Po­lit­i­cal mad­ness is de­vour­ing SA

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RE­CENTLY, the South African po­lit­i­cal scene has be­come so toxic and con­vo­luted that it has be­come dif­fi­cult to dif­fer­en­ti­ate friend from foe, the in­no­cent from the guilty, the cor­rupt from the hon­est, the scav­engers from the preda­tors and bla­tant lies from un­tar­nished truth.

Once con­sid­ered the finest democracy in Africa 20 years ago, SA is now in paral­y­sis.

The mood about our democracy is som­bre now in com­par­i­son with the ex­u­ber­ance of 25 years ago, at the height of the Man­dela pres­i­dency. With the no-con­fi­dence de­bate now rel­e­gated to the dust­bin of his­tory, a men­ac­ing thresh­old has been crossed. The al­ready frag­ile ve­neer of a sta­ble democracy based on con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ples is in shreds. Po­lit­i­cal san­ity as a po­lit­i­cal ten­dency has ceased to ex­ist. Our democracy is in a sham­bles. Money first, peo­ple sec­ond.

The cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion is morally bank­rupt, con­se­quently it has led to the moral degra­da­tion of our en­tire so­ci­ety and ex­pan­sion of the bound­aries of klep­toc­racy and mis­man­age­ment. Val­ues such as trans­parency, rule of law and ac­count­abil­ity are be­ing widely tram­pled. Au­to­cratic politi­cians are openly traf­fick­ing in fear and para­noia. They erect a façade of democracy and sub­vert it from within. The ten­dency to con­cen­trate power in the hands of face­less bu­reau­crats and in their in­ef­fi­cient opin­ions in one huge splurge of nepo­tism must be re­sisted.

There is po­lit­i­cal mad­ness that is de­vour­ing the coun­try; it is based on avarice, a kind of in­fec­tious greed, a de­cep­tion that pa­rades as gen­uine in­ter­est. The fail­ure to ap­point a com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture is scin­til­lat­ingly amaz­ing but un­for­tu­nately very de­press­ing.

A democracy where the gov­ern­ment is by the peo­ple, for the peo­ple and of the peo­ple, but is this vis­i­ble or just an il­lu­sion? It was the great Ma­hatma Gandhi who once said, “Cor­rup­tion and hypocrisy ought not be in­evitable prod­ucts of democracy, as they un­doubt­edly are to­day.” FAROUK ARAIE

Benoni

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