Soon, maybe too soon, another giant of Africa may kiss the dust after Nigeria.
This time around, it is in the southern part of the continent, where South Africa is regrettably trying all its best to ensure it doesn’t miss a date with the dust.
The irony is that the popular African country is playing by the exact script dooming Nigeria. First it was the part of corruption, reckless governance, unemployment, insecurity, investors leaving, and finally the dust.
South African Government (Gov ZA)
The journey of South African government and people from 1994 to date carries the weight of a century. There are areas in the journey that spoke promises of greatness. That was in 1994 when after 21 years in prison, Nelson Mandela emerged to become its first Black president. It also marked the end of Apartheid in the country.
While Mandela was able to record some achievements in the economy and in stabilizing the country’s democracy, one thing he failed to do, was as regards the crime that grew rapidly in the country. In 2002, SA became one of the least lawful places on earth.
More so, he failed to curb the massive corruption that existed in the police system. This also paved way for the crime that has been threatening the country ever since.
Mandela and SA Legislation
The greatest achievement of Mandela is the solid legislation he ensured for the country. Legislation SA ensured by Mandela was driven by the history of the country. This is mostly with regards to the Apartheid period which defined the life of the country in so many ways.
Mandela saw to the 1995 constitution of the republic. The constitution came with will and wing of flying South Africa above other progressive constitutions. It spelled out the rights of humans, equality, and universal voting rights. It as well took a non-racialism and non-sexism stand, as it emphasized the supremacy of the constitution and rule of law.
After Mandela bowed out to a loud applause in 1999, his deputy, Thabo Mbeki took over. SA government under Mbeki began with much promise like every new government. To a large extent, Mbeki kept to his words by ensuring he built a good economy for the country and created employment.
However, Mbeki’s denial of the massive HIV/AIDS reality that was ravaging the continent and his country seemed to be his major undoing. Also, failure to control crime was even a bigger failure on Mbeki’s part. In 2008 Mr. Mbeki resigned for interference in the corruption case of his deputy, Jacob Zuma.
The exit of Mbeki brought in Kgalema Motlanthe, who served in interim capacity until 2009 when Zuma came on board.
Although some people saw some promises in the emergence of Zuma, one needn’t look too close to see there was danger ahead. True, he played a significant role in the end of Apartheid, and true he was significant to the political achievements of ANC, but behind the veil was a man with a huge history of corruption, who was fired from office.
It will be most unfair to claim South African government under Zuma has achieved nothing. When he came, he has in fact made some achievements. The most renowned is how he ensured the aggressive distribution of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to combat HIV/ AIDS.
This is even when he seemed very much clueless about HIV AIDS. He has as well recorded some infrastructural development for the country, more than those behind him.
While Zuma has done some things for the country, the man seems now to be leading the country for the rocks. The major undoing of the man is likely the demon of corruption which still lurks around him like a bad omen.
Time on one hand is finding it really hard to settle earlier cases of corruption the man has raised; he has not failed to raise some more, even by mere involvement with the Gupta family, whose main source of wealth is claimed to be government contracts it got through the influence of Mr. Zuma.
Also, Zuma’s political recklessness in recent times, his inability to cut unemployment and curb crime brought the government of South Africa into its darkest times since 1994, and in fact the entire country into bad times. This adds to the financial crisis the country is passing through.
More than anything, the financial crisis of South Africa is at the gates of Zuma. The man has among other financial errors, treated the office of Minister of finance South Africa with utmost disregard by changing the ministers at will. It is alleged that he is influencing the present crisis the current minister, Pravin Gordan, is passing through.
Zuma’s failures are altogether greater than those of his predecessors and has forced South Africans to ask the most unfortunate question: What is South African government providing and to whom?
The climax of it all is that the country wants Mr. Zuma out. How it will all turn out, only time will tell.