Bloemfontein – South Africa is not a failed state and is not on the road to becoming one, says former Cabinet minister Roelf Meyer.
Netwerk24 reported that Meyer, who played a key role – with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa – in the negotiations to dismantle apartheid, was speaking in Bloemfontein at the weekend.
He said that under good leadership, like that of Ramaphosa, SA could become a “successful, sustainable country”.
“I do not agree with people who say that we are a failed state. The country is not becoming dysfunctional,” said Meyer, who acts as an adviser in countries that are experiencing conflict.
Meyer believes SA can perform better if increasing levels of corruption, nepotism and political manipulation – which affect service delivery – are eliminated with good leadership.
‘He has the will to do it’
“I think Cyril will be a very good leader. I will give him all the support he deserves. He has the ability to lead the country and I hope it will happen. He has the will to do it,” Meyer said.
Ramaphosa will be up against others in the battle for the ANC leadership and will need to solidify political support in the run-up to the ANC’s elective conference at the end of 2017, he said.
“There will be competition.”
He said the lack of confidence in President Jacob Zuma by both citizens and investors is worrying.
The controversy over Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was badly handled, he said. While he understood that the African Union believed the International Criminal Court (ICC) unilaterally targeted African leaders, these and other issues, such as the US not being part of the ICC, should have been publicly discussed.
Standing up to Zuma
Meyer said those who question why no one in the ANC openly challenges Zuma should look at the country’s history. South Africa “burned” between 1985 and 1990, but no one in former president PW Botha’s Cabinet was brave enough to stand up against him. Meyer was deputy minister of police at the time.
“Political events have a strange way of repeating themselves. We see something of the same now,” he said.
But, he said, it seemed that some were standing up to Zuma, referring to the ANC’s Gauteng leader, Paul Mashatile, who openly said he did not agree with Police Minister Nathi Nlheko’s report on the upgrades to Zuma’s Nkandla residence.
“If Paul had said this, it means he has enough support from within to empower him to say it,” Meyer said. – News24