Home FleetWatch 2017 A country mired in the faeces of the ‘friends’

A country mired in the faeces of the ‘friends’


President Jacob Zuma and his bunch of erstwhile followers – read benefactors – have their heads far up their backsides and the problem is that to them, the view looks good from there. In that narrow channel, they are warm, they are comfortable and because they don’t pop their heads out to see the world from another view, they think being surrounded by faeces is the norm. Well, it’s not but unfortunately, because that horrible little man wields so much power and influence over his closest followers, none of them can see how the ‘bunny-chow’ fed into the mouths of Zuma and his lot by that awful and despicable Gupta clan has resulted in a bad case of ‘gypo guts’ which has forced the faeces to ooze past their backside-surrounded heads to cover the whole of South Africa. I know this might sound crude and I apologise upfront for this – but it’s true. South Africa is a land covered in Zuma-generated faeces and you only realise just how deep the layer is when you see the country from afar – when you take another view.

Over the past month and a bit, I have had the pleasure of visiting both Sweden and Japan on business trips hosted by Volvo Trucks and Hino Trucks respectively. It’s been some time since I last travelled overseas and looking at South Africa from afar made me realise just how deep the country is covered in faeces. It also made me realise how embarrassed and ashamed I have become of our country. For the first time ever, I didn’t miss my country. My family I always miss when I’m away but the country as a whole, no – I didn’t miss it at all. In fact, it was a welcomed breath of fresh air being away from the constant bombardment of corruption scandals, crime, recession, court cases, inane political statements and the rest of the muck dished up to us on a daily basis. Being away from the shenanigans surrounding the two names I have grown to despise with a passion – Zuma and Gupta – was just so refreshing. Unfortunately, the new methods of instant communication via smart phones kept me in daily touch with some of the happenings back home. I got daily reports of the mess we regard as the norm – and it sickened me. I eventually avoided reading the reports as each time I did, it was bad news. Also, for the first time on any of my overseas trips, I avoided talking about South Africa to our local hosts. Why? Because by doing so, I would immediately smell faeces which would pollute the clean, fresh air of nations primarily concerned with the growth and progression of all its citizens rather than with the capture of state for the benefit of a few low-life money-grabbers. Basically, I was ashamed to talk about South Africa. This was a first for me as I have always defended my country and talked it up. “Yes, we do have a high crime rate but I’m sure you will admit that every country has crime.” “Yes, our politicians are involved in some shady deals but aren’t politicians the world over pretty much the same.” That sort of basic surface defence stuff. I am the first to admit that there are many pockets of excellence in South Africa one can highlight; there are good news stories one can tell but as anyone who has experienced a bad case of ‘gypo-guts’ will know, it’s hard to smile when you’ve got the trots. It sort of takes over and you don’t see the good when you’re generating mess. You just keep reaching for the loo paper as you sit down, put your head between your hands and let it rip while groaning and moaning about what an awful day it is. South Africa has the trots – big time – and on these two trips, I just didn’t feel like sitting on the South African toilet reaching for the loo paper. The view from outside that toilet was just so wonderful, so refreshing, so invigorating, so stimulating and I wanted to absorb it all instead of what we are forced to absorb on a daily basis back home. And that’s my point. We are not living in a normal society. Take this as an example…

While travelling in Japan outside of Tokyo, we stopped at a highway rest area for trucks and cars. I walked up and down the neat row of trucks parked off. Some of the cabs had their curtains closed as the drivers took a nap; other cabs were empty with the drivers buying food from the convenience stores or visiting the rest rooms. Each truck looked in pristine condition. Motorists had also parked off and were wandering around enjoying the break from the road. I deliberately made a point of trying to spot a security guard. There was not one in sight – not one. It was a safe and secure area to rest. Now contrast this with our local truckers who ply the N1 and stop at Beaufort West for a break. A number of them have been seriously and badly assaulted by roaming gangs. It has got so bad that truckers are now avoiding stopping in that area. They cannot stop for a short rest on a stretch of road where driver fatigue is a reality and has led to some serious and fatal crashes. They fear for their lives. Is this a normal society I ask? No! It’s a stuffed up society. The rest-stops in Japan exist in a ‘normal society’. The rest-stops in Beaufort West are part of an ‘abnormal society’. My first three phone calls when I got back from Japan were to the three heads of enforcement agencies under whom Beaufort West falls. I had promised some truckers before I left that I would try do something about the situation in the area to ensure the safety of our truckers. I am now doing that. In Japan or Sweden, I wouldn’t have to make such calls. It’s not normal there. In South Africa trying to fix messes is the norm. My plea to the trucking industry is not to accept the many abnormal conditions and circumstances we live under as the norm merely because we have become used to them. One suggestion is that you support the efforts of civil society – OUTA – to bring about change through social pressure, business speaking up and general awareness of the ‘muck’ we are in. Let’s not shove our heads up the same narrow channel Zuma and his cronies have their heads in. There is a better view of the world and I thank both Volvo and Hino for reminding me of that. I also thank you Sweden and Japan for acting as a welcomed dose of Imodium.

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