The TMF has been following with deep concern the wanton destructions of private and public property and simulated public unrest, which have engulfed parts of our country over the past seven days.
We commend our South African compatriots who have stood in solidarity with those affected and have shown their commitment to a democratic and law-abiding country. We acknowledge the government and law enforcement agencies for their tireless efforts to restore law and order across the country. We recognise that our democratic state finds itself in a precarious position and that for many South Africans, the democratic dispensation has not delivered on its promise of better socio-economic conditions. A lot more and urgent work remains to be done in this regard.
Accordingly, we also acknowledge that the pandemic has worsened what was already a difficult position, further plunging us into a crisis. The third wave has seen exponential growth in infections and mortalities. Our country is under the grip of fear and enveloped in grief for the scores of loved ones who have passed. Although the vaccination programme gives us much hope, the petty pace of implementation helps to sustain a lingering sense of insecurity.
As the TMF, we are of the view that our country is harvesting the bitter fruits of a counterrevolutionary insurgency that has long been germinating in the bowels of what we commonly call “state capture”. The hallmarks of “state capture” – the deliberate and systematic denuding of state capacity that we have witnessed at SARS, SOEs, the weakening of all arms of law enforcement (including Intelligence Agencies and the NPA). The economic sabotage, wanton destruction of property and infrastructure we have witnessed cannot be accepted as incidental. We recall that the current situation was foreshadowed by open threats of civil war and unrest.
The pressing socio-economic conditions of our people and the recent arrest of former president Jacob Zuma have served as a perfect set to mount an offensive against the state and the constitutional democratic edifice on which it is built.
The unprecedented avalanche of misinformation is well orchestrated to ensure that when the embers die down, this nation will be confronted with a population that has lost all hope and is in despair. In many ways, pessimism will strike and the human dignity that we have all strived for will become but a fleeting dream. The biggest casualties will be our constant desire to uplift all citizens of our country, for greater national and social cohesion on which peace and prosperity depend.
We call for calm, unity and vigilance at this trying time! We call upon all South Africans and all sectors of our society to refuse to be misled and fall victim to masters of the dark arts designed to exploit our challenges as a people.
Most importantly, we call upon government and law enforcement agencies to spare no efforts to bring to book all those found to be behind this counterrevolutionary insurgency.
Lastly, we once against implore the government and all social partners urgently to get together to design and implement short-, medium- and long-term Economic Recovery Plans, consistent with the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan tabled by President Cyril Ramaphosa in October 2020.
Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation
16 July 2021