South Africa is a country governed by chaos, violence and malice. There is no rule of law. Just a bunch of civil societies and weak-wine intellectuals pretending that everything is okay – when it really isn’t. We pretend that things are okay now that Jacob Zuma is no longer the President; that Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver us peace and prosperity. We tell ourselves this more from desperation than real belief.
Any half-way observant South African should know that things aren’t getting better. Zuma is gone, but he was just a symptom of a far greater disease. A symptom of a rotten ideology that has beset this country with violence again and again.
South Africa faces a time of strife that we would like to ignore. A time perhaps not as brutal as the original Mfecane, where untold numbers of people were slain in brutal conquest, but potentially just as disruptive.
Since the 1990s, we have faced veritable civil war-levels of violent crime. The so-called People’s War is one such poignant example of how this country does not fulfil the necessary categories to be deemed a functioning state – much less a prosperous and peaceful one.
To this day, all South Africans are beset by violent crime. Even if one isn’t a direct victim, everyone has someone who they know or love that has been a victim – and that trauma spreads. We lie awake at night, startled by every single noise, barking dog or misfired car alarm. This isn’t some baseless paranoia, but necessary vigilance against a country that contains monsters.
The Mfecane of the past was a great upheaval, where many peoples migrated to avoid violence and chaos. Today, the only migrations are from the failed tribal trust lands to the city centres. But where do we run from there? South Africans have their back up against the wall, and the marauders are closing in.
On all levels, South Africa is collapsing.
Our already shockingly incompetent electricity supplier, Eskom, is facing mass illegal strike action as the already overpaid, bloated and useless staff demand more and more. Eskom shouldn’t exist in the first place, as its monopoly position allows it to strangle South Africans who need its essential service. Now, its workers destroy the life-blood of industry and commerce because of their own petulance and greed.
South Africa’s protest culture is just more than petty entitlement, however. It is fuelled by an intense malice and monstrous greed. Protesters, if we can even appropriately call them that anymore, don’t just voice their concerns – they actively destroy, loot and pillage.
Hospitals have been sacked. Major infrastructure blocked. Small towns, guilty of nothing, looted and gutted. Protesters are reported to be bussed in from far and wide to raid and pillage small and defenceless towns. In the cities, gangs are the de facto rulers of city blocks, not at all dissimilar from Somali warlords. Poor South Africans don’t know peace in the fiefdoms of crime lords. The mountains and nature walks, the bastion of recreation for all South Africans, is now a life-risking endeavour as muggers rove the forests and mountainsides, raping and murdering. In the leafy suburbs, where middle class South Africans pretend everything is okay, home invaders, thieves and murderers constantly strike at our delusions of safety. Alarms, ADT and high-walls can only keep us so safe.
When asked “Why? Why destroy so much? Why hurt so many people?” the looters respond that they want houses or services. That they were promised these things by the African National Congress. That they have a right to hurt to get what they want. But the question remains: Why destroy? Why hurt? Why loot? How does burning down a library build a school? How does pillaging a town get you houses? How does your feeling of indignation justify theft, assault and murder?
It doesn’t. And South Africans who follow this creed are monsters. Their looting and genuine feeling of entitlement to other people’s stuff is a part of the same disease that makes South Africa one of the most violent countries in the world.
They say that violent protest is the only way to be heard. But has it solved anything? Has burning down libraries built schools? Has mugging and assaulting paramedics in the townships brought hospitals? Has sacking universities brought free education?
A country where thieves murder and rape as a rule, and not the exception; where loot and wealth isn’t the only priority, but the mutilation and death of innocent victims.
While South Africa continues to descend down into the dark crevasses of chaos and madness, the government fails to do anything. The essential feature of any government is not welfare, or a ministry of sports or regulations; it is the defence and security of its people. And South Africa’s government fails at even that.
We live in a country where our police are robbed of their own firearms in their own stations. A country with a hierarchy of corrupt criminals themselves in government and the police force. A country which only remains seemingly peaceful because of the brave men and women of our private security forces.
But even that won’t be enough.
South Africa is a disease. A crime-ridden disease filled with entitled delinquents who think that their avarice gives them pardon to become beasts.
South Africa is sick. And the malicious and ignorant intellectuals at the helm distract us from its real problems with mystical calls of privilege and post-modern nonsense. We are a country that tolerates the likes of Malema, who openly calls for war and purging.
South Africa’s problem isn’t just a hierarchy of elites sacking the treasury. It is a people that don’t understand how to be people. A society built on pillaging. On hate.
I predicted once that South Africa was approaching either civil war or Soviet-style dictatorship. I add to that: South Africa will continue down the path of a failed state. The African road. Not the blasting immediacy of civil war. Not the long grey death of dictatorship. But the fevered rot of a country that shouldn’t exist.
And through this all, I look at the father who threw his own child off a roof, and I can’t help but realise that South Africa deserves to die. We will soon approach a crossroads where we will need to collectively decide whether to embrace this desert – by continuing down our current path – or whether to veer rightwards and adopt voluntarism, freedom, peace, humility, and productivity as our new defining features.
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