Chapter 40 – When Karma Comes to Town
Ace Mabuza prided himself on the fact that he lived four houses away from where the late South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani had lived. Every day, Ace stared at the driveway of the house in Dawn Park, Boksburg where Hani had been gunned down by Polish extremist Janusz Walus.
“Yes, life goes on,” muttered Ace to Vincent Khoza, as he parked his car in his driveway, before both men climbed out.
Ace had been so deep in thought over Pieter Erasmus that he had not noticed a light blue Volkswagen Golf had followed them to his home.
The Volkswagen stopped in the road outside Ace’s house and the white man in the passenger seat wound down his side window.
“Excuse me, sir, are you Mr Ace Mabuza?” asked the man in the car.
“Yes, that is me,” answered Ace, who was about ten metres away from the other vehicle.
The man in the vehicle wasted little time. He produced a 9mm pistol and fired two shots, both of which land in the chest of the tender king.
Vincent Khoza, who had moved closer to Ace prior to the shooting, tried to make a run for it, but was mowed down by a bullet which entered the right side of his skull.
The vehicle drove off and unlike in the execution of Hani, there was Afrikaner woman on hand to report the car’s licence plate number to the police this time.
Ace Mabuza bled to death on his front lawn like a dog who had been ravished in a canine fight. Khoza had died instantly from the bullet wound. What were all those tender millions in Ace’s bank account worth when one does not live to enjoy them?
Over in River Club in Randburg, another family was in mourning. Lerato Tshabalala had closed his eyes in going to sleep the previous evening, unbeknown to him that his eyes would never open again. Shortly after midnight, Lerato succumbed to a massive heart attack.
It was as if the spirits in the sky were at work.
Fourteen-year-old Thato Moeng, the son of Nikiwe Moeng from an affair that she had with a married man when she was just sixteen, was the apple of his mother’s eye.
While walking safely on the pavement on his way to school the next day, a car driven by a reckless driver veered off the road and on to the pavement, killing Thato instantly.
Nikiwe wept for days and weeks. Her life would never be the same again.
Even former Police Commissioner Lawrence Mathibe was on the end of several setbacks. Lawrence was a true African man who had four wives. Little did he know that all four of his women would die on the same day. Thembi (stomach cancer), Grace (pneumonia), Mimi (thyroid issues) and Lethabo (HIV-Aids symptoms) all perish within twenty-four hours of each other.
David Wilkinson was still alive and kicking. He was a happy man, until he got to a board meeting of the law firm where he worked. David wasn’t quite as clean as he made out to be and was found guilty of some slick manoeuvring of company funds. Following a disciplinary hearing he was told to hit the road with one month’s pay.
Amos Marewa and Julius Shongwe had been less lethal against Pieter at the hearing. In fact, they had been the two who voted in favour of the whole matter being dropped in line with the findings of the original Marikana Commission.
Sure, Amos and Julius would never win the lottery, but they could live peaceful lives until their old age.
Minister T.K. Muronga too escaped unscathed. Once again proof that no matter what happens in the ruling political party, you will almost always be protected. Jailtime was not an option to the brothers of the liberation struggle. If you have the right connections, you will never go hungry.
Elsewhere in the country, the law was being cast aside.
Cash-in-transit heists were an everyday occurrence and the murder, rape, and robbery rates sky-rocketed. Without the death penalty, which had been abolished at the dawn of democracy, the thugs took their chances. It was a case of ‘in jail today and out tomorrow’ as bribes ruled the roost. There was nobody to turn to as several members of the judiciary structure were also on the take.
As South Africa and its people made the move out of the frying pan into the fire, the government feared a potential coup d’e tat could be just around the corner. President Jacob Zuma was by no means a popular choice as the No 1, but he had been a core figure in the intelligence unit of the ANC’s armed wing in the fight against Apartheid and loyalties were never overridden.
Did the right wing still hold any form of threat now that the ANC controlled the government’s military? Right wing groups such as the AWB had gone extremely quite in recent times. Grossly outnumbered by the black population, the days of them having well-trained commandos under inspirational leader Eugene Terreblanche were a thing of the past since the bearded leader was first jailed and then later murdered on his farm.
