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SA Minister made a fool of himself on BBC by denying ANC failures and yet admit 'slow response gave rioters field day'

22 Jul 2021 at 08:38hrs | Views
"The people responsible for the riots sparked by the jailing of former South African President Jacob Zuma failed in their insurrection because the ground for them was not fertile, the country's transport minister has said," reported BBC.

"While the government's slow response to what was happening gave them a "field day", they could not achieve what they wanted, Fikile Mbalula told BBC HardTalk.

"More than 200 people died in the recent violence. It is estimated to have cost the economy in KwaZulu-Natal province alone at well over $1bn (£730m).

"South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that the riots were a "coordinated and well-planned attack".

There is no denying that former South Africa President Jacob Zuma and his supporters very much hoped that the looting and burning following his arrest would spread nationwide, not just KwaZulu -Natal and one or two other areas, making the country ungovernable, an insurrection. The majority of South African did not agree with the position that Zuma should not face the wroth of the law for defying the court order, particularly since this was over very serious corruption charges. The people certainly did not want to endorse the foolish notion that anyone is above the law especially someone implicated in serious corruption charges.

There is evidence to show that most of the people behind the looting and burning in KwaZulu-Natal and other areas were venting their anger and frustration against the government for their sorry economic situation, nothing to do with supporting Zuma. After nearly 30 years since the end of the apartheid era, in which the whites were filthy rich and the expense of the impoverished back majority; things have not changed much, other than a few ruling elite blacks who have become filthy rich the overwhelming majority of blacks are still languishing in abject poverty.

"South Africa, according to many studies, is one of the most economically equal societies in the world," Stephen Sackur, the Hardtalk presenter, pointed out. "ANC is failing the people!"

SA's Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, gave a spirited defence of the ANC, the party that has ruled since independence in 1994, economic performance; arguing the party is on track to deliver economic prosperity and should not be expected to reverse the 300 years of white colonial exploitation and oppression in three decades. The facts on the ground tell the story of decades of wasted opportunity or worse.

President Thabo Mbeki and now Cyril Ramaphosa have been mediocre leaders who have blundered from pillar to post. In this case, to mobilize the security sectors to giving the rioters "a field day", as Minister Mbalula and President Ramaphosa himself readily admitted. The delay has costed the nation billions of Rand in lost property and infrastructure and over 200 lives.

When former President Jacob Zuma was in office, SA quickly earned the reputation as just another African country ravished by gross mismanagement and rampant corruption. Yes, the ruling party ANC finally acted and had him removed from office and is now carrying out a thorough investigation into state capture. One hopes the investigation are very thorough and the rot is stamp out.

Still the ANC was very slow in nipping misrule in the bud and the experience has damaged the country's standing as a stable democracy, one of the few in Africa. Investors shy away from pariah state; look at Zimbabwe, the one thing all South Africans should be scared stiff of is to be another Banana Republic like Zimbabwe.

Jacob Zuma and his supporters were hoping for a nationwide revolt demanding that Jacob Zuma should not be investigated for corruption and position him as above the law, a stance that would have confirmed SA's position as a pariah state. As much as many people are disappointed with ANC government's failure to address the nation's economic challenges they, nonetheless, realised that the Zuma's supporters' agenda was to reject rule of law and democracy; they had the good sense to know this was throwing away the baby, democracy, with the bath water.

South Africa's democratic institutions are strong and holding; former President Zuma is still in jail, where he belongs; the country's next elections will hold free, fair and credible; etc.

However, there is no deny the country's democracy has, so far at least, failed to elect a competent government and deal with the country's economic challenges; the impoverished masses are not going to wait another 300 years! The anarchist did not get much support from the impoverished masses this time but as long as millions are forced to live in abject poverty, the anarchists know they have a chance of garnering nationwide support next time.

As long as poverty rules the roost, SA will remain fertile ground for a nationwide revolt to dismantle rule of law and democracy!

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