Today is Nelson Mandela Day and his birthday. Happy birthday Madiba.
From wikipedia: Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010..
From the Nelson Mandela Foundation in response to the unrest.
A movie about our much-loved late president, Madiba.
Such a dignified statesman.
The real story behind the looting. Our president’s speech two days ago.
1,5 million bullets were stolen during the unrest.
Yesterday my son wrote this on his facebook in response to the criticisms levelled at Cyril Ramaphosa and our government. John Steenhuisen is the leader of the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party to the African National Congress.
“I have experienced many f—-d up days & months, but these past 18 months have been unprecedented in their extremity. And we have everybody criticising and criticising the government. I have no problem with criticism if it is fair, but is it? How well would other leaders have dealt with this?
John Steenhuisen? Well, he politicised Covid the moment the hard lockdown was implemented and swore to do everything he could to have the restrictions lifted. So, I think he would have done a s–t job.
Okay, let’s go overseas. How are they doing with Covid? Well, Japan has only vaccinated 12% of its population, and they’re up at the top of first world countries. South Africa is at 8%. If factories in America didn’t send us dodgy J&J vaccines, we’d also be at 12%
How did other first world countries get on? Well, unless you lived in the UK or the US, things weren’t going so well. Now that they have recently vaccinated most of their population, they have been kind enough to let other first-world countries get some vaccines. These countries include some with great leaders, like Macron and Merkel, who with greater resources than South Africa, struggled immensely.
And how are things going in the UK? Well, in unsurprising news, Boris has fallen back into his populist ways. The Euro Championship was fantastic, but what were they thinking allowing that many people into Wembley? It can be summed up by looking at the dugout and management area above it compared with the rest of the stadium. People who had been living in Covid bubbles for weeks and got tested continuously were socially distanced while around them, fans were packed together as if life had returned to normal. This whole Covid cases increase in the UK and some experts fear a third wave. To top it off, mask wearing is going to become a personal choice
Based on that data, I’d say our government has done roughly as well as the developed countries that we idealise. Oh, but did they have a former president who wanted to avoid jail? Someone who was willing to reduce this country into a war zone so he could avoid jail? Because that was the intent: civil war. While the news cameras were focusing on looters, the government was thwarting attacks on airports, seaports, oil refineries, pipelines, and railways. These targets were chosen to cut off KZN and hold it to ransom, which would have a massive impact to Gauteng. At the same time, the unrest was supposed to turn into full on fighting. Those 1 million bullets that were stolen? I’m sure there were other attempted attacks to get firearms so they could arm the people.
We have not entered a civil war and parts of our country are not held hostage. And by having a soft touch on the situation, they have avoided a Marikana, which would also have served those who would bring this country to war. State of emergency? If you listened to the speech read by Mr Zuma the Sunday before his arrest, he compared this government to the apartheid government, stating incorrectly that he was jailed without trial, and saying that the lockdown was the government’s attempt to oppress the people. A state of emergency would have fed into that narrative and caused s–t down the line.
So that’s some of what has happened. Then we need to look within the ANC itself. Ramaphosa got elected by a fine margin and found himself in a political situation where the kleptocrats could tip the balance their way. But he played a very long game, chipping away at them piece by piece, putting in legitimate processes and then, when all was ready, he pounced. And there went Magashule.
Why is this important? As secretary-general of the ANC, Magashule could work the machinery of the party in such a way that Ramaphosa would be booted at the next convention. Fun fact: Stalin used the position of secretary-general to establish himself in the Communist Party and take control of it over Trotsky, who was Lenin’s heir apparent. You do not want a kleptocrat there.
And then there are those responsible for state capture. “Lock them up,” people cried. And yes, many of them are guilty as sin. But you cannot bring justice if you subvert the judicial process. Things have to be done correctly. And so they have. Ramaphosa played the long game and now we are seeing results. One example would be the signing of an extradition treaty with the UAE and asking to put the Guptas on Interpol’s red list. This was all done quietly so they wouldn’t spook. And, with that in place, they then pounced on the Gupta acolytes left in SA. If they had instead gone a more popular road and give a “blow-to-blow” account, as Mr Basson would call it (also, I think it’s blow-by-blow), the Guptas would have fled the UAE and the guys here would have also disappeared to who knows where.
So yes, I am all for criticism where criticism is due. But how much better could this government have done? We managed to not have our health system completely overwhelmed. We (currently at least) are not in a civil war that was the aim of those who want this country to be a kleptocracy and who would have tried to sabotage this country if anybody put Zuma in prison. And we are seeing some sort of renewal in the ANC. Yes, people say we shouldn’t look for renewal in the ANC as our salvation; the party is done; we need a new dawn and a new solution. Don’t disagree with you there, please go for it, let me know how I can help, but…the ANC will win the next election. While we build new solutions, a renewal in the ANC is what we need to hope for.
This has been a long rant but, wow, there is a lot of nuance to every single situation that Cyril and his government are being hammered about. If you want to criticise, then base your criticism on the entire situation, not on a very simplified cross-section.