Your extraordinary learning, your superb writing and your many excellent published books over the decades including “Will South Africa Survive”, makes me reluctant to take issue with your “July Days” piece. It was wide-ranging, but I felt you were overlooking what is really happening in South Africa at the moment. Jason McCormick and Rob Hersov (published in BizNews) have not missed the huge and imminent danger that South Africa is facing after 25 years of ANC misrule.
Mashaba’s unflinching animosity to the ANC is clearly communicated. The IFP knows how much blood the ANC spilt in trying to obliterate it. You then meander into what is for the vast majority of South Africans, the interesting but entirely parochial politics of the Western Cape and Cape Town.
Your magisterial knowledge of Marxism-Leninism and the history of the “July Days“ has, interestingly, been echoed by that well taught Communist in our KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala. Around the Phoenix community’s self-defence, like you, he referred to the October Revolution, which the SACP is triumphantly (maybe because they know that they have captured the ANC) celebrating this month.
Zikalala also went on to disparagingly compare the Phoenix events with the attempted coup against the Communist Government in Venezuela. It is the Revolution that matters to the ANC and their July Days insurrection was an attempt by the Zuma faction to resuscitate it.
I personally saw the destruction that was sown in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and in our KZN country towns including Howick where I live. I was deeply proud of how ordinary citizens protected their communities. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (NDZ)’s own small country home town of Bulwer/Pholela was thoroughly burnt and looted, as were so many in the Province. Pongola was a notable exception where the whole community united to resist the ANC’s Zuma faction.
After semi-grating from KZN to Cape Town in the Western Cape (as David Bullard put it – “Another country; same currency”) you seem distracted from the incredible national urgency of the 1st November Local Government Elections. That urgency is a lived reality in KZN and in South Africa’s broken down municipalities.
The ANC is more than a mess. It is a disaster. The only party that has a complete national footprint and is organised and has been prepared well in advance for the elections is the DA. Every single ward in every Municipality has a DA candidate but, more importantly each DA candidate has gone through a rigorous selection process.
The DA has also, under the leadership of Gwen Ngwenya, sanitised itself from the “race card”. The only countrywide and credible party is the DA. You seek to diminish it unfairly. You criticise what seems for some years past now, to be your bête noire in Helen Zille.
You also diminish, possibly because you are now fixated on the Western Cape, John Steenhuisen’s national campaigning and especially in the Metros. It is interesting that both of you were schoolboys in Durban North albeit different generations.
For South Africa to survive, our voters must smack the ANC hard by voting for opposition parties and particularly for the DA. What now matters is to go to the polls on 1 November and vote for a party in opposition to the ANC. That is the message you should be sending at this time.