However, the ANC knew the Afrikaner to be a stubborn sort. To their dying day, the descendants of the Dutch would think that the black man had stolen their land. The blacks would believe the reverse in that the land had first belonged to the Africans before the settlers arrived from Holland and other European countries.
Following the high-profile assassination of Pieter Erasmus, the government knew that civil war could be just around the corner. The black vs white showdown which had been avoided in the build up to the 1994 transition of power from Apartheid to democracy, could rear its ugly head. All the transformation and reconciliation work that Nelson Mandela had done to unite races, could be undone by the sound of gunfire.
While many of the Boeremag militants were chained up in prison, another right-wing group was hard at work to destabilise the country in the same way the ANC and its affiliates did to make things almost ungovernable for the National Party, the architects of Apartheid.
Following two bomb blasts at taxi ranks in Soweto, the government’s Intelligence unit was hard at work trying to fathom out where the threat was coming from. If the bombers could be as daring to put explosions in places which would cause a mass loss of black lives, they would not think twice about taking a pot shot at the President or other high-ranked black leaders.
The questions which the Intelligence unit men were left with was how right-wing men were able to plant explosives in black areas without being spotted. The obvious answer was that they were not working alone. There were several black political groups who were not smiling on the way in which the ANC was running the country and could well have bought into the Afrikaner idea of toppling the current leadership.
“We will burn this country to the ground unless this government can return the land to the rightful owners, the black people of this country!” screamed a firebrand revolutionary leader to a mass of black faces at a rally in Soweto.
“The ANC has failed its people. Only the cream of the crop has benefited from Black Economic Empowerment and those don’t care about the people on the ground!”
Mandela may have been gone, but his warning to the people had been similar.
“If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government.”
So, the ANC was watching their backs from the blacks and the whites. It rang bells in the minds of politicians going back to the 1987, when Transkei Prime Minister Stella Sigcau had been removed from power in a bloodless coup d’e tat by then-Transkei Defence Force chief, Bantu Holomisa. Realising the power of Sigcau, Mandela would go on to make her a Minister of Parliament in the country’s first democratic government, much to the frustration of Holomisa, who became SA’s Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism.
On 26 July 1996, Holomisa was dismissed from his post after revealing that the ANC had received R2 million from Sigcau, and that former Sun International boss Sol Kerzner had paid R5 million to the government to secure his residence in SA.
Holomisa soon left the ANC to form his own party, the United Democratic Movement, despite pleas from Mandela to reconsider and remain with the ruling party. Mandela had known the click-like workings of his own Xhosa people and had always been weary of being unseated by a potential coup d’e tat or being outvoted within his own party. Hence, he stroked the egos of big time players like Sigcau and Holomisa.
Yes, politics and tribal factions were at play in the New South Africa in black vs black showdowns.
Soon came the news of two killings of ANC leaders in the KwaZulu Natal province. Here, the politics was at its worst.
With the South African law enforcers battling to keep control, looting, and torching of shops, became the norm during protest marches. The marches were said to be about the non-service delivery issues in communities, but turned out to be super opportunities for criminals to operate in.
Xenophobia too, became a catchword. With South Africa’s unemployment rate standing at 36.7 percent for the first quarter of 2013, jealousy crept in and many Zimbabwean, Ethiopian, and other African business owners felt the wrath of the communities who accused them of taking business and jobs away from the South Africans. Many black-owned foreign shops were torched, and the owners fled the country, fearing that their lives were at stake.
“Why aren’t we chasing the whites out, but rather turning our anger on our own black brothers?” many asked.
Despite all this, the anger between black and white was still as relevant as ever. Anything that went wrong in Parliament would be blamed on Apartheid, which had ended nineteen years ago.
Farm murders were on the increase. The government put this down to the work of the average criminal while the white-led Democratic Alliance and the Afrikaner-based Freedom Front Plus, were adamant that a well-worked plan was in place to remove the farmers by the worst way possible to get the land back.
All South Africans, black and white, were realising that the Rainbow Nation dream that Nelson Mandela had painted in 1994, was not as easily attainable as he had thought.
