HERE we are at the end of yet another eventful year in South Africa.
When it started we all had plans, hopes and dreams and looked forward to certain things getting better, while we feared for the worst in some instances.
Who would have thought after the Boks lost to Japan for the first time that our rugby would go even further into the deep black hole under the hastily appointed and ill prepared Allister Coetzee? Well, it did. With him at the helm the Bok team has won only four out of 12 tests. If you thought losing to Japan during the Rugby World Cup last year was the lowest point, we had Italy waiting at the end of the year. To lose to Wales for the first time at home and to Argentina away was bad, but nothing prepared us for what happened in Italy. The Boks lost against an Italian side which, the previous week, had copped a 60-plus mauling by a young All Black team and a week after beating the Boks they lost to Tonga. Yes, Italy lost to Tonga and Italy had beaten the Boks, imagine that.
Add the fact that out of the four European tour matches the Boks came back without winning one. My view about the head coach is clear and has been expressed on this platform. Will he survive into a second season? Only Saru has that answer.
On the political side, phew, what a year! We had Inkandla finally resolved by the Constitutional Court and when we thought there could be no more excitement Mcebisi Jonas dropped a bombshell and we learnt the term ‘state capture’. In October, days after Thuli Madonsela had vacated the Public Protector’s office, the ‘State of Capture’ report was released. While it had no definitive findings it was not flattering to our president and the upper echelons of the executive. It gave a glimpse of what could be a cesspool of corruption in the state owned enterprises and the undue influence the Gupta family seemed to have on the president, his ministers and the cabinet. This chapter still has to be wrapped up and 2017 will be the definitive year. One thing seems clear – this time next year Zuma will no longer be the president of the ANC and who knows what might happen to him thereafter, leading up to the 2019 general elections? Only a brave man, some might say, or a foolish man will hazard a guess as to what might be in store in 2017 for uphuncuka bemphethe (the Teflon man) of our politics. Whatever he is using, Allister Coetzee would do well to ask him to share it. Coetzee must do it fast as his day of reckoning is coming soon.