I see the South African government and middle class, developing an air of arrogance around the Zuma issue, but my fear is this maybe a gross miscalculation of the destitution of the masses and loss of hope which are converging into resentment for the gatekeeping ruling black elite, that will ignite a revolution.
Firstly, the same angry masses that the white super structure are driving their gatekeepers to provoke today, are the same stock who drove the Defiance Campaign against the apartheid regime in the 1950s; the Sharpville protests of 1960, June 16 in 1976 and the bombing of SASOL fuel tanks in 79, against a much better prepared, insulated, stronger and more brutal nuclear power.
What is even more concerning is this government has many powerful enemies within, which include supporters of Jacob Zuma in the intelligence, VIP protection, army, police, civil service and those banished from this exclusionary white economy, ready to pour the resources to ignite this crisis.
On this continent where South Africa has sabotaged many nations, there are bitter, duplicitous leaders who are itching to help light the fuse to set South Africa alight as she has done to other countries.
It’s no secret that the richest country on the continent has few friends on the continent, many enemies and competitors, especially now that it smells more and more like an outpost of neo-colonialism.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world there are many powerful countries seeking a foothold in South Africa, who might feel that it’s easier to gain that hold by arming a faction within in such chaos. Think of Congo and the fact that Kagame (who has no diplomatic relations with South Africa) and others are deploying their troops with loads of weapons a stone-throw away in Mozambique shortly.
I know that it’s tempting for the SA government and its middle class to look down upon these masses as a bunch of toyi toying recalcitrants who can be easily contained. But remember how Sharpville and June 16 started against a powerful white elite and how these events became the beginning of the end of apartheid?
The hooliganism we are seeing now is being orchestrated by politicians who are fighting for their very existence, and any good politician is just a dispute away from being a warlord. Sadly, in this fight, many a smart politician have been left outside in the cold, with the threat of also losing their freedom hanging over their heads.
So, the reality is many of these leaders are forced to push the fight for Zuma and may even turn into warlords to stave off their own future incarceration on an inequitable and unjust precedence being tested on Zuma now.
And these leaders are not alone, they are covertly backed by a huge section of black entrepreneurs who see the arrest of Zuma as an attack on radical economic transformation by whites who seek to consolidate their monopoly over the economy by sidelining black businesses.
More insidious, is the fact that within the corridors of the executive, are very ambitious kings and king makers in waiting, who have their fingers on the pulse of the nation, ready to exploit any interregnum in what is quickly becoming a game of throwns.
Anything is possible in chaos. Many civil wars on the continent were started by South African mercenaries, precisely because of chaotic situations in which evil men and well meaning men found common ground to remove a prevailing autocracy.
The current South African order that has maintained apartheid, is untenable and antithetical to African decolonization and progress. So it’s guaranteed that many African governments are ready to secretly throw their lot into this fight, creating a very volatile situation.
If I was to hasten a guess, what is happening in the country now has been planned for already over the years and chances are the ones behind the escalation already have backers on standby. There are also strong chances that the usual funders of African revolutions against imperialism are ready to offer their assistance too.
For these reasons, I urge the South African government and the aloof middle class, to put their self interest aside and stop pretending that rule-of-law is when a country in which whites who perpetrated a crime against humanity are rewarded by being allowed to keep stolen property, while blacks who seek to take back some of their stolen property are criminalized.
South Africa, end these war games for crumbs falling from the white man’s table while he cuts your golden goose and dialogue as comrades with the common interest of destroying apartheid injustice, before those who seek opportunity in turmoil, make their move.
Remember that the apartheid order which is behind this impasse was defeated before and only resurrected by the compromised black elite who took stakes in its criminal enterprises. Such an unjust system against the majority will never become legitimate even if it has coopted a few black elites into its ranks.
Instead, it will become more repugnant to a point of radicalizing a once complacent class of peasants who were hypnotized by the illusion of the rainbow nation, to turn into a revolutionary horde determined to eat the rich.
By Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare of ZASM.