Gabriel P Louw
Research Associate, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa
Prof. Dr. GP Louw
Keywords: appraisal, characteristic, constitution, dynamics, guarantee, hypocrisy, integrity, leadership, liberator, mindset, organization, platform, regime.
Ensovoort, volume 38 (2018), number 6:2
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. (Theodore Roosevelt).1: !88
Sound decision-making is one of the primary duties that executive political leaders must fulfil every day. It is an essential requirement before one could become a good executive political leader and to stay on in a leadership position. How diligently executive political leaders keep all the promises they made to their voters during their election campaigns and the degree to which they successfully do the things prescribed by their letters of appointment, are two very different issues in modern politics. Sound decision-making as a characteristic of good leadership and good governance by executive political leaders have become problematic, even in the best democracies. It was with good reason that the late president Roosevelt made the above clear distinction between good and bad decision-making. Research confirms that executive political leaders seldom do “the best thing to do” in decision-making today. Good decision-making has become a rarity. Voters have become used to massive wrongs and corrupt decision-making, often bringing nations to the verge of disaster and the rest of the world to despair. Bad decision-making goes deeper than mere error; it often testifies of immoral behaviour on the side some executive political leaders, primarily to benefit themselves at the cost of society.1-7
Roosevelt’s1 foresight about leaders who do wrongful things or who do nothing at all goes much deeper: it points to a constant growing stream of failed and bad executive political leaders in modern politics. Hard evidence shows that many of the promises that leaders present to their voters remain “true deeds in words.” Political leaders promise voters a wonderful future where they will do only good things, and they shout these promises loudly from public platforms during their election campaigns, but these promises die away as remnants of political fraud that historians can later research. These leaders, often highly talented persons, seem to deviate from the path of serving the voters and the public deliberately and selfishly. Roosevelt classifies “the wrong thing” and “nothing” as negative decisions that one would associate with bad executive political leaders and their regimes. However, the growing group of immoral politicians would often view these negative acts as positive. They see their poor leadership behaviour as equal to doing the right thing in Roosevelt’s eyes. Such leaders enter the political domain because it gives them the opportunity to do as they please.1-7
Politics, especially in democracies, has become a haven for crooks and political hooligans, basically because open systems of rule and over-seeing the country’s interests, are meant only for executive political leaders of high integrity. In South Africa, the President, as the top executive political leader, is awarded immense power. The Constitution and the Chapter 9 institutions are open to easy manipulation by him and his cronies if they are crooks. Many other public and private institutions are also vulnerable. 2,4,8-12
There has been frequent reference to possible state and private capture by executive political leaders in South Africa in the recent past, although the practice dates back to 1652. It seems to be a subject that needs an appraisal.
The aim of this article is to determine and describe the entities in government and society that executive political leaders used to aid their political behaviour.
Entities for the purposes of this article refer to the establish bodies and systems that function alongside government and within the greater society to develop, manage and steer a government’s abilities and potentials. Such entities see to it that the specific and the general obligations, duties, instructions and legal principles embedded in these entities can function without obstruction at all times. These entities can be physical or abstract in function and legal recognition, depending on their place, need and function in society and within the government set-up. In this research these entities include: the Constitution and Parliament, democracy, population composition, and media houses.
The research was done by means of a literature review. This method has the aim of building a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is used in modern historical research where there is a lack of an established body of research, as is the case with the established entities that executive political leaders use as the basis of their political behaviour. The sources include articles from 2017, books from the period 1944 to 2018 and newspapers for the period 2017 to 2018. These sources were consulted to determine and to describe the established entities in society and government that executive political leaders use as the basis of their political behaviour and to put thoughts, views and opinions on the South African political leadership in perspective.13-15
The research findings are presented in narrative format.
3. Results and Discussion
This article primarily focuses on the established entities within the South African society and government that executive political leaders rely on or abuse in their actions, be it good or bad actions. Some of these entities may at times to a certain extent act as determinants in the development and functioning of executive political leaders, but in general their role as determinants is very limited. They are, as said, mostly used as means that executive political leaders with established ideas use to influence the thinking, planning and behaviours of other persons, especially their followers.
The various factors that influence the development of executive determinants and that can play a role in shaping the behaviours of executive political leaders, are discussed in depth in the next article (Part 3).
The discussion in this article addresses the following subdivisions:
- 3.2 The inherent characteristics of stupidity, self-promotion, opportunism and flawed thinking of executive political leaders as drivers of their political behaviour.
- 3.3 The use of the latent receptiveness of the South African Constitution and Parliament for criminal and political abuse by executive political leaders.
- 3.4 The latent receptiveness of democracy for criminal and political abuse by executive political leaders.
- 3.5 The use of South Africa’s majority, minority, homogeneous and heterogeneous populations by executive political leaders.
- 3.6 The odd good executive political leader versus the organized hostility of the media houses.
- 3.7 Flawed thinking and social dysfunction as dynamics in the immoral behaviours of executive political leaders.
3.2 The inherent characteristics of stupidity, self-promotion, opportunism, flawed thinking and social dysfunction of executive political leaders as drivers of their political behaviour
3.2.1 The Palkhivala description of obstinance16
The fact that political leaders from all races and ethnic groups, educated and uneducated, from richer or poorer backgrounds and at all levels of politics show immoral behaviour brings to mind the work of Professor Nani Palkhivala16, a seasoned and world-renowned Indian academic, lawyer, diplomat, politician, philosopher and writer. He sees this as a complex problem. Our political leaders are supposed to be learned and wise men, morally above reproach, but often this is not the case, so that they contaminate society, often destroying the lives of innocent individuals.
Palkhivala16 regards the use of the entities that are available in a democracy as central to this dynamic where political leaders strive to gain political power and personal riches. Sometimes they desire power and riches only for themselves, at other times a small group of allies would benefit. Palkhivala16 attempts to understand why immoral political leaders so readily abuse these entities to reach their wicked goals. He regards this abuse as something that is steered by a variety of negative traits, thought processes and dispositions that he sees as integral parts of the kind of leader that emerges in our modern society. These traits include stupidity, self-promotion, opportunism and flawed thinking. This range of negative traits serve as “energies” or “drivers” for these leaders’ thinking, planning and decision-making, especially as it relates to the abuse of the platforms of society or the government for their sole selfish interests. Palkhivala16 classifies this odd behaviour among political leaders under a very descriptive name: wooden-headedness.
The selective immoral political behaviour of executive political leaders that renders them failed leaders, leaves Palkhivala with a question of why.16:297 Why do they do this? Why do political leaders blindly ignore the simple advice of Theodore Roosevelt?1 These questions compelled Palkhivala16 to look for clear reasons why executive political leaders and their regimes fail to be “good”. In his search for an answer to his “why”, he found that the failure of executive political leaders is a universal phenomenon, also reflected by well-known world leaders and the regimes of world powers. He writes16:297:
A study of history, regardless of the period or the type of government in authority, makes one wonder why man makes a poorer show of government than almost any other human activity. In the field of governmental activity, wisdom – which may be defined as judgment acting on experience, common sense, available knowledge, and a keen appreciation of probability – is amazingly absent. Why do men in high office so often act contrary to the way that reason points and enlightened public interest enjoins? Why does intelligent mental process seem to be so often paralyzed?
Palkhivala16 points out that this phenomenon, sometimes totally self-destructive, repeats over and over in the world’s history. Somehow leaders do not learn from the mistakes of others or their own errors. They are impervious of the negative outcomes of their “bad” behaviour, not only for other people, but also for themselves.
Palkhivala further interrogates this matter as follows16:297:
Why did successive ministries of George III – that “bundle of imbecility” as Dr. Johnson called them collectively – insist on coercing rather than conciliating the thirteen Colonies which, as a result, broke away and declared themselves as a republic, destined to be the most powerful in the world – the United States of America? Why did Napoleon invade Russia and Hitler repeat the same mistake? Why did the Kaiser’s government resume unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 despite the clear warning that this would result in the entry of the United States into the war? Why did Chiang Kai-shek refuse to heed any voice of reform or alarm until he woke up to find that his country had been irretrievably lost to him?
When it comes to the immense negative impact of wooden-headedness on executive political leaders’ governmental behaviour, Palkhivala writes16: 296-297:
Wooden-headedness is a characteristic feature of governments. Wooden-headedness assesses a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contra indications. In short, it is the obstinate refusal to learn from experience. These fixed notions bring in the most cases the focus on the selective aims or interests of the executive political leader and his intimate group inside the nation, not on the aims or interests of all the groups inside the nation, cancelling thus the overarching mandate which goes with a good executive political leader and his regime. It serves as a short-cut for the political leader – and possibly his intimate group also – to ignore willingly and intently the interests and human rights of the total nation, as well the risks involved by his under-par and malfunctioning leader’s behaviour for the total nation.
Although the description “wooden-headedness” creates the impression that the behaviour includes only stupidity, Palkhivala16 gives a detailed description of what he means with this mindset among executive political leaders. He focuses on flawed thinking, planning and behaviour in such a leader’s political behaviour. Palkhivala16 reflects further on the wooden-headed leader’s self-centeredness and disrespect for the rights of others. This description brings the possibility of psychopathic thinking as a trait in the mindset of executive political leaders to the foreground.
It is an error to think that only authoritarian states and their leaders, like Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, boast leaders who act foolishly without any grounding in reality or a view to the future, and with a total disregard for the consequences of their acts. Democratically elected leaders and the governments of established democracies act with the same political foolishness and oppressiveness. Examples include the British Empire in its early days in relation to its American and other colonies, White Apartheid South Africa in relation to Blacks, the Americans in relation to Saddam Hussein of Iraq, etcetera.1,6,7,9
Barbara Tuchman16: 29 takes the discussion on the paucity of good leadership further by saying that governments act unwisely because short-sighted politicians are driving and managing it. She argues that the politicians’ arrogance prevents them from admitting error (and if they are in an act of foolishness, they just won’t turn back in fear of losing face). Their immense thirst for political power makes them unstoppable within their role as mandated executive leaders. They lack self-confidence and magnanimity, which leads to inappropriate acts of grandeur in an effort to demonstrate self-capability. They seek to create an image as formidable executive political leaders through inappropriate behaviour (which can be immoral). Ultimately immoral acts overshadow many leaders’ initial intentions to lead effectively in terms of good executive actions. According to Tuchman’s16 postulation, it is just impossible for certain persons to function normally as responsible and good executive political leaders, bringing various forms of possible psychological pathology to the foreground. This opinion of Tuchman16 strongly supports Palkhivala’s16 view that executive political leaders’ immoral behaviour may be rooted in psychopathology.
In line with the views of Palkhivala16 and Tuchman16 on the failure of executive political leaders to act properly within the democratic set-up, Martinez6 postulates6:88-89:
Pyramid structures concentrate power in the hands of those who sit atop them. This power is always open to abuse. It enables the ideas and the priorities of a small number to be imposed on the lives of millions – ideas and priorities that have a strong tendency to include wide-ranging privileges for those doing the imposing.
