THE BLOG

Are Constitutional Rights Un-African?

What of our living wildlife heritage? Is it un-African to conserve Nature for future generations and to cherish Creation and respect the Creator?

19/04/2017 03:55 SAST | Updated 19/04/2017 14:01 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko/ Reuters
Symbols of good governance. Africa’s lions were once protected by tribal ordinance and divine decree. Today, Zuma’s government has legalised a large-scale killing industry of lions and a lion bone trade to Asian markets.

Anticipating President Jacob Zuma's latest act of contempt for the people of this country, along with its economic resources, its wildlife and its once rich cultural heritage, an article was published by the traditional leader and political commentator, Prince Mashele in the Sowetan(9 May 2016). The article, entitled SA Finally African, All Thanks to Zuma, argues that Africa has traditionally been a continent of tribal dictators whose antiquated and seemingly primitive governance was wielded entirely at the expense of the population, with no concept of constitutional rights or accountability.

Faced with Zuma's rampant, uncontained and seemingly bottomless corruption, Mashele's eloquent argument is compelling. However, it is not sound. Africa, as with all continents throughout history, has experienced two types of leaders. Those of true heart who govern in service of their people, their land, and their Creator. And those who seize power only for themselves, while offering limited spoils to other mortals attempting to support their corrupt regimes.

Once the issue is stripped bare, there is only one question for the ANC. How will history remember this political party? For the wisdom and strategy that brought it into power, led by a lion hearted leader and his council of good men and women who risked everything, including their lives, to re-establish true order in our country? Or for the corrupt dictatorship, and all those currently benefitting from it, that has all but brought this country to its knees?

Zuma's contemptuous persecution and destruction of Panthera leo, nature's once-proud symbol for African leadership, is symptomatic of a disease that has the entire country in its grip. According to the traditional record keepers, the isanusi, the great kings of old Africa once protected lions by tribal ordinance and divine decree. Today, Zuma has legalised the industrialisation of lions as a large-scale killing industry, whereby it is legal to hunt lions in the wild; it is legal to hunt them in cages (in an escalating pet-and-kill tourism industry); and, as from this year, it is legal to treat them as living carcasses in a formalised quota of 800 lions annually starving to death, then despatched into the same Asian market that is killing our rhino.

Africa's most magnificent kings and queens of the bushveld reduced to skin and bones in legalised extermination farms. Has there ever been a more contemptuous wildlife policy in the history of humankind? What of our living wildlife heritage? Is it un-African to conserve nature for future generations? Is it un-African to cherish creation and respect the Creator?

Not only does the current president have contempt for the Constitution and the law of South Africa, the man clearly has no respect for natural law, nor divine law. There is an inherent principle that governs corruption in all natural systems, whether bodily systems or ecosystems. If corruption (and other forms of disease) are not brought into check, this malaise destroys itself. It does so unfailingly - albeit, by bringing down the entire system, if not checked in time. The same is true of human systems. It is only a matter of time.

Speaking of time and timing, all South Africans with heart and intelligence, no matter their colour, gender, culture, or religion, should not overlook the timing of the call for a Vote of No Confidence, whether or not delayed by a secret ballot. The date set was 18th April 2017, following directly upon the holiest weekend of the year. Black Friday, one of South Africa's darkest hours, directly preceded Good Friday. Let us pause for a moment to reconsider all that this day symbolises for humanity. Two thousand years ago, that leader of true heart and intelligence, The Lion of Judah no less, knew how to deal with corruption. He turned the tables.

As we have said, in the coming vote, there is only one choice for the ANC. And time will tell.