SA must not embrace post-colonial formula for Africa’s degradation

Oupa Ngwenya

History, it seems, is teaching the world nothing.

The African continent, by acquiescence of its 54 countries to divide and conquer colonial machinations, appears not to have learnt nothing either.


If they did, the everlasting strife afflicting Africa would not be repeating itself with such a gory frequency to be a permanent feature of what life is about on the continent.

To Africa’s fractured image, flags never fail gracing the skies.

National anthems chant short-lived harmony at periodic sporting games of national importance and at the state of nation addresses by which incoming presidents pledge to uphold their country’s constitutions – putting their best foot forward at election time but all reduced to zero once in office.

And imperial empires cannot just get enough plundering Africa’s resources and “manufacturing dissent for regime change”.

First to be overthrown in a military coup d’état was Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah on February 24 1966. Then came the murder of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) prime minister Patrice Lumumba, ousted by a firing squad on January 17 1961.

Lumumba’s excruciating end has neither stirred the soul of Belgium nor a collection of its colonial counterparts.


A Belgian police commissioner, Gérard Soete, who cut to 34 pieces Lumumba’s remains, burnt, and dissolved them in acid to keep body parts as a souvenir, lived to a bouncing age of 80 as a free citizen.

He became an author, and openly declared in an interview that he had no remorse for the macabre and brutish manner he desecrated Lumumba’s body.

Soete died on June 9 2000. On September 10 2000, a Belgian court ruled that a tooth and finger bones taken from Lumumba’s remains be returned to DRC’s first elected leader’s family.

Like Soete, the unrepentant colonial empires, addicted to pillaging, installing, and dethroning regimes, stoically shut the doors close to memories of their dastard deeds, continuing to act as if it were business as usual.

Be it francophone, lusophone or anglophone, the post-colonial formula for Africa’s degradation remains unchanged.

None should be surprised that Mali’s sterling example of breaking loose from France’s colonial apron strings hardly caused salutary attention from the conflicted media.

Media editorial thought processes were just as entranced in enhancing coloniality mentality to appreciate the decoloniality tone Mali was heralding for their country, and Africa.

Whether history has taught Africa anything for critical evaluation of its own standing in multilateral organisations ranging from the UN, World Health Organisation, World Bank, IMF, including a section of the African Union (AU) hierarchy, it is a matter that continues to remain unclear.

Saddled with limping democracies whose paths are littered with landmines set to explode under unjust ruling African elites, the AU is nevertheless obligated to observe governments come and go by way of competing contestants eager to be presidents over starving citizens.

Even then, the will of the people remains prisoner to multilateral bodies, whose colonial hangover has become an obstacle to Africa’s liberation project.

Poised to imagine and redefine the world anew, Brics now has sand blown to its eyes by way of a contrived warrant for arrest of Russia’s Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Ironically, the warrant was at the promptings of the US and the UK – both of whom do not subscribe to the International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction, but are not blameless for crimes that have helped put Iraq and Libya to waste.

The lies that justified the invasion of Iraq and manufactured discontent that led to Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi’s demise did not trigger a warrant from the ICC.

Bereft of evenhandedness and unimpeachable probity, the ICC is no paragon of virtue for the enforcement of international law.

The very ICC dragooned to inundate South Africa with a Putin warrant in 2023, is the same organisation that was read a riot act by former US security advisor John Bolton and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo never to touch any of its US citizens in Iraq and Libya in a conflict the US fomented without any proportional provocation.

The ICC recoiled in supplication to admonitions that would have included its judges, officials, and family members.

South Africa is now conscripted to shoulder a US/Europe/North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) dominant view by putting on spectacles denying a full view of an unfolding changing world order.

This dominant view obscures the 30% discount of oil, gas, and fertilizers on offer to Brics member states that India has leveraged and pays in rupees.

That is a story the US/Europe/Nato triumvirate hates for South Africa to hear. The story the unsuspecting public is breastfed relates to Putin warrant of arrest to the total eclipse of benefits deriving to Brics member states.

South Africa dare not be a faltering doubting Thomas, disbelieving the defining moment of a changing world order that Brics presents.

Ngwenya is a corporate strategist, writer and freelance journalist

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