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Anarchy rules South Africa The nation has become a gangster state

It doesn't matter who governs (Michele Spatari/AFP/Getty Images)

It doesn't matter who governs (Michele Spatari/AFP/Getty Images)


July 29, 2022   5 mins

Personal attacks within the ANC come either by smear or funeral oration; the organisation’s strong traditions of omerta allow few other avenues. So when the former South African president Thabo Mbeki recently warned incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa that his inaction was courting a new “Arab Spring”, there was a sharp intake of national breath. It was akin to Pope Benedict openly accusing Pope Francis of not saying his prayers.

Mbeki, it must be said immediately, has his own form. During his 1999-2008 form, he disbanded the country’s highly effective anti-corruption special task team, The Scorpions, when it was getting close to the criminal activities of some senior ANC members (including the National Police Commissioner). He introduced a state-sanctioned system of race-based extortion of wealth and opportunity under the guise of black empowerment, ushered in a new era of political cronyism, and gave rise to a new and truly avaricious economic elite, a multi-tentacled screen of parasites through which little national wealth percolates to the masses.

In The Mbeki Legacy, I labelled Mbeki a de-moderniser, for the simple reason that through ideological misdirection, he severely weakened the country’s institutional capacity, something the entirely malignant former president Jacob Zuma later took full advantage of to create his gangster state. Yet it would be unwise to ignore this attack from a cantankerous 80-year-old ex-president on the basis that a pot should not call a kettle black. It comes at a time of acute fragility in the life of the presidency, ruling party and nation — and has found wide resonance across racial lines. It is the stuff on which history sometimes hinges.

President Ramaphosa, once hailed as the modernising saviour of the country after the depredations of his predecessor, has not turned the country away from its trajectory towards a failed state. Institutional collapse is obvious in many state and para-state institutions and physical infrastructure is dire. Those citizens who can afford to have turned to private suppliers of health care, security and education. Going off-grid is now a staple of dinner conversation. Recognising the danger of a collapse of the national energy grid, Ramaphosa has belatedly sought support from private energy producers, primarily renewables.

In short, for many years now the country has already been undergoing an Arab Spring of its own as people take charge of their own communities: sometimes orderly, often chaotically and occasionally violently. The feuding ANC and its bankrupt state apparatus have lost real influence in the lives of ordinary citizens: so much so that an organisation called Afriforum, initially an Afrikaner civil rights group but now enjoying wide support across all race groups because of its feisty legal defence of wronged citizens, has stated its intention to make communities “state-proof”, ending their reliance on state-provided services.

All of this is a direct consequence of Ramaphosa’s refusal to reverse the core drivers of collapse and the enablers of corruption: race-based economic empowerment policies, inappropriate state appointments, expensive social welfare programmes, land seizures and a culture of impunity at all levels of state and elected office.

Perhaps more terminally, Ramaphosa’s integrity itself is now at stake. A bizarre incident, mischievously exposed by Zuma’s former head of State Security, himself accused of corruption, has emerged about hundreds of thousands of dollar bills (perhaps millions) being stolen from the President’s bush lodge two years ago. The theft, confirmed by Ramaphosa, was apparently not recorded by the police and the villains were pursued secretly by state intelligence agencies and bounty hunters in a bid to recover the loot.

Ramaphosa has thus far refused to give his version of this Netflix-type drama: typically, he hides behind a ponderous police inquiry to avoid having to personally deal with the criminals in his party. For years there has been little doubt about the President’s inability to control his cabinet, parliamentary caucus, party and country. But now not even his holiday home?

Last weekend, he finally lost control of the ANC KwaZulu Region, the largest bloc in his party and the strongest supporter of the ousted KwaZulu-based Jacob Zuma. The new grouping is largely pro-Zuma and headed by Siboniso Duma, a young and energetic man, who voted for Ramaphosa in the 2017 party elections but now, perhaps exasperated, has turned to the rebel and indeed insurrectionist faction grouped around Zuma.