Rather than bonding to form a united nation, black and white had taken a step back in terms of hatred. Despite the length of time that the ANC had been in power, the majority of the blacks would continue to blame the country’s problems on the legacy of Apartheid, while many of the whites would see the ‘communist-minded’ ANC’s poor governance as proof that black people are followers, rather than leaders.
Where did the spirits of Nelson Mandela, Pieter Erasmus and Lindiwe Buthelezi go when they earthly lives were over? Do people of different skin colours or different racial mindsets go to different universes for eternity?
How Mandela wished that his people could understand that the grass is not always greener on the other side. They had fought for power and now it was being abused by greedy leaders who were more interested in the money and status than looking after the interests of the people. Houses had been promised. Free electricity, water and education too. However, there is nothing free in South Africa, especially when facing with trillions of Rands of debt. The reality is that the tax-payer foots the bill and less and less citizens were paying taxes.
It seemed that South Africa was a ticking time bomb. The blacks had taken over the government from the white minority in 1994, in what the world thought was a miracle ending without a civil war taking place.
Now, the seen was set for not only disgruntled whites to flee the sinking ship, but for black on black violence as the new era of African thinkers suddenly woke up to the realisation that what had been promised to their forefathers had not been delivered upon.
So, the ANC faced an uprising from two fronts, the white right-wing Afrikaner and the black youth. However, if it came to a civil war situation, the black youth would always side by their own skin colour, irrespective of matters on the table.
In the spiritual, realm, a tear dropped from the right eye of South Africa’s first democratically-elected President.
All that he had fought for and been imprisoned for seemed to be in vain.
How he had hoped that all South Africans, black and white, could move on and build the nation into the success story of Africa to downplay African leaders from other countries who had once told him: “South Africa is the last hope of our continent. You need to make this work.”
Surely South Africa could not turn out to be a worse case-study than the sorry history of Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain on 18 April 1980. South Africa’s northern neighbours had a shocking human rights record and the people were starving due to international sanctions placed on the country as its economy hit rock bottom.
The stubborn anti-western mindset that the ‘west must go hang’ of former President Robert Mugabe did not help matters much either.
Surely, South Africa would not go down the same road. Prominent thinkers believed that the South African constitution was one of the strongest on the continent and this would prevent a repeat of the Zimbabwe debacle.
However, Mandela, while on earth and in spirit, knew that this would only happen if past political differences between South Africans of all colours, could be set aside.
Mandela had always been the optimist, but now, as he looked down from his spiritual resting place, all he see was a country where people adopted the ‘rape, pillage and plunder’ approach, with people seeking to enrich themselves and ‘fill their barns’ because they were not sure what tomorrow would bring.
“It is time for the real story,” muttered Madiba, who was determined not to throw in the towel on his beloved South Africa.
“If all goes wrong, what will really happen? How bad can things possibly get? You won’t know what you have, South Africans, until it’s gone. You don’t know what you stand to lose. I hope that you and your children will never have to see that outcome.”
As for Pieter, nothing had changed. His hatred towards blacks had remained constant, while Lindiwe’s newly-developed anti-white outlook was the showcase of what many of her earthly black brothers and sisters felt.
“Mandela!” Pieter screamed, and in a flash, sent a handful of fire towards the old man, which saw the former President choking on the thick smoke, before dropping to his knees for eternity.
“If I can’t save my country from the black uprising while I was on earth, I will do it from up hear in the universe.”
Lindiwe gasped in being the eye-witness to one of the saddest moments in history.
“Have I got a story to tell?” she said in a sad rhetorical tone.
“No, you don’t,” snapped Pieter, as he attempted to send a handful of fire in her direction. However, before she was struck down, Lindiwe managed to release a universal charge of power to eliminate the former cop.
With Nelson Mandela, Pieter Erasmus and Lindiwe Buthelezi having seemingly breathed their last in the universal spirit, who can save the Rainbow Nation? If there is no heavenly solution, how does one embrace reality? Who will rise up to save the day?
Note: Look out for THE MANDELA EFFECT III – THE REAL STORY and find out if the spirit of Mandela can bring South Africa back from the brink of civil war