ANC looters collapsed Free State with impunity

Image: PHILLIP NOTHNAGEL

As we celebrated the life of one of SA greatest cultural ambassadors last week, Joseph Shabalala, the BBC focused on a South African town in the Free State - Harrismith.

It is always good to see the best of your country being showcased on global platforms. It was a proud moment to see Christiane Amanpour close her show by celebrating Shabalala's life on CNN last week.

What the BBC found in Harrismith is heart-breaking. It found a once beautiful town in a state of ruin. The ANC thugs have looted public money until the town literally collapsed.

The BBC's report was titled "We're just fixing our town." These are the words of a young black resident, Sam Twala, who told the world the residents of Harrismith are tired of burning tyres, and protesting; they have decided to fix their own town.

When there is a burst pipe, Twala and a group of volunteers go around asking for money from local business people, to fix the pipe themselves.

The story of Harrismith is a microcosm of the whole province of the Free State, and of other municipalities elsewhere.

As you read this column, the capital city of the Free State, Bloemfontein, is under administration.

Think of Cape Town, the capital city of the Western Cape, being under administration, or Johannesburg in Gauteng, or Polokwane in Limpopo, and so on.

If things are not working in the capital Bloemfontein, how could they work in small towns such as Harrismith?

The sad thing is that the man who collapsed the province, a gangster called Ace Magashule, sits comfortably in the headquarters of the ANC, the political party that runs SA - Luthuli House. Inkosi Albert Luthuli must be turning in his grave!

In his book Gangster State, Pieter-Louis Myburgh has provided evidence of how former premier Magashule remote-controlled the distribution of tenders in all municipalities in the province.

But Magashule is not in a prison cell, nor is he scheduled to appear in any court.

Since Magashule is the boss in the ANC, the Free State is treated as if things are normal there. No crisis has been declared, even though the province has collapsed.

Under normal circumstances, the whole of SA would be talking about the mess in the province. But very few people in the country are aware the capital of the province is under administration.

When asked about the ANC thugs who have looted Harrismith until it collapsed, all an administrator could say was, "criminal cases have been opened".

There are naïve simpletons who once entertained the illusion that, under Cyril Ramaphosa, criminals in the ANC would be arrested.

The thugs in Harrismith, and Magashule, laugh when told about some "new dawn". While Twala and his fellow residents fix their town, the thugs continue to enjoy their loot.

The BBC closed its report by asking if the corruption that has brought Harrismith to its knees can no longer be fixed.

The answer to the question has already been provided by the Zondo commission into state capture. We have seen there that the entire ANC has been captured.

The problem is that you cannot fix the ANC without arresting the entire leadership of the party.

That is why Ramaphosa is not arresting his comrades. He knows that if he were to do so, there would be no organisation left. Ramaphosa needs the ANC with all its corruption.

We have now reached the stage where ordinary South Africans must just fix their country.

If you need to know how to do it, ask the residents of Harrismith.

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