The saga continues!
Last week, at South African President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs were reportedly beaten in exchanges of slaps and fisticuffs by members of the African National Congress (ANC) in a scuffle in Cape Town’s parliament.
It was a lethal interjection.
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The immediate cause of the chaos was the EFF’s demand at the beginning of the President’s speech that Zuma pay back the money he allegedly owes the country after building his lavish Nkandla homestead with public money.
One EFF MP had to be rushed to the hospital after clashes with security officers both inside and outside parliament, according to EFF President Julius Malema (pictured), who added that at least seven EFF MPs sustained injuries in the scuffle.
Parliament was reduced to a filthy pit of inglorious violence. The verbal swordmanship and slapping would not have looked out of place in a middle school playground, and anti-Apartheid leader Chris Hani turned in his grave at this dramatic departure from beautiful warfare.
All 89 members of the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party, walked out in disgust and in protest.
At the news of the incident, social media erupted: Numerous hashtags (such as #PayBackTheMoney,) jokes, and virtual moans surfaced. Even the minister of sport and recreation Fikile Mbalula weighed in with this photo, and the TV networks smiled as viewers were glued to their screens.
But the root cause of Zuma’s alleged offense is post-independence corruption and formal looting at the hands of the ANC and the political toy of the newly formed EFF.
So where did people learn to expect social and political decency from institutions and practitioners of formal politics? Who put that kind of sense in their heads?
This form of drama is normal behavior post-independence. In fact, we, the South African people, can count ourselves even relatively lucky if we review the history of new independence, especially in the political and economic periphery or third world.
In the words of Huey Freeman, “We did battle with ignorance yesterday. And ignorance won.”
What does one do when all sides are disappointing?
Friedrich Nietzsche said that the democratic process is a fluctuation of plusses and minuses, but some minuses deflate one’s hope.
In any case, it can be said that in any state, the practitioners of formal politics must be questioned. It can be said that order in parliament is chaos in the ghetto and at the bottom of the economic ladder. It can be said that formal politics on Earth is political and economic violence or terrorism. Thusly, it might be said (and it is said vehemently by me) that physical violence is NOT factually worse than political and economic violence, that perhaps physical violence ought to be tried more consistently to best political and economic violence. Political and economic violence are not under enough pressure to crack.
However, we also view both sides of the coin: How many times has a revolutionary party been successful, and of those successful times, how many cases can be found where the revolution continues after political and economic success?
I am doomed to hopelessness.
Or to facing reality.