Cyril Ramaphosa’s ineptitude expresses itself most profoundly in the very areas he promised the nation would define his presidency, says the writer. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News AGency (ANA) Archives"/>
In Dakar, President Cyril Ramaphosa concluded his trip of four African nations by telling reporters that the issues confronting his government in 2021 "combined to produce a single horrific year."
Ramaphosa's own judgement is based on his three lost years in office.
William Sanderson-Meyer succinctly summarizes Ramaphosa's presidency as follows: "Ramaphosa may be physically upright, but he has slid in every direction, like a jelly in an earthquake.
Ramaphosa's incapacity is most evident in the areas he promised the people would characterize his presidency — the economy, job creation, resolving the mess at Eskom and South African Airways, combating corruption, and dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic.
The economy has descended into a tailspin.
Eskom used 130 percent more fuel oil than projected for coal-fired power plants in a single year, according to reports, and "power stations tripped 711 times during the last year — 72 percent more than the previous year."
The pandemic's mismanagement has further compounded the difficulties.
Brian Molefe's devastating evidence before the Zondo Commission set the tone for the year.
Due to the Constitutional Court's misdirection in a case involving former President Jacob Zuma, 2021 was the worst year for civil unrest in the nation since 1994.
A disagreement between former President Zuma and the chairwoman of the Chief Justice Raymond Zondo Commission on State Capture was dishonestly elevated to a constitutional issue.
The disturbance vividly demonstrated the South African democracy experiment's failure.
The Washington Post (July 19, 2021) spearheaded the attack, claiming that South Africa's riots serve as a warning to the rest of the globe.
Although the army was deployed, the unrest caused more than $1 billion in damage and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people during stampedes and battles with police and vigilantes.
Instead of tackling the country's fundamental difficulties, the Ramaphosa administration took the easy way out — hunting for scapegoats.
As the year comes to a close, the latest Gauteng High Court verdict indicates that no lesson has been learned.
2021 will be remembered as the year in which the judiciary demonstrated that it is made up of nasty, egoistic, and vengeful persons.
The statements regarding the Constitutional Court made by Ziyad Motala, Professor of Law at Howard University in Washington, are worth repeating.
Under the guise of executing one of the party's conference decisions, the ANC's National Executive Committee decided that "members accused with corruption or other major offenses must resign within 30 days or face suspension."
For others, this created an opportunity for individuals in government to settle political and personal scores via the employment of state institutions.
Rather than assisting the ANC's rebirth effort, the choice has had the opposite impact.
After 30 days, those who have not been charged may be charged. [This creates] an opportunity for typical state misuse to further a political goal inside the ANC... prosecutors are now in the strongest position to pick who becomes ANC leader, not the branches "'.
The ANC suspended its secretary-general for the first time in its history.
As if that were not bad enough, the party neglected to pay its office staff.
This is an example of a party achieving its own objective.
This sent the electorate the wrong message.
How can a party expect the voters to believe it if it violates the contract it has with its own office employees who also happen to be comrades?
Second, the inability of Ramaphosa's donors to support these workers simply served to reinforce the notion that these financiers are just interested in the party's rapid destruction.
They have shown a readiness to pay R1 billion to Ramaphosa but lack the funds to pay a few millions to ANC employees.
The present leadership has been overly focused with safeguarding white monopoly money to the degree that it has become dismissive of common people.
This has transformed the ANC into a party that is so contemptuous of workers that it has no qualms about flagrantly violating employees' fundamental job standards.
Cosatu's silence and backing of the party in the face of this humiliation add salt to injury.
To be honest, both the ANC and Cosatu have devolved into modern-day security guards for white monopoly money.
Finally, the ANC had its fair desserts.
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