Why are South African authorities craning their necks and looking so far in order to eradicate crime? The capitalist system that the ANC government inherited from apartheid government and pursues is the major part of the problem that engenders criminality.
In a capitalist economy there is the ubiquity of monetary exchange but the vast majority of people in capitalism can get the things they want and need, only if they have money with which to buy those things in the market. But many people are unemployed and poor and see those who are politically connected ostentatiously flaunting their opulence.
ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe recently said occupying positions of influence within the ANC was not a stepping stone to accessing wealth. However, prior to the 22 April elections, ANCYL leader, Julius Malema said those who left the ANC to go and join COPE will starve. By the way some of the wealth acquired through ANC connections is ill-gotten wealth. The difference between the wealth so acquired and the one acquired through robberies and cash-in-transit heists is that the former is not acquired through machine guns and the spilling of blood. The fact of the matter is that they are both robberies.
What is perplexing is that the robbery that is being carried out through ANC connections is tolerated. Examples abound: the Arms Deal, Oil-gate and 0il-for-Food scandals. In fact, perpetrators of these crimes get government protection. If convicted, they get lighter sentences like Tony Yengeni or are paroled under extremely dubious circumstances like President Jacob Zuma’s friend and former financial advisor Schabir Shaik.
Capitalism produces haves and have-nots and the worst kind of greedy thugs who aspire to be like the haves. Capitalism is about profits, in other words it is about greed. Greed brings conflict and fighting and takes all sense of shame, mercy and trust. There is no end to the wrong done when money and greed are together.
In capitalism, the end justifies the means. For instance, it has been said centuries ago that banks were conceived in iniquity. And yet they are still fleecing us to this day. According to the warped logic of the powers that be we are fair game as long as the banks fleece us according to the rules. The activities of the banks are criminal except that they don’t rob us violently like the criminals who use machine guns to achieve their means. If the system of capitalism can be changed and an egalitarian society established, wealth distributed equitably and money made useless, would we still experience violent cash-in-transit heists and robberies at shopping Malls?
By Sam Ditshego