to the R2bn of pension savings handed to it by the PIC, but back in 2005 it was quite a thing.
Poor Rasool. If only he’d hung on for one more year he might have found himself floating free in the warm, comforting diarrhoea of the Zuma cesspool. Brown envelopes full of cash wouldn’t have been a scandal: they would have been grounds for promotion.
But it was a different time, and in 2008 Rasool was packed off as an ambassador, the standard punishment for unravelling ANC sockpuppets.
Still, you can’t keep a good man down, or Ebrahim Rasool, and in 2018 he returned from the wilderness to head the ANC’s election campaign in the Western Cape.
If only he’d stuck with brown envelopes. Short of pelting prospective voters with dead cats, I’m not sure Rasool could have done a worse job: despite having the benefit of growing dissatisfaction with the DA in the province, and a likeable president who had started his term with a celebrated jog along Cape Town’s promenade, Rasool managed to crater support for the ANC by a whopping 12.92%.
Luckily, he works for an organisation that thinks repercussions are chronic sports injuries. Which is why, according to Eyewitness News, ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs is suggesting that Rasool is going to the legislature for five years of sheltered employment.
Then again, perhaps it’s a fair reward for all the hard work he’s been doing lately, scrubbing away at the immense skidmark that is the ANC’s reputation. Indeed, earlier this year he told the Cape Town Press Club that “the ANC until the past 10 years has never had a moral crisis”. This sounds like a flat-out lie, given the total moral bankruptcy of the Arms Deal or his government’s refusal to roll out ARVs, but then again, maybe nobody in the ANC felt a single twinge of conscience over those things, so perhaps he’s telling the truth about there being no crisis.
Certainly, he still doesn’t see anything morally dubious about the actions that got him fired in 2008: last year he told the Mail & Guardian that his recall “was the dress rehearsal for Thabo Mbeki’s removal”. Just imagine the splinters Rasool must have got from hoisting himself up on to that cross …
Anyway. Welcome back, Mr Rasool. And to the “content producers” over at Independent Media: remember not to spend it all in one place.

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

Next Article