TLU SA, July 2021
Once again another explosive situation in South Africa has reared its head. Violence and the threat of same is being used as a modus operandi in a controversy surrounding the legal no man’s land which former president Jacob Zuma has created for himself, utilizing the country’s Western legal system when it suits him, and lambasting it when it doesn’t. Zuma was charged with 16 counts of money laundering, racketeering and fraud nearly 18 years ago, and he has used the country’s Western-based legal system to avoid a trial. Last week the country’s Constitutional Court sentenced him to 15 months imprisonment for contempt of the Zondo Commission’s hearings on state capture, which event occurred under Zuma’s nine year calamitous presidency.
In a very South African law and order playbook, threats of violence about Zuma’s position moved centre stage. Thousands of Zulu supporters declared they would defend the ex president against any action by the police to take him to jail. Wielding sticks, spears, knobkerries and machine guns, they declared their determination to prevent Zuma from incarceration.
Police minister Bheke Cele was ambiguous about arresting Zuma, declaring that he wanted to avoid “a bloodbath”. (Threats of a bloodbath were used to great effect by the previous government and their proxy media to frighten South Africa’s white population into capitulating to an ANC regime. Now that bloodbaths are fairly regular occurrences in the new South Africa, some irony can be enjoyed by those who knew that bloodbaths would not disappear when the ANC came to power.)
But Zuma was eventually taken to prison in the early hours of Thursday 8 July. It was clear that he was being hung out to dry by the ANC. He was isolated. More than 400 police and officials were brought to KZ/Natal from around South Africa to ensure that the post-midnight voyage by Zuma to the Estcourt prison went without a hitch. But violence was in the air from all sides, and it is not certain what will happen regarding the ex president’s current court approaches to try and avoid a stint or otherwise in prison.
Attitudes towards the law, and the norms and values that should be generic within these attitudes, came into sharp juxtaposition with each other in respect of how the law treated the ex president. There were completely divergent views on this point. Some 27 years ago, South Africa’s vastly different cultural groups were thrown together in an experiment called nation building. It was doomed to failure and it is failing now. These vastly discordant approaches to SA’s Western system of government cause untold problems when trying to maintain stability. Thousands of Zuma’s followers recently marched along KZ/Natal roads during the country’s serious Covid pandemic upswing. None wore masks and there was no social distancing. Many asked why they should obey these rules introduced by SA’s first world sector?
Who can bring the DNA of these disparate cultural groups together? It seems impossible. It has been impossible for 350 years. How then to govern South Africa when approaches to law and order are so incompatible? If violence is the ANC’s yardstick, then non-violent citizens are at a serious disadvantage.
The ANC’s so-called rainbow nation was a sop to placate a now-uncaring world that demanded government “by the people” in a country populated by vastly different cultures, societies with widely divergent attitudes, histories, values and ways of life. The world has now written off the ANC’s “democracy” as something of a farce, but the world doesn’t have to pick up the pieces of a doomed experiment foisted on a South Africa now governed by a corrupt socialist regime.
The consequences of compromises made during the heady era of “negotiations” with the ANC during the early nineties are coming home to roost. The one-sided negotiations resulted in everyone turning a blind eye to the ANC’s self-declared violence modus vivendi. Nelson Mandela simply refused to renounce violence as a condition for his release. Before becoming SA’s first ANC president he was already directing how violence should be used against what he called “defined targets”. It has always been the ANC’s stock in trade and Mandela legitimised it.
Sacrificing a functioning nation state on the altar of world approbation seemed likea good idea at the time, but what we got for our surrender was a third world kleptocracy underpinned by a nascent violence which, we have discovered, is in the very marrow of the ANC. It surfaces regularly as a weapon of hard persuasion, and it works for them.
A recent example of thuggery and strong arm tactics as a political tool is the torching of the farm “Pampoenkraal” near the town of Piet Retief .The owner and his workers were awarded bail in an attempted murder case. Bail was refused by one judge and subsequently granted by another in a controversial case where the “facts” had morphed into a fog of opposing statements of doubtful veracity and dodgy police work. In SA, no legal case of even vague political relevance is allowed to run its course without some sort of social upheaval, threats or even terror entering the fray. These tactics have put SA’s legal system to test after test, from which some sort of fair conclusion is supposed to emerge, an almost impossible task in a country where four of its cities are among the twenty most dangerous in the world.
SA citizens’ political, social and economic lives operate on an uneven playing field. Westerners and the Indian group do not as a matter of course go on a rampage. They do not burn, plunder, intimidate and dance wildly outside courts and other edifices of authority to influence official decisions. They do not demand a free pass to everything. They work hard and don’t get much for nothing. They pay taxes where others pay nothing. They repair where others destroy. They keep the wheels going in a country where efficiency is not the norm. And they are often the victims of a violence conducted with impunity. They do not retaliate with violence because they know the consequences and it is not really in their DNA.
