- Jul 5, 2009
I have touched on the issue in several other threads, but this article describes an important aspect to the COVID crisis, and the response by authorities at many levels: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2020-03-29-covid-19-and-the-dreams-of-our-petty-tyrants/
Something scared me more than the virus last week. It was the language used by a few ANC politicians, no matter how conditionally phrased. Like ‘skop, skiet and donder’ and other gentle reminders of what additional force and violence can be brought to bear on citizens now stripped of their incomes. Language used by Police Minister Bheki Cele and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
And now they were about to shut down an entire country and its economy, after a few days of planning? With its labyrinthine and ill-understood complexities, interconnections and interdependencies? Cluster-f, I said to myself. This is going to be a cluster-f. And then I said it out loud. Unsurprisingly, I was roundly booed by those who had heard.
This government, I suspect, is going to find out the limitations of its power, and paucity of its proclamations, and the attendant opprobrium at the ballot boxes.
If you are a single mother in a shack (or even a one-room cinderblock home) with four hungry kids, you aren’t going to stay home. Period. No army or police force in the world is going to make you. Hungry kids trump national disasters.
Home lockdown is simply inappropriate, cruel and dangerous for large segments of our society. You may well argue that the virus is more dangerous. I do not agree.