None of this was entirely surprising. The Zulu traditionalists who make up a large part of the provincial ANC constituency have taken badly the usurpation of their man, Zuma, three years ago. The majority believe Ramaphosa is manipulating the legal system to persecute his opponents within the party. The province itself has been buffeted by a violent but failed insurrection in July last year, devastating 60-year floods, rampant politico-criminal gangs a la Sicily or Colombia, best-of-breed state corruption and high unemployment following the pandemic.

In the face of this growing crisis, President Ramaphosa, now widely and cruelly dubbed Cyril The Silent, has done virtually nothing more than offer trite homilies, anodyne solutions and occasional bunches of money. The people gathered at the ANC Conference, then, represented both the architects and the victims of their own misfortune. Either way, they have had enough of Ramaphosa.

Wenzeni uZuma (What has Zuma done?), the delegates to the regional conference in Durban sang when Ramaphosa arrived, a rather surprising question given the complex and wide range of criminal proceedings now underway against the 80-year-old Zuma. The conference also moved that the party’s “Step Aside” rule, requiring elected officials charged in criminal court to step down, should itself step aside. That something so glaringly right and necessary should be contested is a measure of how far the provincial party has drifted from modern tradition and how much they distrust Ramaphosa.

But the loss of KwaZulu Natal support will not necessarily end Ramaphosa’s bid for a second term as ANC Leader at the elective conference in December this year. He seems to have the other regions pretty much on side despite, perhaps because of, KwaZulu Natal’s bolshy stand. But the tumult, this further example of Cyril The Silent’s inability to control his party, certainly affects the ANC’s chance of retaining power in the 2024 general elections.

The consensus view is that the ANC will not win a majority, opening the way for a novel coalition-based form of government. The optimists foresee the prospect of a resurgent modernising coalition, perhaps including reformist elements of the ANC, the sort that Big Business had hoped Ramaphosa would deliver when they massively invested in his campaign for ANC leader in 2017 but did not get. The numbers from the municipal elections this year in which the ANC lost heavily, support this possibility.

The pessimists foresee things being pretty much the same after 2024: the ANC in alliance with like-minded groups, just more and different fingers in the till, a continuation of South Africa’s shambling march to irrelevance. The incorrigible simply do not believe the ANC would vacate office if voted out.

With all this looming, Mbeki’s reference to the Arab Spring is intriguing. Then, Arab despots were thrown out by a popular democratic uprising. Despite the limitless optimism of Western liberalism, most of the countries subsequently relapsed into either civil war or a re-engineered authoritarianism. All South Africans can do is pray that in 2024 they get the first part without the latter.

Ultimately, it may not matter much who governs South Africa. The existential threat faced by the country is the terrifying loss of skills, much of it driven out by the ANC’s affirmative action policies. Collapsed state training and educational institutions cannot introduce black candidates at sufficient a rate. There is the rub.

Yet South Africans are by and large a patient people. Even their rage tends to be expressed through activist forums, marches and legal channels. The prospects of a general insurrection, an Arab Spring, are thus limited. After all, the nation had that chance in July last year when KwaZulu Natal and parts of Gauteng burnt. It remained quiescent.

But without a competent state the nation will devolve into communal zones. The rich will live well. The poor will endure. The gaps will grow. This cantonising of the country is already happening and it is still largely around apartheid-era geographical divisions. The threat is therefore not popular uprising but decay: social, economic, political and cultural, just like the old days.


Brian Pottinger is an author and former Editor and Publisher of the South African Sunday Times. He lives on the KwaZulu North Coast.


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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

If this was any mainstream news site, I would expect loud yells of “racist fake news” followed by “everything you can observe with your own eyes is just your imagination” from the commentariat. The world seems to be coming apart at the seems and pretending everything is fine just makes things worse down the line. What is sad is I have to rely on articles from people like Brian Pottinger at places like Unherd because I can no longer trust places like the BBC World News or the New York Times to even tell me a factually skewed summary of the news anymore. On a side note, any good places to go these days for reliable international news?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Al Jazeera is surprisingly good. Not without slant, but covering a much wider range of issues across the world.

