12 February 2014

South Africa: Loss of Trust and Legitimacy Lead to Ungovernability


South Africa is experiencing a leadership crisis. There is a crisis of governance and protests against failure to deliver, patronage and corruption are reaching crisis levels.

Government does not appear to have an answer, and many more may be injured or die, without addressing the diversion of public funds intended for basic services. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.

The scale of protest currently under way in large parts of South Africa is comparable to the period of ungovernability under Apartheid. Just in Gauteng, there were 569 protests in three months, with 122 of these turning violent.

Many commentators have blamed the police use of deadly force where other resources could be deployed to contain the situation.

Police are said to be insufficiently trained in crowd control, though the minister of police, Nathi Mthethwa, claims that South African policing conforms to 'world class' standards.

The Gauteng Commissioner of Police Lesetja Mothiba claimed last week that police were put in an impossible situation in that failure of government to deliver on its promises to provide various services was fuelling protests all over the province and police had no remedy.

The situation was already volatile when they arrived and police could not address the demands ...

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