How far are you willing to go, Mr President?

2017-05-31 11:55

In KwaZulu-Natal we take threats seriously, with good reason, for KZN - though it wasn't always called that - is a province that has seen much violence in its history, especially during the decade prior to 1994. I have lived in and around what became KZN since 1986, and I was a monitor/mediator from the beginning of 1992 to the middle of 1995.  

Now, in 2017, I note a very disturbing synchronicity: President Zuma has a bad NEC, the very next day foreigners are targeted for violence in KwaMashu, Durban. Pravin Gordhan has been encouraging us to 'connect the dots' and my experience suggests...

Well, first let me ground my speculation.  Historians could (and should) quibble here, but I think my chronology is fair: serious violence began around the mid-1980's in the province of Natal, but it was more or less contained in that area.  At the time it was UDF/Inkatha/'third force' stuff; it became more clearly ANC/Inkatha/State after Madiba was released from prison.  

Then, there was a terrible upsurge in violence in the J'burg townships, mainly hostel versus township, i.e. 'Zulu' versus ANC - some analysts at the time suggested that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (Inkatha) was making his mark on the national scene.  Is that one of the things which 'earned' him a place in the Cabinet of National Unity? Pure speculation on my part, of course, and I hope my speculation doesn't result in civil suites...

Back to the present day.  Some analysts have suggested there is a threat of 'scorched earth'/'violence' that is holding the detractors of President Zuma in check as they try to find a way out of the present stalemate situation. Have we in fact just witnessed a very real expression of that 'threat' in KwaMashu Durban? President Zuma says, 'Don't push me' and the very next day there is violence in KwaZulu-Natal...for me, it's a very disturbing synchronicity.

I am not accusing anyone of anything here - especially anyone who happens to know where I live - but the ANCYL in KZN has shown itself to be 'out of order' in recent months, and the question does arise 'on whose orders'?  A little distributed news item was the looting and destruction of 'foreign owned shops' during the Coligny violence - that's a fact, by the way, as is the KwaMashu/Durban violence.

Let me end with a quote from a Zimbabwean friend of mine: 'When we are gone, you will only have your own to turn on...'  

Mr President - my own words now - have you not got enough yet, do your fellow-citizens and our African neighbors have to suffer even more?  Can you not see that whatever good you have done is not worth the instability and division you are now causing?  I am a white ikwerekwere, so I have two reasons to be afraid: did I risk my life in vain to help bring your party into power?


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