Since last weekend with the incarceration of former South African President, Jacob Zuma (JZ), to begin a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court, South Africa has literally been under siege.
The state of siege in some provinces, notably Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal, has been linked by default or by deliberate ideological malice and twist to the incarceration of JZ. Conspiracy theories have been coming fast and thick, some gaining traction in implicating some South African citizens as agent provocateurs, among them the son of JZ, Duduzane Zuma, for instigating the unrests for own political agenda. A regime change in intent or simply destablilisation. Whatever the conspiracy theories may be, and how correct they may eventually be proven, remain to be seen.
But as we say in journalism a picture is worth a thousand words. Not only this but every picture also has its own story. The visuals of the various scenes of happenings, most which have been marked by ordinary people helping themselves to some earthly possessions speaks volumes. About ordinary people whose lives all along been of high expectations about freedom and independence turned into hopelessness, destitute and not expectation what-so-ever in terms of improved livelihoods. Thus there is more to the official spinning and conspiracy theories about what is unfolding than meets the eye. Because the visuals have been as clear as the naked eye of ordinary people scrambling for things which in the new South Africa they shall ever dream of accessing. To help themselves for once in a while to some basics, to which they do not and have never been offered even the opportunity to be able to ordinarily afford them their own.
Because high unemployment in our southern neighbouring country, said to be in and around 40% or more. And with little to nor prospects in the near foreseeable future of their lot improving for the better.
Yes, some of the people were seen helping themselves to some luxurious goods like LCD televisions and what-have-you. Believe me this is by no means for their own use but to sell at a price good enough for them to be able to afford a piece of bread or meat. Obviously as much as anyone’s immediate need may be just bread and butter, there’s no way when able to lay his/her hands on a set of TV which she/he in turn can sell to be able to afford more loaves, can realistically be expected to let go of such an opportunity. Just like those entrusted in helping them to improve their lot, instead have been putting themselves first through in day light stealing public resources thereby robbing ordinary people of their socio-economic wherewithal.
Yours Truly Ideologically cannot but bleed for the unenviable situation of our southern sisterly neighbouring country, and indeed fellow comrades yesterday in the fight against Capitalist Apartheid South Africa, and today brothers and sisters in arms against neo-Colonial Capitalism. Both countries, more than two decades independent now, are still very much intricately linked. Because of intertwining colonial histories, Apartheid Colonialism and Capitalism, and also today when both have, since 1990 for Namibia, and 1994 for South Africa, still grappling with unshackling the chains of Neo-Colonialism and Capitalism.
So what is unfolding in South Africa lately, cannot but be seen in its proper historic context of Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism and Capitalism. Which Namibia herself cannot otherwise but must take serious note of.
South Africa is edging on the brink of a democratic paralysis. Some may see it as telltales of South Africa now being ready for a revolution. Thus augering well for the many who since the onset of the democratic revolution in 1994, have never genuinely felt free as one ordinary South African citizens expressed himself. “For the first time I really feel free.” This ordinarily is by no means the most patriotic expression by a loyal citizen. But as much as the basics for this citizens has been a luxury, likewise patriotism and nationalism, and all the good sounding words exemplifying and amplifying ones pride for her/his country, have thick and fast been becoming equally a luxury after years of no change and empty promises of radical socio-economic transformation. The telltales have all along been there. But instead they have been met with greediness, aggrandisement, and avarice by those entrusted with public office.
Yes, there may be dark forces of destabilisation. Yes, there may be South African citizens genuine in their believe that their leader, JZ, has had rough justice. Yes, socalled citizens may have been helping themselves to what is presumably not theirs. But the bigger picture surely cannot be all of the above. The bigger and real picture is the growing inequality that the majority of South African citizens have continued to be subjected to. The culprit being entrenched Capitalism. The days of Capitalism may as not be over. But can South African governors still say the clock has not been ticking and still is not ticking? No, they cannot if the latest consequent cry of her impoverished citizens is anything but wake-up call to South African rulers. Surely Namibia has much to learn from what is unfolding in her southern neighbour. Because in many respects the situation of her own citizens is not materially markedly different from their fellows in South Africa.