South Africa remains divided

2015-06-24 06:00

THIS time 29 years ago, the National Party government was in the process of imposing a nationwide state of emergency, the second to affect our city.

History has shown it to represent the death throes of the heresy known as apartheid, but that was not so evident at the time. Above all else, the emergency symbolised the fault line in South Africa between opponents of apartheid and its supporters and fellow travellers.

South Africa today remains just as fractured, in some ways more so.

The obvious division relates to wealth, with appalling numbers of citizens trapped in poverty and despair as a consequence of unregulated, rapacious capitalism.

But there is another major disjunction, this one ideological, between those who respect the Constitution and others who scorn it.

Many of the latter are in the higher echelons of the ANC and the government including, unbelievably, the state president himself.

Resting on supposed liberation credentials (South Africa was liberated by its people, not the ANC) and misplaced majoritarian confidence, they sneer at those provisions of the Constitution that place every South African equally before the law and work to prevent fraud, corruption, misgovernance and maladministration.

Should the defiers and detractors of the Constitution continue to wield power and influence, there is one future scenario for South Africa. Its caption consists of a single word - ruin.


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