Police minister Bheki Cele. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Police minister Bheki Cele. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

A few minutes after New York attorney-general Tish James released the scathing sexual harassment report on the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, US president Joe Biden asked him Cuomo to resign.

That is leadership.

In SA, a month after the failed July insurrection, no minister has been fired. The political analysts — especially white ones — sugar coat the inaction in fancy terms such as “long game”.

To me it is cowardice on the president's part. Instead, police minister Bheki Cele is changing the political narrative by bashing Indians, especially in Phoenix. It is as if the Indians were behind the mayhem that destroyed more than 75,000 jobs, hundreds of trucks and shops.

The luxury cars lining along Queen Nandi drive in Durban waiting for their turn to loot were not Indians. They were African and educated, like me. Indians are convenient scapegoats for the incompetence of a government that failed its people. The brains behind the insurrection are protected by Luthuli House. The anti-Indian rhetoric driven by demagogues like Julius Malema will burn this country.

We should all ask why no security cluster minister has been axed for sleeping on the job. Are they part of the plot or simply useless? The Economist magazine is correct to say “the rioters and their sponsors want to destroy the rule of law”. This is modern authoritarianism. 

In her new book, Twilight of Democracy: the failure of politics and the parting of friends, Anne Applebaum describes this toxic  phenomenon as “a way to rewrite social contracts ...  alter the rules of democracy”. We must not allow it.

Dr Lucas Ntyintyane
Via e-mail

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