Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Zuma, Zuma and bad apples.

Today was yet another day of Zuma, Zuma, Zuma. We saw him go to court and have the charges dropped, we saw him address the media and smuggly claim attorney-client privilege when asked how he got his hands on the dodgy tapes that so neatly created the technicality that has got him off the hook. *Yawn*.

Later in the day a company press release landed, offering us promotional schpiel about some company - basically a corporate punt dressed up as a news story. So this company, which apparently has links with a large background screening company, has picked up on a new trend in the work place.

In their quest to "weed out the rotten apples in the work place" (definitely their wording, I am crap at gardening but know that apples are not weeded) they have discovered that criminal record percentages have steadily been rising over the past few years. They specialise in scratching around in people's pasts and checking them out thoroughly to make sure they are not ... erm ... bad apples I suppose. And now - get this for a shocker - it has spiked in the past 18 months. So they reckon that today, as we sit here in these historic times, more than 20% of all job applicants have a criminal record. One in every five apples in this giant orchard that is the SA job market is rotten.

Hmmmmm. So is this news? Is this indeed a new bit of information that will enlighten the readers of the daily paper for which I write? Is it something people don't already know or cannot figure out logically for themselves?

I pondered this press release deeply. I looked around at what is happening. Our chief of police is about to go on trial for corruption and colluding with criminals. Our traffic chief is on leave because he has been accused of being a bad guy and is now under investigation. Former Ekhuruleni Metro boss Robert McBride has just been fired for crashing his company car after leaving the office Christmas party drunk and bribing doctors to falsify medical reports to state that he suffered blood sugar issues rather than an over-indulgence in Johnny Walker. One of the Pretoria High Court judges is on trial for drunk driving. Judge Hlophe is battling the entire Constitutional Court - the highest court in the land- and is accused of inappropriate dealings. A panel of doctors is suspected of falsely recommending the early parole of Zuma's buddy, fraudster Schabir Shaik. Tony Yengeni, Alan Boesak, Carl Niehaus and Joost van der Westhuizen have all made the news for doing really bad stuff. And of course there is Zuma himself - expected to be sworn in as our next president while the R100-million 8-year investigation that can prove that he is corrupt will never see the light of day.

These are our leaders and role models. They are presumably of a calibre above the average job seeker. I think of the press release and wonder, can it really be only one in five that is bad?

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