Is violence becoming an end in itself? - the choice for South Afica's democracy
The problem in SA is not that the ANC or President Zuma is uniquely corrupt, but that one party is unchallenged in power and has been for too long. Corruption inevitably follows that everywhere.
Moreover, what everyone forgets is that it started long ago with the arms deal under former president Thabo Mbeki, not President Zuma. President Mbeki is remembered for not firing a single minister or official except those who disagreed with him. No one called it tyranny then. No one dared to.
The criticism of ANC government - that it is absolutely corrupt and ineffectual, that Zuma is a 'tyrant' - runs to extremes, just as constant publicity encourages the Economic Freedom Fighters to excess. The freedom of the press can be used to harm freedom as well as to defend it.
If we hope to put right evident wrongs like Nkandla, as the EFF insist they will, the means must be weighted in the scales as well as the end. There is a choice. There is the way of due process and the rule of law, the way unmistakably marked out by the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela of "trust, common decency and rational discourse". And there is the way of Julius Malema and the EFF.
We must ask ourselves what in the end that offers other than the threat of meeting violence, as they see it, with violence.