Cruel practice of becoming rich by stealing from poor

"BEHIND every great fortune lies a great crime," said French novelist Honoré de Balzac.

"BEHIND every great fortune lies a great crime," said French novelist Honoré de Balzac.

This statement points to a nasty reality we have come to accept as normal. To become wealthy in our time one has to rob the people blind.

If we are to investigate the wealthy pre-1994 white and the post-1994 rich black families we will see that most of them benefited from crimes against the poor.

In simple terms wealth is theft! What is sad is that politicians who are voted into power by poor people are themselves participants in the cruel practice of becoming wealthy by stealing from the poor.

To understand what's going on we need to stop seeing crime in the legalistic way. It must be remembered that the wealthy control how laws are made and therefore do not encourage laws that would criminalise their thieving.

So, for instance, benefitting from land dispossession and forced labour is not a crime.

It's not a crime for cabinet ministers to drive cars of more than a million rand when the people who voted them into power are so poor their life expectancy is lower than that in war-ridden countries such as Sudan.

Don't be shocked, dear reader, this is the truth about our country! Plus we might not win the World Cup tournament but at least we are already the champions of being the most unequal society on earth!

It is not a crime for companies, some owned by our political leaders, to forcibly remove the poor from their land to steal their platinum.

It is not a crime that the ANC government has allowed Eskom to degenerate and now they are demanding huge electricity tariff increases from the public to solve a crisis they have created.

What is worse is that the ANC is going to pocket more than R6billion from the process. It is not a crime by law for the ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and others to get tenders and deliver shoddy services.

Indeed, it is no crime that Malema wears a watch worth R280000 when the black youth he claims to represent go to bed hungry.

It is not a shock that families such as the Oppenheimers, the Ruperts and Kebbles have amassed their wealth by benefitting from colonial rule and apartheid which was declared a crime against humanity.

Our politicians are part of planned impoverishment of the majority to create wealth for themselves and protect the interest of old white money.

Increasingly the ANC government is applying what Canadian writer Noami Klein has called "Disaster Capitalism".

The politicians introduce a "disaster" into society such as the Eskom power outages and then blackmail society to pay and they take the profits.

Politicians bank on the fact that the voting poor are stupid, that they will never demand a system of governance that benefits them.

Democracy and the vote therefore become strategies to lull the poor into false hope and paralysis in as far as taking decisive action is concerned. At best the poor only change the names of those who rule them but not the system that disadvantages them.

lThe writer is publisher ofNew Frank Talk