South Africa continues to bleed

Earlier this week I shredded part of my finger while grating cheese. Admittedly, it was a small cut, but it bled non-stop.

No matter how many plasters I stuck on, the wound just kept weeping. It took much longer for the blood to coagulate and finally seal off the bleed. And that got me thinking about our country and the sorry state that it has degenerated into.

The wounds were inflicted quickly, in great, incessant succession. From laughable garden variety cures for HIV through to what seems permanent looting of anything with the prefix rand, that has bankrupted the state.

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The bleeding has not stopped. And it only took one election in 1994 to inflict the gaping wound where no number of plasters under the guise of freedom and equality that could eventually contain the mess made.

The New South Africa, Mandela’s Rainbow Nation. But there’s no pot of gold at the end of the South African rainbow, only a bucket of empty promises and mindless sloganeering and rhetoric. We are all tired of this.

At least we have won a few sporting titles in the past quarter of a century. But Mexican waves and flag waving at the Bokke don’t conceal the reality that we are on the brink of becoming just another failed State.

Knee deep in foreign debt. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon’s biblical dream offers unexpected lesson. In that dream, a giant statue is seen with a head of gold, but beneath it, weaker and less valuable metals all suspended on feet of clay, strengthened by iron.

If Madiba was the head, we must already be by the feet. And the gigantic effigy of the Republic is wobbling on its feet. Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment has also turned out to have a rather narrow impact. From the outside, looking in, I see a thin band of political glitterati and suited up cadres enjoying more than their fair share of the spoils.

Across the highway from their glitzy Sandton headquarters, NGOs struggle to make ends meet providing nutrition, education and healthcare to the people of Alexandra.

We are in the poo, and at the police barracks in Kempton Park, the cops literally live among the spoils of poorly maintained facilities. A few blocks away, a roofless ruin of what looked like quite a nice suburban home, at some point in the past, is watched over by two security guards.

Public Works owns the building, but it’s as neglected as the taxpayers’ s whose asset it really is. Just like state hospitals, home affairs, Eskom, SAA, Denel, Sanral, our rail system and the Blue Train.

The Zondo state capture report is likely to become more of a reflection on what South Africans once had, as I expect not a single indictment will emanate from its recommendations.

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s R150 million Digital Vibes scandal will be long forgotten as his party voice is growing louder again. This week he accused the ANC of factionalism and had the cheek to suggest that not all thieves are equal, and that some were clearly more equal than others in the ruling party.

Last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that R1.5 trillion was stolen from the fiscus over five years. The statement came and went. We have had commissions of inquiry, a Special Investigating Unit that reports into the top office in the land, but we have false teeth in the bite.

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