State capture is the ‘original sin’ that saw S. Africa go to the dogs

Monday July 19 2021
South Africa riots.

South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers and South African Police Service officers detain suspected looters at Jabulani Mall in Soweto on July 13, 2021. PHOTO | LUCA SOLA | AFP


The ugly scenes we have witnessed as South Africans burn their own country serve as a reminder, a rude reminder, that we are in a very bad way. That we are sick, very sick.

You could be excused for believing that this country never was the home of anybody who could be mistaken for a great person who could be pointed at with pride and admiration; that all you have ever known among the people from this country were brigands and buckaneers.

That groups will organise to make their country ungovernable and push it to the brink of collapse in an attempt to salvage a political career or the personal freedom of a man or a group of people, is simply unfathomable.

Is this the pinnacle of the corruption that a society has visited on itself, after having become a moral desert created by its own “leaders,” whose acts under Apartheid had inspired such great hopes in the emergence of a glorious new human order that they called Ubuntu?

Or is Ubuntu just a terminological veneer?

South Africa is burning, and it is being burned down by people who only two decades ago could have been made us believe they were heroic icons worth all the laurels the world garlanded them with.


As someone who spent youth campaigning for the Apartheid regime to be dismantled, for Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners to be released, etc, etc, I feel that the former comrades in the ANC have delivered a vicious kick to our teeth.

That they should allow some of their so-called leaders to relieve themselves on the graves of such luminaries as Albert Luthuli, Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko and Madiba is unacceptable, and the scoundrels who have brought us to this ignominious patch must forever be remembered in infamy.

Those of us who had the time to take note of the deterioration of the moral fibre of our so-called “comrades” saw it coming, not slowly but hurtling to the precipice, as we noted the rise of the so-called tenderpreneurs, who soon morphed into state captors, and now to this unspeakable new low, where those who made us believe they were valiant liberators of their country are actually the moral soulmates of Cecil Rhodes, Magnus Malan and Verwoed and Eugene Terreblanche.

There is no colour in evil, just evil.

What is the mental illness that is gnawing at our soul that makes us think that millions of rand are not enough for our appetites... that, like some ravenous Godzilla, we have to devour our whole countries with everything in them before we are satiated?

The sick psyches of those who cannot resist the temptation to grab everything in sight while all the time they knew they were selling their brothers and sisters back into slavery has made all of them irredeemable criminals.

This nonchalance on the part of our South African sisters and brothers should awaken them to a sad, gloomy reality. Despite all the celebrations of 1994, they did not destroy Apartheid; rather, Apartheid took them over through the rand-borne “empowerment” cons that were used to sweet-coat the continuation of the despoliation of the country by other means.

Unfortunately for the South Africans, and for us, these pseudo-empowerment schemes have become so intricately interwoven in the fabric of society and governance structures as to defy any attempt at separating them from what makes the country what it is today.

The moral bankruptcy and decay that the whole world has been documenting hurts all of us as Africans and as Black people all over the world.

When Marcus Rashford and his comrades in the England Europa squad are being sworn at for losing the match at Wembley (and, of course, we protest in behalf of the gallant sportsmen) what greater demonstration is needed to tell you these Africans are somehow not human enough than South Africa today?

The passage of time will maybe heal some of this hurt, but for those who worry about the parade of bouts of rottenness following on each other’s heels, these acts of unhinged behaviour in the South draw a pattern of events taking place all too often to be put down to ill luck.

But maybe there is a little saving grace that we could pluck from the glum picture surrounding us if we allow ourselves a little Jewish folklore to lighten our heavy load.

A reverend in South Africa was suggesting that in order to alleviate the heavy economic load weighing on the poor of the country — what with the pandemic and the looting and burning — there should be a relief package paid for by those who committed the Original Sin, which, for him, is State Capture, which snowballed into the fires of damnation we have been witnessing.

Indeed, it is that Original Sin of State Capture that brought us where we are today. Slapping the curse of Eden on those who allowed Madiba’s state to be taken to the auction might exorcise the multifaceted demons that country is trying to grapple with.

Jenerali Ulimwengu is now on YouTube via jeneralionline tv. E-mail: [email protected]