The Centre Cannot Hold

We’ve seen a statesman with multiple wives and a girlfriend(s) with just under 20 kids unashamedly defend his right to engage in extra-marital sex with a friend’s daughter fathering her child. We’ve watched state ‘militia’ in the form of SAPS officials (no excuse me, Commanders and Generals) released on black communities with legitimate cries of undignified neglect, as in the days of apartheid. We’ve seen a student arrested for allegedly pulling a middle finger at a Presidential convoy with no proof, legitimate charges or warrants of arrests whatsoever. We’ve heeded unmet calls to root out corruption at the level of the political elite. Accusations of mob-style politics continue unabated, whilst Mpumalanga is slowly brought to definite paralysis. We’ve heard of calls for closed debates on nationalisation with no assessments of tactical considerations to take the struggle of ownership forward. We’ve witnessed uncritical defense of Julius Malema’s business interests in Limpopo and the sanctioning of comprador capitalism within our ranks. We’ve witnessed gross attack on media freedoms as the YL continued to play tit-for tat games, using bully and gangster-threat tactics to gag those who dare contest them. We’ve sung and chanted “shoot the Boer”, and echoed slogans “skiet daardie kaffir”, amidst promises to build a non-racial, non-sexist and caring society. Need I mention the AWB’s death threats on deluded black South Africa? Nor Malema’s racially-motivated outburst on an unsuspecting BBC reporter “Don’t come here with that white tendency, go out bastard, bloody agent.”? No other sentiment best captures the devolution and degeneration of South Africa’s body politic over time under the watchful guise of the African National Congress, than this poetic caption in Yeats’ ‘The second coming’. Turing and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. These are times of reaction indeed. Things fall apart. The centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon South African society. The abnormal is made normal on abnormal grounds. Therein lies the making of abnormal society. The emergence of extreme right-wing politics, authoritarian democratic demagogy, nationalist chauvinism and narrow populism demonstrates this in anecdotal forms. There is no longer space for critical voices in broader society. Reaction has taken centre stage displacing all forms of progressive politics, muting the hope of a democratic order postured in ready defense of the dignity of all. The base of post-modern SA has its roots in fractured ground.  There is no longer consensus on basic values and what it is that constitutes the shared heritage and our common humanity. There is no leadership, let alone a shared vision of common humanity. Many still hold that justice was sacrificed for sentimental notions of reconciliation and for its own sake. Now the cookie crumbles. What is more unfortunate, however, is that the ruling party no longer represents the best values of humanity, as an embodiment of societies most advanced elements. The ANC itself is often not in keeping with the culture and traditions as well as conduct of cadres and leaders of the ANC. The case of the YL President is a demonstrated anecdote. How then can it hold others to keep with the culture and traditions as well as conduct of cadres and leaders of the new South Africa? To what extent will South Africa contend with gross levels of degeneration, mediocrity and bareness of soul in the ranks of our beloved movement?? What has become of us really?? Let us presume the role of dialectics is at play. The old must die in giving birth to the new. My only hope is that the ruling party, as leader and champion of our best ideals, will allow for critical reflection and self-introspection so that it can purge itself from forces reaction and opportunism that threaten to bring South Africa to its knees in definite paralysis. Till then my heart will continue to sing “Bring back Nelson Mandela. Bring us hope in Soweto. I want to see him walking down the streets. Nelson Mandela”
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Feint & Margin

Feint & Margin is a weekly, online, Pan-African publication featuring writings and thoughts from Ordinary Africans who have Extraordinary minds. We represent the True Voice of the African Citizen.

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