Mandela’s ideals are under serious threat
JULY 18 WAS declared International Mandela Day by the UN. This is in honour of a man who was incarcerated for 27 years and later became the president of his capturers. In his most memorable speech during the Rivonia Trial, he declared that he was prepared to die for his “ideal of a democratic and free society” in which everyone would be equal.
That is why he had fought continuously against all forms of oppression.
The current narrative of state capture threatens this ideal.
The first example of state capture is the so called white monopoly capital (WMC) where the minority white people own strategic parts of the economy at the exclusion of the majority.
Afrikaners, during their rule, created and funded their businesses at the expense of the majority. Today, as a result, they still own vast pieces of land which they refuse to share with fellow South Africans. On the other hand, there is the so-called Gupta Monopoly Capital (GMC). The success of this family – under the guise of radical economic transformation – is wrongly seen as black progress.
The recent cabinet reshuffle, aimed at this goal cannot succeed because the new finance minister has reiterated that he will implement the current ANC policies which, as experience has shown, are not radical.
The GMC poses a similar threat as its nemesis through its global network.
Save SA’s Sipho Pityana argues that state capture is an international syndicate including some Brics members, Asian and African countries. The R1 trillion nuclear deal with Russia, for one, could benefit the pro-Zuma faction through kickbacks.
As such, South Africa’s 2019 elections might suffer the same fate as the US’ – alleged vote rigging by Russia – in favour of a pro-Saxonwold president.
These state capturers need to be seen for what they are – a threat to the ideals that Mandela fought for all his life.
Let us ponder at two of the many lessons that the current leaders can learn from Mandela. Mandela was a good strategist. Not only that, he unleashed his strategy at an opportune moment.
He founded the ANC’s armed wing just moments after the international community had awarded his president a Nobel Peace Prize. Yet he knew that this was not a final solution. He always maintained that the oppressor determines the nature of the struggle.
For them to denounce violence, the South African government had to repeal key apartheid laws. Yet, it was Mandela who initiated talks with the then president about a possibility of a negotiated settlement.
“There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock (and be) confident that he is leading his people the right way,” said Mandela.
If this was a mistake on his part, he was prepared to live with it because principle was on his side. Apartheid had been a crime against humanity and it needed to be defeated at all cost.
Like Mandela when he “resigned” from violence and opted for peace, the current leadership, starting from the president, could follow suit.
Similarly, ANC MPs, as suggested by Chief Justice Mogoeng, are allowed “to exercise their vote freely and effectively in accordance with the conscience of each” without the fear of being victimised.
Numbers show that the success of impeaching the president rests on ANC members. These MPs and the NEC need to redeem their dignity.
The second lesson is that Mandela was never a life president. It was during his term that the South African Treasury and SARS were restructured to conform to internationally accepted norms. This was followed by a 99-month economic growth between 1999 and 2007.
At the epicentre of these debates today is that same Treasury which everyone wants to exploit.
Mandela could have gotten his second term easily. However, he had fulfilled his immediate goals – economic stability and reconciliation. He then stepped down to allow other leaders to move the country forward.
The importance of an independent Treasury cannot be over emphasised. Therefore, it must never fall under either hand of these enemies of the people.
State capturers a threat to ideals Mandela fought for all his life