George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm” gave birth to the oft-repeated affirmation that equality is an admirable aspiration but that it is virtually unattainable. Some are more equal than others, it was implied.

Equality before the law as enshrined in the South African constitution is rarely achieved when a political or racial component is involved. Under the ANC these aspects take on a trajectory of their own and justice is often the victim of the political clash of civilizations that is acted out every day in post-apartheid South Africa.

For the past 27 years of ANC rule, hundreds of thousands of criminals have systematically plundered South Africa’s infrastructure with malice and purpose. No definitive action to curb this anarchy has emanated from government.  We have been occasionally told that “several arrests have been made” and then we hear nothing more.  Thousands if not millions of miscreants never reached the courts, let alone became the subject of a police docket.  If a suspect actually did appear in court, there was little if any media flurry surrounding the person’s appearance.  Many of these cases simply died on the altar of the government’s justice system’s bias, ineptitude and/or negligence.

Compare this scenario to the recent rumpus at a Senekal, Free State court where a group of farmers gathered to express their rage and frustration at yet another gruesome farm murder. A young farm manager Brendin Horner (22) was attacked by a group of cattle thieves, beaten to a pulp, stabbed repeatedly and his body was tied to a fence pole. Terror is the new weapon against farmers and whites in general these days. Some of these farmers forced their way into the court, and a police van was overturned and set alight. Contrast these actions by a group of farmers with a legitimate grievance over the Mau Mau type murder of a young man doing his job, with the wholesale violence over the past 27 years by ANC criminals and syndicates, who have made farming in South Africa an absolute hell. If you are a white involved in any crime involving a black man in today’s South Africa   the system moves very quickly to apprehend you. In the Senekal case, one farmer has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, incitement to violence and public violence. He remains behind bars and his application for bail has failed. He will remain behind bars until his case is heard.

Those on the wrong side of the SA political spectrum arrested in cases involving race and/or politics are brought to book with alacrity, sometimes on spurious charges, with intimidated witnesses and shoddy police and prosecutorial work. In April 2017, two white farm employees were given hefty prison sentences of 23 and 18 years respectively on the evidence of one so-called witness who later allegedly recanted, stating he had lied to the court. The two white employees had found a black man stealing farm produce. They took him to the police station on the back of their truck. During the trip the thief jumped off, was injured and died. The two white accused are out on bail pending an application to the SA Supreme Court of Appeal. The search for justice in South Africa is murky.  The justice system is selective.  Politics certainly plays a role. How many of those who burnt down the landmark Pretoria railway station, for example, have appeared in court? Scores of buses, trains, buildings, schools, mayoral offices and other edifices have been destroyed in South Africa and few if any of those responsible have been brought to book.

In Kwa Zulu/Natal for example, law and order for farmers has, so to speak, collapsed. Only 20% of reported farm attacks end up in a guilty conviction. In the case of assaults against farm workers, the conviction rate is a paltry 15,8%. It was reported this week in the KZN provincial legislature that 372 farmers and 380 farm workers were attacked over the past 20 years. Eighty seven farmers and 119 workers were killed.

Court cases involving even a hint of politics or race have become spectacles. Political hordes, unionists, rent a crowds and sundry unemployed with nothing else to do appear en masse outside the court, jumping up and down and chanting. Placards appear bearing threatening messages to the judge, the judgement is decided and warnings are given to those who do not stand with the mob. (A recent survey conducted by the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU) at the University of Cape Town revealed that “roughly 44% of magistrates said they have been personally harmed as a direct result of their judicial role. About 55% of magistrates in the Western Cape and 64% of Limpopo magistrates have been threatened in the past”.)

Since the ANC came to power, South Africa’s infrastructure has been systematically burned, plundered and desecrated. Crime against the country’s citizens is relentless. More to the point, much wanton savagery has been particularly directed at South Africa’s commercial farmers, of all races. Farmers and their families have been killed and tortured – burnt with irons and boiling water, beaten black and blue with pistols, hacked to death with pangas, stabbed repeatedly with knives. One senior lady had the soles of her feet torn up with an angle grinder. This terror campaign doesn’t stop, despite fatuous promises of action by president Cyril Ramaphosa. (In New York December 2018, the SA president declared there were no farm murders in South Africa.)

