JUSTICE MALALA: South Africans must remain vigilant and make sure the outrageous does not become the normal
The greatest threat to our country is the fact that the extraordinary, the outrageous, the crooked, may end up being viewed as the norm. Crime used to be top of the agenda in SA. It was the main issue of debate on talk radio, the main headline in daily newspapers and the subject of special investigations on television programmes.
It hasn’t gone away. Murders, rapes, robberies and hijackings are still the order of the day in large chunks of Cape Town, Joburg and other parts of the country. But these incidents are no longer in the headlines. Crime has become normalised in our society. Those who are killed, maimed and raped suffer alone, ignored by us. They cry alone. What is horrific is now normalised.
Last week we were reminded again about how good men and women in the ANC rationalised outrageous behaviour by their leader and thus normalised incredibly abnormal actions. Trevor Manuel and others heard in 2011 how Fikile Mbalula was told of his promotion to a full ministry by one of the Gupta brothers. These ANC leaders knew that this was wrong, yet they rationalised this behaviour and normalised it. Zuma was not censured. The extraordinary situation where an unelected family ran the state of SA through manipulation of the president, his family and his cronies was then normalised. And so at home affairs the Guptas’ visa troubles were swiftly ironed out. It was normal that, unlike the rest of us, they did not stand in a queue. Two minions were despatched to India to ensure that the Guptas’ workers received preferential treatment. At Eskom they were given breaks no one else got. At the mineral resources ministry a whole minister was appointed by Zuma to serve their interests, even to...