Somewhere in the Kamiesberg of Namaqualand, off the N7 between Garies and Kamieskroon, is Leliefontein Mission Station, a hamlet established in 1816 by a Methodist missionary named Barnabas Shaw.
As the name implies, the village was established near a spring with lilies. Through the years the spring dried up and the flowers disappeared because local people planted invasive and water-thirsty poplar trees around the spring. Then one day the SA National Botanical Institute removed the trees. The spring returned. So did the flowers.
Angelo Agrizzi’s testimony at the Zondo commission on state capture last week got me thinking. At the advent of its democracy SA was a spring surrounded by the goodness of possibilities about our future. Then we allowed ourselves to be surrounded and led by greedy people without the words “honesty”, “integrity”, “reputation” or “restraint” in their vocabulary.
Look where we are now. It is time that we followed the botanical institute’s example and culled this greedy bunch. That is, if we are serious about returning SA to normalcy.