If anything encapsulated the groundswell of feeling gathering like a dangerous tsunami across the country against President Jacob Zuma, it was a sermon delivered by Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.
“This past week,” the leader of the Anglican Church in South Africa said during his Easter Vigil address, “the nightmare got worse as the full impact of the president’s recent actions unfolded.
“They have devastated our hopes for the kind of foreign investment which we desperately need to grow our economy and create new jobs. Their impact on consumer confidence and trust is immeasurable. Tens of thousands of jobs are directly affected by just a 10% drop in consumer confidence.
“If we cannot turn the situation around, at end of the road we are now on, we face the prospect of employees fired; shops shuttering; malls closing; the poor unable to afford bread, paraffin, electricity and the cost of burials; possible hyperinflation – it is as if we are entering the Zimbabwe moment.”
This is criticism of the highest order and redolent of the direct broadsides his predecessor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, used to regularly deliver against the iconoclastic, ironclad flanks of apartheid.
Makgoba was also clearly speaking out against Zuma when he said: “Like many, I feel that the dream of South Africa sometimes feels more like a nightmare, a prolonged Passiontide, so to speak.
“Personal interests, corruption, private gain, entitlement, a vicious contempt for the poor and the common good, a culture of blatant lies and cronyism – and possibly worse – dominate our public landscape.”
He also asked a telling question. “What are our obligations as citizens, all of us with equal rights and responsibilities under the constitution? You’ve heard me say this before: our destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. Your choice. My choice. Our choice.”