These are the six big lockdown mistakes that Ramaphosa has made
While his response to the virus has on the whole been exemplary, these errors of judgment threaten the future of SA
History shows that the reputation of politicians is often made or broken in a crisis. So far, Cyril Ramaphosa is having a very good crisis as far as the middle classes, black and white, are concerned. The enthusiastic support for the president from the middle classes has often been rapturous.
This is understandable. Thabo Mbeki’s denialism with regard to the fact that Aids is caused by the HI virus, and his paranoid conspiracy theories about the life-saving treatments for people living with HIV, resulted in a huge social catastrophe. In stark contrast to Mbeki, Ramaphosa has a highly competent minister of health in Zweli Mkhize, and is taking advice from the best medical scientists in our country. Ramaphosa’s science-based response to the Covid-19 pandemic is a welcome change from Mbeki’s paranoid nationalism, and also the empty bombast of right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and Boris Johnson.
And, of course, it’s not difficult to see why people are in raptures of ecstatic excitement about Ramaphosa after years of living under Jacob Zuma’s kleptocracy. We all shudder to think how egregiously Zuma would have mishandled this crisis. It really is a thought that is just too ghastly to contemplate...