EDITORIAL: ANC undoing legacy of the Madiba project

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa received the final instalment of the State Capture Inquiry report from Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. It was, in many ways,  a day of shame for the country.

At the onset of our constitutional democracy, former president Nelson Mandela led an ANC government that promised “a better life for all”, a promise encapsulated in a document known as the Reconstruction and Development Programme.

The sole aim of the programme was to be a pathfinder for justice and human dignity for all the people of this country, and an instrument to lead the country to prosperity and not abject poverty.

For nearly five centuries or more, black people suffered an injustice of great proportions at the hands of colonial masters and apartheid oppressors. The protracted struggle for liberation by various political and social formations  was an effort to release the oppressed from the yoke of bondage and human suffering for which many paid with their lives.

Did they die in vain?

Sadly, the final Zondo report seems to suggest they did. It is difficult to see its dividends in light of what the report has told us about widespread corruption in the country.

The report projects the ANC-led government as mired in wrongdoing and having failed to live up to the promises of the constitution and the ideals of the Madiba land.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has not covered himself in glory.

He acquiesced to evil by turning a blind eye to the corruption unfolding during his tenure as former president Jacob Zuma’s deputy.

The Zondo report meticulously tells us without pulling punches that the ANC has failed South Africa.

Ramaphosa, to save his skin, peddled lies in his testimony to the commission, because he lacked the integrity and guts to call his errant comrade president to order when he strayed from the path of good governance.

The ANC skirmishes waged at its regional and provincial elective conferences are not in pursuit of any noble cause envisioned by Madiba – they seek to contrive schemes to get comrades closer to political power for devious reasons.

South Africa is in a bad space. The “Thuma Mina” project is a farce – a political mirage. The Mandela dream is dissipating.

The expectation was that the supreme law would shine a light on our human paths and lead us to paths of freedom and prosperity, and good, clean governance. Yet the final  Zondo report has shown us our democracy is limping and could be in danger of being overrun by political cults  masquerading as political messiahs.

We say the final Zondo report reflects badly on the governing party. The veneer of innocence and inculpability in the sordid saga of state capture has been shattered.  The ANC is in the dock. The country is broken, and it requires rescuing from political hyenas.

We do not wish to tell Ramaphosa his party has lost the mandate to run this country. He must be guided by his conscience and moral reflections.

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