President Jacob Zuma is determined to accelerate South Africa's descent to an economic and racial crisis, FW de Klerk, the country's last apartheid head of state, said on Thursday.
“President Zuma is determined to accelerate our descent along the road to state capture, economic crisis and racial confrontation,” De Klerk said at a conference by his foundation to mark 27 years since he announced the unbanning of the African National Congress (ANC) and the release of his democratically-elected successor Nelson Mandela.
This could be seen in the Hawks, crime intelligence, and the police being used to attack opponents and protect allies, he continued.
His speech was about the crossroads the country had faced since negotiations toward a democratic SA. The ANC’s historic Polokwane elective conference in 2007 marked the beginning of the decline, he said.
President Jacob Zuma was elected ANC leader to replace Thabo Mbeki at the conference.
“We have trundled aimlessly down the road to societal decline,” De Klerk said.
The hostile removal of Thabo Mbeki as president, with the help of former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, saw the government jettison policies that had led to economic growth.
De Klerk said the investigative unit, the Scorpions, was destroyed, opening the way for the alleged corruption and state capture seen today.
Parliament was being used to rubber-stamp the ruling party’s decisions, he added.
Of concern to him was the racial polarisation the government was propagating, said De Klerk, whose administration enforced separate racial development.
He predicted that people's jobs, their land and prospects would in future be defined by their race. Minorities such as whites, Indians and coloureds would be left behind as “demographic pens” were formed.
De Klerk claimed the white population would shrink to its virtual elimination.
The ANC's elective conference to be held in December should be closely watched.
“There are many decent people in the ANC,” he said.
There would be another crossroads and SA would face three possible directions: A move to socialism, a rush for the gravy train, or a return to the Constitution and values of the ANC's founding fathers.
“If South Africa fails, Africa fails,” De Klerk said.