A mother throws her baby off a burning building that was allegedly set alight by looters in KwaZulu-Natal
Source: BBC News
Was this an attempted coup, an insurrection or a revolt against the South African government? I have no idea, and there are mixed messages from our government.
Whatever the driving force and the intended outcome, the image above continues to send shivers down my spine.
The past two weeks have been bitter-sweet for our young democracy. We crossed a MASSIVE Rubicon when former president Jacob Zuma was jailed for contempt of court. It feels like a very strong message has been sent out to every citizen of this beloved country – from the most senior to the ordinary civilian: No one is above the law. The tone has been set for this generation and the ones to follow.
The crossing over, however, did come at a time where the country was caught in the grip of a deadly pandemic. Lockdowns that have been imposed by the government to save lives have had a devastating impact on the economy. The already high unemployment rate was stretched even higher with youth unemployment sitting at a staggering 74%*. With the smallest of sparks, the ground was fertile for the mobilization of people of who have everything to gain (in the very short term) and (in their view) nothing to lose.
This was a perfect storm for chaos – the most unequal society in the world, years of reports on government corruption, as soaring unemployment rate, youth that has run out of hope, a pandemic, ills of South Africa’s dark history that have been swept under the carpet for decades, and ruling political party that seems to be struggling to unite itself (with the nation now caught in the cross-hairs)... The country was on an unsustainable path and it has all come to an unfortunate head.
The baby was caught by community members and later reunited with the mother
Source: BBC News
As scary as the above image looked, it reminded me about the special place that South Africa is.
In the face of the harshest of adversities, South Africans are able to pull themselves together. It has been nothing short of inspirational to see communities, across the affected provinces, come together to protect themselves and their own, and push back against nonsensical actions and behaviour.
No blood needs to be spilt. No infrastructure needs to be damaged. Nothing needs to burn.
All we need, in my opinion, is a set national agenda with every single one of us pulling in the same direction.
The road to recovery from the pandemic has become that much longer with the recent events. Let’s get out there for our vaccines and rebuild this incredible country of ours.
Rise the beloved country…