“We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:
That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people;
That our people have been robbed of their birthright to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality;
That our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities;
That only a democratic state, based on the will of all the people, can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, s*x or belief;
And therefore, we, the people of South Africa, black and white together equals, countrymen and brothers adopt this Freedom Charter;
And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic changes here set out have been won.”
The adoption of the foregoing declaration at the Congress of the People in Kliptown, on 26 June 1955, changed the anti-apartheid struggle from the passive and non-violent civil resistance, which was adopted with the influence of Mahatma Ghandi’s nonviolent civil disobedience to a life and death struggle.
The draconian apartheid regime in South Africa came into force in 1948, following the triumph of Afrikaans National Party in an all-white election.
Political thinkers had described the struggle against apartheid as ‘one big tree.’ The blood, tears and sweat of those who died in the struggle was the water that watered the tree. The tree began to bud and bear fruits with the release of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in 11 February, 1990.
Finally, the fruits began to ripe for harvest when the first democratic elections took place in 1994. Analysts had opined that, the emergence of a truly democratic South Africa in 1994 was the first step towards a fair, equitable and just social and economic order.
This assertion was based on the fact that, long years of apartheid system of government conferred automatic economic advantage on the minority Afrikaans. According to Economists, over 85 percent of the country’s economy is controlled by the white South Africans.
The Mandela & CO led struggle was only for political freedom, haven attained political power, the succeeding generation was well positioned to take up the ‘fight against economic imbalances and injustices. The evidence of that would better measured by the improvement in the ’economic’ life and prospects for the traumatized, battered and impoverished ordinary South Africans.
However, twenty two years after the historic election that heralded Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected president of the rainbow nation, the benefits of the 1994 transition is yet to trickle down on the ordinary South Africans, especially the youths.
Over the last 22 years, the standard of governance has deteriorated rapidly. Even the Africa National Congress, ANC, formed in 1912 to champion the cause of the black South Africans has witnessed internal implosion with the breakaway of a faction to form Democratic Alliance, DA, made up of white South Africans and renegade member of the ANC. Also, the youth leader of ANC, Julius Malema broke away to form Economic Freedom Fighters Party after consistent brawl with the elders over the worsening economic fortune of ordinary South Africans.
The ANC has watched its fortune wear away from the 62 percent vote in 1994 to the abysmal performance in the 2016 municipal elections. Experts adduced corruption of the ruling class as responsible for the inability of the ANC to feather its initial goodwill.
The same reason accounts for why the economic benefits of the 1994 freedom is yet to trickle down on ordinary South African.
Observers wonder why the South African youths are turning against migrants, instead of holding their leaders accountable. Their anger, analysts say, should have been directed at leaders like President Jacob Zuma, who was indicted for using 23-28million dollars of tax payer’s money to renovate his lousy and expansive house in Nkandla region.
The youths, analysts say should have vent their frustration on post Thabo Mbel Mbeki few powerful clique, who suddenly become super rich at the expense of their impoverished fellow South Africans.
The youths should have join forces with the Julius Malema led Economic Freedom Fighters Party to vote out the corrupt regime in South Africa, instead of directing their anger in wrong direction.
International affairs analysts, Dr Gideon Akomofayi told LEADERSHIP that, South African youths are failing to realize that, Nigeria is also taking its fair share of migrants too. He said, what is happening in South Africa is like Nigerian youth turning their anger against millions of Nigerien, Togolese, Ghanaian, Benoniose in Nigeria.
It is a popular believe that South African youths are not productive, innovative and hard working. This insinuation has been echoed for the umpteenth time by the country’s president, Jacob Zuma, who went as far as describing South Africans as lazy. This has made an average youth in South Africa, love luxurious life with little work.
To be able to cope with the life of women, wine and partying, many of them indulge in crime. Every other minute, a woman is being defiled in South Africa. Robbery takes place in broad day light. Analysts say, with or without xenophobic attacks, the country will continue to witness violence.
The 2016 South African crime statistics released by the South African Police, shows that crimes continue to increase in the country.
According to the data, overall crime in South Africa has increased between 2015 and 2016, with 2.1 million crimes reported in the 12 months measured. All general categories of crime decreased, except for contact crimes, which remained “stubborn”, the SAPS said.
Provincially, Limpopo and Mpumalanga crime levels increased, while all other provinces decreased. The Northern Cape remained stable, the SAPS said.
The SAPS said that the 2016 statistics were compiled in conjunction with Stats SA to assure that the process was subject to the tightest quality control. This came after criticism in 2015 that the police statistics were unaudited, bringing into question its reliability.
Stats SA says that, while the data released is not yet on the same level as other statistical information, it is compliant with required legislation, and is thus endorsed.
The biggest crime category to increase over the past year is robbery of cash-in-transit vehicles, though this is off of a relatively low base.
Between April 2014 and March 2015, there were 119 reported cases of these robberies – in the April 2015 to March 2016 period, this jumped 15.1% to 137 cases.
In terms of sheer number of crimes, however, the biggest increase was in cases of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which saw 7,598 more cases reported in 2016.
This was also the third highest percentage increase across all crime categories at 11.1%.
General theft and drug-related crimes remain the biggest problems in the country, with over 340,000 and just under 260,000 reported crimes in those categories respectively – though this is an improvement from 2015.