John Mcalester
John Mcalester
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Al Jazeera’s coverage of world news is very comprehensive and for the most part well balanced, the exception being Israel/ Palestine coverage, which is as you would expect.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Mcalester
Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  John Mcalester

That’s true. I find it hardly different from Pakistani or Jordanian news, which are so biased it’s funny.

Tony Kanata
Tony Kanata
1 year ago
Reply to  John Mcalester

Yes,indeed very well balanced from Arab-Jihadi viewpoint.
Its a Qatari funded Jihadi propaganda news channel not very different from RT or CGTN.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  John Mcalester

Indeed, their presentation of the Middle East is so biased it’s painful. But the rest of their news is wide-spread, and apart from the inevitable pro-Islam bias, pretty good. Certainly better than anything else I’ve come across.

Christo R
Christo R
1 year ago
Reply to  John Mcalester

Also SA, even the most balanced news sources have this almost hilarious kneejerk gleefully gushing or frothing at the mouth reaction when it comes to either Israel or SA. It’s fascinating to watch these people make complete and utter idiots of themselves out of nowhere saying the most ridiculous things with straight faces.

You see it in the comments section here too with Apartheid being referred to as having been truly evil when at worst it was vaguely leaning in that direction towards the end.

Last edited 1 year ago by Christo R
John Hicks
John Hicks
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Reuter’s daily summaries skim the facts, largely without bias, and come FOC. Similar to yourself, commentary from treasures like Pottinger are hard to find but very rewarding to discover. With Guardian (Australia) reporting an 80% decline in profit today, perhaps there are more “treasures” to be found and encouraged out there?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Try the Duran podcast on YouTube. I think they skate over Russia’s aggression and crimes too readily, but they are wonderfully contemptuous of the West’s incompetence and hypocrisy, and their predictions seem to be proved right more often than most commentators.

CP Pienaar
CP Pienaar
1 year ago

As an Afrikaner (64 years of age) that has had the full experience of Apartheid, Angola war, betrayal by all politicians that I can name and who has been self employed for most of my life and has seen all the terrible effects that the ANC had on the really poor Citizens of our country, I am dumb founded by the “surprised” reaction some of the readers have about this article. What the writer is not getting to in this article, is the how the Socialistic/Communist goals set by the ANC is the real driver behind the decline of my beloved country.

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
1 year ago

Imagine a political party that no matter what it does, it gains at least 2/3 of the parliament in every election. Imagine that the main opposition party, in a country that still remembers Apartheid is usually led by white people. So people vote according to their tribal identities. My surprise is that the country is still standing.

John Lee
John Lee
1 year ago
Reply to  Jorge Espinha

Scots Nats?

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

It seems that since decolonisation came late to SA, the effects of it decolonisation are coming late to it too. The most obvious examples are the same as most postcolonial nations; a vanguardist single party controlling the machinery of state stagnating, failed discriminatory policies against Asians and Europe leading to capital outflows, economic collapse and ultimately despair as thousands leave the country, worsening the economic situation. SA is unique in that these problems are hitting it in the 2020s, not the 1970s. The worst is still to come.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Nadine Gordimer foresaw all this about 45 years ago in her excellent novel A Most Honoured Guest. She was writing about a fictional, post-colonial African country, but it has all played out in SA.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fraser Bailey
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

It is easy to start thinking that this kind of thing is standard for Africa, and yet, according to everything I know, Botswana seems to manage fine. What’s their secret?

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

From what I can gather a low and relatively homogenous population. It helps that all citizens are referred to as batswana regardless of ethnicity. Rich mineral wealth helps too.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Botswana manages fine because it is ruled by a single ultra powerful ethnic group instead of dozens of competing tribes, has low population density and a cultural aversion to radicalism. Only a handful of African nations are lucky enough to have these same traits. South Africa on the other hand is comprised of dozens of groups, many of them immigrants from countries to the north who compete for pieces of an ever-shrinking pie.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

