A thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it.
It’s one of these sun soaked winter mornings in the Cape, out of the blue after a week of steady downpours and blankets of snow on higher lying grounds further inland. It is the second Sunday of a renewed lock-down and we are expecting our president to enlighten us tonight again about decisions made by this government’s Covid Command Council. It is the first Sunday of our former president’s time of incarceration to the dismay of groupings within the Zulu nation who feel disempowered and humiliated in their pride as a warrior nation. As a first response self-appointed storm troopers gave expression to their particular type of allegiance and anger in intercepting and burning some twenty trucks on the KwaZulu-Natal highways while looting a number of shops with police looking on, fearing for their lives.
It seems there are still divided opinions about our former president’s time in office and the nature of his alleged misdemeanours, one being contempt of court for which he is at present serving a 15 months sentence. The division appears to be based on different interpretations and understandings of the rule of law, backed up by a constitution which is written and binding for all citizens of this country and applicable to all without fear or favour since 1996.
The former president of this country, having publicly sworn to uphold the constitution, decided to renege on his oath, now calling the constitution and it’s application a return to apartheid type injustice, foretelling widespread unrest in the country as a response to his incarceration.
President Ramaphosa spoke to the nation on Sunday “with a heavy heart” and again on Monday, outlining government’s response to the crisis. The crisis however, has been long in coming, ever since the former president’s time in office (2009-2016), during which time unrestrained looting of state funds took place on such a massive scale that all state owned enterprises including the state itself are now considered virtually bankrupt.
The root cause for all of this goes back a very long time, at least to the beginning of the 20th century, when the majority of the people of this country were disenfranchised by law. The so-called “Native Question” General Smuts referred to repeatedly, was never resolved until the National Party from 1948 onwards laid down the rules of Apartheid, hoping that separate development would lead to peace and prosperity for all. After the Apartheid government had been brought to its senses, that is to its knees and the ANC came into power in 1994, all things were set for a new democratic way of life for all. However, the disastrous management of state resources by cadre deployment has brought about the present crisis, exacerbated by the curtailing of economic activity as a response to the health threat. It only needed the smoke screen of the former president’s incarceration to foment an already volatile situation and political profiteers, in an orchestrated move, were able to unleash the hell hounds of looting, encouraging rioters to run amok, trampling anyone not quick enough underfoot.
The extent of plunder, of violence, of destruction caught the organs of state off-guard.
The nation is harshly reminded again of the existence of inequality and deprivation.
The often cited resilience of South Africans in times of crisis, comforting as it is, is not enough.
We need to address the divides, having all the resources, materially, intellectually and energetically, to deal with it.
However, the forces of Cuban and North Korean style liberation movements have outlived their usefulness.
Turning away from old Cuban style rhetorics, we might have to look, surprisingly, toward China, to see how its government has succeeded in encouraging capitalist type entrepreneurship.
We might have to seek the council of a round of CEOs from all sectors of society to figure out how to steer a course for this country that would satisfy ideological demands of a calcified left, cutting red tape right down to open the road for any and all entrepreneurial endeavours; slowly but decidedly lessen the state’s bureaucratic overload burden; replace outmoded means of transport with high speed sustainable rail infrastructure; secure for all citizens a minimum income and incarcerate all who illegally and/or irresponsibly divert state funds into private pockets.
All of this we can do if we respect the rule of law and with it what is given as a fait accompli – our constitution.
Between Sunday 12 and Saturday 17 July 2021.
With love as always
Colleen & Walter