3.2.2 The Boon description of takers9
Boon9, working specifically on profiles of South African executive political leaders and in line with Palkhivala’s16 so-called wooden-headedness, sketches an extremely troubling picture of the existing conditions that make good executive political leadership an impossibility. He identifies the traits of being unapologetic, ill-disciplined, self-serving, self-enriching, opportunistic and an immense lack of feeling and empathy, as central to the characters of immoral executive political leaders. For Boon9, as for Palkhivala16 and Tuchman16, these negative traits form the dynamics or energies driving the executive political leaders’ immoral. He describes this kind of immoral political leaders as “takers.” Their political behaviour focuses on milking the members of their political party, their society and the government, thus taking. The impact of these politico-pathological mindsets, as reflected in flawed thinking and immoral behaviour, undermines democracy in all its facets.9
Boon’s9 view on the present state of South African leadership is that the country is being run more and more by the takers. It is clear that not even a specific racial or cultural group as a unity is benefitting from the present South African political system, but only an exclusive group (gang) of crooks under the executive political leaderships of takers. The executive political behaviour and thus the reign of the country is based on the flawed thinking and social dysfunction of these leaders. This dark view of crooks running the present-day South African politics and society, all driven by immorality and crookery, is supported by various other studies.17-25
Boon9 writes with concern9:51:
Why have there been so many one-party states and coup after coup? The reason is that, in the past, many African leaders have been totally unapologetically self-serving. Yet the First World does not view Africa as different from itself for fear of discrimination. It is fundamentally different because the Third World Africa, which is led largely by Takers, has no discipline. It is not governed according the same ethics and values as either the First World or the tribal world, and therefore does not respond to them.
About the so-called takers, Boon9 writes9:48:
But there is a dark and utterly destructive cloud to the Third World: a massive movement of individuals turning their backs on their traditions and discipline and, in doing so, the closeness of community and ubuntu. They replace it, not with the best of the First World, but often with the very worst. They are self-serving and care nothing for the community other than what it can deliver to them personally. They seek to take, not to give or share. Many of these people have managed to educate themselves very well. They know how to manipulate Westerners and how to use, to their own ends, their once-upon-a-time tribe. They are part of the Third World but they also exist in the First World. We shall call this group the “Takers”. Takers have nothing integrity nor discipline. They serve the dollar-god of power and will do anything for it. Unfortunately, the tribal way has become confused with Takers…
But the takers seldom act on their own, often they have well-masked Western accomplices. These powerful accomplices not only steer the takings that the executive political leaders take, they also offer military and financial support for these corrupt political leaders so that they can execute, unobstructed and with ease, their immoral reign, driven by their delinquent mindsets. These leaders penetrate politics through their masterly use of the established platforms like the parliament, etc. This ganging-up of delinquent minds was well illustrated by the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Iraqi people under the executive political leadership of Saddam Hussein and his Western accomplices.9,26 Chomsky says of those pre-war times during the Bush administration26:107: “If Iraqis ever see Saddam Hussein in the dock, they want his former American allies shackled beside him”.
Political wrongdoings of whatever kind, seem to be perpetrated mostly by established criminal-minded persons who find the political and social environment’s rewards of power and riches very attractive and satisfying, and very easy to obtain. Executive political leaders are sometimes driven by extreme stupidity and psychopathology as Palkhivala16 and Tuchman16 suggest (in some cases making their behaviour non compos mentis), but as Boon9 clearly indicates with the takers, their political delinquency also reflects strongly the presence of well-planned and sound thinking. Boon’s9 and other studies3,8,26,27 reflect that these leaders are masters at identifying and selecting vulnerable established platforms from which to launch their foul play. They can overrun and capture South Africa’s public and private institutions, as evidenced in the last eight years.3,8,9,26,27
3.3 The use of the latent receptiveness of the South African Constitution and Parliament for planned criminal and political abuse and immorality by executive political leaders
The South African Constitution and the Parliament as established institutions offer immense opportunity for mismanagement and abuse. Both have a latent receptiveness in their foundations that crooked political leaders can with ease abuse as a gateway to the state coffers and to law making to enrich and to empower themselves. The Constitution and the Parliament are excellent platforms to use for state capture. This has been well illustrated since the ANC’s political elites came to power in 1994. A well-positioned and powerful immoral executive political leader can, by using his learned knowledge and experiences of statutory institutions and by implementing his corrupt thinking into the system, introduce fraud, corruption, theft and a general culture of crookery into the frameworks of the South African Constitution and the Parliament. Such a nest of crookery is very difficult to touch with the efforts of the general public and even the law-makers of the opposition in Parliament. This culture circles around a band of crooks that prey on established platforms like the Constitution and the Parliament. They plan these actions well and they aim to enrich themselves with intent. The evidence is strong that executive political leaders with immoral political thinking, planning and actions and seasoned in political delinquency, are central role players in these political wrongdoings.8,17,20,22,24,25, 27,28
Corrupt executive political leaders are in reality nothing other than members of well-oiled mafia networks that have infiltrated the socio-economic and political systems of countries worldwide. They are impossible to erase, as the Italian state’s endless fights with their mafia confirms. South Africa’s fruitless fight against its own large number of takers and the Zupta mafia, especially since 1994, equals this situation. These wrongdoers never learn from the consequences (they do not want to) and never ever stop; as soon as one political crook or despot is eliminated from the political system, the next one stands ready to take over and to better the well-oiled machine of corruption.4,8,22,28-34
It seems that there is an “inheritance of taking” in place for the next generation, ensuring the endless continuation of takers in the political system. This is evident from the continuation of a subculture of corruption in the greater South African society and the opportunities for easy profit-taking by corrupt politicians in government institutions where statutory rules are missing or have degenerated. The negative impact of political takers on a country’s people, its justice and political systems, can be immense. It can indeed lead to a dual governmental system where the Constitution and the Parliament become subordinate to the taker regime, as has happened over the last eight years in South Africa with Luthuli house becoming the government of the day. However, this is not the full story: South Africa had become, up until Zuma’s ousting, a tripartite governmental system, with Zuma and his cronies at the top in charge of the various Chapter 9 institutions and the Constitution, the so-called Zupta regime. The second leg of was Luthuli house and the ANC followers who believe foolishly that they are in charge. The third leg was the castrated Parliament and its “frozen” law makers.4,8,22,28-34
The remnants of the Zupta regime and the political leaders who formed part of this unholy union will not depart quickly, notwithstanding the fact that Jacob Zuma has been kicked out. It will take long to reinstate a regime of good governance accompanied by good executive political leaders in South Africa, if ever. Buccaneering politicians have taken rooted in the platforms of the Constitution and Parliament, they cannot be removed simply with the ousting of a president. The loot is too great to abandon without a few more tricks. The delinquent executive politicians have an arsenal of powers still at their disposal to terminate any “attack” on their power. It must be noted that the temporary acting president, Cyril Ramaphosa, fully approves of the empowerment of the Luthuli-house parliament as the top decision maker on all South African affairs. The takers are back in the South African political system, using its institutions for their own gain and in line with their flawed thinking. The most notable of takers did not leave with Zuma. Citizens should still fear them as they are devastating the coffers of the country by means of the Constitution and Parliament.17,25,35-37 Note Mthombothi’s remark21:25: “The rogues and the scoundrels are not only having a great time; they’re in charge.”
The capture of the Constitution and the Parliament has deeper rotten roots. The Zupta regime captured the political heart of the ANC as a party and corrupted it. The ANC’s monopoly in South African politics provides criminal politicians with easy access (and knowledge of how and where they can abuse the system) to the Constitution and the Parliament. Tshabalala38, with good reason, warns38:13: “Beware, the snake might be dead but those who share its secrets can still bite.”
It seems as if South African politics attracts more crooked-minded persons than persons of good character. This happens for a reason: the latent receptiveness of the South African Constitution and Parliament makes them easy platforms from which executive political leaders can easily launch their criminal campaigns. Two facts are clear: our politics makes corruption easy and crime pays with money and power. Nelson Mandela warned early in his term that many crooks had become politicians of the ANC-regime after 1994.39 This sincere warning was undoubtedly in vain. Widespread corruption under the auspices of the ANC is running the county down and has started gobbling up Mandela’s beloved ANC. The investigative journalist Gumede18 focuses on the most prominent culprit guilty of this delinquency when he writes18:13: “Zuma has single-handedly reconfigured South Africa’s post-apartheid politics. His actions have reduced the ANC’s political dominance, intellectual hegemony and leadership of the country broadly, and in black society in particular.” The editor of the Sunday Times is also very clear on this issue in his editorial column!0: 20: “This space is not big enough to accommodate the long list of transgressions President Jacob Zuma has committed since he first occupied the high office.” What he fails to say is that Zuma is only one of many executive political leaders with long lists of transgressions since 1994 and that many are waiting in the wings to indulge in the feast of South Africa’s assets.
3.4 The latent receptiveness of democracy for criminal and political abuse by executive political leaders
The abuse of political power, as reflected above, often lies in an abuse of democracy by the crooked-minded politician. Democracy, just like the Constitution and Parliament, lends itself to abuse. In South Africa it has aided many immoral politicians in their efforts towards self-enrichment, self-empowerment and state capture. It is an easy vehicle for majority groups and political parties that have been infiltrated by corrupt leaders. South Africa has been an excellent example of this mechanism from 1652.8,17,22,27,29-31,36,40-42
Democracy does not give the people control of the country, although many voters think so. Democracy, as a dynamic, energizing political process, only means that the people have the opportunity to accept or reject a candidate. However, what a candidate promises before the election and what he does after he has been elected, are two very different things. Chomsky writes about the arrogance of politicians who ignore the voters (and true democracy) after they have been elected26:82-83: “The political leadership will pat them on the head and say, ‘I’m for you, vote for me’. The people involved will have to understand that maybe they’ll do something for you, that only if you maintain substantial pressure can you get elected leadership to do things – but they’re not going to do it on their own, with very rare exceptions.” This is evident from the political dynamics in what is actually a sound democracy. The post-1994 democracy of South Africa as an institution has fallen victim to false political leaders, making it a false democracy. The reason for this is its latent receptiveness for criminal and political abuse by executive political leaders.8,17,22,27,29-31,36,40-42
Chomsky26 elaborates on false politicians cum failed executive political leaders. He describes them as persons who have been contaminated by arrogance and malign intentions. These leaders, empowered by their high-ranking positions inside the country’s executive political hierarchy, prey on the defenceless and vulnerable public and other statutory institutions when the country’s political and social systems collapse. The dynamics of immorality has penetrated and contaminated the system and the psyche of these executive political leaders long ago. They are untouchable and an unavoidable enemy. Chomsky reflects on the manner in which such leaders force their immense political power on the system26: 14:
It does not matter whether these leaders are elected or appointed, or hold their office through blood or advantage of wealth or even as the result of some level of educational attainment useful to a ruling elite.
Coggan writes as follows on the negative dynamics brought about corrupt leaders40:2:
The cynicism of voters in the developed world is, in part, the result of a series of scandals that have shown politicians willing to cheat on both their expenses and their spouses, and to break the solemn promises they made to voters before their election. Many people also have the feeling that, in practice, there is little difference between the main parties; that, however citizens vote, policies will not change.
It is with good reason that Coggan40 expresses great concern about the abuse of democracy by politicians when he concludes40:ix:
All this inspired me to look back at the early debates about democracy, and I found that the issues that concern us today also worried Plato, Aristotle and the American founding fathers. In turn, that made me worry that democracy might be more fragile than most people assume.
The new German ambassador to South Africa and a man seasoned in the dynamics of South African politics since 2007, Martin Schäfer43, points out the fragile state of present-day democracies worldwide, including the South African democracy. When asked to comment on the present South Africa on the 4th of February 2018, he said with great concern43:12: “Ten years ago, we would not have had any doubts about the stability of democracies and the rule of law in the West but beyond. We cannot be so sure any more.”
