Zuma is only the tip of the iceberg

2016-12-06 16:06

A recent Politicsweb post featured an article by John Kane-Berman entitled “”Saved” from Zuma – then What?” It made an important point that escapes so many South Africans in the current political climate: all too many of us are so preoccupied with the dysfunctionality of a dishonest and devious president that his departure from office serves as our goal and prime objective. It should not; it is no more than a side show.

In our efforts to be rid of him, we miss the point that Zuma is not the cause of South Africa’s malaise. He is a malignant symptom of it and plays an active but proximate role. The ultimate causes of our teetering society and trashed economy (sky high unemployment, failed state enterprises, no growth etc etc) are cultural and cerebral.

Any policy framework subscribing to a vocabulary of "national democratic revolution"; "comrades"; "transformation"; "apartheid colonialism"; "monopoly capital" etc etc. (whilst its practitioners ruin and destroy previously functional enterprises and government institutions) is driven purely by ideology and is simply unsustainable. They cannot connect the dots.

The entire ANC/ tripartite alliance mindset is built on such notions in an institutional scale example of the Dunning Kruger effect – a syndrome describing "low-ability - and generally delusional – individuals, suffering from illusory superiority and mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it is". Some even dismiss those suffering from the disorder as “being too stupid to realise just how stupid they are”.

For those still inclined to give the ruling party some benefit of the doubt and previous presidents some credit, it is worth noting that Mbeki and Mandela had serious blemishes that compete with Zuma's in terms of harm done to the nation. Mbeki’s isolation from reality cost many thousands of lives (estimated at 300000?) in the fight against Aids and Mandela bequeathed the Zuma scourge – almost single handedly.

In his quest to “unite” the nation – and fearful that the Xhosa contingent was too strong within the ANC – Mandela promoted Zuma as a Zulu presidential deputy, and also treated him generously financially.

The results speak for themselves.

The Real Cause?

The affliction of "revolutionary" thinking – a delusional one way street that seduces the ill informed and entices political predators – will remain in place long after Zuma is gone, if the ANC does not change radically.

But for that to happen, the ANC would have to forswear what it has always stood for – a high level of state participation in the economy and control over as many levers of society as it can get its hands on - the very antitheses of conditions that promote economic progress.

And with the protracted absence of quality leaders in the organisation, any reincarnation of its thinking is even less likely.

So when Zuma goes, don’t hold your breath. He is but the tip of the iceberg.

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