- "The so called Rainbow Nation was a mirage. Until they address the inequalities, fundamental questions and issues that led to their struggle for independence, South Africa will be in cyclical problems. It is unfortunate that South Africans were sold a dummy at the CODESA talks leading to independence in 1994..." - LEAD President Linda Masarira.
By Felix Chiroro and Mutsa Makuvaza
FIREBRAND Zimbabwean opposition politician Linda Masarira reckons that the ongoing violent protests in South Africa arose because the people there are still living in oppression and have realized that political leaders have not empowered them to run the South Africa economy.
The violence flared up in the province after the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma on Wednesday after he was sentenced to a 15-month imprisonment term for contempt of court. The protests erupted in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, but have since spread across major cities as anger against Government rises.
While South African President Cyril Ramaphosa played the tribal card and blamed “ethnic mobilisation” for the protests, Masarira says the the issue goes beyond tribes as “the generality of the South African masses that are living pathetic lives in desperation, poverty, hunger, (and) joblessness”.
“It’s not just the Zulus, it’s the generality of the South African masses that are living pathetic lives in desperation, poverty, hunger, joblessness and in a continuous state of debt with no hope for relief at all,” argued LEAD president Linda Masarira.
“The so called Rainbow Nation was a mirage. Until they address the inequalities, fundamental questions and issues that led to their struggle for independence, South Africa will be in cyclical problems. It is unfortunate that South Africans were sold a dummy at the CODESA talks leading to independence in 1994.
“Native South Africans are still living in oppression and have realized that it is not yet uhuru as black people are not empowered to run the South Africa economy. The economic crisis is South Africa was already tinder dry and needed a spark to ignite and let the pent out force out… the fundamental question of the revolution is still unanswered and now is the time to correct the wrongs and to give black people in South Africa economic power.”
Masarira’s view is supported by Statistics South Africa which said that South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to a new record high of 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021. The government has done little to nothing to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the poorest of the poor, said the report.
Burning debris blocked main highways, infrastructure was damaged, and shops were looted. At least nine people died in the unrest – three of them in KwaZulu-Natal. A total of at least 30 people have died. On Monday, the municipality closed health facilities and vaccination sites amid the chaos.
Masarira said apart from judges and political leaders, the media in South Africa is also captured by “settler colonial capital” which seeks to create this crisis as an illusion of the current government versus the Zulus in a bid to perpetuate the apartheid divide and rule mindset.
Said Masarira: “The deep state or the vested South African media controlled by Settler Colonial Capital and vested interests wants to create this crisis as an illusion of the current government versus the Zulus in a bid to perpetuate the apartheid divide and rule mindset. Unfortunately the native South African isijikile and need core issues that affect their livelihoods addressed.
“The judiciary inflamed their innate pent up frustrations and anger and this out of context judicial dictatorship and judicial activist judgement was the spark they needed to release their pent up feelings. The law has to be applied in a proper context and foresee the likely ramifications of their judgements. If learned judges behave like they are applying a text book or theoretical judgement then they are simply perpetuating a settler colonial legal jurisprudence.
“The law or judgements are not an illusion but should also forsee and be implemented within historical and legal parameters anchored on and in the historical context of each environment.”
A 2018 World Bank report on poverty and inequality in South Africa found that previously disadvantaged South Africans, blacks in particular, hold fewer assets, have fewer skills, earn lower salaries and are still more likely to be unemployed. Masarira says that South African judiciary needs a total overhaul to reflect and be embedded in the post 1994 dispensation.
“The deep state and old money are playing havoc in RSA and trying to subvert the people’s will, hence the current morass and general mayhem prevailing. My simple analysis being that we can not simply frame this as a Zulu nations versus other ethnic formations in the current scheme of things lest we fall into the colonial trap of analysing the nature of the post colonial state. It is in my view, broader than that.
“We can hypothecate and interrogate this question further at a later stage'” said the LEAD president. “If they’re not careful the construct of the RSA state as we currently know it may disintegrate Soviet style. South Africa is a country waiting to disintegrate Soviet style or Yugoslavia style, with an underhand of Western and Settler Colonial manipulation.
“Cyril Ramaphosa is their creation and his factional acolytes captured the state and it’s arms, now look where they’ve taken the so called ” rainbow nation”. We need to analyse and frame what is happening in RSA with a deep forensic eye and mind. Inequalities and discrimination abounds in RSA, the promised land has not been reached yet and the people are now seeing beyond the facade.”
She also highlighted that had what is happening in South Africa been occurring in Zimbabwe, white capital owners across the Limpopo would have pounced on Zimbabwe with all their mighty propaganda machinery.
“In essence I think that RSA needs a total judicial and system overhaul and transformation. Codesa was an epitome of a revolution deferred, now the internal dynamics are playing out with ghastly and terrible consequences. If it was Zimbabwe, they would have been all over all news sites singing human rights abuses, rule of law or whatever theoretical hegemonic textbook lectures. How many civilian protestors have been shot dead in South Africa so far?
“SA media is reporting about 26 and we all know they are more than that and today my question is where are the so called Human Rights defenders or Western Press now in RSA when people are being hunted down and gunned by Settler Colonial vigilantes? Where are the statements from embassies? These gun totting vigilantes are wrecking havoc writ large and the Western world, so called world policemen are not commenting or condemning these outright human rights violations.”
Writing in the Mail and Guardian, Aluwani Chokoe, an analyst, seemed to agree with Masarira. She blamed unequal economic opportunities for the anger of the poor in SA against the rich capitalists who lord it over them.
“Though the debates are centred around the imprisonment of the former president of both the ANC and the country, the people are frustrated by their material conditions, which continue to worsen,” said Chokoe. “At least some of the looting is as a result of hunger, as is evidenced by the stealing of essentials such as maize meal. The reality is that many people live from hand to mouth, to going to bed on an empty stomach.”
Masarira says the South African government must deal with the deep underlying structural defects in the architecture of the RSA economy and ensure that all black people have opportunities to wealth creation.
“The SA judiciary should not pander to the whims of settler colonialism. The fundamental national questions needs answers now. The South Africa constitution is too theoretical, CODESA was just a compromise. If South African leaders want to fix the crisis in South Africa they have to be sincere and deal with redistribution of wealth, address inequalities and be sincere in empowering all native South Africans. Leadership in South Africa need wisdom to deal with the crisis bedevilling RSA right now” she adds. – Zimbabwe Voice