Today's news reports about South African Defence Force soldiers going on the rampage at the Union buildings, clashing with police, were indeed disturbing.
It has indeed been a baptism of fire for the JZ administration, what with the first hundred days characterized by all types of civil unrest.
Talk about taxi drivers causing mayhem in the streets of the major CBDs, municipal workers trashing the same streets that they are paid to keep clean, doctors downing their stethescopes and claiming lives in the process, construction workers jeorpadising 2010 World Cup deadlines, deranged blood thirsty xenophobes baying for the heads of helpless and innocent foreigners... Need I go on? I could go on but spines can take only so much of a chill at a given moment.
Is it only the frustrations of the economic recession that have given birth to the now familiar, albeit infamous rebellions?
Recession aside, poor service delivery aside, one sees the after effects of a people allowed for too long to use violence and disorder to make a statement. One sees the fruits of careless hate speech flung around left, right and centre by political leaders on national media.
Could the Zuma camp have been so keen to overthrow Mbeki and cronies, that they promised the world to everybody and now they owe the world and cannot pay up? Could the likes of Cosatu and the Youth League have pushed for a militant stance that is now out of hand? Perhaps the perpetrators of the gruesome xenophobic attacks of last year have spread the word that you can get away with murder, with not even a slap on the wrist?
Whatever the causes are, a return to order is called for. People's frustrations and grievances have to be dealt with by government. Government must however take steps to eradicate its culture of tolerating and even instigating violence and hate talk. If for no other reason than to save itself from being consumed by the very monster that it has created, urgent and stern action must be taken. The line bordering anarchy has never been thinner.