Zuma conviction great victory, and test, for RNTP

5 July 2021 - Over the past few weeks, the new initiative, Racism Is NOT The Problem (RNTP) has sought to do away with the notion that racism is South Africa’s biggest problem. The argument we are making is based on data collected through a survey that involved ordinary South Africans from all walks of life.

Over the past few weeks, the new initiative, Racism Is NOT The Problem (RNTP) has sought to do away with the notion that racism is South Africa’s biggest problem. The argument we are making is based on data collected through a survey that involved ordinary South Africans from all walks of life.

Recently, two enormous events have occurred that we, and everyone who believes racism is not our biggest problem, can claim as victories.
The first is that senior ANC figure Ace Magashule was defeated in court in his appeal against his suspension, and this was a strong indication that country and the courts did not fall for Magashule’s attempts to racialise what is fundamentally a political issue. Although some came to his defence initially by saying that he was being targeted due to his race, these arguments were quickly set aside as we started looking beyond race to identify the bigger issues at play.

Similarly, the sentence handed to former President Jacob Zuma by the Constitutional Court is strong evidence that South Africa knows how to move beyond focusing on race as the biggest issue to the issues that really are far more pressing. This despite attempts by Zuma’s allies, including some within his family, to racialise the issue by saying “WMC [white monopoly capital]” is to blame for the ex-President’s fall from grace.

The extent to which Zuma can be restored to grace according to the formula he proposes – that apartheid-era political prisoners were people of principle and conscience, and that the same applies to him today – will be an important determinant of South Africa’s political course. The notion depends on the thought that racism remains the key enemy, and that law, property rights, private enterprise (including the media), and law enforcement agencies are its puppets.

Most are not fooled. According to our data, most South Africans agree that politicians talk up racism to excuse their own failures. Moreover, South Africans list 13 issues that are bigger problems than racism and only 3.3% of South Africans believe that racism is our greatest problem.

The top 5 problems listed are:

  • Unemployment
  • Crime, safety/security
  • Corruption
  • Housing
  • Service delivery

Of course, this not to say that racism is not a problem that persists in various quarters, but simply that it is not the mountainous issue that it is often made out to be.

Said Gabriel Crouse, Director of the Racism Is NOT The Problem initiative: “Is racism the problem, or unaccountability spurred on by race-hustling? Nothing could be more clear cut than the Zuma case. For decades his ‘keepers’ said racism was the problem and his empowerment was the solution. Critics of all colours said no, corruption is the problem and race has nothing to do with it. The court ruling is a victory for critics over keepers; if Zuma actually goes to jail, that will be the clinch.”

If you would like to know more about this new initiative you can follow this link.

 
Media contacts: Gabriel Crouse, Director of RNTP – 082 510 0360; gabriel@irr.org.za
Duwayne Esau, IRR Campaign Officer – 081 700 0302; duwayne@irr.org.za
Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za
Kelebogile Leepile Tel: 079 051 0073 Email: kelebogile@irr.org.za
 

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