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Of Heroes and Villains

Race. It is a taboo in today's society to make any kind of causal distinction based on this subject matter. Until now, I have tried to shy away from including this as subject matter in any of the pieces I've written but, is this a subject we should be speaking about? Today, everybody tries to be so politically correct. People seem to be so determined to avoid subjects that they think will offend others, but is this a reasonable reason to pretend that these issues don't exist?

Prior to 1994, South Africa was run by a whites only government, which legislated according to racial distinctions. Back then, race determined where you could go, what profession you could practise, and what social station you can aspire to. It dictated where you could live, who you could marry, and where you could attend school. Apartheid was a system largely condemned as a crime against humanity. Yet, looking back now, one has to acknowledge that the South Africa of 2023 is, in many ways, in worse shape than it was under the National Party. So, what changed?

Today, South Africa is run by a classic Marxist party, the African National Congress. While they will say that they are nonracial in terms of their make-up and policies, their membership is 99% black by demographic. Is there any reason to think that black people are, necessarily, unable to effectively govern a country? Should race even be a consideration when having this discussion? Is it fair to say that, as a group, black people are less able to be stewards of a modern, sophisticated style of governance that is inherent to running a country successfully?

Last week, the latest in a long slew of scandals hit our airwaves. It was divulged by the outgoing CEO of our power utility, Eskom, of how deep the rot of corruption goes within the organisation that he oversaw for three years. Talk of Mafia style cartels siphoning up to R1 billion per month. Accounts of an assassination attempt on his life. Suggestions of government ministers being involved. The account was truly terrifying.