President Cyril Ramaphosa and the art of lying: Andrew Kenny - Biznews

May 19, 2024
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s claims about the benefits of the NHI are a pack of lies, of course. But they are illustrative lies. They say much about the man and help explain why he has brought such ruin to our country, especially to our poor black people. Will his lies about the NHI be successful? Will they boost his popularity and help the ANC win votes on the 29th?
President Cyril Ramaphosa and the art of lying: Andrew Kenny - Biznews

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promotion of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme has drawn scepticism, with critics questioning his motives and honesty. As South Africa grapples with healthcare reform, Ramaphosa’s history of misleading statements raises concerns about his leadership and commitment to addressing systemic issues.

Andrew Kenny

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s claims about the benefits of the NHI are a pack of lies, of course. But they are illustrative lies. They say much about the man and help explain why he has brought such ruin to our country, especially to our poor black people. Will his lies about the NHI be successful? Will they boost his popularity and help the ANC win votes on the 29th?

Judging by the public response so far, they will be highly successful. If NHI is implemented, and causes a massive increase in death and ill health among our poor people, and Ramaphosa lies that this is all the fault of the rich white racists, will people believe him still? I think so. Does he believe his own lies? That is more difficult to answer.

Professional lying is the essence of Ramaphosa’s being. He is good at it, and it has made him enormously rich and powerful. He has the right face and the natural charm for it. So far he has also been lucky in having the right market for it, namely desperate and gullible poor black people and rich and guilty white people.

In 2018, in the USA, there had been bad publicity for South Africa over the endemic of farm murders, including ones where children and elderly people had been shot, tortured and hacked to death. On 26 September 2018, President Ramaphosa told Bloomberg, “There are no killings of farmers or white farmers in South Africa.” This was a complete lie.

The South African Police had recorded over 1,700 farm murders by that time. But I’m sure his lie was successful. The US mainstream media, almost all woke, were delighted to hear that South African farm murders were just an invention of white racists and right-wingers, whose real complaint was that South Africa was now ruled by a saintly black president.

In parliament, in November 2021, Ramaphosa was asked about farm murders by Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus. With typical dishonesty, he did not answer the question but deflected it: “… and I would like to ask him some interesting questions myself. What did he do when the apartheid regime was slaughtering our people? That is the question I would ask, because as I check he is white and being white means that he is one of those who supported the apartheid regime” (my emphasis). This lie is particularly outrageous as Ramaphosa had countless dealings with honest, decent white people who he knew opposed apartheid and wanted to end it. His lying is squalid.

I’m afraid that most opponents of the NHI played into Ramaphosa’s hands. He timed his signing of the NHI bill to maximise votes for the ANC on the 29th – and this could possibly push the ANC’s vote to over 50% of the total. He lied that he was only thinking about was the welfare of ordinary black people who couldn’t afford private healthcare. The implication was that everybody would get the finest private healthcare for free as soon as the NHI came into being – an even more outrageous lie. And sure enough, I heard caller after caller on radio shows saying this is just what would happen. “Good healthcare is a human right”; so anyone who opposed the NHI was opposed to human rights. Only rich white racists wanted to deny poor black people free private healthcare. The privileged wanted to protect their exclusive privileges. Good old Ramaphosa, he stands up for the poor, his NHI will give everybody wonderful healthcare almost immediately, he knows how to fight the rich racists.

The host of a radio show asked, “This is my big question: why are certain people so angry about the NHI?” As if to confirm her suspicions, Business Day had a frontpage headline entitled, “Outrage as president signs NHI”. Don’t you see? The rich are angry that the poor are now going to get the same healthcare as them. Opposition parties gave the less important reasons for opposing the NHI: it was unconstitutional and could not be funded; there were other legal and financial objections. The most important objection to the NHI – the essential objection – came from Ivo Vegter in the Daily Friend on Friday in an article entitled, “Free healthcare for the rich.”

Ivo hit the nail on the head. He explained in detail why NHI would harm the poor more than anybody else. The present system gives free but poor public healthcare to the majority and good but expensive private healthcare to the minority. The NHI would make everybody get terrible healthcare, even worse than public healthcare now. It would increase political interference in health, employ a huge army of highly paid ANC cadres to run all hospitals, use highly paid BEE contractors to provide inferior medical equipment and services at highly inflated prices and, of course, encourage even more corruption than now, for the simple reason that there would be more public money to loot.

On 23 August 2021, Babita Deokaran, the chief director of financial accounting in the Gauteng health department, was murdered outside her home by gunmen in a white BMW. She was murdered because she was exposing corruption in the public health department. Expect many more such murders if NHI gets going – unless of course the ANC makes sure that no honest people such as Deokaran are ever employed in it. The NHI will enrich Ramaphosa’s rich cronies even more and increase waiting times, deaths and illness for the poor – more blood, pus and urine on the bedsheets, more dead bodies in the passages.

