Seeds of chaos planted by ANC

AsMANY South Africans do, I have at times dismissed as Afropessimists those who raise fears about South Africa ending up like some of the failed states of our continent.

AsMANY South Africans do, I have at times dismissed as Afropessimists those who raise fears about South Africa ending up like some of the failed states of our continent.

I have pointed to the strong institutions we have, such as the very progressive Constitution and a vibrant civil society.

The recent anarchic developments of people looting shops because they are hungry and others destroying public amenities because they want more has had me revise my views.

I'd rather be alarmist and wrong than be complacent. Things are bad in our country and the sooner we accept this, the better.

The anarchy enveloping our country can be explained by the biblical simplicity of reaping that which you have sowed.

The chickens have come home to roost. The ANC-led government is reaping the whirlwind. Let us not beat about the bush here, the ANC has sown the seeds of the chaos we are experiencing now.

The ANC must accept that it ought to have called to order those comedians who went by the moniker of "struggle veterans", who said they would render the Western Cape ungovernable because they did not like the constitution of its provincial cabinet.

By remaining silence, the ANC tacitly said making an institution of state difficult to govern was an acceptable way to protest. It does not end there.

Hardly a week passes without one or other social group threatening fire and brimstone. The taxi industry has repeatedly said they will ensure that the planned Bus Rapid Transport system does not take place, even if they have to employ criminal means to achieve that end.

The government's tongue remained held.

If one did not know any better, one would have thought that there were no sedition laws in the country to punish those who undermine the authority of the state and incite public (often violent) disorder.

Like spoilt brats, having gotten away with loutish behaviour without anyone saying a word, the anarchists kept pushing borders. Look at us now.

On closer inspection we would have been naïve to expect differently.

Some young man boldly told all those who would listen that he and his comrades were prepared to kill for their preferred candidate to become head of state. Those who had the authority of calling him to order and sending a message - not only to him but to the rest of society - that such language was unbecoming of an order we were trying to build, navel gazed instead of showing leadership.

It is said that the only people who can be entrusted with peace are those who have known war. Some in the ANC have come face to face with war. They know what it means to come face to face with death or reasonable prospects of being murdered.

But these too have allowed silly young men to go on as though their struggles were a movie episode.

Bitter as it might be, the time has come to abandon the Mshini Wam politics. If the president of the republic can sing about the need for someone to bring him a tool of war, why shouldn't those who follow him? We might know what President Jacob Zuma had intended to do once in possession of it, but we heard Thokoza, East Rand, residents say on radio they would shoot the police "if provoked".

I will not venture to say how Somalia and other failed states ended up where they are, but I bet what is now their reality didn't trumpet itself.

If ever we have needed leaders who realise that their brief is not to spend millions on cars but to chart a path to a peaceful and prosperous country, it's now.