A TIME FOR HOPE
AND so it seems we are witnessing the dying throes of Jacob Zuma’s disastrous nineyear tenure as president of South Africa. On occasions such as these it might be charitable to reflect on the good that a person has done and just be grateful that the bad is behind us.
But Zuma’s poisonous legacy will live with us for years to come.
It will live on in an economy that has been bat tered by his greed and recklessness. The firing of Pravin Gordhan as Finance minister is but one example of how Zuma’s selfinterest dealt bruising blows to the country’s finances.
Cyril Ramaphosa and his fellow leaders will have many sleepless nights as they set about correcting this.
It will live on in declined standards of governance, often brought about by appointments of Zu ma’s cronies, or those foisted on us by the Guptas. The culture of mediocrity has taken hold across the country and is evident in schools, hospitals, the endless queues at Department of Home Affairs’ offices, crumbling roads and infrastructure and, well, just about everywhere in the public sector. Fixing these will be a huge task in itself.
It will live on in the shocking performances of stateowned enterprises, where the coffers were plundered by the ZumaGupta axis and their handpicked lieutenants. How many years will it take for Eskom, SAA, the SABC and others to recover?
It will live on perhaps most profoundly in the corruption that has taken hold in every level of government and which effectively robs the poor and most desperate among us.
Under Zuma, public service became seen as a vehicle for enrichment instead of service. Corruption is a disease that has taken hold and sapped the nation’s strength. Repairing the damage could take decades.
So we wait eagerly to say good riddance to Zuma and join fellow South Africans in turning our faces towards the future.
We do so in the growing hope that it will be a brighter one.
This photo released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a ringed seal pup in Kotzebue, Alaska. The seal is the main prey of Alaska’s polar bears and will now receive threatened species protection. The ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week overturned a district court decision and said the National Marine Fisheries Service acted properly in listing ringed seals as threatened.