In the case of the farmers granted bail, their property was torched in five different places. Miles away from any fire station, these citizens had to depend on neighbours to save their home and crops. Still, millions of rands worth of damage was wrought by those who didn’t like the court’s bail decision. Threats of intimidation when things don’t go their way are designed to thwart the SA legal process, and in many cases this works. Retribution takes place if the courts don’t operate in lock-step with the mobs. No wage increase, no free housing, they go to the streets. Illegal electricity connections are not seen as wrong. It is their right to connect because the government owes them. Stealing the country’s railways’ structure and selling it on is not against the law. What law? Western law? Who cares about that? It is the white man’s concept, created to suppress the poor and the downtrodden. This is their narrative.
How then can those who built the railways live in a unitary state with those who wantonly destroy them? Why is this allowed by the president without even a comment? Where is his shame and sense of accountability? Or is there none? In South Africa there is a huge values chasm between the creators and the wreckers. The mentality on each side is so divergent that it is impossible for many citizens to envisage a future that embodies mutual social cohesion and goals.
THE QUESTION OF LAND
Last year only two sectors of the South African economy contributed exceptionally to the country’s overall sustainability – mining and agriculture, both mainly in the hands of the country’s first world sector. In any logical society, the country’s head would laud these efforts and provide assistance to productivity and financial sustainability. Not so in South Africa. Despite the calamity that occurred in Zimbabwe where white farmers were chased off their land and the country ended up as a grab bag of poverty and corrupt politicians, president Ramaphosa is negotiating with the socialist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party (which makes a point of targeting SA’s white farmers!) about how to agree on a policy of land expropriation without compensation. Section 25 of the SA constitution must be amended to accomplish this goal and Ramaphosa purportedly needs the EFF to attain the majority needed in parliament to change this Clause.
Why would any sane president want to destroy one of his country’s top productive sectors which has the unique ability to provide food for his country’s 60 million people? Would France’s president Macron want to destroy his country’s agricultural sector’s contribution to food production? If he did he would be thrown out of power and be possibly committed to an asylum as hastily as possible!
Already more than 4 000 working farms have been lost to production because of the ANC’s suicidal “land reform” programme, but that fact appears to be ignored by the government. They never mention it. While the president appears pragmatic, he is not so and is arguably no different from the heads of state up north. He has become as rich as Croesus since the ANC took power. He made his fortune via his party’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) legislation and is clearly only interested in holding on to power. According to Forbes, his net worth is currently $464.2 million (R6.5 billion).
The president’s behaviour vis a vis the EFF is not encouraging. Why is he trying to change the SA constitution to take land without paying for it? He says he values food security for the country but he cannot be serious if he takes away the only true means of securing that food security.
Can he be trusted when he speaks with forked tongue? He and ANC officials continue to declare that they need “qualified people” to run the country’s collapsed municipalities, but they continue to place “non-whites only” ads in the media for municipal posts. TLU SA has pointed out this fact at least a dozen times, but the ANC’s policy of cadre employment continues. Ramaphosa’s goal is clearly to remain in power, come what may. The cadres need to keep their gravy train jobs and will thus vote for the president and his party. What other decisions will he make to maintain his status quo? What other concessions will he grant in this regard? Neither he nor his party have displayed even a smidgen of logical thinking in respect of what is right for South Africa. He is not maintaining South Africa. It is crumbling around him but he waffles and promises while the harbours, the roads, the water structures, the electricity and the municipalities fall apart. His country runs according to the dictates of who is the most violent. We know what this mentality has done to Africa, yet it is being repeated here. Many thought it would not happen, but many knew it would happen. Will he destroy private land ownership in South Africa to keep himself in power?
Says William Gumede (Sunday Times July 4, 2021): ““If parliament amends Section 25 of the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation, the rand will go into free fall, the markets will plunge into turmoil and food production will collapse. There will be a capital, skills and investment flight. The value of businesses, property and savings will be wiped out, state revenue will drop. There will be starvation across the country. Combined with the Covid 19 health, financial and social crisis, the current collapse of public services and the continuing outrage over existing corruption will prompt riots on the streets.
“The three African countries since World War 2 that have pursued land expropriation without compensation – Algeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe – saw their economies crash and their currencies and food production collapse. Almost six decades after introducing land expropriation without compensation in Algeria and Tanzania, and after four decades in Zimbabwe, their economies, currencies and food productivity have not recovered.
“By 1980, inflation in Tanzania’s was at 30%. Now almost 90% of the country’s budget for agriculture is spent on food imports. In Zimbabwe, inflation rose from 48% in 1998 to 79,6 billion percent annually between 2008 and 2009. This is the equivalent of 98% inflation per day, making it the highest hyperinflation the world has ever seen.”
The rule of law must prevail. It is imperative that qualified people be brought in to salvage what the ANC has destroyed.