NPA tempest needs a leader

Farouk Araie. Picture: Supplied.

The political topography of South African politics changed dramatically during the recent general elections.

The departure of Lindiwe Mazibuko was a dramatic jolt for the DA – the drama associated with her exit will not go unnoticed with the electorate. Her sudden decision became an issue in a fraught political debacle. Damage control has come to naught. What can be construed from this political fiasco?

During the recent elections the main political parties remain attached to populism and no strong party emerged at the centre of the political spectrum.

The fissures within the DA are gradually getting visible in the eyes of the public. Sordid tales of infighting and political one-upmanship are issues that could tear the DA apart. A prolonged leadership struggle will take its toll on the DA: the fault lines are clearly visible.

The DA will be hard pressed to retain the black vote which grew from 0.8% in 2009 to 6% in 2014. Political brinkmanship destroyed COPE – will the DA suffer from the same fate?

Turning to the ANC, it will benefit from instability in the oppositions rank and from voter apathy. Should it fail to carry out its critical mandate for the years ahead, a political tsunami will engulf South Africa in the next general elections. The ANC leaders of today should remember the words of beloved icon Nelson Mandela: “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. You can be the great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

The task now lies with President Jacob Zuma and his new Cabinet to accommodate Madiba’s vision.

The emergence of the EFF as a political force has left the moribund established political parties in complete disarray. The inability of the youth and the marginalised to gain influence led them to look for representatives able to articulate their demands. Unemployment averages 25-26%, as reported by Statistics SA.

South Africa has the third highest unemployment rate in the World Economic Forum, Global Risk 2014 report – fertile ground for EFF recruits with the office of the national director of public prosecutions in turmoil. The national prosecution agency remains politically paralysed. A turf war is in progress with grim ramifications for the law enforcement system.

We need leadership at law enforcement institutions. Many in leadership demand respect based on their political seniority. However, respect is earned. Perhaps a High Court judge should lead the national prosecuting authority.

Democracy thrives when no one is above the law and even leaders are held accountable for their actions. Transparency should be the hallmark of any democratic institution. The NPA gives every sign of being a ruderless institution.

It is unfortunate that in the NPA, the reputation of this very prestigious institution stands sullied because of political interference.

Many state institutions are in dire straits. There appears neither political direction, nor a will to ride the wave of crises. In the midst of a tempest the country lacks a leader who can steer us to calmer waters.

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