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Jacob Zuma's jail case was a golden opportunity: a catalyst to real issues

14 Jul 2021 at 17:40hrs | Views
Criminals have taken a golden opportunity to hide behind another criminal who disdained the nation's constitution he once presided. Chinua Achebe writes about corruption in Nigeria's early independence. The image of Okonkwo, a top civil servant, was caught in corruption cases unimaginable by his ethic group: His pay grade was not sitting well with the corruption charges he was accused of. His people try to rescue him from the dilemma. Okonkwo was apparently smeared on corruption charges by his subordinates for refusing corruption.

But this time it is the whole former President of the Republic of South Africa who refuses to be accountable to the law creating an understanding that there is law for gullible citizens: another for the elite of the ruling ANC party. He openly refuses to stand before the law, and the nation's constitution to account for the criminal activities while he was a top civil servant.

Listening to news reporting amid chaos and looting, it evidently came out that it was not about former President Jacob Zuma in jail but was about much political and economic facts beyond Zuma's incarceration. The current President must be concerned about the political economy in South Africa. The message the black population is sending to the ANC ruling elite is much louder than the mass lootings of shopping malls, mass destruction of property resulting in loss of lives. The black South Africans are hungry, poor, unemployment is high: they have come to realize that independence of South Africa was not independence for the black population but an arrangement that managed to remove apartheid from power behind their backs.

Political independence is not enough: to be allowed to vote and then after voting you are left to fend on their own factually means it cannot be a rainbow independence they fought for and hoped for. The black South Africans were cheated in the economic processes that led to independence right left and centre. It has never been in the interest of the majority of South Africans but more about those few blacks. The Washington Consensus had the upper hand in some of the processes that propelled South Africa to economic independence. Politically, South Africa is free but far from the aspirations of the black South Africans.

Black freedom is concealed in the ability to cast a ballot vote to ANC party but never smell the real power of economic independence. Globalisation took over the economy of South Africa before the majority understood what was going on in these laissez-fair discussions devoid of the contributions of the general populace, an economic transformation crucially   determining the lives of the majority of black South Africans; they were systematically cut out of any contribution. It is an underestimate to say that ANC negotiators slept on the wheel. To best describe them is that ANC members, surely not all of them were overwhelmed, some economic negotiations were made to negotiate complex economic synergies, processes far beyond their pay grade.

The UK educated economist Thabo Mbeki; the prime economic negotiator was crowned as a Thatcherite by the Washington Consensus: it was not possible to rid himself from this label. Thabo Mbeki did not own up to his academic astuteness either. This resulting in apartheid negotiators getting the upper hand in the entire process. So to speak, South Africa has not recovered from major errors made by the ANC negotiators leading to independence of South Africa. Hence the black population is retaliating; it is revenging; it does not care beyond its empty stomach. They are a typical proletariat who live in the present and never for the future considerations.

Comrade Moeletsi Mbeki put this current chaos in SA into a better perspective when he criticized the current government for deploying the South African Defence Forces to quell violence in most parts of the country. He said since the inception of democratic South Africa there has been rising poverty and unemployment unprecedented in the history of South Africa, even during the apartheid hey days. The black population are not demonstrating because Jacob Zuma is incarcerated per se but are revenging the political system by looting and destruction; A government has neglected its electorate and sheer absence of economic policies that cater for most Blacks in the country for decades, and clearly Ramaphosa is on an economic path that puts globalists interests first and foremost. Think about Marikana.
The blacks are retaliating because of messages that smacks of arrogance on the part of the ANC government. To tell the electorate about the hard difficulties in South Africa is not the solution, they are elected to solve those problems.  In Mbeki words: "I'm surprised that the president is telling us about the state of the population. This is common knowledge. The question is, he has been president; he has been vice-president under Jacob Zuma: what has he done about it? The ANC has been his party."

