(Written on 6 Sept 2010)
Dear All,
A comment has been made (bt Bob) that there is an African trait whereby African people have the propensity “to fall in line… to readily subscribe to a purpose not in their own interest, but to serve the interests of an elite” and that this trait may well be the single factor, more than anything else, that has led to the sorry state in much of Africa. Zimbabwe was given as an example and it was suggested that the social and economic collapse such as has happened in that country may well be the inevitable outcome of any society based on patronage.
While the Zuma corruption trials were still on I could not work out why people would support a man who, while he was in public office, had actually taken money from a convicted fraudster for no apparent reason. Schabir Shaik had already been convicted. But that was before I had made the connection to the patronage-based society, for in such a society leaders are entitled to “something extra”.
The ANC is a patronage-based organisation and we see the the worst of this system in the way in which the ANC’s cadre deployment has quickly descended into a corrupt network of cronyism and nepotism – all with the silent acceptance of the ANC supporting masses. When the corruption is exposed there is never a sense of outrage – as may be found in Europe – but a sense of acceptance. Jacob Zuma’s extramarital dalliances, dispite his already having four wives and fourteen children, are simply accepted. Robert Mugabe’s rapacious lifestyle and his wife’s lavish spending sprees amid great poverty and deprivation are simply accepted. Why? It is an astounding fact that the ANC has representatives found guilty of defrauding ‘the people’ in the Travelgate scandal who are still sitting on the benches in parliament, still voting and making laws to govern the country!
Is this Africa’s primary liability?