Re­sist the lure of cap­tur­ers and cap­i­tal­ists

CityPress - - Voices - SI­MON MTSUKI voices@city­

Since the Cabi­net reshuf­fle in March, we have seen a bat­tle play out in the pub­lic dis­course among crit­ics and apol­o­gists.

The dis­turb­ing con­se­quence of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s de­ci­sion to hire and fire min­is­ters is that many of us find our­selves in a quandary, brought about by the nar­ra­tives ad­vanced by the main play­ers in this bat­tle.

Ac­cord­ing to the ter­mi­nol­ogy as­so­ci­ated with this con­flict, we find our­selves torn between iden­ti­fy­ing as anti “white monopoly cap­i­tal” or anti “state cap­ture”.

And, given that the cur­rent nar­ra­tives fo­cus on so-called he­roes and vil­lains, we are stuck in a com­pro­mis­ing po­si­tion: by root­ing for the demise of priv­i­lege, we un­in­ten­tion­ally end up sup­port­ing the vic­tory of pa­tron­age and the cor­rup­tion it usu­ally breeds.

It is com­mon knowl­edge that the con­cen­tra­tion of our econ­omy in the hands of a few has been a huge chal­lenge for our na­tion. There­fore, those who stall the trans­for­ma­tion of the econ­omy are the en­e­mies of pub­lic good.

En­ter the state cap­tur­ers, who are por­trayed as fight­ing white monopoly cap­i­tal. Their pri­mary mo­ti­va­tion is self­en­rich­ment.

They want a piece of the priv­i­lege pie, and be­cause the cap­i­tal­ists are un­will­ing to share, they are tak­ing their bat­tle to the pub­lic space to garner moral sup­port.

The ra­tio­nale for en­list­ing us is: “The en­emy of my en­emy is my friend – and if we de­feat our com­mon en­emy, we will all win.”

This is the quandary for both camps; we find our­selves in a bat­tle with shady bedfellows.

The re­sult? A fierce bat­tle is un­der way for the soul of the South African pub­lic. It is a bat­tle well co­or­di­nated and well funded by cap­tur­ers and cap­i­tal­ists alike. The re­ward for those who win ma­jor­ity sup­port? Com­mand of the state cof­fers.

So in­sa­tiable is the de­sire by both sides to ac­cu­mu­late wealth, each is will­ing to fi­nance so-called an­a­lysts and com­men­ta­tors to feed the pub­lic halftruths and mis­state­ments and, in so do­ing, garner sup­port for a dan­ger­ous cause.

We or­di­nary South Africans should re­sist the temp­ta­tion to be part of this bat­tle by re­fus­ing to en­list in ei­ther camp.

As we ap­proach the ANC elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber and the 2019 na­tional polls, these cam­paigns will be­come ever more fierce, strate­gic and en­rag­ing. But to para­phrase the Apos­tle James: “Re­sist this temp­ta­tion and it will flee from you.” Mtsuki is a speaker, writer and so­cial en­tre­pre­neur

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