The End of Kleptocracy in South Africa? Not Likely


After South Africans received a welcome late evening Valentine’s Day gift in the form of Jacob Zuma resigning as President, many South Africans took to social media in jubilation, and rightly so. South Africans expressed joy that the man that has held our country hostage for the past nine years was finally gone. Unfortunately, however, this is not the end to South Africa’s woes, despite what many seem to believe, as manifested by our currency exchange improvement.

South Africa’s problems are deeper and vaster than one man. This is in no way better highlighted than the debacle that our country has been through since Cyril Ramaphosa became the President of the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC did not recall Zuma because of the 783 corruption charges against him, Nkandla or state capture, nor did they recall him because of the literally billions of rands wasted through Eskom, Prasa, the SABC, or SAA.

SEE ALSO: Zuma is Gone – But That Doesn’t Even Begin To Solve South Africa’s Problems by Nicholas Woode-Smith

The ANC recalled him simply to do damage control for the coming elections in 2019. They needed a new face on their taxpayer-sponsored green, yellow and black posters to trick voters into thinking that this is a new ANC, rising out of the ashes created by their previous leader. The ANC is trying to simultaneously condemn their former leader while also thanking him for his service and principled leadership during the past two terms as head of state. Surely they must realise that most South Africans see through this hypocrisy?

Despite Zuma now being unemployed, his cronies remain. This, however, is not the biggest threat facing our country. These cronies will be shipped out, redeployed and moved out by the new administration. What remains is the same ideology that created the mess we dealt with during the past decade. As a country, we are still not safe from this ideology just yet.

The problems in the ANC was and is not Msholozi. The problems in the ANC are much larger. The same members of the ANC who now proudly sit in command of the party after removing Zuma and his power-base were present during Zuma’s tenure. The same parliamentarians who were planning on voting out Zuma in a motion of no confidence were the ones who voted with confidence in Zuma a mere six months ago.

It must also be noted that Zuma was not the cause of the problem. It was not merely the former president who created this environment for plundering and theft within our government. Cyril Ramaphosa, who is to many is our supposed knight in shining armour, is implicated in corruption scandals dating from during and before Zuma’s occupancy of the Union Buildings.

In South Africa we are faced with an ideology that believes that bigger is better when it comes to government. We believe that the solution to our social and economic problems is to continuously entrust the same positions that fail and disappoint us with more and more power. This creates an enabling environment for more looting, the only variable being those who are on the receiving end of the economic ransacking.

As long as we continue to tolerate great amounts of power vested intone position and, in effect, one person, then the kleptocracy in South Africa will continue.