Last night I was having dinner with great friends, and afterwards over coffee, in the tradition of the chattering classes, we got down to talking about the ethical bankruptcy of our civic society. That South Africans as a general rule are lawless and lack empathy or respect for the lives and integrity of other human beings, this explains our high violent crime rate, and the taking of lives for things worth no more than a few pounds.
This total failure to empathise, to care about other human beings, is finding itself manifested in the criminal and violent attacks on foreigners in the Alexandra township in Johannesburg. But can we really be surprised?
In a society were violence goes unpunished by the government, the authority figures appointed by the people, and there is no common sense of dignity for one's fellow man, how can we be surprised when mobs rise up and lash out at those who are different.
This is surely a criminal act, but it speaks to a deeper issue in society. It speaks to the complete absence of avenues for change. South Africans will continue to turn to violence to resolve civil issues - the tools of the violent criminals that terrorise our nation are to become the tools of the abused society that government has failed in its duty to protect.
The first cause of a government is security for the people. Secondary concerns such as education and health, and tertiary concerns such as diplomacy and financial regulation are all out of whack in the ANC government.
And let us not forget that the South African government belongs to the ANC. The cadres who now fight and drink and swear at conferences around the nation, who support Zuma and his 'change' are the same people who have done NOTHING for the last 10 years as South Africa's government and infrastructure turns to dust; and the ones who suffer the most, the poor, go unfed, insecure and uncared for.
South Africans are not secure. And now they are venting their rage, in a criminal and inhumane way, against foreigners who don't deserve their violence. But it is a stark reminder that South Africa is no haven from violence : yes, the violence of African conflicts does not exist in South Africa yet, but a far more insidious violence dominates South African society, it is a violence and criminality that goes unchecked by South African leaders. They DO NOT CARE! No member of the ANC can say that they care about the man in the street when they are complicit in the greatest crime of all: the death of empathy and dignity in the South African nation.
The South African Liberal Constitution is a fiction. Because the people, and the government South Africans choose DOES NOTHING to ensure the rights and freedoms entrenched in it, are delivered by the government. A South African's right to health care, education, housing, safety and security ARE NOT PAID FOR BY HIS TAXES. Therefore if he doesn't have the means to pay for these services and rights privately, he would not have those things, the government wouldn't keep its end of the social contract.
That is a failed society.
South Africa is a society to be ashamed of.
South Africa is a society which must be renewed.
Bring of the elections of 2009, so that The People can decide on the ANC's policy of self enrichment and oppression of the poor.