Following his response this week that e-tollers should “raise [their] IQ” when seeking assurance that indeed threatening SMSes for payment were from Sanral (failing which their accounts will be dealt with through debt collection?), many have since suggested that its spokesperson, Vusi Mona, should resign.
Actually, I only remember one person making that suggestion. Writing on Business Day yesterday, columnist Sipho Hlongwane – one of that newspaper’s recent interesting writers who I have followed way back while at the Daily Maverick – said Mona should avoid being the story as he now is given his IQ comments.
As a spokesperson for Sanral, one understands that whether he agrees with decisions taken by his principals or not – many of them taken possibly long before he was redeployed to Sanral – Mona needs to communicate these decisions with the general public. By so doing, he becomes the to-go-guy when it comes to Sanral. Or at least that’s what I think. Therefore when he addresses e-tollers’ concerns, he needs to do so in a manner that is easily understood and thereby calming them down at the same time – not raising their temper. And NOT IQ, by the way. I mean who can raise his IQ when pissed off?
Granted – Mona’s “raise your IQ” comment was the most stupid answer a Sanral-to-go-guy could give to confused e-tollers who are afraid of having debt collectors knocking on their doors to recoup the agency’s bills. Such a response not does not calm users down at all, instead it drives them into even more bewilderment than they already find themselves. Or could it be that President Zuma, among others, had an influence on Mona – or his IQ rather? – especially after the Sanral-to-go-guy himself repeated the President’s comments that “Anyone who is in doubt of our [Sanral’s] efficiency needs only to look at the national roads. This is not Malawi, to repeat what … President (Jacob Zuma) said”?
Like Zuma, Mona could have been joking – something Zuma, too, may have been doing: joking. Really? Well, you never joke with people’s emotions especially when they are confused just as many e-tollers now are. So, that was wrong of Mona IQ comments were wrong and insensitive and can’t really be taken as a joke – in fact it is Sanral that must be joking (but not with our emotions). If he thinks he’s got jokes, then he should join the David Kaus and Loyiso Golas of this world – a bunch of comedians who are apparently psychotic (but are not) as they tend to do and talk a lot of shit (emphasis).
There are many government leaders (Zuma included) who have done and said a lot of dirt things, and yes many have called for their resignations – but only a few were recalled or chose to resign on their own. In some cases, especially when one’s actions or lack therefore brings his employer reputation into disrepute, such calls may be understandable. But still, one should be subjected to internal disciplinary procedures (ask Zwelinzima Vavi) before such a decision can be taken unless of course you are Zuma yourself and can (as he’s done several times before) chop and changes cabinet as you see fit.
Calls for Mona’s resignation are not only petty but absurd and driven by a sense of bitterness by many (even future) e-tollers who have been (or will be) subjected to Sanral’s threatening SMSes – something that’s understandable but does not make it right nor rational at all for because one can’t make THAT decision in SUCH an emotional state.
So, it is perhaps those who are calling for Mona’s resignation that should (but this time around) lower their IQ and not raise it as Mona had earlier this week suggested.