More on being above reproach: much has been made in the press about Mr Zuma’s new attorney. Last week I published a note by an academic on probity in our profession: the fact is that we have individuals within our profession who cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be said to be squeaky clean. If the press write-ups, unchallenged by those affected, are only in part true, then our law societies have failed dismally in their policing of our profession.
Whilst on the topic of being squeaky clean: those defending leaders, who have been fingered for partaking in parasitic and corrupt practices, often miss the point that we are entitled to squeaky clean leaders. The failure by our political leaders, the compromised NPA and civil structures, such as professional governance bodies, to deal with those who are not squeaky clean, is at the root of much of the corruption in South Africa.
Realpolitik: our president kneeling before the Zulu king is indicative of a constitutional democracy held to ransom by traditional leadership. The fact of the matter is that the lack of tradable title has financially trapped a great many of our citizens within an essentially feudal system.
Whatever one’s take on the land claims issues being played out, the fact of the matter is that we have a majority of citizens to whom political promises have been made and, at the end of the day, the majority will receive what must be paid politically, in order for those, who promised, to stay in power. The response by groups set against this tidal wave of sentiment, is a call upon reason: rationality is not going to take anyone anywhere on this issue.
A son gifted me Nial Ferguson’s Empire: topical to the current dialogue of colonisers on giving back, he concludes that, in general, the less developed countries, annexed by the British, benefited more from being included in that Empire, than the loss of their goods to Britain. Politically unpalatable as it may be, Ms Zille may well have been correct in her sentiment that colonialism in South Africa also brought good. Those calling for the de-colonisation of our system of governance have a point, but the fact is that South Africa inherited a political system that may have been designed for European conditions but was developed and refined for over a thousand years. Much like the law that we inherited in South Africa, which draws its history from much further back.