Professor Deon Rossouw44, CEO of The Ethics Institute, looks at the negative impact of delinquent thinking, planning and behaviour on our democracy and state capture from another angle when he writes44:18:
More than at any other time since the dawn of new South Africa, people are agreeing that there is a clear and urgent need for ethical leadership in the country. The cost of getting us to this level of awareness has been painfully high — it took corruption on a grand scale in the public and private sectors being exposed…
Holomisa45, also very negative about the capture of the country’s democracy for abuse by the crooked leader, elaborates as follows on the situation45:18: “An attitude of animosity has captured South Africa. A culture of mistrust, contempt and one-upmanship. A culture of destruction.”
These comments bare evidence of how immoral executive political leaders have captured the democracy. They have changed it into a failed democracy. Democracy made it possible for them to capture the state.
The rule of a country and its people is driven by two intertwined energies, namely money and politics. He who has the money rules the politics and he who has the politics rules the money. Chomsky writes about this link that the26:55: “… concentration of wealth leads almost reflexively to concentration of political power, which in turn translates into legislation, naturally in the interests of those implementing it: and that accelerates what has been a vicious cycle leading to, as I said, bitterness, anger, frustration and a very atomized society.”
More than a hundred years ago the political financier Mark Hanna was asked what he regarded as important in politics. He answered26:82: “The first is money, the second one is money and I’ve forgotten what the third one is.” Is it different today? Chomsky says26:82: “Today it’s much more extreme. So yes, concentrated wealth will, of course, try to use its wealth and power to take over the political system as much as possible, and to run it and do what it wants, etc.” This dualistic empowerment is the reason why crooked person are attracted to politics.
Individual writers as Coggan40, Schäfer43, Rossouw44, Holomisa45 and Chomsky26 are not alone in their concerns about the many political crooks who have captured modern democracies and who are holding the citizens of these democracies at ransom. Other researchers are also vocal about the prominent role of corrupt political leaders and the creation of a culture of crookery. South Africans, Black and White, have since 1652 up to today been ruled by a range of surreptitious democratic rulers and their democracies. They leave few good memories.8,9,27-29,31,33,36,39,46,47-51
Boon9 possibly gives the best explanation of what democracy rule means and what mob rule means. This offers a very good guideline to evaluate the South Africa’s governance and political systems to get an idea of the degree to which it has been infiltrated by mob politicians over the years. In this indication Boon9 first describes a mob as a group of people who, in their selfish effort to reach their corrupt goals, use strategies devoid of any true democratic principles or traditions. These political mobsters are absolutely intolerant. They quickly eradicate all order, the presence of minorities and the rights and dignity of their opposition. Their coercive actions are often characterized by destruction, threats and killings and other similar brutalities. All their power is focused on the establishment of their reign. This mob does not respect the majority as the ruling entity, and any member of the majority who opposes them simply becomes part of the minority and is treated as such. Dissidents are forced to change their mindsets to accept the mob’s consensus on decisions or they pay greatly for their beliefs. Boon9 describes democracy as a statutory entity that seeks to understand minorities and to tolerate minorities. In a democracy the majority makes decisions in cooperation with the minority to obtain consensus, collectiveness and inclusiveness in decision making. It assures dignity, care and compassion for the minority and their opposition. Of the mob in practice, Boon writes9:75:
Without adequate focus on principles and positive values, democracy can easily be hijacked and become a mob. The mob then continues to call itself democratic as ‘the majority has decided’ on a course of action. But when the values of the group no longer underpin dignified, positive, democratic norms and aspirations, it is no longer a democracy; it is an unruly, negative and destructive mob. Russia, under Stalin, is an excellent example of such an abrogation and hijacking – complete shift from socialism to dictatorship and autocracy – and the ultimate result of mob rule.
But is Russia the only culprit when it comes to dictatorship and autocracy? What about South Africa under DF Malan? He changed the country from a “half-democracy” to a dictatorship and autocracy that supported the Afrikaner Nationalists in their practice of Apartheid. What about the ANC’s continuation of their pre-1994 unruly, negative, intolerant and destructive behaviour as a liberation movement to establish and maintain a dictatorship and autocracy in post-1994 South Africa?
When people are offered democracy, they welcome all the democratic rights that traditionally accompany democracy like a free press, competing political parties, an independent judiciary, etc. However, in today’s new socio-economical, personal and political environment, citizens expect far more from their executive political leaders in the form of better labour rights and a bigger share in the national gross domestic product (GDP). Of course they also want a sympathetic ear that would listen to their complaints and leaders who would do something about.8,18,22,27,29-31,36,40-42
In reference to above situation, Chomsky26 points out that the governments of many democracies have recently scored their lowest approval in history, while the ratings of the accompanying institutions are not much higher. He clearly reflects the dissatisfaction with false democracies lead by false leaders26:54:
The population is angry, frustrated, bitter – and for good reasons. For the past generation, policies have been initiated that have led to an extremely sharp concentration of wealth in a tiny sector of the population. In fact, the wealth distribution is very heavily weighted by, literally, the top tenth of one percent of the population, a fraction so small that they’re not even picked up on the census. You have to do statistical analysis to detect them.
Does the above sound strange for South Africa? Consider that the country had White radical economic transformation (WRET) from 1948 to 1994 and from 1994 ongoing Black radical economic transformation (BRET), where 10 per cent of the population steals at the cost of 90 per cent of the population simply by masterly use of democracy.
Failure to meet the usual demands and the many new needs and demands of modern voters creates doubt about the right and mandate of a “good” executive political leader to be in charge of the government and of the democracy. Many promising leaders lose standing with citizens as they have a new frame of reference with stricter criteria for leadership. In South Africa the response of citizens was effectively repressed by the country’s leaders since 1652. Prominent here is the use of suppressive legislation and the informal and formal management of disinformation. South Africans have become used to efforts to create false impressions of the noble intentions and characters of our political icons and saints.8,18,22,27,29-31,36,40-42
The failures of democracy are often a direct result of the public assuming that leaders are noble and able. However, the incompetent leaders who assume executive political leadership for selfish reasons know from the beginning that they would never be able to satisfy the demands and needs of the people. The immediate benefits overshadow the interests of their voters. Such persons are false leaders in a false democracy, and they gradually destroy any hope of ever establishing true democracy in societies. These leaders have skewed thinking and are focused on self-enrichment long before their voyage into politics. The current South African politics is at the mercy of this kind of leader.8,18,22,27,29-31,36,40-42
When one considers South Africa’s political history, it is clear that since 1652 false executive political leaders and regimes dubbed in crookery and delivering incompetence services had successfully captured the platform of democracy and had abused this platform. These leaders often acted contrary to true democracy; harming human decency, love for mankind, equality, and psychological and emotional normality. The political histories and biographies of some of these politicians reveal their poor judgement and their failure as persons and leaders in real life.8,9,20,27,30,31,33,39,52-54
Reckless political decisions and undemocratic behaviour has resulted in conflict from the side of with voting rights and the voiceless masses in the past. The great injustice that was Apartheid unfortunately shed a very negative light on those who come from a certain minority group, even if some do have the potential to be good executive political leaders that would benefit the greater society. Racism, discrimination and domination by any ruling group are unforgiveable, and it seems in South Africa unforgettable too. It leads to long-term estrangement and hostility between the conflicting groups. These conflicts are at the basis of the ANC’s outright rejection of the NP leaders Malan, Strydom, Verwoerd, Vorster, Botha and De Klerk as good executive political leaders, contrary to how they are seen in the eyes of the most Afrikaners and certain international sectors. The leadership of these persons also motivated the ANC’s decision to fight the Afrikaners and the NP with terrorism to overthrow their regime. The injustices of Apartheid is now engrained as permanent cultural and racial hatred in the mindsets of the most South Africans, undoubtedly a direct outcome of the flawed thinking of the false leaders of the NP as part of the two false White democracies (Union of South Africa and the Verwoerdian Republic). Unconditional, or even conditional acceptance of Malan, Strydom, Verwoerd, Vorster, Botha and De Klerk by Blacks was not and is not possible. These political leaders intentionally abused the platform of democracy for political gains. (However much hostility and aggression there is towards the present-day ANC-regime, their transgressions are in all honesty not an inch worse than the political regimes before 1994).8,9,20,27,30,31,33,39,52-54
We must take note of the phenomenon of a false democracy with false executive political leaders if we want to take care of our future in the new South Africa. South Africa becoming a sound democracy with a genuine democrat in charge after the recent Ramaphosa election is something that must first be seen to be believed. South Africans heard the same promises with Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma before.29 Gumede18 seems a little bit over-optimistic when he speaks about the “post-Zuma South Africa” and a bettered system to keep out false leaders and better safeguards to protect the South African democracy from becoming false again. His hope is a good guideline in our search for good executive political leaders and a good regime of governance. He writes18:13: “It is now very likely that the actions, decisions and behaviour of future leaders and governments will be scrutinized much more deeply by citizens, civil society, the media and democratic institutes.”
What Gumede18 must remember is that although Parliament gives the final vote on the president’s election, the ANC is still the majority party in Parliament. Their candidate for the state presidency is selected by only 5 000 ANC members before he arrives in Parliament for approval. Their integrity, as we see from the loyalty to and support of a corrupted Zuma as president for a very long time, is questionable. Does 5 000 ANC voters who choose on behalf of 56 million South Africans speak of true democracy?55
Ginsberg4 takes the criticism on this false democracy that South Africans created themselves a step further with his comments on our chaotic present Parliament representation4:98:
Unfortunately our new electoral system of proportional representation allows many MP’s to ride into Parliament on the backs of one or two party stalwarts. Under the previous constituency-based system these candidates would be compelled to go out and campaign in the field – in their constituency, where they would be forced to address the concerns of their fellow citizens. To make matters worse, since no Members of Parliament are currently directly elected, there are vast areas of South Africa that have no real voice or real representation in the national legislature, as the majority of members hail from a few large cities. At present many of our MP’s are among the most out-of-touch and unaccountable politicians South Africa has ever elected.
South Africa’s problems with good executive political leadership and good governance are to a great extent self-created in the form of its vulnerable state structures and a lack of legislation to put a process in place to keep out crooked politicians and to assure that South African voters experience true democracy under a true representative executive political leader of good standing. Over the years no efforts have been made to put a lock on the door of the platform democracy to keep out corrupt politicians. To the contrary, it seems as if the door was opened wide in 2012. So far no improvement has been evident under Ramaphosa – indeed, the chances of further misuse of the Constitution, Parliament and democracy further for political gain and the emergence of stronger and more corrupt executive political leaders until the 2019 general elections are very high. Every day there is more evidence for this suspicion.
The current South Africa, as before 1994, is a false democracy, created in the first place by the people themselves. We, the voters, ourselves opened the door for false political leaders to get entrance into the highest office of the country. We are wrong to blame Jacob Zuma for his tricks: it was we, the moaning South Africans, who created the opportunity for him to become president. We did the same with the incoming leader.25,36,37,42,55-57 The dynamics of corrupt politics that date from the days of Jan van Riebeeck seem to be too entrenched to be stopped.
We, the voters, have become uninvolved and passive spectators of the South African political failure that is our own doing. Boon9 uses the word spectator to describe South Africa’s passive “onlookers” who fail to better their negative position, a situation that needs their intervention. This label fits our passive South African onlookers who fail to take a stand against political crooks. The problem that Boon9 describes dates from South Africa’s earliest times. It is not a new phenomenon that came with the ANC regime. Indeed, the Afrikaner Nationalists were overwhelmed and manipulated from 1948 by their executive political leaders. They were also spectators from a distance. Boon9 allows us to look into a mirror. He writes9:99:
Spectators make up the greatest sector of humanity. These people are observers and critics, and they are only positive when the side is winning. They have a high concern for self and are very critical of change agents. Although negatively critical, they will very seldom do anything to change the circumstances they dislike. They simple prefer to get more vocal and more negative in their criticism of ‘appalling leadership’ when things do not work out to their satisfaction. Circumstances rarely work out to the satisfaction of spectators, so their primary characteristics are negativity and selfishness. I’m sure everyone has heard someone say: “They should do something about it. This is a disaster”.
