SA’s future is hanging by a thread. Will it snap this week?

Ideas

SA’s future is hanging by a thread. Will it snap this week?

If our leaders do not step up, we are doomed to join the rogue nations of Africa and Latin America

Columnist

Whether you follow the Good Book or not, there are parts of that literary treasure that are pure poetry, giving us rhythm, beauty, emotion and resonance that speak to our current travails. Such as this verse from the Book of Judges 24: “In those days there was no king in Israel for everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.” Forget Israel and “those days” and welcome to Mzansi.

I don’t think many South Africans realise how crucial this week might be for the future of our democracy. Here you have a former president, allegedly one of the most corrupt and incompetent in our country’s history, threatening to take down our young and fragile constitutional democracy to save his own skin. Surrounded by a rag-tag bunch of supporters, styled as “Zulu regiments” (I know, I too thought such displays of a militaristic tribalism were behind us), and a dishevelled group of so-called war veterans (I know, there was an actual war?), the threat goes way beyond Nkandla.

The apex court delivered its judgment on Jacob Zuma's fate. For reasons I do not understand, he found a way of appealing to another court. The minister of police, Bheki Cele, hoped for direction from the courts. There is no king in Israel and one man does that which is right in his own eyes, without any consequences. President Cyril Ramaphosa is quiet and instead of the government acting on its constitutional responsibility, as in a real democracy, the ANC made all sorts of political calculations about the desirability of action...

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