The latest scare about Nelson Mandela´s health raises questions about what will happen in South Africa when he dies. The British writer Fred Bridgland, who lives in Johannesburg, is worried:
The fear is that politics in South Africa will become much more raw and ruthless once Mandela dies. Already the extent to which the ANC, the organisation to which Mandela devoted his entire adult life, has lost its hold over its own stated core principles is astonishing. “The rot has been evident for some time, spreading ever deeper into the very soul of the organisation,” says veteran liberal journalist and ANC sympathiser Allister Sparks. “We have become a corrupt country. The whole body politic is riddled with it. We have reached a kind of corruption gridlock. When so many people in high places have the dirt on each other, no-one dares blow a whistle. When the President of the country (Jacob Zuma) has managed to get off the hook on a major corruption case (charges relating to bribes associated with the country’s multi-billion dollar arms deal with Britain and other European Union countries), how can he crack down on corruption anywhere else in his administration?
“We have gone backwards on the two core principles that carried the ANC through all the long years of its liberation struggle, through the tough constitutional negotiating process and into the dawn of the new South Africa – the principle of non-racialism and the principle of clean, honest government that would deliver a better life for all.”
The ANC under Zuma has tolerated toxic verbal assaults on the white minority by the firebrand ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, whose rants have poisoned the national atmosphere to a degree not seen since apartheid days. Whites’ resentment of reverse racial discrimination has been exacerbated by the way the policy of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) has been applied. BEE was meant to open up economic opportunities long denied to the black majority and level the economic playing field. Unfortunately, as designed by the ANC, it has involved re-instituting racial classification in a society that loudly proclaims to the world that it has non-racial principles. BEE has enriched only blacks at or near the summit of the ANC, creating multi-millionaires overnight, while driving abroad qualified young whites who had nothing to do with the dispossession, oppression and exploitation of blacks in the past and who see no future if they are to be discriminated against when job-hunting in “the new South Africa.” Moeletsi Mbeki, younger brother of former President Mbeki, says: “The trouble with BEE is that the guys who were given the shares (in former white-owned companies) are not creating jobs, they’re not creating new products, they’re not creating anything that will increase our exports. The fact is that BEE is a politicians’ Ponzi scheme. Black people, mostly the poor and working class, are being ripped off to enrich these guys.”
Read the entire article here