Spectators never expose themselves and avoid the concomitant vulnerability at all costs. It is as if they instinctively know that by becoming vulnerable, they will be challenged and forced to become accountable for their own actions, views, utterances and behaviour. Spectators are characterized as negative, selfish and highly critical; they never expose themselves, refuse to accept accountability and are often devious.
If the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders could steer their followers to spectator-obedience in 1948, is it possible for the Afrikaners to change in 2018? If the Afrikaners failed to challenge their despotic leaders since 1948, how can we expect the ANC followers to take on its autocratic leaders since 1994? Wishful thinking! For many years we had given corrupt leaders the freedom to do what they want. The miserable state of our politics in 2018 confirms this.
South African politics in a sense mirrors the ironies of the replacement of the weak and corrupt King Sihanouk by the bloody revolution of extremist Communists in Cambodia. Malloch-Brown reflects5:80: “A weak king had been replaced by Communist butchers because the country lacked a democratic stage on which any other ending might have been played out.” Basically both the failed pre-1994 and post-1994 democracies of South Africa do not offer a political choice to its people that they can exercise to make a success of their lives. South Africa was and is a failed state, whichever way we look at it.
3.5 The use of South Africa’s majority and minority populations by executive political leaders for political gain
Executive political leaders have always and are still using the population of South Africa as a tool to make their immoral actions possible. It is also used by some delinquent executive political leaders as a platform to steer their dogmas, doctrines and ideologies and to penetrate and misuse the formal political system for their own gain. The structure of South African society developed slowly from 1652, and today this complex and layered society is used by politicians with ulterior motives. Since the early times of the British authorities at the Cape society was used as a very useful platform to steer new political dogmas, doctrines and ideologies. In 1910, with the founding of the Union of South Africa, political dogmas, doctrines and ideologies around a White minority against a Black majority, White and Black homogeneousness versus a South African heterogeneousness, were used as a gateway by the Whites to isolate Blacks for eighty-four years from any formal say in the government of the day. This skewed political thinking on the side of the White executive political leaders led them to capture society on many occasions since 1910. Apartheid and its racism, which are still dashing the hopes that South Africa would become a true Nation, are sad reflections of this.33,45,58-69
The next subdivisions provide an in-depth discussion of past and present misuse of the South African society as an easy gateway. The discussion focuses on how bad executive political leaders smuggled their ideas into South African politics to serve their own interests.
3.5.1 Majority versus minority populations
It is important to note that in most heterogeneous nations, the majority, empowered by an integrated democratic system, is allowed to rule over the minority groups through its executive political leaders as part of a model empowers all groups. Communist and despotic countries always portray their regimes as democratic, but in practice the majority has unlimited power over the minorities. The contrary can also happen, as was the case during Apartheid in South Africa. A minority ruled a majority as a result of White power that dates from 1652 at the Cape.6,7,40
Usually, the most disliked minority groups receive the worst treatment. This is usually a result of the disempowerment of minority groups, further strengthened by earlier conflicts between the two groups. Apartheid, practiced by the minority group of Afrikaners and the rulers until 1994, now out of government and political disempowered, is the direct reason for the discrimination against Afrikaners by the now ruling Black majority. The current treatment that Whites receive under the Black majority government is very different from the treatment that the other two minorities (seen as “Black” enough), the Coloureds and the Indians, receive. This is a good example of a majority versus minority rule where the “democratic” rights obtained by the Blacks as the majority after 1994, are abused to serve the political aims of the rulers.6,8,27,33,39,40,48 It is a typical mobster case according to Boon’s classification9. Revenge for the past is prominent.33 These outcomes are because the established platforms of majority and minority groups offer delinquent executive political leaders unlimited opportunities to take revenge and to give expression to their autocracy in the governmental, societal and political systems.
History shows that the majority’s “democratic” decision-making are not necessarily always the best option. The negative rule of the democratic majority on many terrains in South Africa after 1994, confirms this. A minority ruler is not better, basically because it is not democratically selected and thus not politically representative of every citizen. However, in some cases there could be good characteristics that can make a minority government better with the delivery of certain services and an appropriate ruler of the majority. The NP in South Africa from 1948 to 1994 was successful on certain economic, social and political terrains. However, they also abused their rule for the domination of Blacks. This tragic outcome is more or less similar to what is presently unfolding in South Africa, only in a reversed edition.17,18,27,29,30,31,33,70
In most cases the concept “minority” is racially, ethnically, educationally, religiously and culturally applicable, and thus enormously emotionally laden. This often freezes rational thinking on both sides of the majority-minority duality. The majority think they can rule a country as a whole better because they are backed by majority opinions, views, traditions, customs and beliefs in decision-making. The minority/minorities experience these opinions, views, traditions, customs and beliefs in decision-making on their behalf as false, vicious and outright revenge. As said, these hostilities are mostly based on race, religion or culture and they are often senseless attempts to correct historical wrongdoings. In South Africa these attitudes do not stem from the general population so much, but from executive political leaders on behalf of their people. These self-appointed political leaders’ decisions on behalf of the population are not based on the true sentiments of the voters. Most Blacks of South Africa do not hold grudges against Whites and have outgrown Apartheid. The true drivers behind these resentments are the executive political leaders and they keep hatred alive of their own interests. When leaders break through on these various population platforms, they gain power and riches, and also enormous support from the group (s) they pretend to “help”, giving them more energy to continue with their behaviour. 6,17,18,27,29,30,31,33,40,70
Delinquent executive political leaders often have a history of trauma and they lack insight into right and wrong because of social and mental dysfunction and underdeveloped superegos. They abuse issues like race, ethnicity, poverty, democracy and problematic minorities in their exclusive planning of their delinquent actions to benefit only themselves. The basis of their success is the upfront establishment of a strong group of corrupt cronies in power, as is the case with the untouchable sector inside the ANC in South Africa.6,8,17,18,27,29-31,33,40,49,51,54,70,71,73
On the legal dilemma (and tragic finality) of minorities in society, Coggan reports40:27:
The rights of those minorities are dependent on the goodwill of the majority, unless they are protected in law. Even then, the dilemma is not solved. Either the majority has the right to abolish or dilute such laws (in which case the minority’s rights are theoretically under threat and democracy is undermined) or they do not have the right (in which case the system is not fully democratic).
The above outcome of the infringement of minority groups’ political and human rights, even threatening their future existence as citizens in their homeland, is a direct consequence of the NP’s racist regime, which was overseen by ultra-strong executive political leaders and their cronies from 1948 to 1994 (including the Afrikaner Broederbond and the Dutch Reformed Church). This was an excellent example of a minority regime that governed falsely under the mantle of a so-called democracy (a false democracy upheld by the White military and other security forces and an oppressive constitution). The early conflict is now reversed, and we see more and more in post-1994 South Africa that the Constitution is frequently ignored the concept of democracy is stretched. This is particularly evident from the treatment Afrikaners receive from the majority ANC’s liberation-driven executive political leaders. There is a constant and continuous abuse of democracy, Parliament, etc. to penetrate the political systems, and to rule the masses without obstruction or limits.4,8,17,27,29-31,33,35,39,73
This vicious circle of political disorderliness present within the ANC was already spotted by Nelson Mandela’s official biographer, Anthony Sampson, in the middle-1990s. Sampson writes39:518:
By the end of Mandela’s first year as President, the honeymoon had ended. White South Africans were complaining bitterly about the crime wave, the falling rand, corruption scandals, upheavals in hospitals and schools. Liberals were disillusioned that a black government was ignoring their advice; other whites never thought it would work anyway.
The ANC’s executive political leaders (in this case Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Mandela’s so-called “care-taker president”) quickly came to view the White minority as of little importance, and this included their rights as citizens. This is reflected in the following quotation by Sampson on behalf of Mandela39:518: “White South Africa had been a uniquely privileged society under previous regimes, protected both from Black competition and from the world marketplace, and found it hard to adjust to an open democracy”.
The Afrikaners, as a minority group, were betrayed by their executive political leader FW de Klerk, who was gobbled up by the ANC elite. For the Black liberator Mandela and his followers it was a case of finished and goodbye: you deserve it and that is it. The ANC leadership’s tendency to discriminate against the Afrikaners as a White quickly degenerated more under Mbeki and Zuma. It now seems as if the incoming executive political leader of the ANC and acting president, Ramaphosa, is starting to make the same noises as Zuma.17,21,27,29,30,32,33,35,54,74-78
3.5.2 Homogeneous versus heterogeneous populations
Boon1 emphasizes that discriminatory and suppressive behaviour elicits immediate reaction from minorities, sometimes with deadly consequences. When a group’s immediate future is threatened, they fall back on community and homogeneity. The endangerment of a person’s cultural identity – language, religion, beliefs, custom, opinions, traditions and race – brings homogeneity and heterogeneity to the foreground. These two concepts are far more comprehensive in meaning than simple majorities and minorities and immoral political leaders use and abuse them. It must be noted that these four concepts often function in an intertwined manner, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively.4,9,33,39,46-49,52-54,58,61,63-66,79,80
Homogeneity plays an important role when a minority group’s cultural identity is endangered by a homogeneous majority group that governs a country and that is guided by immoral leaders. The reactions that are elicited from such discrimination can be very specific and devastating. On the other hand homogeneity can play a very destructive role under the leadership of crooked politicians. The governing group’s members are mobilized through false ideas about the opposing groups. At the centre of such delinquent executive political leaders’ thinking lies the abuse of homogeneity for their own gain.4,9,33,39,46-49,52-54,58,61,63-66,79,80
People’s sense of belonging to a homogenous group is sometimes unexpectedly revived in times of danger. The insecurity that danger brings is amplified if they are a minority group. Boon writes in this regard9: 62-63:
If a community comes under threat, there is an immediate psychological shift back to the tribe. This happened among many communities in the period immediately prior to South Africa’s first democratic elections: the AWB, the Zulus, the English and the Jews. A quick check was casually done, just to establish where the community/tribe was, so that they could be contacted if the need arose; a check to get the tribe’s perspective on the treat. The same thing occurred in business.
The realities of the African environment do not allow us to deny tribalism, although some people do. Hopefully, truly free and enlightened people do not choose to revert to tribe whether they like it or not.
