17 July 2017

South Africa: The Triumph of Violence

analysis

Over the past few weeks we have read of death threats on senior ANC members. Long-time loyal members. I speak of Makhosi Khoza, an MP, and Thokozani Magwaza, the CEO of Sassa. There are no doubt others, who have perhaps decided either to keep the threats out of the public eye, or who have done the bidding of the threateners; it is not clear which individuals made the threats. But it is a matter of simple logic why.

It is not politics. It is money.

One of the under-unexamined components of a country in which state corruption thrives unchecked, as it does here, is the labyrinthine economic machine that is built under the corruption. It is not just a few connected crooks that get rich. It is a entire hierarchy of actors and systems, all benefiting to a greater or lesser degree from the careening chaos of untracked rands bouncing unpredictably off the walls of commerce - Ferraris, holidays, houses and second houses, clothes, loyalty binding patronage, vanity projects, companies bought and sold. Even guilt-assuaging acts of charity.

There are so many lives tied up in corruption, including those who collect the smallest crumbs at the bottom of the pile,...

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