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Tuesday, 06 January 2009

Blue light convoys are out of control

Talk Radio 702 reports that there has been yet another incident in which members of a blue light convoy intimidated, shot at and injured a Gauteng motorist. This follows on the heels of several other incidents over the past few years, in which other motorists have been intimidated, injured, forced off the road and even shot at by members of blue light convoys. The actions of the blue light convoys have led to the deaths of several people.

In a recent incident, a brain-dead baboon started firing at a motorist who didn't get out of the way quicky enough in the opinion of the moron in control of the trigger.

Africa is notorious for its Wabenzi; for the convoys of vehicles which accompany insignificant politicians and force lesser mortals from the road. And, let's be honest here: an "insignificant politician" in Africa is a tautology - something that almost goes without saying.

Since the end of apartheid, South African politicians have enthusiastically started to make use of blue light convoys and body guards. That fat, incompetent former teacher, notorious only for her predilection for shopping trips to Dubai at the taxpayer's expense, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, has no fewer than 23 bodyguards. Speculation is rife that some of them are actually diet police, whose task it is to prevent her from stopping at the McDonalds.

Not only national cabinet ministers, but also provincial politicians had decided that they are far too important to be stuck in traffic, that an inability to plan and to stick to a schedule on their behalf, becomes an emergency for everybody else. A particularly egregious example is the monumentally arrogant KZN province's minister of transport, one Bheki Cele, who seems to view public objections to his abuse as power as racist. Well, Bheki, if you behave like an idiot, and it's racist to point it out, then so be it - I'm racist.

One of the major reasons for the use of convoys is an utter inability to plan, coupled with the notorious love of Africa time. Any Westerner who makes an appointment expects punctuality. Not so in Africa. Three hours late is par for the course.
Don't ask why they ANC politicians don't take these realities into account and schedule meetings at realistic times. Don't query whether the politician's aides are unable to do simple math and schedule meetings so that they allow for enough travel time. (Rhetorical question - the answer is a resounding no.) The inability to stick to schedules, the inability to plan, then becomes an emergency on the part of other road users. His Lordship, the Deputy Minister of Little Green Bits That Go Well With Salad, then finds it necessary to sweep all before him, endangering the lives of other road users.

Blue light convoys are out of control, and the trigger-happy baboons who man them belong in jail, rather than armed to the teeth in black suits behind the wheel of powerful vehicles.
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