I am no Zuma-in-particular-hater. I think the destruction wrought by the policies of Ebrahim Patel and Rob Davies, or the lives lost due to the arrogant indifference of Bheki Cele, far outweigh Jacob Zuma’s dalliance with the Guptas or the pocket change he stole for Nkandla.
But President Cyril Ramaphosa, the “great reformer” who promised to take on corruption, has once more shown that even the most conservative optimism about his ascendancy to and maintenance of the ANC presidency in 2018 and 2022, was misplaced.
Ramaphosa has in effect granted Zuma clemency after years of litigation, costing untold court hours and expensive lawyers for watchdogs and other NGOs trying to bring about something resembling the rule of law in SA.
Enabling and acquiescing to corruption is the least of Ramaphosa’s sins. He has thus far presided over some of SA’s toughest economic hardships, all caused by the policies he and his cabinet have championed: threats of property confiscation, the nationalisation of private healthcare, and strict, growth-busting racial regimentation.
I don’t want to beat a dead horse. Most South Africans have known for some time that Ramaphosa is not the great saviour he was made out to be in 2018. But there are some holdouts who continue to give him the benefit of the doubt.
One can only hope that the book on Ramaphosa and any notion of reform from within the governing coalition will now be closed. Change will only come to SA when South Africans declare, at the ballot box and during public participation on new policies, that enough is enough, and demand the necessary transformation towards free markets and limited government.
Martin van Staden
Free Market Foundation
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