South Africa’s Crises And Issues Arising

South Africa’s Crises And Issues Arising
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As South Africa struggles to contain its worst crisis in decades, there are fears that the issues being propped up by the winding scenarios would leave a sour grape in the mouths of sister African states.

Coming from a long romance with Apartheid which polarised the country along racial lines, a new found freedom that opened the floodgate for popular participation of Blacks in the affairs of the country has now come under enormous worries from foes and friends alike, given the unprecedented disturbances and ‘imbalances’ that have engulfed the country recently.

With the benefit of contemporary history, immediate past President Jacob Zuma, supposedly an elder statesman by certain parameters was believed to have been the issue in this long-drawn crisis that have taken a record toll on lives and properties across the country. From the records, Zuma was handed a jail sentence of 15 months for contempt of court over a subsisting trial on corruption charges.
It was reported that his imprisonment sparked riots across cities occasioned by widespread looting, maiming and killings, thus raising suspicions that there are other subliminal or underlying factors that exacerbated the seemingly harmless situation.

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While South Africa government and its judiciary deserve some pat in the back for their mettle in jailing perhaps one of the nation’s post-apartheid leaders who was once a potent voice against oppression of blacks in that country, the event is a strong comment on the universality of the rule of law notwithstanding when and where it is applied. Not a few analysts have averred that such a landmark ruling would not have been possible in a country like Nigeria where the nation’s judiciary has been allegedly bastardised and highly politicised.

The protests and the conflagrations that ensued have been blamed on the subterfuge of high profile politicians who have been Zuma’s direct benefactors while he held sway as the nation’s president. However, other analysts recall that there have a wave of high rate of unemployment amid dwindling fortunes of low-income earners who have been further impoverished by a prevailing downturn in the nation’s economy. While these factors appear complementarily plausible, there is a nexus between poverty and the will to be a tool in the hands of opportunists. Besides, impoverished citizens would just find the loose situation as an avenue to loot and get immediate succor.

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While AljazirahNigeria does not support looting, arson and killing in any guise, the situation in that part of Africa speaks to a concern that now appears generic across the continent and even locally in Nigeria. The teeming unemployed youth have become a huge metaphor of despair and social dislocation. They have become tools in the hands of dubious politicians who pamper them to unleash their voracious energies at least provocation and prompting.

We urge governments across the African continent to be more responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of able-bodied young men who would ventilate their vivacity following undue pressure, leaving out productive ventures.

With the South African situation, it is even horrifying as genuine investors and promising entrepreneurs have been sent packing, leaving a devastating trend of distress. Some have lost their lives in the melee that often occurs and foreigners become the immediate target.

Nigerians have been reported to have been caught in the crossfire in the recent incident and it appears we are yet to come to the terms with the need for Nigeria to step up efforts at various levels of diplomacy to protect her own at all cost. We must not allow our own to be wasted while in a quest for livelihood outside our shores, especially if they are genuinely making ends meet. Nigerians must be defended anywhere in the world. It should be a national mantra as if that exists, there would be a reciprocity in patriotism from the citizens whenever and wherever.

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This brings to mind, the not so long ago incidence of the xenophobic attack on Nigerians and their businesses in South Africa and how the near little or no response from the Nigerian Government still leaves much to be desired with regards to the protection of the lives and general interest of Nigerian who reside outside their national shore.


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