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Is South Africa turning into Zimbabwe?
“Hardly a decade from now, Zimbabwe will be our destination, our reality,” wrote Barney Mthombothi in his column in this weekend’s Financial Mail, South Africa’s equivalent of The Economist.
Mr Mthombothi, one of his country’s finest journalists, was commenting in the course of an analysis on the dire situation in neighbouring Zimbabwe where, he said, life had become “hell on earth”.
The tragedy is not simply that Mugabe has destroyed his own country, Mr Mthombothi went on to say. “He has exported the cancer. He’s poisoned the well. He’s contaminated the politics of the region, especially South Africa. Our politicians have learnt from the master’s knee – the buck-passing, blame everything on imperialists and apartheid;
the reckless and incendiary language; the refusal to see reason or deal with reality even as it stares you in the face.
“Our people are increasingly suspicious or even frightened by the actions of their own government. It can no longer be trusted to do what’s right by them.”
Mr Mthombothi’s apocalyptic warning – mirrored by other heavyweight analysts – comes as the global spotlight zeroes in on South Africa, with scarcely 40 more days to go before the country flings its doors open to humanity as it hosts football’s World Cup.
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