The delay into the Marikana mine deaths inquiry marks the latest in a series of unsubtle attempts by the ANC government in South Africa to divert attention away from its corrupt and unstable rule. Police cover-ups, cowing of witnesses and the silencing of political agitators has been a commonplace in the aftermath of Marikana, tactics supposedly abandoned in South Africa on the ANCs accession to political power.
More worryingly, the vested interests amongst the South African political elite is causing a barrier to social and economic reform and the cronyism of Jacob Zuma threatens to destabilise the country further. Determined to hold on to power in a way many African despots are, Zuma continues to deliver patronage to a select few powerful businessmen and politicians who he knows can deliver him votes (generally in the form of threats to employment).
The revelation of Cyril Ramaphosa’s deep and brutal involvement in the Marikana affair has seemingly been overlooked by those in power and, indeed, supporters of the South African state abroad. Shockingly, it has taken the slaughter of over forty people for the Western world to finally blink an eye at the morally bankrupt ANC regime.
Has South Africa really moved on from Apartheid? Will a change in political leadership solve anything? Or is South Africa once more headed down the path of self-destruction?