There’s a growing debate of which is better between the past and the present, colonialism vs democracy? Lately, Helen Zille even think that after all colonization was not all that bad! Well, Helen – colonization was bad because it subjugated the aborigines and imposed its ways on the locals. To then turn back centuries later and say, look what colonization has brought to you is hypocrisy to say the least. Sadly, those who succeeded the colonizers have failed dismally across the “dark” continent. Given the state of the continent, one will hardly believe that the liberation struggles was led by selfless people who put their lives and souls to free their country man and woman. They did so despite dead and a long jail sentence being a possible consequence. The contrast come once freedom finally walked their lands. The once acclaimed liberation heroes became parasitic capitalist in collaboration with their former colonial masters. All they fought and died for is forgotten as soon as they gained political power. Corruption, coup d’etat and self-serving took center stage. Painfully, the BPE’s oversaw the decaying of infrastructure developed by their former oppressors. Not saying colonization was better, like Helen Zille, but at least maintain the roads and other useful infrastructure.
South African companies owned by white monopoly capitalists are spread across the African continent and are creating employment. To the contrary, the former liberation heroes are only creating economic opportunities for themselves. They abandoned the masses who toiled with them during the struggle years. Most of them own shares in those white monopoly companies, are complicity in the illicit financial flight which is hampering the continents economic growth. Illicit capital flight and tax avoidance in the continent is rife and little to nothing is done to arrest this scourge. The transition from being a liberation movement to running a modern democratic country have flopped across Africa. It seems the main focus of liberation movements is retaining power at all cost. Serving the people to retain power is now secondary. Also, it will seem the fundamental struggle objectives were loosely abandoned in favour of self-enrichment. With the right wing political pendulum swinging inwards globally, hopefully a new breed of politicians will emerged. Brexit and the Trump victory shows the masses are tired of slogans and wants jobs to survive. The time of sentimental voting is over and masses will vote for anyone who will create employment irrespective of their struggle credential. The dislodging of the ANC from Joburg and Tshwane shows that the liberation narrative alone will not win votes forever.
As witnessed overtime, one by one, the liberation movements gradually lost power without fulfilling their liberation goals. In the mayhem of being in power, the hopes and aspirations of millions remain unfulfilled. Joblessness, hunger and forced migration for greener pastures ensued. The main difference between the WMC and the BPE is that the WMC made their countries function. Their bureaucracies worked notwithstanding its prejudice and racist elements. Everyone knew where they belonged in society whether justly or unjustly. A quick comparison of Southern African countries before and post colonization will tell the whole story. Ironically, in Southern Africa, the only country that still function and feeds the entire region is South Africa. Its viability is owed to settler colonization because the WMC or colonizers never left. Without WMC South Africa will quickly collapse like other countries. Granted, both the liberation movements and colonial governments created a few economic elites. But, varied when it comes to managing their states. The collateral damage by the BPE has been is in full swing across the continent of Africa. Currently, in South Africa tensions and animosity between desperate migrants across the continent and locals is spiraling out of control. Is not good enough to complain about apartheid and colonization negatives but continue perpetuate its legacy. As things stands, it will seem the white monopoly capitalist are keeping the continent afloat and without which disaster is fathomable. Soon if not there yet, the question would be who is the better devil between White Monopoly Capitalist and the black liberation struggle heroes?
By Sivodlo Silombo
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