South Africa and Rhodesia were sacrificed on the pyre of National Socialist white guilt, and now the same NS woke control of the media, and ever increasingly our own laws here in The RepublicToylitte of nu britn” prevents even a suggestion that Africa, its economy, finance, industry, culture and any scintilla of democracy and freedom are literally hundreds of years behind advanced societies:
just look at Israel or India? We have got to the stage where no media will even dare give data of empirical fact to display that in terms of GNP/GDP African and certain muslim countries sit unmoved at the bottom…. heaved forbid suggest the reasons?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Your post seems to ignore the fact that apartheid was a truly evil system, as is any system that divides or suppresses people by race.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

like Pakistan, Saudi, Quatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Northern Ireland, and countless African countries on tribal lines?…

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Division/suppression along tribal or religious lines is surely different to division/suppression along racial lines. Tribalism is more or less inevitable, racialism is repulsive and absurd.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

As you may know Apartheid is founded on ‘sound’ Biblical teaching, to wit:
Acts 17:26, Acts 2: 5-11, Revalation 5:9, 7:9,14:6, Romans 13 :1-7.
Plus ‘women know thy place’, Timothy 2: 11-14

QED.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Well I consider all religious tracts to be nonsense. On the plus side, I recently found a free copy of the 2021 Platter’s South African Wine Guide, which would normally cost about 20 pounds or more. So I can check on all the latest SA wines from the Sadie family and David & Nadia etc.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I agree completely, and long may we plunder the vines of Franschhoek!

Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You say ‘Division/suppression along tribal or religious lines is surely different to division/suppression along racial lines.’ How is it different? Please explain

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

define race and racialism? What are tribes if not racial? What are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Christian differences if not racial? Why is it that those who bandy about the word racism or racialism stubbornly refuse to define the empirical definition of the words? I am half Italian and half Irish, but was born in England… I am NOT English and am racially different to the English..

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The fact that apartheid is simply wrong doesn’t change the fact that the way it has been removed has resulted in ‘reverse’ apartheid, and hasn’t done anything for the prospects of the less well off indigenous community.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Yes, I am aware of that. I also know that a lot of poor black people in SA say they were better off under apartheid.
But that’s the ANC and the Left in general for you. They have managed to create something even worse than apartheid.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fraser Bailey
Tim Smith
Tim Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It is true that a lot of apartheid was evil, but that glossed over a lot of complexities.

As an example: Rhodesia had perhaps the best education system in Africa and the consequences of independence were well known at the time.

The Bantu education system while patronising is still probably more effective than the system run by the ANC.

To reduce everything to binary evil Vs good is one of the prime factors in ensuring continual racial conflict and lack of empathy in SA

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

My grandfather was the first permanent Secretary of Education in the Federation of Rhodesia & Nyasaland (created 1953, dissolved 1963). A United Nations report c.1953 on the state of education in Africa identified Southern Rhodesia as having the best, most advanced education system for black Africans in the continent and fulsomely praised that nation for its commitment and investment. What exists in Zimbabwe today is a ruined system that epitomises the general ruination of post-colonial Africa by its own.

Bob Henson
Bob Henson
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Indeed, but under apartheid, at least there was effective government, law and order and I would suggest that Black people were rather better off than they are now.

Stephen Walker
Stephen Walker
1 year ago

The ANC has been a party of greed since way before Apartheid came to an end. The only way forward for my beloved South Africa is for us to rid ourselves of the despicable and morally bankrupt ANC.
There are slight glimmers of hope on the horizon. 2024 brings a general election. And there are parties waiting in the wings. Action South Africa promises much — and a coalition government with the DA is a real possibility.
We can only hope. I fear it is the last chance for change before South Africa becomes another Zimbabwe.
Viva the potential new, new South Africa.
;o)

Jim Stockley
Jim Stockley
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walker

Have you seen this ?
https://youtu.be/kgkOdf9Yd9k

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

This has been entirely predictable ever since the ‘blessed Fregal Keane’ (of BBC fame) granted South Africa independence from vicious white colonial rule back in 1994.
In fact it is slightly surprising that it hadn’t happened earlier.
Thank you Mr Pottinger for this timely report.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

“core drivers of collapse and the enablers of corruption: race-based economic empowerment policies, inappropriate state appointments, expensive social welfare programmes, land seizures and a culture of impunity at all levels of state and elected office.”
For a moment I thought he was talking about the UK

Max Price
Max Price
1 year ago

It’s just really incredibly sad.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago

First Zimbabwe was destroyed, now it seems it is South Africa’s turn. When will people realise that the so-called democratic insurgencies bring no more than further misery for ordinary people?

