We have begun our descent. We are screwed to put it less eloquently.
Justice Malala is a seasoned political analyst, which made him one of the best people to write an account on the state of affairs in the Rainbow nation. This account was written in 2015 and outlines some of the things Justice feels have gone wrong with the country. Contrary to the stoic disposition that is often seen with journalists the writing of Justice is surprisingly emotional charged and often comes of as the frustration and subsequent venting of a normal citizen of South Africa. This raw emotion is refreshing, albeit scary. If even the usually impartial members of the press are now unable to keep their emotions in check then, again to put it no way eloquently, we are REALLY screwed.
The first half of the book is dedicated to singling out the lack of strong leadership in the country which has left the country reeling with investors losing faith and retreating their businesses, service delivery nonexistent and a tyranny of corrupt members of parliament whose sole interest and purpose is to line their pockets before the walls come caging in on them, which they eventually will. He singles out a lack of participation of the general public in the daily matters of the country, which has allowed the people tasked with running this country to be complacent. Using the example of the power outages that plagued the country in 2008, instead of making a huge noise and taking Eskom, the national electricity supplier, to task, people simply went and bought generators. This he writes, was the people of South Africa ‘saying goodbye to Eskom and South Africa. They were checking out. They had given up on the system.”
“I am angry. I am furious. Because I never thought it would happen to us. Not us, the rainbow nation that defied doomsayers and suckled and nurtured a fragile democracy into life for its children. I never thought it would happen to us, this relentless decline, the flirtation with a leap over the cliff.”
The ruling party also receives quite a tongue lashing for failing to take a country that had so much hope and opportunity after the end of apartheid to one that sees the poorer get poorer whilst the few elite continue to pilferage the country and enjoy the fruits of the bountiful resources the country has to offer. He believes that fixing the economy for all to benefit will be a “silver bullet” for the racial problems that plague the country……a statement I found myself viscously shaking my head against. As an outsider looking in, this country’s issues with race go beyond financial and economical matters, but that, is a topic for another day.
The media also cannot escape the attack of words from the analyst. They, and he implicates himself in this too, stand accused of buckling to the government’s demands of portraying them in a good light in their reporting. They are accused of not providing their audience with unbiased, factual news at all times as should be the case. The tragedy that was Marikana also gets mentioned and as per almost every other article on the events of 16 August 2012 it is outlined in detail all the shocking decisions that were made and greed that led to the unfortunate loss of life on that day. Al Bashir has a place in this book too as having turned the Republic of South Africa into a willing accomplice in aiding and abetting a fugitive of justice to evade the law and his day in court.
Fortunately Justice is not only a man of questions and pointing out the wrong. He is a man of solutions as well. Here are some of his suggested solutions to mending a country that is on the edge of the cliff, and indeed has begun it’s descent:
Thuli Madonsela (bear in mind the book was written in 2015)
- Thuli Madonsela (bear in mind the book was written in 2015)
- Voting for delivery not history
- Capable, merit based state led by visionary political leadership
- Protection of the Constitution
- Pro-active tackling of inequality
- Value based leadership
- State of economy to drive accountability
- Back to School aka quality education
- No to corruption
- Actually putting into action all these fancy economic plans that seem to exist only on paper
- New leadership ethos
Pretty simple and straight forward. Right? Fast forward two years and it would seem the country is still rolling full speed ahead on that descent.
All, in all a somber take on the state of affairs in South Africa highlighting just how backwards the country has moved since the hard fought independence and rainbow nation that so many wished for.
Side note: I do not consider myself a political person. However I find myself very intrigued in finding out how our beloved African countries seem to all end up in the states that they are in. And more importantly what the way out is. it is always saddening to read the same stories coming out of all these African states, from the DRC to Zimbabwe to South Africa. Copy and paste. We need to catch a wake up call!
(All opinions and beliefs are mine. And no political party was hurt in the writing of this article.)
Siphathi is an extroverted introvert. When she is not injecting a little humour into the world she is an engineer trying to pay her bills. Lover of sport, soccer and formula 1 to be exact. But most of all she is an avid reader who loves getting lost in books with a glass of wine by the side.
This is confirmation of the knowledge one gains simply by reading on a topic they are not particularly adept on. Thanks Siphathi for demonstrating that with your well thought out view on this book. I can only wonder the ominous tone Justice would have conveyed if he wrote on the same topic in 2017. A lot has happened in the last two years. A lot!.-Lerato