July 29, 2021

WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING? South Africa Is Falling Apart.

At the heart of the discord is the ruling African National Congress. In the 27 years since it steered South Africa to democracy, it has carried the hopes of millions of South Africans. Drawing on its reputation as the party of liberation, it has strong support and remains electorally unassailable. But it has now become squarely a source of division. A devastating battle for its soul is underway, with the country as the battlefield.

Though the A.N.C. always promoted the rise of a Black elite, Mr. Zuma’s presidency, beginning in 2009, changed the focus: The state, rather than the market, became the main site for opportunity and enrichment. A spurious ideology of “Radical Economic Transformation,” spun as a radical challenge to South Africa’s white-dominated private sector, provided rhetorical cover for corruption and patronage.

Let’s hope that South Africans don’t wind up like Zimbabweans under Mugabe: Black Zimbabweans nostalgic for era of white rule:

An elderly peasant in another village, Makupila Muzamba, said that hunger today is worse than ever before in his seven decades or so, and said: “I want the white man’s government to come back. Even if whites were oppressing us, we could get jobs and things were cheap compared to today.”

His wife, Mugombo Mudenda, remembered that as a younger woman she used to eat meat, drink tea, use sugar and buy soap. But now she cannot even afford corn gruel. “I miss the days of white rule,” she said.

Nearly every peasant I’ve spoken to in Zimbabwe echoed those thoughts.

But Mugabe was never demonized by the Western media the way say, Augusto Pinochet — who brought freedom and prosperity to his own country — was.

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