Deadly Politics

President Ramaphosa pledged to clean out the massive, malodorous mess from South Africa’s “stables” he inherited from former President Zuma, but thus far, he has only added to the pile.
President Ramaphosa pledged to clean out the massive, malodorous mess from South Africa’s “stables” he inherited from former President Zuma, but thus far, he has only added to the pile.

The corruption in South Africa is so bad, it’s like a noxious fog that has settled on a once peaceful, prosperous, and prejudiced nation. South African’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is being pilloried, pulled, and pushed from many sides, and many of the political players are more radical than he. He is busy trying to stay in power and get reelected later this year, but he has to deal with many warring factions inside and outside the African National Congress (ANC), plus the murder for hire of wayward members and multiple acts of sabotage in many major cities. Everyone seems to carry guns or has bodyguards even low-level provincial (state) leaders.

The ANC no longer stands for African National Congress but for Accumulation, Nepotism, and Cronyism. Corruption is one of the most used words by South Africans. Of course, this does not surprise anyone since one-party rule always results in cronyism, chaos, and corruption.

The corruption is ubiquitous, especially in the ANC, the political party that has been controlled by Communists from its earliest days and has governed South Africa since the end of the white minority government in 1994. The ANC is infamous for sabotage in earlier years and now that there are many factions within, it has returned to sabotage plus assassinations—of longtime comrades. It is now a fractured party with occasional episodes of the “Shoot Out at the O.K. Corral.”  It seems every member in the national government and in the provinces has his hand out or worse—even putting out contracts on fellow members with whom they serve!

The New York Times last fall published an article, “Hit Men and Power” highlighting that “corruption and divisions have flourished within the A.N.C. in recent years.” It admits that too many have lost the vision of earlier years and are struggling for “influential positions and the spoils that go with them.” Thus far, few of the ANC officials in charge at the national or local levels have been held to account.

But the corruption is not only in the ANC but also in every facet of the nation: the schools, local governments, utilities, the mines, the police, the unions, South African Airlines, the rail service, and the banks. Plus, the political corruption in the ANC bleeds into all areas of national and local governments. Everyone seems to demand a bribe to do anything.

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