EXTRACT | Tony Leon's 'Future tense': The clunking hammer of the state

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Cover of Future Tense (Supplied)
Cover of Future Tense (Supplied)

Following Tony Leon’s award-winning biography 'On the Contrary', he has written 'Future Tense', to capture and analyse the squandered and corrupted years since. In his latest book Leon's presents a portrait of today’s South Africa and prospects for its future, based on his political involvement over thirty years with the key power players: Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk.  Here is an extract from the book entitled 'The clunking hammer of the state' .

The coronavirus cast the harshest possible light on the paralysis of the state. It couldn’t deliver the relief it promised; it couldn’t provide basic health care in some places (the Eastern Cape, for example), let alone personal protective equipment for its health personnel or oxygen for its patients.

But the command-and-control model was mightily enjoyed by those exercising power. The ability to ride roughshod over citizens’ rights, such as whether you could buy a cigarette (outlawed for five months) or purchase slipslops (disallowed for one month), were utterly laughable. Black markets flourished, as did the appearance of several incompetent ministers offering such absurdities, in faux-camouflage uniforms and berets and sporting mini-Cuban lapel flags.

Support independent journalism
Get 14 days free to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Rand - Dollar
15.86
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
19.78
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.76
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.18
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.1%
Gold
1,844.12
+0.1%
Silver
21.95
+0.1%
Palladium
2,018.50
+0.5%
Platinum
968.00
+0.1%
Brent Crude
112.04
+2.6%
Top 40
62,069
+0.6%
All Share
68,700
+0.7%
Resource 10
73,505
+3.0%
Industrial 25
74,733
-1.4%
Financial 15
15,929
+1.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE