Everything leading up to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by
Scoundrel No.1 the President a few weeks ago and subsequently has given force to the idea that South Africa is a banana republic.
Social media was abuzz with claims that the beginning of the end had started that horrid day. Those video clips of the bust-up in Parliament was merrily doing the rounds, much to the delight of all those who have over a period of time come to despise this ANC administration (as admittedly, I do too).
But are we really a banana republic?
No. And far from it. However, the daily antics of our politicians, especially those in the ruling governing party will not ease the cries of the nay-sayers. But do we have a democracy then?
No. I’m not convinced that what I’m living every day is actually a functioning democracy. At least not in the traditional sense like those in countries such as Norway and Switzerland say (two random European countries. Extracted from Global Democracy Ranking), based on (1) politics, gender (socio-economic and educational gender equality); (2) economy (economic system); (3) knowledge (knowledge-based information society, research and education); (4) health (health status and health system); (5) environment (environmental sustainability).
As you can see, South Africa is not doing too well; way off the mark actually and declining. But we’re the new kids on the block, so a little leeway should be allowed, right?
No. Instead of making headway to improve our fledgling democracy, the politicians seem to be heading the other way. My experience is that the politicians are too busy looking after numero uno (well
Scoundrel No.1 The President first, then themselves obviously because the system of patronage must be protected) and they have absolutely no compunction in trying to hide it, nor do they show any remorse when caught.
The levels of corruption are so bad, that when the nay-sayers do label this country as a kleptocracy, I have no hesitation in agreeing. It seems so apparent that our politicians are hell-bent on making South Africa the leading kleptocracy in Africa, maybe even the world.
Footnote: Choosing Banana Republic by The Boomtown Rats would have been an obvious choice for my mostly usual Monday music post, but I decided to go with the other one as this post developed into a rant. I Don’t Like Mondays has nothing to do with going back to work on a Monday, or whatever people usually think, but has to do with the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, USA on 29 January 1979, who like our politicians showed no remorse for her actions.