Monday, April 10, 2017 at 12:09 PM

Wither South Africa…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Which is in the death throes of becoming a Zimbabwean mess.

An esteemed judge famously found that the leaders of a failed state I know all too well showed “clear signs of political amorality, immaturity and general administrative incompetence.” Therefore, it speaks volumes that South African leaders make the leaders of that failed state look like Jeffersonian statesmen.

Notably, having robbed the treasury, wrecked the economy, and scandalized the people, South Africa’s rapacious leaders are setting their sights on the last repast of all pseudo nationalists: white-owned land.

President Jacob Zuma has called on parliament to change South Africa’s constitution to allow the expropriation of white owned land without compensation. …

Mr Zuma, who has lurched from one scandal to another since being elected to office in 2009, has adopted a more populist tone since his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party suffered its worst election result last August since the end of apartheid in 1994.

(London Telegraph, March 3, 2017)

South Africa is on an inexorable descent into the heart of darkness. Nothing characterizes this quite like the way hopelessly misguided thugs disrupted yesterday’s memorial service for veteran anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada.

The Ahmed Kathrada memorial descended into chaos on Sunday afternoon as a rowdy crowd of ANC Youth League members heckled and booed speakers including former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize.

This was despite the Durban High Court granting an interdict preventing members of the youth league from disrupting proceedings at the event held at Sastri College in Greyville, Durban.

(IOL News, April 9, 2017)

No doubt such behavior would shock the conscience even of Joseph Conrad. It must certainly have Nelson Mandela rolling over in his grave.

But the reason for this latest eruption of fratricidal unruliness is irrelevant. All you need to know is that these kids were only doing what they thought President Zuma wanted them to – with all of the foreboding consequences that entails.

Incidentally, if this is your first conscious brush with the name “Ahmed Kathrada,” take a minute from your mindless social-media trolling to google it.

More to the point, though, everything that is playing out in South Africa, including growing anti-government protests, played out in Zimbabwe. And there’s every reason to fear that it’s only a matter of time before South Africa ends up where Zimbabwe is today – a dark, dangerous, destitute, desperate, diseased, dishonest, dyspeptic and dysfunctional mess. Indeed, Zuma’s venal shuffling of his cabinet, which provoked this latest round of protests, is akin to the fateful shuffling of deck chairs on the Titanic.

But, even before South Africans elected him in 2009, I warned that Zuma would lead them down a primrose path to ruination. Therefore, I can look on events unfolding in South Africa with little more than resigned indignation.

Mind you, I support South Africans who are protesting these days: “Zuma must go!” It’s just that I’m humbled by the fact that I’ve been supporting Zimbabweans who have been protesting for over 20 years: “Mugabe must go!”

In any event, I can think of no better way to express my resigned indignation than to reprise “Zuma Doing to South Africa What Mugabe did to Zimbabwe,” December 12, 2015. It’s my I-told-you-so commentary, and sums up all I care to say about South Africa — so long as Zuma remains its leader.


I have written many commentaries over the years decrying South African President Jacob Zuma’s corrupt and incompetent leadership.

For example, here:

One wonders what could have prompted the ANC to emasculate Mbeki. … If he heeds the ANC’s recall … Zuma will become the next duly elected president. Then, I fear, he will do for South Africa what Mugabe has done for Zimbabwe.

(“South African President Mbeki Forced to Resign … Hail Zuma,” The iPINIONS Journal, September 22, 2008)


Rabble-rousing trade unionists (COSATU) and unreformed communists (SACP) have turned the ANC from a governing coalition into a band of pillagers. Therefore, Zuma enlisting them to intimidate his critics, like cartoonist Zapiro, should serve as a dire warning of what South Africa will become under his leadership.

(“Zuma Issues Fatwa against Cartoonist Zapiro,” The iPINIONS Journal, December 22, 2008)


And here:

I lamented the wayward path the country was veering towards two years ago. In doing so, I cited Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s foreboding prayer about the ANC choosing an alleged rapist and thief as its leader. …

I also invoked Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer’s political rebuke about the ANC betraying its values and losing its way.

(“South Africa Betraying Its Values,” The iPINIONS Journal, May 13, 2011)


Therefore, I was hardly surprised this week when even die-hard Zuma supporters began decrying his leadership too:

South African President Jacob Zuma’s sacking of his respected finance minister in favour of a relative unknown has shocked investors and emboldened critics who say the 73-year-old is driving the economy to ruin. …

Markets reacted unambiguously, with the rand plunging to a record low against the dollar.

(Reuters, December 11, 2015)

All I have left to say is, I told you so.


Related commentaries:
SA Betraying values
Zuma doing to SA what Mugabe

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