The New World Order emerges in Southern Africa
With Iran's Ahmedinejad in Harare last week and ANC's Julius Malema in Caracas, meeting Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez. Events are moving with incredible speed in southern Africa, almost too quickly to comprehend, as a new world order takes shapes in a configuration that has changed the sub-continent forever.
President Ahmedinejad of Iran arrives in Zimbabwe as the guest of the Mugabe regime, for a secret deal to mine uranium for Iran's nuclear programme.
Julius Malema arrives in Venezuela as the guest of the Yanqui-bashing regime of Hugo Chavez (Iran and Venezuela both sustained by oil revenues, Venezuela with its comprehensive statisation of the economy, Iran hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons for the global Islamist Armageddon).
Extending ever deeper southwards, China is the new benevolent uncle bestriding the sub-continent in the shoes of Cecil Rhodes, on condition that African governments should not be too solicitous about their independence....
Meanwhile, in South Africa: weak government, with the overwhelmingly dominant party of state racked with ferocious internal divisions, the President (of the state, and of the ruling party) racked with indecision as he attempts to hold together the factions of his ascendancy to office, in an increasingly fractious coalition.
Iran - China - Venezuela ... here is the alignment of a new world order unimagined by George W Bush, as he led the United States with the blind assurance of a sleepwalker into unimaginable debt, and wars in the Muslim countries (is it correct to say 'states'?) of Iraq and Afghanistan, with the former Great Britain (now brand 'UK') at his heels.
Here there is no road-map from the past to guide South Africa to the future.
This was a context unimaginable to the Christian gentlemen who founded the African National Congress almost one hundred years ago, and led it under the guidance of iNkosi Albert Luthuli and even, to some extent, in exile, Oliver Reginald Tambo.
Unimaginable too to the rugged champions of the Communist Party of South Africa, which metamorphosed itself into the SACP after it was banned in 1950: both parties ideologically baptised in the secularist font of Soviet Russia, and whose Iranian sister party, the Tudeh, was massacred by the mullahs' regime now headed by Ahmedinejad on a scale that would make Mugabe's Gukurahundi killings in Matabeleland look like a children's nursery.... So much for the emancipation of women, for free and fair elections, for the secular alliance of Christian, Muslim, Jew and Hindu which convened the Congress of the People at Kliptown in 1955, and created the Freedom Charter.
And all the while, South Africa deteriorates into a condition in which, as one anguished commentator put it last week, "all the manouevres in the ANC have one thing in common: access to economic freedom for those who can use their ANC positions to do so."
A party of warring kleptocracies and would-be kleptocracies, in which the ideals of decades of sacrifice are boiled down to the lowest common denominator, where a scramble for public office is the means to private graft.
Where the phrase 'tenderpreneur', invented only a short time ago, almost overnight becomes a term of everyday speech, in a movement in which a few decades ago individuals went to the gallows for a certain ideal of public service.
Where the term 'Bermuda' now refers - not to an island in the Caribbbean, or a holiday destination for the rich, or a sinister legendary triangle - but to the 'shorts' by which politically-connected tenderpreneurs leave their ill-gotten public contracts half fulfilled, so that their bridges fall down, and their roads wash away in the rain. Where the public, once again, is short-changed....
Where the serial murder of politically connected individuals - related, apparently, to tenderpreneur deals for the World Cup stadium at Mbombela, in Mpumalanga - appears to have extended also to the death in a car crash of January Masilela, exile veteran of Umkhonto we Sizwe's intake from the 1976 generation, and holder of a post no less than that of Secretary of Defence in the civil service.
"All changed, changed utterly," wrote Yeats in 'Easter, 1916', his poem about insurrection in Ireland. As he asked in 'The Second Coming', a dystopian prophecy: "And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,/ Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
Here is the introduction to southern Africa's Brave New World.
Watch this space. (Politicsweb)