Will this week be South Africa’s Berlin Wall Moment?

In hindsight, will the first week of November 2016 represent such a critical moment in South Africa’s fractious history? From a noble ideal to remove the shackles of apartheid from the majority of South African citizens, the ANC has descended into a cesspit of venality, corruption and the abuse of the organs of state for nefarious purposes. 

Yet this week has already witnessed the unravelling of implicit and unwavering support for the ANC by even its most ardent stalwarts.

 As such, could this month, which commenced so auspiciously for democracy in South Africa, be the advent of a new dawn? 

 Main picture: South Africa is burning, a metaphor for corruption, malefeasance and the capture of the organ of state

Even before the commencement of the corrupt Zuma era, the ANC leader was facing two charges, one a charge of rape against the daughter of a friend and 783 charges of corruption. The ANC has failed South Africa spectacularly in promoting a person like Zuma to the President of not only the ANC but also South Africa.

Under his watch, South Africa has witnessed a plunder fest of gargantuan proportions with the ANC complicit in this corruption due to the culture of impunity prevalent within the ANC.


In an illustrative article by Lily Gosam entitled “Zuma’s last five years – 106 400 bent officials and R293.5bn unaccounted for” focuses a spotlight on not only the scale of government graft but also the state ‘investigators’ inability to bring looters to book.


                                     Estimate based                        Associated:               

                                    on total misspend                   Estimate Value

Dismissed                    50 500 officials                      R139.3 billion

Fined                            13 000 officials                      R  36.0 billion

Demoted                       4 000 officials                       R  10.9 billion

Final Warnings           27 200 officials                       R  75.1 billion

Prosecuted                 11 700 officials                       R 32.2 billion

                            106 400 officials                      R293.5 billion

Furthermore at no stage has Jacob Zuma displayed an ounce of leadership ability. This was even evident before his appointment as President. Whenever he was confronted to explain his vision for the future of South Africa, he clearly stated that he would be bound by what the leadership collective wanted him to do. Like an empty vessel, he could merely regurgitate bland anodyne statements.


Ever since his appointment, Zuma has been mired in controversy. With the support of the ANC’s executive, Zuma has never been brought to account. The process of the undermining the various government departments & SOEs has continued apace.

The villains of the piece have been the following:

  • NPA – Shaun Abrahams, Nomgcobo Jiba, Lawrence Mrwebi
  • Hawks – Lieutenant-General Berning Ntlemeza
  • Police
  • IPID
  • SARS – Tom Moyane
  • SABC – Hlaudi Motsoeneng
  • SAA – Dudu Myeni
  • Prasa
  • Eskom
  • Denel
Sipho Pityana

Sipho Pityana – a leader of the Save South Africa Campaign

Only the past few months, South Africa has produced a whole array of new heroes. The following people are among them

  • Sipho Pityana
  • Vytjie Mentor
  • Jonas Mcebisi
  • Vlok Symington
  • Pravin Gordhan
  • Johann Booysens

Today’s Save South Africa campaign combined with the potential release of the much anticipated report by the Public Protector could be the spark that frees South Africa from Zuma’s strangle hold on South Africa.


The next problem that needs to be fixed

What provides me with hope for the future is not some vain hopes but rather that ANC stalwarts have joined with other South African civil society organisations in proposing that Jacob Zuma step down. With the intellectual core of the ANC joining in common cause with the ANC’s political opponents to request Zuma’s removal, one can have cause for optimism.


The forces of darkness and evil in South Africa, with Zuma as its epicentre, have overplayed its hand in the Pravin Gordhan case. This has galvanised the ethical leaders within the ANC to openly rebel against his leadership. The fight back to decency, honestly and accountability has commenced.

Pravin Gordhan

Pravin Gordhan

The process of reclaiming these values will be arduous and will not simply involve the removal of Zuma but firstly thereafter the removal of the tainted top leaders of SOEs and government departments.

I propose that South Africans embark upon some new twitter campaigns: #783 referring to the number of charges that Zuma has so far evaded by nefarious means and #IntegrityMustRise that must emphasise the restoration of ethical behaviour in South Africa.

Yet, this campaign is merely passive. That is the way of the coward, the complainer and buck passer. Are such people not complicit in the current impasse like the obedient subservient ANC senior members?


Under such dire circumstances, active citizenry is not only obligatory on all South Africans of all political persuasions but rather a duty.

For not to do so, would be to dishonour the constitution.


Recall the words that Pastor Martin Niemoller uttered in despair during Nazi rule in Germany:


“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

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