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Looting and burning are echoes of apartheid era and proof of SA's failure to make the quantum leap

16 Jul 2021 at 06:12hrs | Views
A woman walks past a fire truck as it extinguishes flames in a looted store in Alexandra township, Johannesburg. [Yeshiel Panchia/AP Photo]
"Before independence corruption was considered a bold and patriotic act especially as the corruption was considered an act of defiance against white colonial government. It is just that after independence the corruption continued; Nigerians consoled themselves by arguing Nigeria is very rich and there is plenty more where the looted wealth came from!" A Nigerian acquaintance once told.

"Cold comfort! Look what Sani Abacha has done; completely destroyed the country!"
If the truth be told, many African countries have been in economic decline ever since they attained their independence for various reasons including corruption. The corrupt and incompetent ruling elite have conned the ordinary people into believing there was nothing wrong with corruption, lawlessness, rigged elections, etc., etc. and those advocating for these values are brain washed puppets of the dethroned colonial whites who are seeking regime change and then recolonize the country.

I had hoped that South Africans would have learned to avoid the mistakes Nigerians and the rest of independent Africa before them made; they would not be so easily conned into throwing out the baby with the bath water. The basic rule that no one should be above the law is pivotal to fighting corruption, I thought every South African will see that!
Many South Africans are still living in abject poverty, the country's wealth is still in the hands of the whites. Independence brought an end to political apartheid in the sense that blacks now have a vote and the racist laws have been abolished. However the laws and practices that had given the whites the economic advantage before independence have remained; economic apartheid is alive and thriving; as far as the impoverished majority are concerned.

The Court that sentence former SA president Jacob Zuma to 15 months for contempt of court has enforced property rights and other laws that have helped maintain the economic apartheid and so it comes as little surprise that the ordinary South African should revolt against the Court and reject rule of law.

The overwhelming majority of the owners of the shops, factories and businesses that were looted and burnt belong to the privileged white owners; burning shops, factories, etc. before independence was considered a legitimate target and since the economic emancipation did not happen in1994, the struggle continues.

A luta continua!
Deng Xiaoping. China's economic miracle that has transform that nation from a marginal nation to the world's second largest economy happened when Chairman Xiaoping embraced capitalism as an ideology to drive economic growth. Chairman Mao Zedong, his predecessor had rejected capitalism born out of the deep-rooted mistrust of the British, Americans and the West.

"It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice." Argued Chairman Xiaoping.

In the first two decade of China embracing capitalism the country's economy grew in leaps and bounds puling hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty and the country has never looked back ever since!

Africa can too, enjoy its economic miracle, we have the rich soil and wonderful weather to produce the food, the vast minerals wealth and the flora and fauna "lovely beyond any singing of it" as Alan Paton put it so poetical. Sadly, Africa's economic renascence is more uncertain now that South Africans have too the capitulation and rejected the rule of law for no better reason than it is a carryover from the apartheid era!

To paraphrase Chairman Xiaoping, "It doesn't matter whether the judge is black or white, as long as he/she enforces the rule of law and stamp out corruption!" I do not see Cyril Ramaphosa and certainly not the likes of Zimbabwe's Emerson Mnangagwa ever making that quantum leap; the former lacks the intellectual ability whilst the latter lacks the intellect and is rotten to the core with corruption to ever change!

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