Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quo vadis, South Africa?

For my Western mind, South Africa is a place where you can enjoy significantly more safety than in most of the African countries, with a relatively high economic level. I know quite successful people working and living there, despite some serious worries regarding some risks for the foreigners, especially at the outskirts of big towns. 

Most probably, I am too much influenced by the colorful presentations from the tourist booklets, otherwise how can I read the latest declarations of the current president Jacob Zuma, reelected in the second half of December as president of the African National Congress.

He is considering himself an inspirational leader and outlines often his pride of having many wives - whose expenses are paid by the state - and concubines; he warns his people that they should not follow the illusions of the Western cultures, even though he will not refuse the pleasure of a nice looking expensive suit; he called for a 'national cleansing ceremony, lead by archibishop emeritus Demond Tutu' - whose anti-semitic stances aren't a secret -, as a way to restore the 'South African moral compass' following the increase of the number of crisis and the miners conflicts. Last but not least, he warned his fellows South Africans, to give up this 'white' custom of walking their dog, and warned, during his first public speech after the reelection, in his Zulu area that: 'Even if you apply any kind of lotion and straighten your hair, you will never be white'. Just to confirm that ridiculosity does not have any limit, officials of the government tried to bring some 'light' into the declarations regarding dog ownership.

Jokes put aside, there are some worrying signs into the South African politics, that continue to be divided and unclear, at the end of the apartheid regime. As in some unhappy Latin American cases, the full independence was not followed by a full ownership of real politics and the corruption and doubtful leadership hijacked the society. Racism and dangerous extremism are the recipes for short time political success and long time destruction of the basis of the societies. In those parts of the world, the leaders are talking often about 'decolonisation' but they fail to offer any alternative focused on the future instead of deepening the scars of the past. 

Most probably, a new and young leadership in South Africa, whose representaitves were preferably born after the 70s, would bring a dramatic change of perspective: less show more politics.

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