By Professor Sipho Seepe
© Provided via Independent Online (IOL)
Concluding his tour of 4 African international locations in Dakar, President Cyril Ramaphosa advised newshounds that challenges confronted via his management in 2021 “blended to create just a catastrophic year”.
No more true words could have been stated.
Ramaphosa’s very own evaluation builds at the three years wasted years of his reign.
The shift from Ramaphoria to Ramaruin has been dramatic. The biblically willing pick Ramageddon in reference to Armageddon – the term “utilized in a commonplace experience to refer to any give up of worldwide situation”.
Ramaphosa became brief to point out: “Nonetheless, I’m nevertheless status, and ready for the next spherical.”
William Sanderson-Meyer sums up Ramaphosa’s presidency as: “Ramaphosa may additionally certainly be physically vertical however in each different manner he’s been slip-sliding, like a jelly in an earthquake, in each course. It’s difficult to think about a single promise that he’s added upon in a majority of these 4 years.” (Cyril’s catastrophic year, The Citizen, December eleven, 2021).
Ramaphosa’s ineptitude expresses itself maximum profoundly inside the very regions he promised the nation could define his presidency – the financial system, process introduction, finding out the mess in each Eskom and the South African Airways, corruption-busting and the coping with of Covid-19 pandemic.
The financial system has long gone on a downward spiral. The outlook remains bleak. Unemployment has rocketed. Youth unemployment worsened to seventy four.7%. Eskom seems to be crumbling speedy. Reports indicate that, in only 12 months, Eskom used 130% greater gas oil than anticipated for coal-fired strength stations and “energy stations tripped 711 times over the past 12 months – seventy two% greater than the previous 12 months”.
For his component, Tony Leon, the former leader of the DA aptly describes Ramaphosa’s leadership at the financial system as just “massive talk but it’s all fantasy economics … (and regardless of] the fanciful guarantees, on Cyril Ramaphosa’s watch, debt provider charges and public provider salary invoice now gobble up 79c of each tax rand.”(Business Day, May 27, 2021).
If the outcome of the neighborhood authorities elections is some thing to move by using, it would appear that the citizens is not buying into Ramaphosa's large communicate. Indeed, no quantity of spin-doctoring with the aid of embedded journalists can store Ramaphosa.
An sincere baby-kisser would hold up the gloves. Twenty-two months ago, Isolezwe, the biggest every day newspaper in KwaZulu-Natal, with a readership of 339 000 become blunt in its description of Ramaphosa’s overall performance when it proclaimed Iqiniso malingafihlwa, uhlulekile uRamaphosa (permit the reality not be hidden, Ramaphosa has failed). This statement became made in February 2020 before the onset of Covid-19. The mishandling of the pandemic has handiest exacerbated the challenges.
The yr started ominously with Brian Molefe’s damning testimony earlier than the Zondo Commission. Molefe argued, below oath, that in his tenure as chairperson of the War Room hooked up to solve demanding situations dealing with Eskom, Ramaphosa might also have used his role to do the bidding for multinational agencies on the cost of each Eskom and the us of a.
Molefe charged that it turned into underneath Ramaphosa that "Eskom control and Glencore were inside the manner of subverting phase 38(1)(c)(i) of the PFMA. The quantity that Glencore desired Eskom to pay for his or her unique mistake of now not doing due diligence become R8 billion". A simple denial by way of Ramaphosa is woefully inadequate.
Thanks to the misdirection by way of the Constitutional Court in a matter involving the previous president Jacob Zuma, 2021 changed into a yr wherein the united states suffered the worst social unrest considering 1994. A squabble among the former president Zuma and the chairperson of the Chief Justice Raymond Zondo Commission at the State of Capture, performing became dishonestly was a constitutional rely. Throwing the guideline e book out, Justice Zondo not noted the Commission Act which established the very fee he chaired.
The Commissions Act of 1947 is obvious concerning how a refusal without simply motive need to be treated. Section 6. (1) “Any person summoned to wait … who, with out sufficient motive (the onus of evidence whereof shall rest upon him) fails to attend ... Shall be responsible of an offence and accountable on conviction to a fine now not exceeding fifty pounds or to imprisonment for a length not exceeding six months, or to both such excellent and imprisonment.”
In this case Zuma had just and sufficient motive. Zuma went as a ways as accommodations an enchantment to check Zondo’s refusal to recuse himself. Zondo and the Constitutional Court selected to ignore Zuma’s evaluation software. As a end result, masses of South African lives would no longer were lost.
