In crisis mode

WHY does our country seem to have been in crisis mode for the last decade or so? Initially, we had turmoil in the ruling party prior to the Polokwane conference where accusations of use of state institutions to settle political scores were rife.
The would-be president Jacob Zuma was mired in one or other battle with the law. Many saw his travails as the result of political manipulations but he was swiftly propelled to the top of the ruling party food chain. There was a seismic shift when then President Thabo Mbeki was unceremoniously booted out of Mahlamba Ndhlopfu just eight months before his term was to end. COPE was formed and took a chunk of voters from the ANC.
A chance discovery by the late Mandy Rossouw broke the Nkandla story in 2009 and it grew to be an albatross around Zuma’s neck to this day.
I looked at pictures of the house and am still taken aback by the scale of the project, the money used and how badly it was built. That it is a source of embarrassment to the ANC is obvious.
Enter the irrepressible immigrant family from India, the Guptas. They have made Shabir Shaik look like a hustler from Pofadder.
Last year the Hawks announced they were investigating Pravin Gordhan for the establishment of a SARS “rogue unit”. NPA boss Adv Shaun Abrahams launched a scud missile when he charged Gordhan with fraud, wiping R50-billion from our economy. The #FeesMustFall movement has thrown tertiary institutions into what seems to be a permanent crisis. So what is going on?
I believe the underlying problem is that we suck at politics, period. We have lost the ability to seek common ground. Take the #FeesMustFall movement. Numerous discussions have been held and just when an agreement seems imminent things escalate to the point that a swift solution seems impossible. Why is the ANC government allowing things to drift and leaving it to the police and universities to deal with? It’s simple, people are playing politics.
The students have the government’s attention now, so why go for mutual destruction and the kamikaze option?
People pick sides and stick to them, no matter what. If I’m on Gordhan’s side I will overlook his flaws and defend him until I look like an idiot. There is no middle ground – we have lost the ability to compromise. That’s the main problem.

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