When he eventually admits defeat – if he isn’t kicked out first as president of South Africa and the ANC – Cyril Ramaphosa will leave a sad legacy….
He will be remembered as South Africa’s – and even one of the world’s great appeasers.
Perhaps, on a par with Adolf Hitler’s plaything, Great Britain’s Neville Chamberlain, who in 1938 allowed the Nazi chancellor to annex a piece of Czechoslovakia, German-speaking Sudetenland, to avoid war with Germany.
In his time as president of South Africa, Ramaphosa has allowed himself to become the plaything – the appeaser of a group of ANC members who brought the country’s great liberation movement to its knees through systematic thievery and rampant corruption.
Ramaphosa has ignored the pithy words of advice of Richelle Goodrich – that no leader should ever ignore….
‘When you worry about what others think of you and then [as a result] you bend to appease them, know that your life is not really yours.
‘It belongs to the people who sway your choices because you let them.’
If, South Africa’s previous president, Jacob Zuma, was part of the group that brought the ANC to is knees, Ramaphosa was the leader of another group – the supposed good guys – who administered the coup de grâce via the application to its jugular of lethal doses of inaction … cowardice … and arrogance.
Under Zuma, the ANC became an organisation of broken promises, of stealing from the poor, and of reducing cities, towns, and villages throughout the country to ruin.
Under Ramaphosa, it became a ‘give-us-one-more-chance’ government … a ‘we-know-who-the-scumbags’ are organisation … and a ‘we-will-not-tolerate-corruption’ state.
But all these promises (if they were that) proved to be glib crap.
For those who had waited for an improvement in their lives from the beginning of democracy, took yet another deep, collective breath – and braced themselves for yet another wait….
Weeks went by.
Then months.
Then years.
And all they got was more theft.
More corruption.
And more broken promises.
Then, even as Ramaphosa traipsed around the country begging (again) for one more chance, we – the vast majority of South Africans – decided: ‘Enough is enough.’
Those who decided that none of the other parties came close to the promise of an anti-racial South Africa, with homes for all, and a promise of employment for all (especially for the young), simply turned their backs on voting in the local government elections.
Their vote – in effect, a decision not to vote – proved devastating for the ANC.
A massive stayaway, tied with a decision by many others to change their party of choice, saw 27 years as kingpins in most of top metros and municipalities in the country come to an abrupt end.
Zuma once said, ‘the ANC will rule till Jesus comes.’
If Jesus has come, he hasn’t been seen yet.
The simpler answer is he hasn’t come, but far too many believed Zuma.
For those of you who are shocked, the question is: ‘Under which rock have you been spending the past decade or so.
‘Or were you also one of those busy bleeding the country dry?
The unseemly fight for power among ALL South Africa’s political parties, suggests (strongly) that things are likely to get much worse before they get better.
In the series of, let us be frank, ugly power struggles that has been waged from the biggest metros to the smallest municipalities, little has been said about plans to repair broken infrastructure, to rein in the thieves, and to servicing the needs of those who really matter in this country – the poorest of the poor.
And this is a great pity….