"You cannot solve the poverty of the population by bringing out the army and telling people who are poor to stop complaining about being poor. That is not going to solve the problem. Of course, it will clear the streets, it will reassure the rich and the middle-class that there is peace in the country". The statement from Moeletsi Mbeki is eloquently telling that the violent demonstrations are less about Zuma's incarceration and more about black majority poverty and destitution supposedly in a free democratic country that fought for over a century to rid itself from separate development to benefit the black majority South Africans.

"You cannot solve the poverty of the population by bringing out the army and telling people who are poor to stop complaining about being poor. That is not going to solve the problem. Of course, it will clear the streets, it will reassure the rich and the middle-class that there is peace in the country. "That's what the military does. It reassures the middle-class that they should stop worrying about insecurities and should go back to their swimming pools and luxuries. Does it solve poverty? Of course not. It silences them from expressing their anger about the poverty." Again, these statements from Mbeki are evidence that these current violent protests were about poverty and the incarceration of #Free Zuma catalysed violence.

It is intriguing to put the looting and destruction of property together with #freeZuma mantra they want to put across: The demonstrations were meant to put pressure on the government to release Zuma from prison; planned to stretch from the day Zuma went to prison until the last day of fifteenth months of Zuma's incarceration. If indeed the demonstrations were about Zuma's incarceration, they would have taken place in the Union Buildings and not inside the Malls and burning of numerous delivery trucks that sustain the economy.

Actions have turned out to be criminal but telling and exposing the volatile situation SA finds itself in. This is not new to Africa; this is exactly what happens when African governments neglect most of the citizens that are poor and destitute. Jacob Zuma is a criminal: he is a person who is corrupt but will want to cover his corrupt attribute by arrogance. If Zuma is pleased about violence that has erupted after his incarceration, it means he is not anywhere different from criminals who are looting and destroying property, putting the entire nation in a precarious state of economic and political uncertainties for some time to come.  

What is painful about the chaos in South Africa is that it is blacks-on- black's violence. The people who will suffer more are the black entrepreneurs who invested in high density areas of South Africa where most of the blacks live. How ironic can it go on one hand, they are demonstrating to free Zuma from remand prison, but on the other hand they target the shops and other businesses they depend on daily, destroying the existence of their fellow blacks. Do South African lack political and economic understanding of consumer value chains: how dependent they are with one another? Respecting somebody's property is a basic principle of Ubuntu we should expect from them. Respect for life is paramount human virtue.

Reading articles from Bulawayo 24 news, the violent eruptions in South Africa will have far reaching consequences in the entire region. Violence that started in Mozambique, spilt over to Eswatini and currently, the economic giant South Africa is in turmoil unprecedented in the history of the democratic South Africa. It will take years for South Africa to recover from the chaos: a nation that is struggling with the current global pandemic, how will it recover from this eminent serious economic and political set-back. This nation is regressing economically and politically because the government's priorities are not addressing real issues.

Mbeki criticized the permanent mode of "economic recovery plan" of decades. He says ANC has been in economic recovery plan forever!!!  "When the ANC came into power in 1994 it had a programme called Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) and Growth Employment and Redistribution, to name a few". "With all these programmes unemployment has been going up, poverty has been going up so to tell us now that the ANC has a recovery programme. How many years does it take to have a recovery programme that actually leads you to recover?
"There is no recovery programme that the government is working on. There are business proposals that the business community has put before the ANC government at Nedlac for example and the government has ignored those proposals. They do what is convenient and easy for them to do, and whatever is difficult they don't do." Said Moeletsi Mbeki.

Scenarios taking place in Eswatini; this time around, South Africa are signs of what is to happen in Zimbabwe. Those in living in Zimbabwe bubble world are keen to put their heads in the sand and deceive themselves: "This will never happen to us in Zimbabwe." We never thought even in our maddest senses that a coup can take place in Zimbabwe. Currently the situation in southern Africa is fragile: anything is possible in the region; the synergies will determine the course of events in the region coordinated or not: it will not be possible to take the revolutionary flame out even Mnangagwa's army and police will not be able to shoot 15 million people rebelling in the streets.

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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