Stock theft is rampant, and animals are slaughtered while they are alive. Carcasses are left behind as tokens of the barbarity. Unique levels of brutality against whites are now common, not seen since the anti-farmer Mau Mau terror campaign in Kenya in the sixties. Private land invasions are common, where the farmer is terrorised if he takes action. Wood, cattle, produce and anything else in sight is stolen in broad daylight. Dogs are brought in by black syndicates to hunt cattle and wildlife on privately-owned farmland. Farm owners are threatened with death if they object. The farmers at Senekal tell of detailed reports of stock theft, names of miscreants, car registration numbers and other important details handed to the authorities, with no action taken. Those who killed Brendin Horner were among the names handed to investigators.

In September 2020 there were 48 farm assaults with five murders in South Africa. In August, 52 farms were the victims of assaults, and 9 murders occurred.

READ MORE TLU SA calls for more attention to farm murders

There are two completely different mind sets within the South African body politic, and never the twain will meet. The wholesale corruption and stealing that has occurred under the ANC regime became rampant, and it is only now, some 11 years later in some instances, that the justice system is creaking into action. Overseas badgering by world rating agencies to rescue the economy was one pressure point the government ignored, resulting in South Africa’s demotion to junk status. Foreign investment became a dream, while the economy has tanked to such an extent that only 24% of all South Africans have work, declared Claude Baissac an economist from Eunomix at a recent conference. By 2030 South Africa will have become a failed state if current government behaviour continues, he added. Like so many others, he offered solutions which the government will pointedly ignore. Winning next year’s municipal election is government’s priority: staying in power is their goal, whatever happens to the country.

Herein lies the tragedy of South Africa – the huge gap in norms and values between the first and third world (ANC) sectors of South African society. It seems the government simply doesn’t care if the roads turn to dust. Why should we think otherwise? Sewage in the streets – does it worry them? Do they even notice that those who voted for them have to live with disease-ridden muck flowing outside their houses. Polluted water, crumbling roads, millions of foreigners moving into squatter camps outside our cities: clearly the powers that be don’t give a fig otherwise they would have controlled our borders and made an effort to fix at least some parts of our crumbling infrastructure. If the municipalities are bankrupt, this does not affect civil servants’ demands for salary increases this year. Fourteen towns in the Northern Cape have power only 12 hours a day because their municipalities owe Eskom R200 million. This figure is but a fraction of what has been stolen and is still being stolen by government personnel some of whom are now, finally, being charged for their crimes.

At a recent government conference, cabinet ministers and top officials joked and laughed with the press at the same time a devastating report was being released on the state of South Africa’s Metrorail commuter networks. SA’s commuter rail system has collapsed. Railway stations have been bricked up, hacked off cables dangle over non-operative train lines, while the tracks are now open land on which people can erect makeshift shacks. Only a handful of trains are running in SA’s cities, and many must be hauled using expensive diesel because the overhead power cables have been stolen. Just seven of Metrorail’s 34 commuter trains are currently operative countrywide – and then only with reduced services. A spokesman said that to date 432 people have been arrested for vandalism, but only 32 have been convicted. (See the article in the Daily Maverick. )

Those who suffer are the black commuters who have voted religiously for the ANC since 1994. They are forced to get to work using expensive taxis. Anyone who earns R5 000 a month will now have to pay half of that in transport fees.

The government refuses to appoint competent people who can run the country efficiently. Every job advertisement for municipal personnel throughout the country declares only blacks can occupy these positions. The municipalities state they are “Equal Opportunity Employers”, an oxymoron if ever there was one. This is a synonym for no whites must apply. Political appointees get the jobs whether they are qualified or not. This ensures smooth corruption chains as friends help friends steal large amounts of money.

Changing the ANC’s cultural mindset is virtually impossible. The DNA is built in. The cultural chasm continues to widen in South Africa. Can the ANC be stopped? Many think so.