Day 475 – More than a mess

Let’s start with a quote from this tweet:

When is Cyril Ramaphosa going to define what is unfolding by its correct term? This is a counterrevolution organized from within his party to stop consolidation of a democratic state because its sponsors are terrified of a functioning state with a rule of law.

Looking at the situation in KZN, and really, really not wanting to be dramatic, I am rapidly coming round to this conclusion as well. Yes, of course we have a million problems. The unemployment rate, the poverty, the pandemic, the years of poor leadership, the corruption, the broken promises: they all made for piles and piles of dry tinder, ready to ignite. Zuma’s jailing was just the spark that set it all off.

We have protests literally every day in SA. Some are small, some are big, some have even run on for days at a time. But this one is clearly different. Not just in its sheer scale, but also in the targets of the mobs. Sure, supermarkets, shops, malls… when this sort of violence occurs, they are sadly always in the firing line. And sure, some of that can unfortunately spill over into buildings nearby. You can argue all you like about why looters aggrieved at their situation need to steal 80″ LCD TVs to demonstrate their anger: it happens every time.

But setting light to water treatment plants? Attacking 113 cellphone towers?
Ports? Chemical plants? Radio stations? Food distribution warehouses?


That’s clearly orchestrated, and that’s hugely worrying. While we were all rightfully distracted by the fires and chaos right in front of us, something very sinister has been going on in the background.
Deliberate political agitation? Certainly.

It’s a mess. A long, complicated, convoluted story has brought us to this point. Many people will even disagree about where the tale begins and which route it took. Short-term, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to be faced with food shortages, even worse unemployment, possible forced migration, and probably all against a backdrop of continuing violence and increasing instability.

It’s still very early days, but if you think that tweet above is accurate, here’s an interesting take (also from twitter, but I can’t find where):

The coup failed when many provinces refused to join in. We have averted a much bigger problem than what you are seeing now. Look at how key people went missing during this critical time and emerged when a coup failed.

And yes: suddenly big names like the Premier of KZN, the Police Minister – both prominently in the Zuma faction – and a few others are speaking out. Not that there’s anything unusual in that, aside from their complete silence for the first few days of this. But why now, suddenly?

And this guy agrees:

There is a clear attempt at rendering South Africa ungovernable. To use state paralysis as a bargaining chip to achieve a political objective. Call this what it is, its an insurgency.

I’m not convinced that this is done. The embers of the KZN blazes might still land and ignite fires in other places. But for the moment, much of the rest of SA has been spared.

Keep your thoughts and prayers. Donate money here if you can and you want to help.
Stay safe, wherever you are.

UPDATE: Aaaand this:

…shared in response to this blog post.

Day 473 – Misery everywhere

There’s no good news today.

I’m not feeling great (no, not that).

Defeat for England (although), preceded by an unpleasant frontlash and followed by a (now sadly usual) disgusting backlash.

Rain, gales, floods and cold in Cape Town. More leaks in our house.

KZN and parts of Gauteng right on the brink of… something terrible.

Copious sexual intercourse won’t cure Covid-19.

More loadshedding on the way.

And this is just the stuff I feel I can share.

I have a lot of amazing memories from a few days away, and a lot of photos to process. But today doesn’t seem the right day to do anything except just hope that things get better.