The July social unrest hogged media headlines the world over featuring inside the the front pages of the Time Magazines, New York Times and The Washington Post. The unrest poignantly exposed the failure of the South African democratic experiment. The Washington Post (July 19, 2021) led the rate with the aid of pronouncing that South Africa’s riots are a caution to the sector.
The paper cited: "The celebrated ’rainbow kingdom' is the worldwide poster child of financial inequality, in which deep poverty sits inside the shadow of astronomical wealth. What came about in South Africa is what takes place while the gross inequality that shapes an entire society boils over … Major highways have been blocked, vans burned, shops or even colleges and medical places of work ransacked. The navy turned into deployed, but the upheaval still wreaked greater than $1 billion in harm and led to ratings being killed amid stampedes and clashes with police and vigilantes. Even as the dust settles, there’s the prospect of further ache. Hunger and food shortages in a few areas had been a problem earlier than the riots — thank you, in component, to coronavirus lockdowns as the Delta variant surges via the united states — however now danger being exacerbated through the havoc."
Instead of addressing the us of a’s structural challenges, the Ramaphosa authorities selected the easy way out – looking for scapegoats. As the year attracts to a near, the present day judgment via the Gauteng High Court suggests that no lesson has been learnt.
2021 will pass down in records because the 12 months in which the judiciary proved itself to be composed of people who are spiteful, egoistic and vindictive. The remarks by means of Ziyad Motala, Professor of Law on the Howard School Washington, approximately the Constitutional Court are well worth repeating. In his article “What has long gone incorrect with our Constitutional Court?” (Sunday Times, August 19 2021) Motala efficaciously argues that current judgments of the Constitutional Court “smack of personal predilections and politicking ... [and] we were inattentive to the overall performance and at times sloppy jurisprudence emanating from our maximum court … Of past due, a few important court docket choices constitute a prattle of nonsense leading to whispers that our apex courtroom at instances tasks itself as a junior moot courtroom bench”.
Pointing to the prevalence of gross incompetence afflicting the judiciary Motala concludes ominously that “making up of stuff from skinny air based totally on the private predilections of the judges, like the Constitutional Court is haemorrhaging into lower court selections”.
On the political the front, 2021 marked the inevitable give up of the ANC as we are aware of it. Under the pretext of enforcing one of the birthday celebration’s conference resolutions, the National Executive Committee of the ANC took a decision that “individuals who have been charged with corruption or different critical crimes must step apart inside 30 days, failing which they have to be suspended”.
For a few, this opened an possibility for the ones deployed in government to use kingdom organs to settle political and personal scores. Far from contributing to the ANC’s renewal challenge, the choice has had a chilling impact. Professor Chris Malikane, of the University of Witwatersrand, efficiently located that “charging is a kingdom motion .. .A few will not be charged and others will be charged. Those that are not charged can be charged after 30 days. [This opens] a manner for classic abuse of the state to pursue a political time table inside the ANC … the prosecutors are now in the maximum powerful function to determine who becomes ANC chief and no longer the branches”.
For the first time in its records the ANC suspended its secretary-trendy. The constitutional provision that each one are presumed harmless till established in any other case had grow to be politically inconvenient. The suspension weakened the workplace answerable for marshalling the necessary forces in an election 12 months. As if that turned into no longer sufficient, the party failed to pay its office workers. This is a case of a party scoring its personal purpose. This sent a incorrect message to the citizens. If a celebration fails to honour the agreement that it has with its very own office workers who additionally take place to be comrades, how can it assume the citizens to agree with it?
Secondly, the failure by means of the Ramaphosa benefactors to come to the assistance of those employees simplest served to cement the view that those funders have simplest come to the birthday celebration to make sure its speedy loss of life. They have shown willingness to fork out a R1bn for Ramaphosa however don't have any money to fork out a few thousands and thousands for the ANC workers. That on its personal need to no longer come as a surprise seeing that some of the funders encompass the ones who have publicly declared themselves as combatants of ANC.
The current leadership has been too preoccupied in protecting white monopoly capital to the quantity that it has been disdainful of regular people. This has transmogrified the ANC into a celebration that is disdainful of people to the extent that it has no qualms to flagrantly violate employees’ primary situations of employment.
The silence and endorsement of the party by using Cosatu to this ignominy adds insult to the damage. If reality be told, each ANC and Cosatu have decreased themselves to be nothing more than the cutting-edge-day security guards of white monopoly capital.
In the cease, the ANC got its simply deserts.
*Seepe is deputy vice-chancellor, Institutional Support on the University of KwaZulu-Natal
** The views expressed right here may not be that of IO
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