Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
William Butler Yeats 1919
By Robin Hind
It was always probable that the African National Congress would lose support. Its membership was too diverse and it could be predicted that “the centre could not hold”.
Inaugural membership of the ANC ranged from Jewish communists (like Joe Slovo) and white liberals (like the Black Sash) through to the multiple ethnically and linguistically distinct groups, many of whom had been in entrenched combat with each other for centuries. Many early supporters of the ANC lived with a fantasy that “independent” South Africa was to be a benign, non-racial, honest, and judicially incorruptible democracy: As these qualities began to leach away, their allegiance faded.
Nevertheless, there was always the hope that a solid, if small, core of government would remain to sustain the equilibrium upon which a civilised society could begin to evolve.
However, one of the early expressions of the ANC was an astonishing arrogance. This was the arrogance which allowed the government to believe that all or any of the White-African “means of production” could be summarily replaced by any Black- African with the appropriate political, tribal and nepotistic qualifications.
It is the same arrogance which is now destroying the core of the structures of governance in South Africa. It is an arrogance which has crept into the mind of every level of the varied spectrum of the population. Small groups now believe that they are in a position to make autonomous decisions; small groups believe that they must “fight for more rights”. Small groups believe that they have the authority and capacity to isolate themselves from the greater society, and embark on maverick forays of their choosing.
Let us look at some examples of individual arrogance:
The recently appointed CEO of South African Airways, Siza Mzimela,[i] a woman of little standing and no proven capabilities, was requested to report to Parliament. This was against South African Airways’ background of corruption, incompetence, nepotism and massive financial loss. However, this neophyte chose to ignore the Parliamentary directive and did not appear. Needless to say this evoked extreme anger from Parliament.
An Acting Judge, Black-African, without any background in the workaday judicial system[ii], was due to hear one of her early cases. She was being tested for her suitability for the post, but she seemed to assume that this was a fait accompli. Normally a judge is available for discussion on the form of the case in chambers from about 8 am. However, when the barristers attempted to approach her before a hearing they were told that she “never arrived before 10am”. Eventually she appeared to the patient Court at about 10:30 am. The rest of that day was an extraordinary caricature. The judge repeatedly ordered recesses for long tea and lunch breaks. In mid-afternoon she proposed an early recess and recommencement the following day.
The parties to this case had waited for over a year for the hearing, and were allocated a limited number of court-days. The hourly costs of the legal team and expert witnesses were huge. The money involved in the settlement was large, and the plaintiff was impoverished. The reason for the recess? She wanted to collect her child from school.
The Master of the High Court is an authoritative administrative post with the purpose of ensuring that certain judicial decisions are put into effect. Recently Z. Agulhas the Black-African Master of the Western Cape Division was ordered, by the High Court, to change a decision she had made. She chose to ignore the decision of the High Court and instead “interpret it” in the fashion of her choice. The plaintiff made a further appeal to the High Court, and yet another order to the Master was made. Again the Master chose again to ignore the High Court.
The President, Jacob Zuma has failed to conform with the Parliamentary regulations relating to disclosure of assets, arguing that he believing that he was exempt.
The ANC chief whip, Mathole Motshekga told reporters that “ministers should not have to appear before the standing committee on public accounts, because “they have a country to run”.[iii]
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s recent criticism of Nelson Mandela further illustrates the cleaving of the ANC integrity in a way which had previously been unthinkable.
Zwelinzima Vavi, Secretary General of the powerful Council of South African Trade Unions, displaying his distance form reality by threatening a strike to disrupt the World (Football) Cup as he contests the government decision to increase electricity tariffs.
The twenty-something Julius Malema, the ANC Youth League Chairman, in an exuberant display of imperial delusions, cocks his snoot at having to have a driver’s licence, to pay fines and tax, or to reveal the source of his monumental expenditure.
The same ANCYL is determined to provocatively confront the Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom party, in their home territory[iv].
The South African Communist Party feels that it can contest the ANC central executive decisions.
On 17 and 18 March 2010 a reported 4000 school children went on a rampage of aggression against an accused pop singer outside the Protea, Soweto, magistrate’s court. These children (in school hours) were demanding that his bail be refused and “justice” destroying everything in the area which they could. This march will be compared with the well publicised Soweto and Sharpeville riots of 1976 and 1961 in a later posting.
Rioting demanding “service delivery continues unabated in many provinces. The demand is that more homes and utilities to be "provided". Few, if any, of these rioters contribute to the tax base, and appear to believe that they should be provided this manna, seemingly from heaven.
In other areas those who do pay their local and national taxes, are now withholding payments until there is some noticeable benefit.
Working days lost in labour disputes in 2009 were 200% higher than the previous year.
As more examples continue to be reported in the media, interested readers should add these into interpreting this dangerous evolution.
The implication of this all-pervading arrogance is ominous. It foretells fracturing of South Africa into anarchistic fragments. It foretells disruption of all sense of order, and multidimensional civil strife.
The prediction is that the ANC will then, in an attempt to show power and authority, push dramatic political manoeuvres, with the aim of demonstrating their “valour” in defeating the White-Africans again, by nationalising land, mines and businesses.
There can be little doubt that the economy will collapse should that happen.
[i] A revelation of extraordinary happenings at SAA, including the loss of R6.0 billion by 30 June 2004 when SAA tried to play the foreign exchange market. http://www.southafrica.to/
[ii] She had an entirely academic background. To illustrate her naïveté she would use phrases such as “Counsel, approach the bench”. She could only have learned these terms from American legal soap opera, since they are not used by and are unintelligible in the context of South African Courts.
[iii] The standing committee on public accounts is mandated to monitor the expenditure of tax revenues and the results achieved. The ministers are primarily responsible for these outcomes.