How not to win friends and influence people

A DA guide to Political Wilderness*

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Oudtshoorn. 29 March 2012. 08h40. Plettenberg Bay. It is a place of awesome beauty. The seaboard verily astounds one. The view is almost spiritual.

Comely CBD, what with a wide inlaid main road with elevated shopfronts on one side and the beach always present by glance, or aroma, or sound on the other.

Mansions abound. There’s money here. Old money; new money; plenty money.

And then there’s abject poverty.

It’s a South African town, don’t you know?

With all due respect at this moment in time, I absolutely personally feel that it isn’t rocket science, at the end of the day, to realise that Bitou is fairly unique in that it is a 24/7 nightmare. Perhaps I shouldn’t of said this… as I have just managed to use the ten most overused and useless expressions in English. S’true, count ‘em.

But the logodaedalia speaks eloquently to this point: Whomever governs Plett has a shopfront to die for. (I’m evidently on a roll here, to be sure.)

Imagine owning a V&A Waterfront shop and soiling the display window. It reminds me of the mohel** who had a shop entrance and displayed wristwatches and clocks in the window.

“What would you have me display?” was his retort.

Whichsoever governs Plettenberg Bay has the opportunity to showcase management solutions for the entire land. It’s a political shopfront… but I repeat myself.

The DA won Plett last year, with the help of Cope, on the back of disgraceful ANC stewardship revealed mostly by the indefatigable efforts of one Johann Brummer, a proportional DA Councillor who managed to spend a night in jail for his relentless in your face opposition to thievery and corruption and maladministration.

It is an open secret that Brummer’s hard-nosed approach insulted certain DA sensitivities. That any member of any team playing in the South African Politics Premier Division can harbour sensibilities desensitises the mind, to be sure. Discombobulates, to be precise.

Yet, there we have it.

Brummer was removed as Speaker, after some rather spectacular bun fights in Council and on the political streets. Removed by his own, mind: DA Chair Liz Mandell and DA Leader Helen Zille. Did I mention that money has influence? I did, didn’t I. But it goes without saying, of course. Although here, in Plett, it needs saying. In the scheme of things.

Without saying too much, at this time, for excellent political reasons, Plett is currently managed by not managing. There is a fire, but the fire engines are idling softly on the fringes, the fire fighters under strict injunction not to finger the arsonists into stoking.

Passing the buck in Plett embarrasses Sonny Bill Williams’ game winning distribution skills.

Another prime DA property ablaze.

And the DA is saying, and doing, nothing to remedy the situation – fir itself; for the residents; for the people who support the DA financially.

It is unimaginable that talented managers, such as abound within the DA structures, can allow this outrage to continue!

It’s like watching a Rocky movie. Remember? Rocky gets donered into next month for 14 rounds, then comes back and annihilates his opponent in the 15th.

But the DA appears too lethargic even to spark hope of some belated action.

What is going on?

Perhaps OO should attempt an explanation.

Watch this space.

* Wilderness: A wooded region in northeastern Virginia near Spotsylvania where bloody but inconclusive battles were fought in the American Civil War.

** Mohel: The person who performs the circumcision in a Jewish bris.

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