Every day with the ANC clowns in charge, we become more of a circus

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By Howard Feldman

Much like Jacaranda trees, tigers are not indigenous to South Africa. They have never roamed the savannah and will unlikely be introduced to any of our preservation areas. Which is why reports Sunday evening of a female tiger on the loose in Johannesburg, came as a surprise.

The streets of the Johannesburg are not known for their safety. Visitors are often warned to be careful and to not venture into some areas of the city. But never have they been told to keep an eye out for a tiger. Until now.

A week ago, the subject of this column was the story of a baby seal that went rogue on Clifton’s 2nd beach. In some ways, I believed that this was a metaphor for the South African predicament where much of our focus was on the sharks that had attacked people off the coast of Plettenburg Bay; the idea being that whilst we looked out for the more obvious danger, it was the less apparent ones that were nipping at our heels.

Enter the tiger.

At time of writing, the tiger has not been captured. It has, to date, attacked a dog (condition unknown), as well as a 39-year-old man, who thankfully survived the experience. The hand-reared beast was apparently being kept as a pet near Walkerville.  She escaped Saturday evening when someone cut the fence, allowing her to roam the streets of the city.

Or at least nearby. 

Residents have been cautioned to not approached the beast and were informed that she could attack even without provocation, much like that baby seal in Cape Town and the shark in Plettenburg Bay.

There is a famous scene in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, where Duncan’s horses attack and bite each other. There is a lot of discussion as to what the relevance of the scene is, with most critics concluding that the murder of Macbeth has disturbed the natural order of things.

The natural imagery used, confirms the theme of the self-destructive nature of evil, which reverberates chaos into nature itself, as seen in how Duncan’s horses eat each other. The play centres around Duncan’s murder of Macbeth, driven by his ambition to rule.  

In other words, the behaviour of the natural world is a reflection of the behaviour of those in power. See where this is going?

The escape of the tiger followed a weekend of stage 6 loadshedding and the attempted murder of Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. It also followed the back stabbing infighting and objectively appalling behaviour of the leaders of the African National Congress. It follows an attempt by a corrupt past-President to prosecute the current president, and the spectacular failure of the organisation itself.

It would be absurd to blame the ANC for badly behaved seals and escaped tigers.  It would make no sense to add this to the already long list of failings. And there would be no need to, given that the page is already bursting at its seams.

What is relevant, is that the news almost came as a relief. That after a horrendous weekend of relentless stage 6 loadshedding, it was so more interesting and so much more enticing to debate the merits of owning a tiger as pet than it was to speak about the realities of South Africa in 2023.

Unlike the murder of Macbeth, the ANC does not have the power to impact the natural order of the universe. What it does have, is the ability to materially and negatively affect the lives of South Africans: so much so that no one is shocked when a tiger strolls through the main economic hub of the country.

It is noteworthy how unsurprised people were of a report that a tiger was roaming the streets of the city. There is almost an acceptance that we live in a country where pretty much anything can happen. And that every day with the ANC in charge, we become less of a country.

And more of a circus.