So, Ace Magashule gets away with it again, at least for now. But we shouldn’t hold our breath because this seems like it will be a very long “for now” that, if ever nipped in the bud, it will not be stopped by anyone in the leadership of the governing African National Congress or its member base.
If so, who would? Who has the ethical wherewithal and the courage to stand on
It is now too late;
South African politicians, unaccountable
The rest of us are left second guessing the anticipated actions
that will be taken by a president under siege and who will remain under siege
if his party gets strengthened for it, not him, will claim any electoral
strengthening as an approval rate and an endorsement that the majority of the
people of South Africa are quite satisfied with its leadership. Strengthened,
the party would tell us that only a small minority of disgruntled voters would
have expressed dissatisfaction while the majority gave it the license to keep
on going on.
The sad part of it all is that in the absence of the kind of leaders who are aware of the impact of their own conduct on the people around them, especially the younger, aspirant, leaders, it will become increasingly hard to return to the basics.
The bad conduct of people like Magashule and several of his comrades, some of it still to be tested in our courts by the criminal justice system when the NPA eventually gets to it, gets defended and repeated even by the people they should be training and mentoring for future leadership roles in their party and, possibly, in various levels of government.
Instead, young leaders prepare to become future rent seekers our beleaguered country will have to do with if the coming elections fail to produce the needed change in political power balance.
The levels of desperation to access high office in order to
control public resources are scary. If not desperation, what else explains the
violence through which many have lost their lives in the hands of fellow comrades
in competition for the same positions?
Technicalities fail us
Values-driven conduct and leadership by politicians has been
replaced by a culture of defending the indefensible on the basis of
technicalities. For them, if it doesn’t seem to be against the law it is fine
to go ahead and do, or to justify doing. Many criminals continue to walk the
streets and the corridors of power because they’re presumed innocent until
proven guilty. Things have to be able to be proven wrong in a court of law for
them to be avoided.
In these times of austerity, and despite the high and growing levels of poverty, unemployment and ever increasing costs of living, as well as a tax base that continues to be eroded, politicians see nothing wrong with allocating hundreds of millions of rands of public resources to feather their own nests and to fund their already comfortable lifestyles.
They forever purchase expensive cars for themselves, spend public funds needed in communities around the country on expensive refurbishments of their private and official
While the residents of Alexanda, Lwandle, Mamelodi, Grassy Park, Retreat,
Langa, Soshanguve, Zwelihle, Philippi, Delft, and many other impoverished townships
around the country can wait or, if lucky, hope to be visited by a senior politician
who’d offer them R400 to buy some food, but only if there are media cameras
present and after dramatically checking their perennially empty fridges, as if
on cue, the millions in public funds will continue to lavish the A-Class
lifestyles of the men and women in politics.
Those who drove, enabled, and benefitted from state capture and other forms of corruption were smart. They ensured that the criminal justice system was infested with
All indications are that it will take time to remove the cancerous people and replace them with new ones who wouldn’t have to be constantly looking over their shoulders before they do what is right and who
No respect for the elders
ANC veterans, also referred to as the elders, can cajole all they want, no one seems to take them seriously. They’re only needed ahead of important elections, when their individual and collective conscience gets tested and they’re given a choice between party and country. So far, they have chosen party, albeit with feigned hesitation. It seems unlikely that we shall see any of them acting on their disgust, assuming that such disgust is real.
What we have seen are the same elders going in front of media
cameras to express anger and disgust but returning to give more power to the
same people they tell us they’re not happy with. For them, the gulf between the
party they grew up in and the country many of them lost loved ones and comrades
over, remains too huge to bridge. One wonders why they gave up so much of their
youth if they can no longer stand up to meaningfully defend their gains, a
free, democratic South Africa. It seems like the gulf that stands between where
they stand, on the party’s side, and the interests of all South Africans,
remains too big to bridge.
Until all of us, South Africans, agree
that no political formation is more important than the interests of our country
and that the things that bring us together should be held higher than those
that seek to keep us apart, our march to real, shared, freedom will remain a
long one indeed. But the power is in our hands.