Ask the average South African to explain the malaise of their country’s economy and they are likely to point to one of the most gripping dramas ever broadcast on local television.
Day after day for the best part of a year, a judicial inquiry into state corruption has heard jaw-dropping testimony about the scale of the rot that spread through South African politics under Jacob Zuma, the president until last year.
Witnesses have detailed the ease with which companies and powerful individuals corrupted the system to win state contracts and plunder big national champions from South African Airways to Eskom, the troubled state electricity monopoly.
There was a grouping – a groupuscule perhaps – which worried about the transfer of power in South Africa. Not a great dela, as it was far away and all that, knowing nothing of it. I’d count myself as being part of that grouping as well – one of the reasons it might be better described as a groupuscule as I rarely have opinions that are widely enough shared to constitute a group.
The concern wasn’t about the transfer of power to blacks. Or to the democratic majority. It was about which group of blacks we thought likely to gain power. Not specifically even Zuma but that someone like him and his compadres would.
Turns out we weren’t wrong either.