Mandela’s Vision, the ANC & Surging Kleptocracy for South Africa

The African National Congress will convene today to elect new leadership that will most likely replace Zuma when he leaves office in 2019.  Two principal contender for party leadership are Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former wife and current leader of the South African Union and Cyril Ramaphosa, an effective civil activist who currently resides as Zuma’s deputy.  Both possess sharply contrasting political visions for the future of South Africa.  Because neither possesses a clear tactical advantage, radicalized members of each social base are pursing changes in delegates through murder.

South Africa has the highest murder rate in the world.  But its domestic politics that continues to roil this regions delicate social base since the death of Mandela, de Klirk and Apartheid.  The murder of Sthembiso Mhlongo, a delegate for the ANC makes him the fortieth politician murdered since last year.  He was a governing ANC party counselor in the province of KwaZulu-Natal; shot dead in his truck while delivering food for school children.  The killings of delegates responsible for casting critical ballots for today’s party leadership conference remains the norm.

These factional battles take place in a backdrop of official state capture, where politico’s arrange for themselves and resident party members to officially receive “rent” as patronage.  Thuli Madonsela resided as a public protector, an authority with political and police powers guaranteed by the South African Constitution.  His October 2016 report titled “State of Capture” reveals that $15 billion dollars has been captured by ANC leaders.  That’s 5% GDP.  Without the rule of law harnessing a social compact of diligent sovereignty, the entire South African political economy has become a farce.

The looting of state owned enterprises is relatively new for South Africa, it began under Zuma’s tutelage that African financiers and tycoons were ‘encouraged’ by ANC political leadership to transfer large stakes in white owned multinationals to ANC members.  This set a precedent well known in South Africa that the fastest way to wealth was politics.

Instead of having a multi-racial centrist political economy, South Africa has become a one party state based on racial hereditary kleptocracy.

The ANC’s guerrilla wing is still actively housed in the Glebelands hostel, but without sound governing institutions the population remains tethered to a bankrupt post-Apartheid vision of rampant corruption, political assassination and rent seeking masquerading as politics.

To avoid being put on trial, Zuma’s hold on the outcome of today’s conference is well known.

A new birth to South Africa has been permanently deferred.  Like Russia, the Balkans, Turkey, Iran and hosts of Sunni dominated nation states, a dominant political class harnesses itself to a militant social vision that cannot be procured without functioning political institutions grounded in sound governance.  In a sentence:  the rule of law.

Mandela, de Klirk and 57 million others deserve better.  They won’t get it until the South African population demands it.  A moral revolution identical to solidarity is what South Africa needs.

Who will survive to take up this political mantle?


About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
This entry was posted in Africa, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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