Fiona Ingram
Fiona Ingram
1 year ago

A brilliant article, spot on. I left five years ago. I could never go back.

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona Ingram

Depends what you want (out of life).

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Not to be murdered in a home invasion?

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

You mean, locked into rather than out your house 😉

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 year ago

As ANC bigwigs enjoyed their gala dinner their employees were protesting outside having not been paid for two months. While the population suffered stage 6 load shedding ANC ministers had generators installed and fueled at their homes paid for from taxation. More like a cartoon version of Victorian capitalists than a revolutionary socialist movement… class not race… plus ca change…

Edwin Blake
Edwin Blake
1 year ago

Pottinger is largely correct but leaves out the specifically terrible betrayal of the poor black people in South Africa. The infrastructure they depend on has been looted, you name it, their access is gone: trains, water, power, roads, police, courts, and so on and on. Education is failing, school lunches are stolen by politicians, teachers have to bribe their union for promotion, truly horrific.

The Afrikaners knew not to steal from their own. Instead they set up banks, shops, financial institutions to channel money back to their people and away from the capitalists. The ANC has done the opposite.

Much blame also lies with the opposition parties. The biggest one (called the Democratic Alliance) briefly flirted with non-racialism before returning to being a white party. Their betrayal is as bad as the ANC. It killed the hope of an inclusive alternative to the corruption.

Tiaan M
Tiaan M
1 year ago
Reply to  Edwin Blake

O, what nonsense. The DA flirted with black tokenism, before returning to meritocracy again.

Edwin Blake
Edwin Blake
1 year ago
Reply to  Tiaan M

O, what nonsense (sic). But I’ll provide some evidence: the previous leader of the DA was Musi Maimane, several University degrees but Black. Replacement was John Steenhuizen, no graduate qualifications but white.
Not, on the face of it, a meritocracy. Same as the ANC, just different race.

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Edwin Blake

Except from what I can see from a long distance Steenhuizen seems a much more effective party leader and leader of the opposition than Musi was, so maybe it is a meritocracy, and a degree isn’t the be all and end all.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Tiaan M

Africa is 1000 years behind…

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Edwin Blake

During some of the more recent troubles it was the less well off black community being interviewed who said unbelievably critical things about their won government, and about the forces of so-called law and order.

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago

All true, but these past two-plus years have convinced me I would far rather be living here in South Africa than in the managerial, technocratic dystopias being played out in places like Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

PJ Massyn
PJ Massyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

I’m with you Hendrik. I shall see out my days in the beloved country. It is here – amidst the challenges and decay Pottinger laments – that I have found community, resilience and purpose unlike any I experienced during my long years abroad. Let them lament our fate as they sip their G&Ts before tea. We have rapids to shoot. Afterwards, we’ll trade stories around the fire while, all around, the shadows lurk.

Last edited 1 year ago by PJ Massyn
Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

Very interesting as ever. This author always shed a light on something o knew nothing about.
One question:
“Mbeki, it must be said immediately, has his own form. During his 1999-2008 form…”
What is a “form”?

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

A record, often criminal.
Originally it meant the recent record of a racehorse.

Last edited 1 year ago by D Glover
Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

I’m shocked.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

Me too. I was so shocked by this article that I have not been able to work, eat or drink all day.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fraser Bailey
Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Me too, and since summer nights are short I am practically sober!

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I am so shocked that I think I shall have to have a G&T before tea, and some wine during it.

ralph bell
ralph bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Imagine living there with a spiralling cost of living and murder at every turn in overpopulated cities
Hell on earth in what is also a paradise…

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  ralph bell

You could be describing London, Paris, parts of Stockholm, Marseille, Lyon, parts of Amsterdam and Rotterdam…all cities I have lived in or visited, some of them quite recently.