Prominent is here the “phenomenon of return” of passive members to their tribe or group as a safe-haven like as in the distant past. They want to be lead out of danger. The point of focus here is that they fall in behind the (old) executive political leaders of their tribe. We saw this outcome after 1902 to 1908 with the Boers in the two Boer republics (then turned into British colonies): gathering themselves around their old Transvaal and Free State burgher groupings and behind their old Transvaal and Free State executive political leaders like Smuts, Botha, Hertzog, De Wet and other. Executive political leaders then have to act as the guardians of the minority and homogeneous group (in the Boers’ case, the Transvaal and Free State Burghers) against the majority’s executive political leadership’s power (the British Government, the British South African Colonial Authority and the liberal Cape Dutch of the Cape Province). The leaders have to face and fight off the threats to the minority.4,9,33,39,46-49,52-54,58,61,63-66,79,80
But, as Boon9 says, as soon as a group experiences threats and is marginalized on the grounds of their features and characteristics, they start forming new groups. They revert back to tribal or group support, as Boon9 illustrates. Often these unanchored and bewildered minorities fall prey to unethical political leaders and they submit to them as a last hope to survive or to gain back their previous better positions. The AWB and its executive leadership after 1994, and the ANC- and the PAC-leaderships before 1994, as well as the NP in 1948, are excellent examples of organizations that became attractive safe-havens for factions of the population. In some cases these executive political leaders – like that of the NP after 1948 and the ANC after 1990 – become more than just guiders as result of the dire need and mass numbers of their new followers. They receive a mandate to think, to plan and to act on behalf of their confused followers, notwithstanding their own internal rotten political characteristics and behaviour. The executive political leadership characteristics that have become embedded in the leadership of the NP and the ANC started as corrupted bonds to steer and to guide their new generation of executive political leaders. This creates a vicious circle of more bad executive political leadership. 8,27,33,39
Louw33 comments on the contaminating potential of executive political leaders when he describes how Afrikaners surrendered their independent thought to their leaders33:218-219:
Afrikaner status, Afrikaans as an exclusive own Afrikaner language, Afrikaner radical economic transformation, Afrikaner state capture, the racial purity of the Afrikaner, race separation, the limitation of Black politics, Afrikaner social and economical empowerment, Afrikaner nation identification, Afrikaner group identity above individuality, etc., became the dominant propaganda of the Malan era.
For the Afrikaners, especially the bruised and vulnerable Northern Afrikaners still battling with their psychological scars after the Second Anglo Boer War, this Afrikaner messiah [DF Malan] and his message were like manna from heaven. Extreme apartheid was born, driven daily by a growing authoritarian Afrikaner leadership who gradually broke down individual thinking, planning and decision-making of the ordinary Afrikaner in exchange for the establishment of an exclusive Whiteman’s utopia. The ordinary Afrikaners’ dependence on their NP-AB-DRC leaders to meet all their needs as citizens in time became internalized in most of the post-1910 Afrikaners and the following three generations up to 1994. It not only led to grand apartheid to manage the ever-growing and ever-present “Black danger”, but also contributed to the rigid and ruthless reinforcement of apartheid for nearly five decades to follow.
The “goodness” or “badness” of political leaders is often linked to the racial or ethnic tension that accompanies the person’s reign. Such tensions re-awaken people’s sense of belonging to either the majority or the minority group. It also rekindles feelings of revenge. Conflicts that had been over rise again (think for example of the Great Trek and how these ideas were rekindled during the First and Second Anglo Boer Wars). Past conflicts and ideas are rekindled however inapplicable they may be, because followers want to go back to what worked in the past. This happened in 1948 with the Afrikaner Nationalists. They were guided by outdated and dangerous ideas. The immoral ideas that led to the changes in 1948 date from 1908. The founding fathers of Afrikanerism elicited strong feelings of resentment directed at English-speaking White South Africans, dissident Afrikaners and Black South Africans. Outdated racist ideas with their foundation in the Cape of the 1700s were invigorated by Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders (persons like DF Malan, HF Verwoerd and BJ Vorster, with a smack of religion and/or Nazism into their political mindsets) and became engrained in the mindsets of many very naïve Afrikaners. They used these ideas and emotional appeals to gain power. 4,9,33,39,46-49,52-54,58,61,63-66,79,80
Racism was formally introduced in South Africa by Whites in 1652. Racism is still very much alive in present-day South Africa, now kept alive also by Blacks. All of these centres on majority versus minority and homogeneity versus heterogeneity, and all the entities are at the disposal of leaders who want to profit from this. Leaders use the problems between groups to gain political ground. South Africa has always been a mixture of races and it will remain one, which means that there will always be racial and ethnic minorities. The people of the country should wisely and calmly oust delinquent executive political leaders and prevent them from using the countries institutions as a gateway for abuse.
Boon9 writes as follows about the racial dynamics in South Africa9: 63:
There is no point in denying that ethnicity exists. It simply does, whether one likes it or not. It is in the context in which the tribe is seen that is important. If it is a support group or away of life, there is no problem. But when ethnicity is used to fan hatred of other groups, evil is being done.
Some of the post-1994 leaders are power hungry and corrupt, and they were transferred from the liberation movement directly to the government. Many have become untouchable icons. This obscures the efforts to executed pure government: the overwhelming number of delinquent political leaders who abuse the different platforms will be difficult to eliminate from politics.39
3.5.3 Critical perspective on the role of divisions such as majority, minority, homogeneity and heterogeneity in political manipulation
It seems as if democracies and their executive political leaders function best where the population is homogeneous, either by birth or by the gradually incorporation of different races, ethnicities and cultures into a “mixed” new, homogeneous nation, as has happened in the USA to a great extent over a period of 400 years. Although the American Dream of a homogeneous American people seemed to work for a long time, this unity is now slowly starting to crumble, bringing minorities and racism and ethnicity to the foreground. In the USA many of the minorities are moving slowly into a non-White heterogeneous majority. Although we refer to the UK, France and Germany as homogeneous nations, their homogeneity is also under attack due to a growing mixture in their citizenry. A part of this comes from the colonial ventures of these countries. The influx of migrants from the Middle East into Europe is eroding homogeneity in Europe. This new trend of migration is eliciting strong negative and racist feelings among the European population, especially with reference to the religious militancy of the incoming groups, while the impoverished and destitute migrants are left in the cold by most of the executive political leaders of Europe. This is leading to immense conflict between the newcomers and the permanent inhabitants, creating strong hatred, especially against the few struggling executive political leaders fighting in some way for the human rights of migrants and their incorporation into Europe. The negative classification of these pro-migrant executive political leaders in terms of an ultra-right classification, as failed leaders because of their sympathy for the migrants is totally unacceptable in terms of the strict principles prescribed for a regime of good governance. Unfortunately, these good executive political leaders who openly under-write, propagate and promote human rights, are mostly forced out of active politics as bad executive political leaders. The migrants and their problems are ignored, and in many cases the migrants are labelled as criminals, troublemakers and terrorists. The leaders who are “tough” on migrants can be sure of a political future. One should remember that the present migrant crisis is a direct outcome of Europe and the USA’s unasked interference in the Middle East for their own interests, like oil and minerals.2,3,6,26
The problem described above is a clear reflection of the complexity of categories such as homogeneous, heterogeneous, majority and minority and the fine balance there should be. These categories of populations can either co-exist, or be pitched against each other. A country can have a homogeneous population that functions excellently, like Switzerland. On the other hand a country can consist of various minorities, lacking a dominant majority that clearly stand out as the ruling group. In such cases co-existence depends on the racial, ethnic, cultural, economic and social characteristics and interests of the inhabitants, making it a well-functioning country. When one takes a look at the old Union of South Africa, the Northern Boers (Transvaal), Southern Boers (Free State), Cape Dutch (Western Cape) and the Karoo Boers (Northern Cape) functioned well in their Afrikaner racist enclave and their political system of Black suppression. Yet the Union failed as a political entity, because the majority of the South African population, the Black South Africans, were excluded from the government and proper citizenship until 1994.2,9,33,39,49,81,82
Another example is where a country has a heterogeneous population and is governed by more than one majority. This can sometimes make the governing of a country very difficult if consensus is lacking. Belgium, ruled together by its two majorities, the French and the Flemish (both White, but differing in language and religion, as well as certain cultural habits, customs, traditions and beliefs, etc.), is an example of such a 50:50 government system and its problems. The fourth outcome is where there is a heterogeneous population, consisting of various heterogeneous minorities (various Black tribes, like Xhosas, Zulus, Venda’s, etc., each with their own different languages, certain cultural habits, customs, traditions and beliefs), but belonging to the same branch of the ethnic family tree (Black). They then form a homogeneous political majority, like the Blacks in South Africa on whose behalf the ANC is governing today.2,9,33,39,49,81,82
The various successes described above do not always reflect the true situation of the everyday reality of governmental management. It is basically impossible to obtain an overwhelming homogeneous majority population inside a country’s borders. Even Switzerland is experiencing more and more dissidence of small pockets of minorities who, notwithstanding their Swiss nationality, are culturally rooted in neighbouring countries. What keeps the Swiss people together is Switzerland’s extraordinary democracy and the direct say that every citizen has in the affairs of the country. There are no long-term successes among the countries with small homogeneous minorities that govern autocratically (like the Afrikaner groups of the Union and Republic of South Africa tried to do), basically because the autocratic homogeneous minority model ignores a homogeneous majority (in this case the Blacks) in the political system and the minority is ultimately conquered by the majority. The Afrikaners are currently in a process of dissolution because of its minority status.2,9,33,39,49,81,82
Classifications like heterogeneity/homogeneity and majorities/minorities are complex. Very few executive political leaders understand it and know how to master and manage it effectively. It seems to be the crooked executive political leaders who are willingly to engage with it, but only because it suits them. They do not really consider needs or risks in the long run. They have in mind rule and self-enrichment, and they learn to use such concepts to their benefit.2,9,33,39,49,81,82
In present-day South Africa it is important for any capable government to take note of Malloch-Brown’s5 warning that they do not understand the immense responsibility around concepts such as homogeneity, heterogeneity, majority and minority inside the global plan of governance. Every task entrusted to the executive political leader should be successfully executed for him to be a good leader and for the country to fit into the global plan of governance. The comparison of the ANC regime’s democracy in South Africa with the democracies of their BRICS partners can bring negative surprises in the next five years, as well as new challenges will have to face within the global context of governing. Malloch-Brown5:253 emphasizes that South Africa’s invidious global comparison will not go away, and neither will the demand for change: obtaining a place in the global society is a hard task to master as it always tests the actions of a regime and the state of that society. For South Africa to compete globally there should be sound governance. This is difficult to attain and maintain. Even the honourable Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma83, the previous president, had to admit in public that it was far more difficult for him to run South Africa than it was for him to fight for its freedom. The outcomes of his presidency confirm this.
