Guest Column

Resist the lure of capturers and capitalists

2017-04-30 06:21


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Simon Mtsuki 

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 self-enrichment.

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 half-truths 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

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  state capture  |  politics


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