A link to this article was recently posted in the shoutbox, and I think it warrants its own thread for further discussion.
In a nutshell the ANC argument seems to go like this:
Due to the possible wrongful actions of some officials and architects,
- the taxpayer is harmed, and
- president Zuma is advantaged.
But president Zuma had no knowledge of any wrongdoings.
Therefore president Zuma need not pay back the money to the taxpayer.
Or more generally:
Due to A behaving unethically
- B is harmed, and
- C is advantaged.
But C had no knowledge of A’s wrongdoing.
Therefore C need not be disadvantaged in order to compensate B.
The author then claims that the ANC, if they wish to be consistent in their reasoning, must take the following view of affirmative action:
Due to the archaic Job Reservations Act
- today’s young, black job seekers were harmed, and
- today’s young white job seekers were advantaged.
But today’s young white job seekers had nothing to do with the Job Reservation Act.
Therefore, a young white job seeker should not be discriminated against in favour of a young black job seeker.
Do you think the ANC government is in danger of agreeing with this logic? Probably not, but then why would they see the two instances as different? ARE there valid differences?
ETA: I recall that someone drew he parallel with e-tolls in the past as well: We did not ASK for e-tolls, so why pay for e-tolls!