South Africa – Is this country failing democracy and is there a chance that true democracy will prevail? This introduction will begin with the first democratic election and continue through the failing democracy by spotlighting the responsible public figures and their atrocious deeds.
Different cultures, different lessons
There are eleven different cultures in South Africa, and there are traditional rituals to follow within each culture. The initiation school practice of some of the cultures, can have a distinctive edge to white people in South Africa. In the past 1970’s some white people attended these initiation schools of the Xhosa culture, to determine if there were any benefits connected to this practice.
Some of the lessons learned at the initiation schools relate to the Sun Tzu and his War of the Fly. Initiators were taught the mechanism for survival. They were taught to lie, to steal, to beg, and to cheat. Yet the biggest lesson learned was never to be caught out.
Today with the diminishing status of the traditional powers, there is no discipline and these teachings do have an opportunity for abuse.
When having regard to the business world, it is clear that such teachings are not so different from the manner in which typically Jewish and Lebanese businessmen conduct themselves.
When people in government start to rely on these aspects without having regard to a civic duty, chaos can result. Off course the world needs idealists too.
The beginning of democracy
It is a well documented fact that the majority of South Africans suffered under the Apartheid regime. The country was on the brink of a civil war and had to negotiate with the main terrorist group at that time, the African National Congress (ANC), to find a peaceful resolution for all the people of South Africa.
The ruling president at that time F. W. De Klerk and his trusted ministers negotiated with the imprisoned Nelson Mandela, the president of the ANC. After several years of tough negotiations, a new constitution was tabled, and Nelson Mandela inaugurated as the first democratic president.
The first ten years of democracy
For the first time in history, the majority of the people had freedom.
Under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, the unity of the rainbow nation began. This remained a peaceful transition amidst the fears that the 1994 election would cause chaos. Nothing of the sort happened, people continued to go about their daily lives and the humble peaceful attitude of the ruling government had a direct impact on the people.
It is a fact that although the ANC won the election and had two thirds majority rule, the dominant Afrikaans government played a vital role in determining how some laws were implemented. The ANC still had to agree with the apartheid regime and their one sided policies.
During Mandela’s reign, the influx of foreigners had a detrimental effect on the safety and crime statistics began to increase. It was no easy task for the first democratic president to balance the needs and demands of the people. He did an outstanding work but lacked the ability to control crime.
After his term ended Mandela retired from the political arena and remained a prominent figure until the end of his life. He was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki, a humble man who demonstrated the concept of a genuine president.
Mbeki had no easy task of controlling the crime and appeasing the country during the next five years. This proved to be a difficult time and the corruption and bribery spiraled out of control.
New affirmative action laws passed began to take its toll on the economy and the increase in inflation saw the unemployment figures steadily increase. Tender fraud corruption happened on a daily basis and some high profile cases were brought into the spotlight. The arms deal involving billions of ZAR saw a dark cloud envelop over the ruling party.
During his last year of rule, Thabo Mbeki was ousted as president of the country and Kgalema Motlanthe stepped in to rule until the next election.
Democracy leading up to twenty years
The ANC won their third general election and Jacob Zuma the head of the ANC was inaugurated as the new South African President. Jacob Zuma is a traditionalist first and foremost. He is from the proud Zulu culture and his role as president saw the end of the Xhosa rule. During his first year as president, Jacob Zuma remained a firm favorite within the ANC party and his dynamic personality helped him to capture the hearts of the public. Situations arose and tarnished Zuma’s popularity and over the years this spiraled out of control. His vested interest in the control of the country is slowing being diminished. There is the real possibility that a call for an impeachment could be heard within the coming months.
During the last five years, South Africa has shown no improvement as the first twenty years of democracy mark a turning point in the history of the country. Crime, corruption and bribery are the three most significant occurrences and escalating out of control. It is a fact that the infrastructure is disgusting and not maintained.
Although South Africa is and will remain a beautiful country, there is the real possibility that the dark cloud of misfortune will turn this country into a frightening and fearful place.
Now as the first twenty years soar to a close, there are many unanswered questions about the past and how the future will be able to maintain a positive outlook.
The real cause of concern
The difference between the Mandela leadership and the Zuma rule is the trappings of power. Members are being ousted from the ANC. There are also vested personal interests now and the expression of unity that was such a predominant fundamental structure of the ANC is slowing disintegrating.
Is Jacob Zuma targeted and if so what are the reasons? Targeted by who and why? Are the apartheid regime still involved in the political arena? Jacob Zuma had allowed some underhanded events to occur during his reign and all of the pitfalls are documented in the media. The previous presidents did the same, yet their shenanigan behavior remained hidden from the public eye. Jacob Zuma is a president that is lambasted as being a selfish and covetous person. Perhaps many of the world’s assumptions are wrong, and over the next few weeks we will shine the spotlight on several individuals who could be a source of real concern, not only to the Zuma administration but the democracy of South Africa.
By Laura Oneale
Nubbi Word Press