Apartheid South Africa was, in terms of the use of homogeneity, heterogeneity, majority and minority as political vehicles, possibly one of the best successes ever in modern times with its creation of various homogeneous minority (racial) states, so-called independent homelands or nation-states (negatively labelled Bantustans). Each state had to accommodate one homogeneous group. The sub-group of Afrikaners who sought an independent homogeneous homeland (a revival of the Boer republics) is also such an example, but the lack of a region to occupy led to its failure and in the end also to the NP’s policy of “separate development.” The ultimate failure of the Afrikaners’ own homeland was a direct result of the Afrikaner Nationalists’ executive political leaders’ selfish and politically blind policy to allocate more than 80 per cent of South Africa to the Whites as a homeland, keeping the best areas for themselves. The short-lived policy of the Apartheid homelands mirrored the 1908 efforts to institute, in the place of the Union, a loose federation of separate South African states, based on homogeneous and minority populations (Tswana’s, Venda’s, etc.). This would surely have healed or prevented many of today’s political and racial pains that come with the majority-minority conflict. In a federation there is minimal opportunity for an immoral executive leader opportunity to play off various heterogeneous and majority groups against each other. It would also have limited the chances of such leaders penetrating the formal political system for their own interests.2,9,33,39,49,54,61,64,80-82
The ANC, when taking over government in 1994, did not focus as a political party cum liberation movement on any tribal interests and preferences, because such a policy would have directly endangered their political power base. For them there was only one way to go: a mini-empire of multi-nations. Inside this mini-empire of multi-nations the chances were plentiful to reduce some groups to powerless minorities. The independent power of tribes and minorities would have limited their ability to manipulate the various peoples of South Africa, forcing the executive leaders of the ANC (even before the 1994-dispensation) to start to dismantle the project of independent homelands (a mini-empire of multi-nation states) as fast as possible. Prominent ANC figures who actively led this dismantling from 1994 onwards included Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma. In this case the ANC’s outdated ideology of liberation drowned out the political wisdom to steer the country into the global community. Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma’s dismantling of the homelands went deeper: it represented the dismantling of minority rights in South Africa. It also confirms their inability to be good executive political leaders to serve every citizen independently, irrespective of his religion, politics, culture and colour in the post-1994 South Africa.2,9,33,39,49,54,61,64,80-82
The 1994 promise of the ANC to make South Africa a democratic state of national unity after 300 years of Apartheid did not realize. They show the same tragic short-sightedness as the Afrikaners. The grey policy of the ANC, ignoring the issue of race and numbers in politics, initially gave the ANC a free hand to abuse homogeneity, heterogeneity, majority and minority without any resistance. By falling back on majority as a point of departure they captured the formal government system to benefit corrupted leaders. This is still the case.2,9,33,39,49,54,61,64,80-82
South Africa is burdened today by not only a Black-White differentiation, but also Black tribal differentiations (well hidden from the public), which is growing (with the Zulus and Xhosas as the two majority Black tribes), as well as a growing population of Coloureds and Indians. As a state it is struggling more and more to keep its various minorities happy inside the ANC’s “homogeneous” state where the Black ANC members, as the voting majority, governs the country. So far the ANC’s executive leaders could keep the true nature of the problem of minorities away from the party, but the cracks are starting to appear.33
The histories of the USA, UK, France and Germany confirm that, even if states are overwhelmingly homogeneous, total majority vested in total homogeneity, as the ANC tried to establish in South Africa with its grey nation, is a impossibility. This is aptly formulated by Coggan40:29:
Problems certainly arise when there is a minority within a state who would like to live in their own, or another, state; or when the majority population of a state treat a minority as second-class citizens (as African Americans were treated by many of the state’s legal structure until the 1960s).
As a significant minority group the Afrikaners are diminishing in numbers as a result of their own actions; it is possible that they will disappear within a century’s time. This means that their daily pleas in the ears of ANC’s mean nothing to the party. However, there will always be remnants of this group making ongoing demands, even if there are only ten Afrikaners in a population of 100 million. Even as only a few spectators in the crowd they can be rowdy sometimes!33
The creation and maintenance of the “perfect homogeneous” state is a fable and cannot be attained. It must be admitted that meeting every individual citizens’ needs and demands is a impossibility in any regime. Plato and Socrates warned us long ago about this myth. South Africa, as a modern state, is therefore not extraordinary in failing to bring political satisfaction to every one of its citizens, but the ANC’s executive political leaders failed outright as they promised shamelessly since 1994 that they would meet the needs and demands of every Black citizen.33,40,83
To argue that South Africans are free of class, group and tribal differences, functioning perfectly as citizens in a homogeneous majority state, as was done recently by the Member of Parliament and the President of the United Democratic Movement, Bantu Holomisa45, are the empty words of just another misinformed politician45:18:
We, the people, must take back the promise of 1994. We are not Zulu or Venda, men or women. We are not Catholic or Zionist, Indian or coloured. We are not gay or straight, clever or stupid. For if we are, we are lost. We are South Africans. Period. Rise not to this reality and we are lost indeed.
Holomisa45 is wrong and his understanding of homogeneity is lacking when it comes to the intimate cultures of groups. South Africa is heterogeneous, scattered with minorities and deeply troubled by its different peoples’ various needs and demands. With the abolishment of Apartheid and the diminishing of the Afrikaners as a political danger to Black supremacy, inter-ethnic conflicts, specifically between the Black tribes, are gaining momentum. The liberation dogma of the ANC of promoting non-tribalism and non-heterogeneity, is crumbling. Minorities and homogeneous groupings are alive in New South Africa. However, the concepts of majority-minority and homogeneity-heterogeneity seem to be less open to abuse. A younger generation of Afrikaners is replacing the political fossils of the late NP with the dynamic, young executive business cum political leaders of various Afrikaner bodies, while the anti-ANC Blacks are looking to the executive political leaders of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) for leadership. The perception of the goodness of the executive political leaders of the ANC that captured the imagination of the majority Blacks in 1994 has given way to a reality check.33
Louw33 writes as follows of manipulation by means of the concepts discussed above33: 279:
The Afrikaner’s drive to create a mini-empire of multi-nations (Union of South Africa with various provinces), followed by his mini-empire of multi-nation states (South African Republic with various semi-independent Black homelands under a central White homeland), all failed for various reasons, like the Afrikaner’s political and financial incompetence after 1990, an underestimation of the ANC’s political and thinking power, and a Black majority as upcoming political role players, etc.
Some of the factors above are affecting the ANC too, but the only ones not to see this is the ANC themselves.
Louw33 argues that these regimes that manipulated minorities and majorities had only the slightest idea of what they were doing and what the outcome of their political self-empowerment would. He writes33: 281:
They mostly collapsed in a short amount of time. Their shelf-life is indeed limited, as confirmed by the various Empire states of the 20th century: the duration of the Bolsheviks’ Social Union lasted from 1922 to 1991 (69 years); Bismarck’s German Reich 1871 to 1918 (47 years); Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich 1938 to 1944 (12 years); Japan’s Colonial Empire 1905 to 1945 (40 years). The People’s Republic of China was established in 1949 and is still functioning in 2017, but is only 58 years old. For these five states, the average is 45 years.
It is thus not a surprise that the NP and its nationalist Afrikaner style mini-empire of multi-nations (or the unofficial managed “NP Union”) only lasted from 1948 to 1961 (13 years), and its mini-empire for multi-states (Republic) only from 1961 to 1994 (33 years), while the Union of South Africa (exclusively British-orientated) under strong British influence lasted from 1910 to 1948 (38 years). This reflects an average of 24 years for the three regimes.
History tends to repeat itself: the main role players in these failed states are those political leaders whom Palkhivala16 describes as suffering from wooden-headedness, people driven by selfishness and self-enrichment. The above references to the World’s political histories and that of South Africa should serve as a warning to the ANC.33 Their misuse of homogeneity, heterogeneity, majority and minority by their political leaders for their own gain can start to fail them.
3.6 The odd good executive political leader versus the hostility of the media houses
There are undoubtedly executive political leaders of high quality in the South African society, Black, Coloured, Indian and White. Very few of them reach the top positions as Level 5 executive leaders or are even recognized as leaders of stature.84 They are often unseen as they are blocked out by corrupt leaders. There are also various other role players with the intention to keep good leaders from moving up in the hierarchy of the country’s leadership.
3.6.1 The odd good executive political leader
Political leaders of good, even great world status – persons highly qualified, skilled, able and blessed with extraordinary intelligence and wisdom – have in the past been selected and appointed as top executive politicians in South Africa.84 But the troubled South African political system and the people of the country’s immense ethnic, racial, social, cultural and economic dissimilarities and internal conflict kept these executive political leaders from implementing and permanently planting their good values and virtues in the country. A sound leadership foundation and a sound form of governance are crucial. It would help with the selection and training of new executive political leaders and would serve as a guideline for how to govern correctly and ethically. The time that some of the extraordinary persons spent in office – persons like JC Smuts and JBM Hertzog – were just too short to cultivate a culture of good leadership and a regime of good governance. Their positive contribution was quickly overshadowed by the Afrikaner Nationalists’ racially driven executive leaders DF Malan, JG Strydom and HF Verwoerd (persons from the same racial and cultural group as Smuts and Hertzog, but who held totally different ideas). There was little difference between the regimes of Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma (and now also Ramaphosa). There is no evidence of good executive political leaders in the ANC, making their contributions to the establishment of a culture of good leadership minimal.9,27,39,46,47,52,58,60,79,82,86
When considering the Collins-Freiberg-Ginsberg models4,84,86, the Barber-Bremer models1,2 and other guidelines by researchers3,5 on good-to-great/gutsy business enterprises, government systems and leaders, principles that are also applicable to good-to-great political parties, governments and leaders, it seems that most governments and leaders do not meet the strict requirements to be classified a Level 5 executive political leader (Collins model)84. Indeed, executive leaders of extraordinary talent and quality have been supplanted by popular larger-than-life celebrity politicians and their intimate advisers. This is also the case in South Africa. South Africa has never held its leaders to these high standards. Such standards would assure that only humble, colour-blind, emotionally stable visionaries and nation builders free from crookery and dishonesty would be selected to these important positions. The political emancipation of 1994, often driven by the self-conceit of some of the new executive political leaders of doubtful character inside the ANC, which itself was contaminated over many years by its liberation foundation, further contributed to the political failure of South Africa. The party has allowed delinquent leaders to misuse every one of the platforms that were intended to assure good reigning of the country.9,27,39,46,47,52,58,60,79,82,86
It is not even necessary to test the post-1994 leaders against the standards set by legislation to see their rottenness. One can simply look at the company they keep. Mthombothi30 wisely comments30:25:
If you want to know a man and judge his character, look no further than his company. But if he walks in the company of rogues, criminals and hooligans, that man is probably a scoundrel.
This is why it should not be difficult to find out what kind of a man President Jacob Zuma is – just look closely at who he counts among his closest friends. You will see that though our president is not known for unwavering loyalty to his friends, he certainly feels comfortable in their in their circle of corruption.
In the selecting of an executive political leader the “primary principle must be that only people who are respected, knowledgeable, capable and enlightened will lead. Rank should not be something that is imposed – it should be earned”, writes Boon.9: 104
In the selection of leaders three powers are present: the “ordinary strength or power” (in African language: amandla) with its opposite of “negative energy to destroy power” (umbango), and the “strength that comes from many people” (ibandla). With his indigenous South African approach and reflection on leadership, Boon9 very successfully reveals the presence of the odd good executive political leader versus the abundance of bad executive political leaders in the country’s politics in general and in particular in the leadership of the present-day ANC. On the modus operandi of the scoundrels when they overpower the political system and push out the odd good executive political leader, Boon9: 91 writes:
In an umhlangano [interactive forum], maximum positive criticism and creative energy is generated. In the umbango, one finds individuals who negatively criticize to achieve their own ends – perhaps even to dethrone the leader. In an umhlangano, criticism is made to strengthen the leader and one another. There is a very fine line between the two concepts. South Africa, in particular, because of recent history, tends to have difficulty differentiating between the two. In the umbango, one argues for position. In the umhlangano, one argues to build and strengthen what is being created.
One of the ways in which the umbango gains strength is to nullify positive arguments, refuse to participate and to intimidate anyone whose thrust is towards openness and togetherness. This is achieved by creating subversive dissension and fear, by isolating the leaders of the positive thrust and attempting to discredit them. An effort is made to position the leaders as the enemies of the people.
In the past, one would often hear the word impimpi. Roughly translated, this means ‘sellout’. It was and sometimes still is used to stop people from participation openly with one another, and, more particularly, with management. In this way, one shifts from an umhlangano to an umbango. Forcing the openness of all procedures and discussions works directly against the umbango. Openness works against politicking and the formation of camps. In an open environment, the umbango will die.
As part of his “African perspective” on effective and good leadership for South Africa, Boon9 brings two other perspectives to the foreground, both deeply intertwined with executive political leaderships, namely 1) our present-day Western governmental system and its applicability on future South Africa’s government; and 2) our present messy system of leadership. Here he makes us think again (and provides insight into the ANC’s confusion about effective and good executive leadership and a regime of good governance since 1994), when he says9: 64:
One of the dangers of a rapidly developing Africa is that we lose sight of balance. In pursuit of being First World, of displaying the success of our progress away from the tribe, we can easily lose ourselves in intellectualization.