Helgard MĂŒller
Helgard MĂŒller
1 year ago

This state-proof stuff pushed by the alt-right (libertarians turned conservatives) and a lot of the so-called “classic liberal” right in South Africa has limits.

It is a massive assumption that these communal zones will endure and be able to protect themselves from the anarchy outside. As the country collapses further into web-like networks of strongmen (organised crime, vigilante groups, corrupt politicians) that already runs large parts of the country – it really comes down to how strong your web is…

Here is the thing, even these relative zones of security and stability in the bad parts of the world (usually the capital or some elite & diplomatic surburbs) the stability is depended on the same patronage and corruption networks sustained by anything but liberal democracy and freedom.

It is brittle and always at risk – ask these communal / island that were overrun by other strongmen or eventually the masses outside.

This state-proof stuff have limits and it is plain nonsense to think you can survive in South Africa without a strong state in the long run…

South Africa never really had a strong society with a strong state. It had a strong society for minorities during Apartheid with a strong state (not big state) at the apex that secured and protected that society. The rest of country like in so many other countries in Africa and Latin America was run by webs of strongmen – a web like society. Unlike the pyramid societies of the West. Where a weak state is constantly bribing and fighting to assert authority over the various webs of strongmen.

The challenge post-1994 was always how extend the pyramid over the rest of South Africa given that it lacked legitimacy and was build around a racist and minority regime. The mistake liberals and the opposition made was to assume people would just move over from the one world to the next through trickle down economics and neo-liberalism. The ANC and its successive failures did little to establish a strong state and society. Preferring to not transform society and the state to the extend needed – but to instead simply replace and inhabit the previous Apartheid structures – but demand it change across racial lines and that the previous strong society carry the rest…

The real challenge in South Africa remains, actually building a coherent (strong) society. We need nation building and that requires a strong state. The ANC cannot build and it has mismanged the state. The current opposition seems to have resigned themselves to enclaves, communal balkanisation and libertarian state proof anarchy. Until South Africa has a real opposition party with the legitimacy and will to actually escape the tired politics of the Marxist-socialist ANC and the minority-suburbs-liberalism of the official opposition with common sense conservatism, healthy nationalism and political pragmatism required of a highly divided and heterogeneous polis – there is indeed only the dystopian hope offered here off balkanisation and some sci-fi inspired enclave / laager survival…

Last edited 1 year ago by Helgard MĂŒller
Christo R
Christo R
1 year ago

The problem is the assumptions that just because a state exists means it should exist and that it must exist along western lines. This is more religion than logic speaking especially given how the SA state came into being in the first place.

SA will NEVER become the evangelized Little America because the bulk of it’s population are of a completely different civilization that does not as you mentioned function with pyramid structures but web structures. The ONLY way to change that kind of paradigm is to completely shatter the old society beyond repair. This ironically is why Western style state building has always failed in Africa and always will, the approach demanded is simply too humane to have any hope of success.

The only way of building a successful state on this continent is to completely re-evaluate how this state business is done. The irony is under Apartheid many reformers wanted to do this but due to the intense mixture of fear and arrogance of their constituencies they never succeeded. Now that the ANC attempt at instead of builing a Little America to build a little USSR has clearly failed beyond repair there is hope that the third way out will be tried at some point. Many people have been developing potential third solutions behind the scenes… just not all with benign reasons.

My own opinion is that after a period of civil conflict all the people will have been beaten around by their failures enough to admit they cannot do anything the way they previously did it and come together in a kind of federal republic designed with the history and realities of the region in mind rather than just trying to copy what other failed state experiments have done. But such a period can take either decades or years to run out of steam. The people of SA are exceptionally stubborn.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Why have the Biblical origins of Apartheid been Censored?
(12.03 BST.)

Christo R
Christo R
1 year ago

Probably the same reasons that the British origins of Apartheid has been censored.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Christo R

Britain was perfectly happy with their version of apartheid in Northern Ireland!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

and here is another shattering revelation today is Monday….and it is dark at night…