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South Africa – Twenty Years into Democracy
1994 The Change
The anniversary of twenty years into Democracy, the true freedom of the South African people takes place early next year.
During April 1994, a new government elected to lead this country into a true democratic country with equality for all the wonderful people of South Africa. The ANC, voted into power during the first democratic elections, remains in power until the next election, and what one might ask has happened to democracy as the years pass us by.
1994 an historical year, the death of the dreaded 'apartheid system', and the emergence of democracy for this rainbow nation. A new freedom constitution to protect all the citizens of South Africa. It is surprising that we are still standing as a nation after all this time. Walking away from the road of fear to freedom and learning to understand this new change.
Nelson Mandela as the first democratic president had a difficult task to accomplish while leading the nation down roads never ventured before. During his term of president, he will always be remembered as the icon who achieved the impossible. He led the country from the terrorist struggle for independence to democracy. He symbolized truth and integrity. A natural person who strived to make the country a better place for his people, leaving an incredible legacy for future presidents.
Thabo Mbeki and Mothlantha
The next president Thabo Mbeki served two terms, and during his first term, I remember his intentions to build on the Mandela integrity and did an admirable job, but soon the accumulation of wealth and the top executive committee of the ANC dominated his position. He was not free to carry on a reputable legacy. It was payback time, and the countries who assisted the ANC during their campaign were calling in the favors.
Implementing systems that did not work structuring the social services of the country and in the process destroying what was considered a livable country. The steady influx of foreigners from neighboring countries soon saw the rise of squatter camps around the country and the increase in crime escalated at an alarming rate.
Mbeki was recalled by the ANC, following a verdict of improper interference in the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption and announced his resignation, thus resulted in him not serving his entire second term as president. Corruption was high; the Arms deal uncovered by opposition parties brought the ANC principles into disrepute, and since then there was no turning back, the people of South African want the truth. Truth a statement, the ANC did not follow.
Mothlantha served from a short period, and nothing spectacular happened under his term. A deputy president before and now currently retains that position under the Zuma Presidency.
Jacob Zuma, the 3rd ANC President
The controversial Jacob Zuma appointed as the President of South Africa during the 2009 elections. These elections also saw a decline in the ANC's power. That alone tells a story. People were seeing the cracks and wanted true democracy.
Jacob Zuma will always surround himself with highly intelligent people. He will always ensure he is the winner, it in his nature. What Zuma says and what Zuma wants is how most South Africans recognize him. His corruption and rape charges behind him, he started his run at governing the country. From the beginning of his reign, it is perceived as a total disaster, the corruption statistics rose astronomically, even honest decent citizens are becoming corrupt. There are so many stories relating to fraud, and I will cover this in another article.
Deterioration or Growth?
As the years steadily pass by, we begin to understand the high cost of freedom, with the loss of innocent lives and the rise of crime-infested areas where only the abandoned, drugged and desperate would go. We see our country deteriorating at an alarming rate, so scary we wonder if the younger generation will cope with the mess our ancestors have made.
Almost twenty years ago, the infrastructure of this country was almost perfect; we had working hospitals, schools and electricity, decent roads and a positive currency. Some of the scariest statistics are the 25 percent of all South African schoolgirls living with HIV and over more than 100 000 legal abortions last year. It would be scary to see the actual number of illegal abortions. This country is rated as one of the top corrupt governments countries in the world. The world debt is higher, the currency is shocking, and we cannot help the elderly, sick or young.
South Africa is listed as one of the most dangerous countries, with the highest record of carjacking, murders and rapes. We are known as the rape capital of the world.
A way forward
With these shocking statistics, it is not surprising to see the upswing in the greed and corruption of the present government. The people are following the leaders and only the 2014 elections can change a doomed South Africa.
Today, many South Africans have realized the high rate of crime and corruption is not acceptable and will vote for change. The people of this country are looking at other options, they want a government whom they can trust, a government who will make positive changes and develop South Africa into a world-class country.