We are Africans! We are not Americans or Europeans. We are Africans. And yet, in a state of sad and sometimes aggressive ignorance, many black people have lost touch with their African roots. In many instances, they are more ‘Western’ and more ‘intellectual’ than apparently Western whites. Because of this, they are even more lost, for now it is they who intellectualize everything. They are desperately clinging to intellectualism so that they can find themselves. In reality, they are taking future generations down the same road that the West has discovered is the way to lose one’s humanity. This is reflected in the great drives in search of self, humanity, emotion, community and success.
Looking critically at Boon’s9 view, the question arises: is the present South African executive leadership of the ANC not in an African grip, while they have to function in the Western system left by the NP’s reign? Is this “African” context not directly responsible for the present mess of our executive political leadership? Think here of Zuma’s behaviours in personal and public life as reflected at his home and public meetings, even in parliamentary sittings. Specific in relation to Boon’s9 above description: Can Zuma in terms of his leadership qualities and characteristics, intellectualize anything?
On a more sober and clear note, Boon9 concludes by commenting on the need to kick out political “clingfishes” like Zuma who are trying to make the presidency a heritage for a bloodline of crooks and who are intent on erasing the odd executive political leader for ever from our politics:9: 104
Mature leadership dictates that we routinely and constantly attempt to employ people who are more capable than us or who, at the very least, have the potential to be. If this does not happen, the organization will, over the years, gradually slip into mediocrity and disappear. The culture of employing less capable people is perpetuated by people we employ, who in turn employ people who are less capable than them, and so on. To reverse this takes enormous confidence.
The writers Boon9, Collins84, Freibergs85, Ginsberg4 and Mthombothi30 stress that good executive leaders promote and assure the growth and development if an organization, as well as the growth of new, bettered executive leaders to take the organization into the future. The growth of a new generation of executive leaders must thus be based on amandla. The umbango of the crooked executive leaders should be fought. 9 Boon writes9: 104:
By employing people who are ‘better’ than us, we become driven. By surrounding oneself with ever-better people and by stimulating their personal growth, one empowers the organization, giving it life, passion and fortitude. They push us, challenge us, and force us to learn, grow and lead in ever-improving ways. Should we reach a level at which we can no longer progress, and those following us can, we must accept that it is right for them to overtake us. We do, after all, think highly of them and respect them, because that is why we brought them into the organization!
These kinds of leaders are undoubtedly not on the lookout for gateways to penetrate our social and political systems for their own gain.
Can this also be said of the present-day dynamics of the ANC’s executive leadership? Undoubtedly not. Our present-day leaders have become caught in their abuse of the various platforms, entities and institutions that are meant to be noble instruments with which the executive political leader may rule.
The odd good executive political leader is an endanger species: the scoundrels, criminals, hooligans, rogues and crooks who have positioned themselves well in the present-day executive political leadership of the country, are just too powerful.
3.6.2 The hostility of the media houses
It must be remembered that satisfying the needs and demands of an entire nation, especially one as complex as that of South Africa, is difficult for any executive political leader, however extraordinary politician he might be. Often very sincere politicians are portrayed very negatively. The South African media’s various branches are central to this phenomenon. They use umbango and impimpi to disempower the odd good executive political leaders if they do not view him as meeting their requirements. Prominent role players are the press, the radio and the television. Chomsky writes as follows about this blind subjectivity of the media houses26:83: “There is nothing wrong with giving tentative support to a particular candidate as long as that person is doing what you want.” An excellent example is the constant variety of personal and leadership attacks on Donald Trump by American and world media associated with liberal thinking and media sympathetic to the Democratic Party of America. Built into this organized media hostility against Trump is the fake news and misinformation about him. What applies to Trump also applies to the political leaders of other countries, including South Africa.9,39,40,79
What is unique to South Africa is the capture of the media by the majority in their organized effort to manipulate information on political leaders. This is not only reflected in Black-versus-White politics, but is also very prominent within the ruling ANC leadership in their efforts to discredit their own good executive political leaders. They rather promote scoundrels, criminals, hooligans, rogues and crooks as executive political leadership. The recent efforts from within the ANC’s inner circles to isolate and discredit Cyril Ramaphosa by spreading false information to get him reject from the ANC’s lists of presidential candidates, is a good example. It is difficult to believe, but often these media manipulations and false information to the voters and the general public, works effectively, with serious long-term negative consequences for the good leader.29,30,86,87
Coogan40 writes the following on this negative state of affairs40:3:
The disillusionment of voters is fed by the way that politicians are portrayed in the media. Long gone is the age of deference in which journalists addressed political leaders as ‘sir’ and reported their words with reverence. When our leaders are not mocked on comedy shows, they are denounced as traitors or crooks on talk shows.
As if the press and TV are not enough, the Internet is a haven for conspiracy theorists and trolls, who can use the anonymity of the Web to spew abuse without comeback. Sometimes it seems as if it is no longer possible for reasonable people to disagree reasonably; unpopular views on the part of a politician are often automatically taken as a sign of corrupt motives or moral turpitude.
Martinez6 emphasizes that impartiality is unattainable in the media world: it is impossible to present information objectively, neutrally or impartially. Certain ideas, perspectives and facts are side-lined by the subjective agendas (and often with very bad intentions) of editors, executives in charge and the media owners (and crooked politicians who often have corrupt relationships with the media). The media and have much to gain and their actions must be aggressive and direct: “Methods now are by propaganda, consumerism, stirring up ethnic hatred, all kinds of ways.”26:83 In the middle of this muddle the good executive political leader is basically naked, depending on some loyalty and support of certain less biased media houses. Even for a very popular politician (notwithstanding always good), the process of obtaining the goodwill of the media houses for various opportunistic reasons can quickly turn wrong. The politician can be turned into a public political failure by misinformation on the radio, television and in newspapers aimed at the uninformed public.6,40
On information manipulation, Martinez writes6:177:
The power of voters is dependent on what they know. Information is the oxygen of democracy: its health depends on the quality of the ideas and facts circulating through society. If voters can be systematically misled, they can be systematically manipulated.
If a politician wants to have any hope for success in politics, the first step is to gain the favour of the mass media. Martinez6 writes that to establish a candidate’s suitability for entrance into a political career, his “political status” must be evaluated first as one of “acceptability,” after which these6:327: “…findings have to traverse the political battleground of the corporate-owned mass media before they can permeate the public consciousness”. For the good executive political leader to make it just to the corporately owned mass media’s entrance door for evaluation and consideration is basically a near impossible task. Getting a thumbs-up from them when evaluated according to their requirements for successful politics is another story.
Good executive political leaders are plentiful, depending on the group to whom they belong and thus the group who had put them in power as executives (majority, preferable homogeneously driven). Those leaders coming from the majority (empowered) are in general evaluated more positively than those from the minority (disempowered) group. Individuals and groups active outside the dominant majority or homogeneous group’s affiliation – opposition leaders who are mostly seen as representing the political, economically, racially and social losers (minorities) of the population – are mostly portrayed by subjective media houses as bad leaders whose political influences and impact must be erased. In South Africa, internal Black conflicts (the executive political leaders of one tribe against another tribe’s executive political leaders), as well as resistance from the other minorities, like the Afrikaners, can, with well-steered contaminated media influencing, cause serious ethnic and racial unrest and even revolution. This kind of planned influence can quickly overturn the present ANC regime, in the process taking down their executive political leaders. A totally new group of executive political leaders, thus far unknown in the country, can be created, notwithstanding the fact that they are not at present part of the ANC majority.4,7,17,29,33,39
It is clear that the organized media is being used extensively as a specific platform in the making as well as the unmaking of executive political leaders in South Africa, depending how successfully a leader or his group can use the media to attract the public’s attention. The outcome of discrediting the truly good political leader is prominent in this process.
3.7 Psychopathology in the behaviour of executive political leaders
Many studies postulate that cold-blooded executive political leaders, for example Adolf Hitler, reflect psychopathology, especially the psychopathic personality. These leaders do not care about the interests and lives others in the least. What they preach in public as politicians and what they plan and do in private as politicians are opposites. Africa has had its share of murderous autocrats and despots who disregarded the foundations of the democracies they took over (either by selection or force). Usually the lives of their country’s people are of zero importance.2,4,3,9,39,84
However, there is also evidence that psychopathology is not necessarily generally present in executive political leaders who make them guilty of serious offences, like terrorism, against their enemy. The study of Martinez6 confirms the lack of an overwhelming presence of psychopathology in terrorists’ mindsets.
Powell7 confirms this when he writes7: 18:
There are indeed psychopaths in the ranks of terrorist groups, but Louise Richardson says ‘terrorists, by and large, are not insane at all. Their primary shared characteristic is their normalcy, in so far as we understand them. Psychological studies of terrorism are virtually unanimous on this point’.
Powell7 quotes Richardson7:18 to support his view:
‘…terrorists are neither crazy nor amoral but rather are rationally seeking to achieve a set of objectives’. It is true to say they have their own rationality: something is driving them to take up arms and they want undoubtedly something to achieve.10
Remember, Menachem Begin, the leader of the terrorist group Irgun Zvai Leumi in Israel that was very active in the large scale murdering of Arabs in the 1930s to 1940s, was a hard-core terrorist who had learned his terrorist tactics from IRA campaign of 1919–1921 and the campaigns of the Russian anarchists. The original IRA studied the terrorist tactics of the Boers used in their guerrilla fighting (equal to terrorism) against the British between 1898 and 1902. Each one of these groups had their own reasons; often they were persons who took up arms because they had something to achieve, as did the terrorist ANC’s executive political leaders in their struggle for Black freedom or the executive leaders of the Voortrekker Boers in their terrorism against the Blacks when occupying the Transvaal and Free State regions. These various persons and groups were certainly not all crazy.7
Another argument is that all these people are atheists, an attribute that would supposedly make them cold-blooded as people. Nelson Mandela was specifically labelled an atheist. Although it is true that many of the ANC’s executive political leaders seem to be atheists (a characteristic which certainly does not make them insensitive to other people’s well-being or make them ‘bad’ persons per se), there is also overwhelming evidence that many of ANC’s executive leaders who were indeed terrorists were Christian believers. Belief in God, especially Christianity, is not a guarantee that such believing politicians will not get engage in terrorism: the Irish Christian terrorists and the Christian NP leadership’s involvement in the killing of their opponents confirms that religion per se is not a restraint. In fact, some studies confirm the presence of extreme religiousness as a specific characteristic of some terrorists.6,7,33,39
Louw33 is of the opinion that the Afrikaner problem of Apartheid is too complex to simplify it as some kind of psychopathology. Many other unrelated negative external determinants are also involved. A comprehensive study is needed to understand the racism of the Afrikaners. He emphasizes on the other hand that psychological and emotional problems can form the basis of serious social, even criminal, behaviour. Indeed, a psychopathic foundation makes the individual insensitive, exploitative and cold-blooded towards other persons, but the presence of clinically significant psychopathy is rare in the greater society. Louw33 reflects that studies on the behaviour of people from ancient times until the present show that the mass behaviour of the greater society can reflect behaviour bordering on psychopathic. He writes33:87-88:
The stories from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible describing in-depth the Jews outright and totally murdering of innocent non-Jews communities that hey conquered in their entrance into Israel from Egypt, instigated, and instructed mostly by their religious leaders in the name of the “God of the Jewry.” The Nazis leadership’s successfully mesmerizing of the Germans to commit the genocide of Jews as well as other non-Germans confirms this internalizing of doctrine further. Basic to these behaviours stand mass discrimination; In the Jewish and the German cases more ethnic orientated against people of the same race as the Afrikaners’ discrimination against people of another race. To be coerced into such mal-behaviour requires a tendency and latent disposition in the mindset of the culprits to be acceptable for these doctrines of misbehave and to commit it. To argue subjective that these culprits also as nations were permanent evil or psychologically genetically malfunctioning, is wrong, and inapplicable. Other activating and contaminating powers are also involved to activate and up-keep mal-behaviour in the mindsets of ordinary people and nations as a whole.