Ramaphosa explained that the only people who could possibly object to the NHI were whites scared of losing their privileges. Those same whites stocked up on tins of corned beef before the 1994 election, fearing that everything would collapse under the ANC. (I must admit that I never met nor heard of anyone who stocked up tins of food before that election, but maybe there were some.) Actually, the most powerful whites in the land, led by President F W de Klerk and rich businessmen, tried to reassure everyone that things would be just fine under the new democracy.

(By the way, a curious paradox: the very people who hate the private sector and love the public sector are now all demanding private healthcare. We communist Leninist-Marxist leaders demand private healthcare! Private healthcare run by the state?)

Does Ramaphosa believe his own lies? He probably couldn’t answer this question himself. I don’t think Ramaphosa believes in anything very much except his own colossal wealth and his political legacy. I think the key to Ramaphosa’s lying is passive cowardice. His whole career has been spent avoiding confrontation with powerful people, courting popularity and going wherever the mob goes. His response to the non-genocide in Gaza and the actual genocide in Sudan is a good example.

In the 2010s, the worst crimes against humanity in the world happened in the Darfur region of Sudan, where Arab leaders were perpetrating genocide against black African civilians. Around 300,000 black Africans were systematically slaughtered. Thousands of black women were gang raped. In 2015, President Omar al-Bashir, the perpetrator of the genocide against black people, visited South Africa, expecting and getting a warm welcome from the ANC and the South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa. An international court, to which South Africa was signatory, asked South Africa to arrest him. The ANC did not do so. Bashir was deposed years later and a civil war has flared up again in Sudan. Millions of people have been displaced, millions face famine, much of the capital, Khartoum, has been reduced to rubble, and genocide against African people has been resumed, especially by a rebel leader, Hemedti Dagalo. Dagalo visited South Africa this year.

He was warmly welcomed by a smiling, fawning President Ramaphosa. Again, no protest by President Ramaphosa or Foreign Minister Pandor or any other ANC political leader about genocide against black African people. They all cringe before African leaders such as Bashir, Dagalo, Mugabe, and Mnangagwa, who murder their black civilians. They all regard ordinary black people with contempt. The fate of working-class blacks in South Africa under 30 years of ANC rule bears this out. But when Israel responded to the gruesome terrorist attack on civilians by Hamas in Israel on 7 October 2023 by invading Gaza to root out the terrorists and pleading with Gaza civilians to get out of their way, Ramaphosa and Pandor leapt into righteous action, taking Israel to a world court. Why the difference?

Moral coward
Because Cyril Ramaphosa is a moral coward. His instincts are to follow the mob; the more brutal the mob, the more faithfully he will follow. After 7 October 2023 but before any Israeli retaliation, the mob around the world chanted their hatred of Jews and Israelis. “Gas the Jews!” screamed the mob at the Sydney Opera House. In London, New York, and around the world, the mob, which had been utterly silent about the genocide of black people in Sudan, demanded the extermination of Jews for Israeli reaction in Gaza. So naturally President Cyril Ramaphosa joined the international mob, lying as usual, proclaiming that never again would he allow another genocide – at the same time that he was condoning if not applauding genocide in Sudan.

Ramaphosa’s cowardice did useful service for South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s. In those years, the verligte National Party leaders and big business leaders knew that apartheid was wicked and unworkable. They were desperate to find black leaders they could negotiate with to end it. Ramaphosa, a union leader at the time, was their perfect man, clever, eloquent, charming, with a round, pleasant, boyish face. He was ideal during negotiations from 1990 to 1994. He out-maneouvred the National Party at every step, mainly because they were desperate for a settlement. He never had to confront anyone. He did what the hard men on his side told him to do.

De Klerk had to confront the much more dangerous hard men on his side: the verkrampte whites of the NP, the Conservative Party, the AWB, the white working classes and armed forces. The final settlement was as good as it could get, I suppose, and Ramaphosa must take some credit for this. The fact that the ANC has brought ruin to South Africa in the last 30 years is not the fault of the settlement or the constitution but the fault of the ANC, and Ramaphosa bears as much blame as any other ANC leader – perhaps more.

Is he lying about the benefits of NHI because he knows it will probably not be implemented, not for a long time anyway? Or is he lying because he knows when it fails and healthcare for the people becomes even worse than now, he can blame the whites again? If it is implemented and brings our private hospitals crashing down, where will Cyril Ramaphosa go for his own healthcare? To expensive private hospitals overseas, of course.

His hero, Robert Mugabe, flew in his private airliner to London for any medical attention (until targeted sanctions stopped that and he had to fly to Singapore). Last year, when Queen Elizabeth died, President Ramaphosa flew to London in Inkwazi, his lavish presidential jet with a large entourage of ANC cadres, each given R24,000 in catering expenses. He could hardly do less if he needed medical treatment. If any white objected, he can just say they were only complaining because they want to bring back apartheid – or some such lie.

Andrew Kenny is a writer, an engineer and a classical liberal

This article was first published on the Daily Friend.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and the art of lying: Andrew Kenny - Biznews

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