AS SOUTH Africa was bracing itself to celebrate the birthday of its world icon, Nelson Mandela, members of a party he once led were involved in shameful acts outside the Rustenburg Regional Court – trashing the streets in support of a convicted killer.

What played out at the court where ANC members protested in solidarity with a senior ANC councillor and former mayor along with his bodyguard who were convicted of killing a corruption whistleblower is an indication of how our country is in the grip of moral decay.

The fact that ANC members in full party regalia and flags saw fit to protest and go on a rampage, emptying dustbins on to the streets in support of the two convicts bears testimony to moral slump that we’re in.

That this mob saw nothing wrong in pledging support to a cold-blooded murderer implicated in corruption shows how endorsing criminality has become an acceptable norm in our society.

We are not surprised by the failure of the ANC top brass to condemn its members who went haywire in the name of an individual convicted of masterminding the slaying of a leader committed to eradicating corruption. After all, the anarchy and criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of our leadership.

The post-Polokwane era has seen a terrifying decline in ethics in the ANC-led government. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat with impunity. A culture of self-service and greed is spiralling out of control. It is not uncommon to see a compromised individuals with questionable moral character assuming top leadership positions in ANC structures.

Something is horribly wrong when people fail to march in solidarity with school kids who have not been supplied with learning material for the past seven months, yet corrupt elements and murderers draw large numbers of supporters.

All these are signs that the country is crying out for courageous men and women to lift it out of a moral abyss.