Under the current leadership of President Jacob Zuma, South Africa has become a country of very few possibilities from which only a few people can benefit.
Ronnie Kasrils, Struggle veteran and former Minister of Intelligence, said South Africa is not the country it once promised to be. Kasrils was speaking at a Transformation talk at Stellenbosch University (SU) on Friday 22 April 2016. The academic and philosopher Dr Buhle Zuma was the respondent in the conversation.
Kasrils, once a good friend of President Zuma, said the President's misrule had brought the country into an invidious situation.
"There is very little left to fight for. There are frugal opportunities and only a few can benefit while the poorest of the poor are left behind."
Kasrils asked rhetorically if this gloomy picture was the result of power hunger, greed, corruption and the looting of the state on a grand scale.
"We see the polarisation of wealth and with it the manifestation of frustration, racism and anger. What, then, is the way out?"
Kasrils referred to recent political headaches such as Nkandla and youth protests, saying he felt excited but also scared.
"The chickens have come back to roost – one of them being the EFF and the youth standing up with strong moral cases. The country has an outspoken media and civil society. With a few changes, the South Africa of Madiba's dreams is possible."
In response to Kasrils, Dr Buhle Zuma said it is important for South Africans to start holding themselves accountable.
He pointed out that not only the President but many political leaders have a history of material want coupled with spiritual poverty – a fatal combination.
The Transformation talk series is hosted by SU's Office for Studies in Transformation and Historical Trauma headed by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela.
Prof Gobodo-Madikizela is the research chair in Social Change and Transformation. She also holds the SARChI Chair for Historical Trauma and Memory.