Nelson Mandela has gone. It was the moment that many in southern Africa have dreaded.
The legacy he left was the African National Congress (the ANC) ruling political party and the notion of a so-called rainbow nation of reconciliation between blacks, whites and coloureds.
But the ANC, currently led by flamboyant President Jacob Zuma, is hardly recognisable as the same party that Mandela guided to political victory.
The party is considered now by many to be run by gaggle of rival warlords and gangsters. Open corruption can be witnessed by ministers, civil servants, municipal chiefs and even the police.
Despite its early elaborate promises, the party has singularly failed to deliver virtually any of its promises to its own black African followers. Unemployment is already topping 40% and the country relies desperately on outside foreign investment.
Yet it is happily cancelling investment protection treaties and has recently announced it intends to seize 51% of South Africa’s burgeoning private security sector. Together with new positive economic discrimination and black empowerment rules, it is not a situation that will encourage that investment from abroad.
Meanwhile interest on the country’s debts is so high that the government is having to borrow even more foreign money to pay its civil service and its social welfare bill. It is clear that the ANC does not have the political and administrative will or ability to run an efficient modern economy.
The ANC is increasingly reliant on its political support from the more rural tribal homelands as support grows slowly for the rival Democratic Alliance Party. But there is unlikely to be any change of political leadership any time soon.
Time for the ship of state to change course away from the rocks of economic disaster may be running out fast.