About the presence of on possible psychopathology in the Afrikaner mindset, Louw writes33: 80:
On the other side bad behaviour cannot originate in the individual’s mind without his own reasoning and permission, understanding, acceptance, and a willingness to participate in it. This indicates the presence of a latent cognition in his mindset, waiting and ready to be activated by external stimuli, ending in various forms of abnormal behaviour. It seems as if the Jews and Germans (and the Afrikaners in their Apartheid dogma) fell prey to this faulty cognition.
On the extent to which negative external influences can contribute to dangerous behaviour among the Afrikaners, Louw33:89 postulates:
In this regard it must be noted that the majority of ordinary nationalist Afrikaners a mandate to their leaders through the ballot box to act on their behalf and on their own discretion to drive and manage apartheid, knowing well that this included the cold-blooded murder of political opponents and dissidents. They never tried through elections to make a turn-around, and this makes them party to these crimes and brings their cognitive judgement and thus general mental health under suspicion.
Louw33 comments on the abuses by Afrikaner leaders by stating that they should have learned from the mistakes of other nations, such as the Nazis. Louw reports33: 88-89:
It is clear that a manifold of negative external influences, examples, circumstances, and environments, events over a short period or coming over centuries, can be used by cunning, manipulative leaders with flawed thinking as drivers to establish deviant doctrines and ideologies in the mindsets of large groups and to activate and internalize bad behaviour like the practice of discrimination. In the case of the Jews as well as the Germans, these external causes were seemingly manifold, causing common people to accept leaders who “lead and defend on their behalf their rights, property, cultural and religious lifestyles and nationhood”…
When he writes specifically about the Afrikaners’ behaviour during Apartheid Louw says33: 89:
In the case of the creation and practice of the Afrikaner’s Apartheid there seems, as with the Jews and the Germans, to be clear and specific historical causes that over centuries led to the internalizing of discrimination against non-Whites. The Afrikaners came to view it as correct, acceptable, and normal. This internalizing dimension does not acquit the Afrikaners as individuals or as a group from their flawed thinking in their racial discrimination…
Looking critically at possible psychopathology among the Afrikaners in their practice of Apartheid, it seems that there are strong signs of it. It is impossible to make a diagnosis on a general observation without formally testing all Afrikaners for psychiatric or psychological pathology. Looking on the severity of the practice of Apartheid’s atrocities, and the fact that the most Afrikaners ignored the signs of murder, also confirms the presence of psychopathology among the general Afrikaner people. The best conclusion that can be made under the present circumstances is that of Louw33: 89: In light of their public acceptance and formal acceptance of Apartheid at the ballot box, knowing very well the serious transgression going with it, the judgement and thus general mental health, of Afrikaners is under suspicion.
It must be accepted that the psychopathology of the Afrikaner was manipulated by the psychopathic leaders. Here psychopathology refers to the mindset of thousands of Afrikaner supporters of Apartheid and the mindsets of their executive leaders.33
The soap opera of politics and governments will never be eliminated. This is a cause for celebration – human judgement in all its fallibility will ultimately reign supreme. However much we know and however much power we wield there will always be the unexpected development to throw us of course. For those with power, hubris is always a risk. Pride comes before a fall, in government above all (Barber2:288-289).
Barber2 continues to say that the pride of executive political leaders drives a variety of negative characteristics such as self-promotion and self-service, recklessness, ruthlessness, opportunism, delinquency and crookery, cold-bloodedness, racism, lack of integrity, manipulation murderousness, flawed thinking and social malfunctioning.2,9 Boon9 describes the South African politicians excellently with his two classes: takers and mobsters. These are the true identities of most of the South African politicians, but instead of seeing this, we honour them with bronze statues; the naming of buildings, townships and airports; specific years of national remembrance; honorary doctorates, half-knighthoods and knighthoods; and even, it seems, as saints and semi-gods.2,9,33,88
This research shows they are driven by four main aims and intentions in life: self-enrichment, ownership of immense and unlimited political power, cold-blooded rule and if needed, extinguishing the lives of other humans and a life of unlimited crookery and delinquency. It interesting to look at the attempted assassination and successful assassinations of politicians in South Africa: from 2000 to 2016 more than 1 000 attempted assassinations were reported. It seems that from 1994 for certain ideological political reasons the focus shifted from killing to mafia-style violence against opponents, bring down the murder count. Although many of these attempts are purely economically and gang driven, some were political. There have been a number of successful assassinations of politicians, especially in Kwazulu-Natal. These assassinations of politicians are not a post-1994 trend, but as the TRC reflected, a phenomenon that was also part of the NP regime’s political “solutions”. This is further confirmation of the extent to which crooks had infiltrated the South African politics and their focus on remaining in power. It can be expected that political assassination up to the 2019 general election can become much more focused on prominent executive political leaders of the ANC.89-92 Remembers that many of the new leaders who were elected in 2018 are not Xhosas or Zulus. Again, take note of Tshabalala’s warning38:13: “Beware, the snake might be dead but those who share its secrets can still bite”.
Looking to our political history it seems to be the Whites, especially the Afrikaners’ executive political leaders, who were at the forefront of transgressions in South Africa. This is with specific reason that Smith writes93:18: “No man did more to create the environment in which thousands of anti-apartheid activists were detained and tortured by the security forces than Balthazar Johannes Vorster – know as BJ or John Vorster”. These unbelievable wrongdoings are not limited to Grand Apartheid (1948-1994), but stretch back over three hundred years of our history. The former PAC-leader, Motsoko Pheko94, is more than justified when he refers to role of specifically Whites (Afrikaners) in the colonization and land expropriation of South Africa (and Africa), saying94:10: “…though colonists called it the spreading of ‘Western Christian civilisation’, it was in fact, colonial terrorism”, and: “This was a crime against humanity. It was theft.” Indeed, the TRC failed to settle the “bad accounts” left by the NP-AB-DRC-alliance leaders, especially their failure to send the “accounts” to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for collecting.
But the Blacks — from the ANC to the PAC (and the PAC’s Motsoko Pheko, who is now crying “White terrorism” and “White crime against humanity”) — are equally guilty of Black terrorism and Black crimes against humanity.33,94 Here I am not referring to the ANC and PAC’s terrorism between the 1940s and 1990s (one can almost pardon this due to the oppression that the Blacks suffered and their fight to obtain equality in South Africa up to 1994), but is goes as far back as Shaka and Mzilikazi, and then of course, their post-1994 modern failed executive leaders, starting from Nelson Mandela up to Jacob Zuma.2,33 They and the Afrikaner leaders are birds of the same feather and were the main reason that debts to pay could not be sent to the ICC.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) closed it eyes to the actions of the Whites and the pre-1994 Black actions via the ANC. Instead it keeps itself busy with the atrocities of various Northern African delinquent political leaders whose political atrocities were not that much different from the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders or the political atrocities of the ANC’s leadership. At the same time it seems as if the ICC turns a blind eye to the West’s killings and atrocities, especially in the Middle East. The ICC’s view on South Africa’s pre-1994 transgressions on both sides is seemingly in line with the convenient “illegal but legitimate” view on the Serbian killings by the Western forces. The judgment of the International Independent Commission of Inquiry (IICI) reads: “It was illegal because it did not receive approval from the UN Security Council…but it was legitimate because all diplomatic avenues had been exhausted and there was no other way to stop the killings and atrocities in Kosovo.”3:122 This verdict and interpretation are stretching international law in an extreme form and is deplorable. South Africans, Black and White, got away with the same kinds of acts as their Western (White) counterparts by the ICC. South Africans have not improved since 1994, in fact, their thinking has deteriorated.
What is so surprising is that both Blacks and Whites suffered oppression and their turned around and oppressed in response. It is a good example of Herodotus’ revenge-counter-revenge theory.95 We are repeating the vicious circle of wooden-headedness. The post-1994 ANC executive political leaders, as were the White and Afrikaner executive political leaders up to 1994, are also takers and political mobsters.9,16,33,94,95
Ultimately the failed Afrikaner executive political leaders learned the hard way, and Barber2 offers a sincere warning applicable to the Blacks2: 288-289: “For those with power, hubris is always a risk. Pride comes before a fall, in government above all.” The chances are good that they will also learn that hubris is always a risk.
Many leaders have come and gone in the South Africa political history. Some left no footprint whatsoever; others were remembered for a while before they became ghosts of the past. Some became icons, also to disappear into the archives of history as numbered files. The pictures of more recent ones are still colourful and are shown around; the pictures of older ones yellowed with time, cracked and the faces indistinct. Some are still loved, at least in some way; others are despised and bitterly hated. Some called it a day and resigned freely from their posts; others were recalled; some passed away peacefully; others died violently. If we would be offered the opportunity to speak to our dead leaders in the afterlife, why would we, even if we could? In life they failed South Africa as executive political leaders; what can they now teach us besides mistakes, mistakes…and wooden-headedness? When it comes to the few living ex-leaders, we have stopped talking to them long ago; we don’t want to hear more lies and wooden-headedness from the living dead.
There is no point in denying that ethnicity and racism exist, writes Boon9:63: “It simply does, whether one likes it or not. But it needs not to be negative. It can be the most inclusive, colourful, wonderful and positive thing”. But when ethnicity and racism are being used to fan hatred of other groups, evil is being done. This evil is exactly what the Afrikaner Nationalist executive political leaders did with the “Black danger” from 1948 to 1994 to attract the votes of the common Whites. Since 1994 the ANC has started fanning ethnic and racial hatred of Whites. The ANC’s executive political leaders captured the platform “White danger” for their own gain. It seems that they learned a lot about wrongdoing from their White twin brother.
South Africa’s political dividers and disrupters must learn there is much wisdom, empowerment and blessing in the Swahili proverb: Unity is strength, division is weakness. Such a positive political concept can only come with a re-evaluation of good-versus-bad executive political leaderships and good-versus-bad regimes of governance. Trouble-making executive political leaders must learn that their time as political masters of manipulation and opportunism, takers and political mobsters are over in the South African politics.
The behaviours of South Africa’s executive political leaders are inexplicable and border on the insane. The remnants of the ideological wars between the Whites and the Blacks will be with us for a long time to come. We still see the remnants of Willem Adriaan van der Stel, Paul Kruger, DF Malan and HF Verwoerd’s actions in the thinking, planning and actions of many present-day Afrikaners. The same can be said about the negative remnants left by the executive political leaders Shaka, Mzilikazi, Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma. Their actions affect the thinking, planning and actions of some of the present-day Black executive political leaders ruling South Africa.4,9,27,33,54,58,60,61,63-68,95
It is no wonder that Engelbrecht23,97 after he reviewed Ronnie Kasrils’s97 book on Jacob Zuma, says23:12-13: “Kasril’s book reveals a serpent’s nest that confirms one’s suspicions that most politicians – everywhere, not just in South Africa – are cunning and dangerous snakes.” [Own translation].
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Not commissioned; Externally peer-reviewed.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The author declares that he has no competing interest.
The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa.