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Arthur and Cyril’s teachers must have taught deflection well

Ideas

Arthur and Cyril’s teachers must have taught deflection well

It’s a pity our education department relies on parrot-fashion teaching rather than doing the same

Columnist

If you attended a good school, your teacher would have spent some time teaching you the art of asking a good question. To begin with, she would at various points have said “there is no such thing as a stupid question”. (There is, actually, but that’s a story for another day.) The idea is, of course, to encourage young people to be fearless in asking questions and that is a good thing.

A seasoned teacher will also teach you not to ask and answer your own question. Like: “Did you steal, as the president, money from the taxpayer?” To which you gleefully answer: “I did not steal money from the taxpayer.” The question was implied, of course, but the skill here is called deflection. By responding to a question nobody asked, you achieve two things — you distract the questioner from asking the pertinent question and you hope to persuade your loyal followers that you are not a thief.

Our president, Cyril Ramaphosa, is very skilful in answering questions nobody asked. What he eluded answering were the real questions, like: Why do you have millions in foreign currency in your couch (or wherever) at home? And when it was stolen, why did you not report the theft to SAPS? On point questions. We do not have the answer. Spoiler alert: if the president really had nothing to hide, by now he would have rushed forward to answer the right questions...

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