There are many interesting developments in South Afrika today, even though we might be capitals of many things (crime, AIDS etc) except capital of course, we are stirring our own controversy. Our political landscape is going through a phase that when the oil is done gallavanting in the canvass everyone else will envy us and want to be us - maybe even hate us and plant a few bombs at Menlyn and other popular shopping hubs.
It might have taken quite a few years for us to gradually move towards a two-party state consistent with many successful democracies in the world (instead of millions of smaller-nyana one with no potential to unseat the beast or govern) but we have arrived there in record time. Interesting enough, it was bloodless but with little acrimony on the part of the baobab where the branch emanated.
If you told any Afrikan National Congress comrade at Mafikeng (when Thabo Mbeki was elected to lead the it) ten years ago that their beloved liberation movement with such a rich history will be torn into two in less than twenty years they would have betted their last dime to assure you that 'the alliance is a broad church cemented in blood'. But now as we all know, the Congress blood is not thicker than Harare water as the Union Buildings which's mortar was cemented with Tshwane water still stands strong while the oldest liberation organisation in Afrika is shrinking and will soon go the way of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).
These are quite intesting times indeed, globally as well with General Motors facing collapse and the world in a serious recession. Second, the criminal justice system is facing its acid test with allegations that the majority of young people in jails today only ended up there because they can't afford expensive legal fees and don't trust the Legal Aid Board which's lawyers can not claim to be competent as we burn grass and down pints of liquor with scores of them at pubs across the nation. This is at a time that the following day they have to represent some young man whose only crime is having stolen a chick from a police constable and got weed planted in the boot of his car. No wonder big shots in South Afrika put their trust on white legal brains instead of blacks. Ask anybody who the most legal brains in South Afrika are and you get mentions like Wim Trengrove SC, Kemp J Kemp SC, Michael Hulley, Jordan, Moerane, Nthai, Norman Arendse and a plethora of small-time ones attached to big legal firms.
The Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions) are being disbanded for pure political expediency. Some folks can't sleep at night with their hands bloodied and wallets swelling when they know a scorpion will be breathing down their necks once KPMG submits the forensic report from the municipality's investigation to the President. Corruption has rendered some people unreasonable that they'll kill a criminal unit just to protect their largesse. It's the curse of South Afrika that most of the citizenry, especially the most indoctrinated one doesn't see any problem with such a move. Some guy said in a doccie that 'when I go to my friend with whom I was with at Robben Island and say please pay my child's school fees it's not corruption but networks'. I cringed because he was trying to be scientific with a scenario whereby the friend is a businessman who contracts for government and he is a public servant who is attached to government business and procurement. He said when the businessman pays his bills and later gets huge contracts is not corruption but networking. Wow, how stupid, what a load of plain nonsense is that!
I challenged someone to tell me why would the ANC in Kwazulu-Natal mobilize its rank and file to protest outside court when its Health MEC accused of corrupting resources in her department and interfering with administration as a political head appeared in court for financial mismanagement. If someone decided to buy an X-Ray machine costing far more than budgeted for with allegations that she was going to benefit why would the ANC mobilize ordinary folks to show support for such a person. For what? Are we going to protest outside when every ANC member appears in court for whatever crime?
December the 16th was previously known as Dingaan's Day, history telling us that it's the day that Zulu King Dingaan, who is also accused of assassinating his brother King Shaka died of his battle wounds after an engagement with Boer warriors at the Battle of Blood River. History told us that the river was so maroon with Zulu blood that the English named it Blood River (Bloed Rivier), and Dingaan died. The moral of such a historical allegation was that the Zulu impi was so stupid that they kept on charging on a armed laager with their short spears. Okay, it was named Dingaan's Day. The same history was falling short of telling us about the Bambaatha Rebellion and the inhumanity of Poll Tax
Post-liberation they decided to rename it National Day of Reconciliation. What reconciliation?, some people still ask. The Zulus and the Boers have never found common ground since that historic battle to the extent that even Zulu King Mangosuthu Buthelezi when he had his bantustan decided that the Zulu child was not going to learn the language of the Boers. That was revenge because even the boer has never seen the reason to learn the language of vanguished Dingaan. So, true reconcilliation will start once Afrikaner folks decide to learn isiZulu and vice versa. Otherwise this remains a waste of time.
In Bloemfontein Terror Lekota and the bunch are having a mass rally on the day to officially announce their arrival in the political landscape, stuff that ZAPU’s Joshua Nkomo in Zimbabwe should have done many years ago to curtail the influence of Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party which today has become a pariah due to the cholera epidemic that is tackled in South Afrika because uncle Bob only has enough to buy his own mineral water and that of his cronies and not enought to buy chloride and flouride and pump into his ravaged country's water system. I say what Terror and the bunch are starting should be applauded because the ANC post-Polokwane was becoming too arrogant and accussing anyone who didn't agree with them of being ‘counter-revolutionaries’ and ‘apartheid apologists’. Such was not instilling public confidence in state institutions and ran the risk of eroding the little faith that the public was starting to have in the system. One doubts that the ANC of Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu would have used such crude language against the judges in a democracy they lead.
Remember that the reason there are high levels of crime is because even today people don't trust the police as custodians of crime intelligence due to how the United Democratic Front (UDF) encouraged defiance of apartheid institutions in the 1980s. So, if 15 years later we still don't trust the police even though the new constables are our friends due to a legacy of apartheid why would the ANC want to instill the same defiance on the judiciary when it as the ruling party are custodians of such institutions?
Terror chose December 16, the same day Umkhonto we Sizwe was launched in 1961, lest the ANC held their commemoration at the same city with Terror's COPE, to launch the party he leads. Some media analysts call it a battle of wits between unarmed sitting ducks. One wonders why would the ANC engage in such a futile battle given that COPE's conference is delegate-driven. But it's hard to put anything past the ANC leadership these days given their futile attempt to have COPE interdicted from using the name 'because it carries ANC history and the Congress of the People was an ANC event'. I mean the ANC went ahead with the court case when everyone, including first year law students and laymen saw that they have no chance in hell of winning it.
I mean, I am a South Afrikan and I can write a whole volume of text about this country, what's wrong, what's right, where it is going, who is taking it where, but I can with confidence write that there has never been a time like this in this country's history - starting pre-1652. Nothing like this has even happened even in 1032 BC.
So, last week we had the South Afrikan Literary Awards at Gallagher Estates in Midrand and was it reflective of where the country is in 15 years? Inspiring literary stuff I am telling you. The minister of Arts and Culture Dr Pallo Z Jordan (son of author AC Jordan) used the event to pay homage to two geniuses who recently passed away, Prof Es'kia Mphahlele and Noni Jabavu, two prolific writers of our times who were honoured on the night with a long eulogy by Jordan. And the national poet laureate Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile rendred a heartwarming poem which opens with the lines, 'an omelette can not be unscrambled'
Most awards went to Afrikaner authors because, quite frankly they write brilliantly. They are telling the story of the Afrikan in a renaissance era with so much passion one is left wondering where is the much-hyped darkie author if not busy targetting the school market with mediocre text and school material infested with grammatical errors no wonder our post-matriculants walk out of there without a slightest comprehension of the world or any interest in literature.
Hey, let me pause here...
PS; one of my friends asked me why after Mandela do we seen to always get the worst leaders to lead us. That we never get the cream of the crop but some dodgy high school drop-outs fished from the bottom of the pile. To that I sighed, huuuuuuh!