Positive, let me leave the good until last. Let me explain. I am a South African, born and bred, and live by the credo enunciated by this country’s first democratically-elected president that South Africa is a land in which all are entitled to live in, freely, fairly and equitably.
Before his sentence to Robben Eiland, he famously remarked, and emphasised that he had fought against white domination, AND against black domination. In the sad twilight of his years, we, as South Africans, were reminded through his glorious biography, Long Walk to Freedom, and in many other instances, that no child is born hating another. Hate, and in the context of South Africa, racial hatred is taught by those who should know better.
Madiba also reminded the democratically assembled South African citizenry that if the ruling ANC, like the National Party before them, should abuse the power given to them, the people, like they did to the regime of apartheid, should proceed to remove the ANC from power.
The ANC, led by Jacob Zuma, gives new meaning to the famously entertaining term, Breaking Bad. Not only has it abused its power, through party patronage, corruption and incompetence (of its own making, and not through inequality as they allege), it has hurt and damaged the lives of millions of South Africans irreparably. These millions to which I allude to, were left behind at the dawn of democracy in South Africa, poor, illiterate and now largely unemployed. It is phenomenally BAD not because of what I have just said, but mainly due to its dramatic about-turn on the ideology of freedom and equality by perpetuating racism which benefits a new group of empowered people.
The 2014 South African elections are BAD for that single reason. Racism. Millions of South Africans, not racist, but simply endeavouring to look after themselves, will vote on the basis of the colour of their skin. They will vote ANC, as in Black, because they have a more than a million chance of gaining employment and reclaiming land allegedly stolen from them during the apartheid years in particular.. Most white and Coloured voters will vote for the liberal-minded opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, because they now know that there is not a White snow-ball’s chance of them attaining equality and freedom as minorities (in accordance with the South African constitution and the previously racist Population Registration Act) and an equally fair chance of obtaining jobs and land, tenders and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Those that vote ANC are (rest) assured that the dark days of Apartheid will NEVER return. In fact, the ANC’s deputy president and billionaire Cyril Rhamaphosa has warned them that should they vote for the opposition Democratic Alliance (an interesting, nice name for a party when you think about the Nationalist themes of the ruling party) this party WILL bring back apartheid. Now most South Africans have moved beyond such ridiculous proclamations. Or have they?
The UGLY? Not only is it ugly, it is moving swiftly beyond logic. A mass of disgruntled supporters proclaim loudly that they despise the corrupt and malevolent manifestations of their state president, but still sombrely declare their undying allegiance to his party, not theirs. It’s not theirs anymore, sorry to say, it’s his. Jacob Zuma had been planning such a scheme since that heady day when he stood just behind Nelson Mandela somewhere in the bloodied plains of KwaZulu Natal, watching the elder statesman cast his first democratic vote. Through devious manipulations of enticing promises of enrichment and patronage, he has assured the support of most of the National Executive Committee which is now bereft of proper and civic-minded leadership.
Blindly oblivious through loyalty and nostalgia, the supporters have not recognised that not only is Zuma corrupt, but the party that makes its election promises on time every election since 1994, is also corrupt. Do not believe the lie through analyses of so-called political analysts (essentially in the closet ANC supporters who will NEVER vote for a WHITE party) that the ANC is a broad movement with mass appeal and that change from within is still possible.
Those who do not have a short memory, will recall the publicised motives of one of the world’s longest serving cabinet members (not Trev, who has since retired). Pik Botha declared that it was essential to continue service through the National Party regime and thus effectively change the racist system from within. It didn’t happen, but rather De Klerk’s hand was forced under the weight of a crippling economy, mainly through sanctions in protest against apartheid, and the rising tide of hope after Gorbachev’s Communist Russia collapsed. Manuel, not yet sixty, has sickenly decided to call it a day, realising that change from within, particularly under Jacob Zuma’s watch, is no longer possible.
The so-called RED MENACE is not yet dead. Although barely alive, it is not Communism. It is the Nationalism of Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters, showing disturbing similarities to the National Socialism of Germany’s Adolf Hitler where hate for another is the main propagandistic theme on the road to power. Julius Malema is the monster that the ANC and Jacob Zuma has spawned. He is now the begotten child that they have spat out.
Former United States president, Lyndon B Johnson famously said, and I’ll paraphrase here, that it would be far easier to keep check of the subject – in this case, it is Julius Malema – and allow him to “piss” outside the tent – in this case, the ANC kraal, than have him on the outside pissing into it.
Loyal supporters, more concerned with the real natural tides of flooding and blinded by colour coding, have not noticed the stench of urine that is now knee deep at Luthuli House and Chancellor House. Malema is pissing with gay abandon. Okay, perhaps not gay, because, if truth be told, he is more loathsome of those “born this way” or, let us just say for the sake of promoting a free, equitable and democratic society, choose to be gay. Fawning female supporters need not be reminded that Malema has still less respect than Zuma for their inalienable rights as would-be mothers of the nation. Did he not once remark that the lady of the night in question may have enjoyed Zuma’s parody of rape?
In spite of the South Gauteng high court’s ruling criminalising Malema’s utterances of hate speech, this same cretin who once pledged that he would KILL for Zuma is still calling on supporters to KILL. I won’t mention who, it is already widely known. Owing to the allegations of corruption against the Independent Electoral Commission’s Pansy Tlakula (who on her watch has presided over the printing of double the amount of ballot papers that will be required in the elections) Malema and other opposition parties, bar the DA, have called on her to resign. In so doing, he has coolly and calmly alluded to the possibility of a CIVIL WAR if she does not resign. The ANC has already stated that Tlakula will remain in office and will now preside over an election which will NOT be free and fair.
Not only as a result of the ballot paper issue, but mainly due to “people wearing ANC T-Shirts” violently preventing civic-minded people in mainly poor, urban areas from voting. There is a quiet belief that the corrupt power of Jacob Zuma’s regime (and ANC) is eroding, as quickly as the cracks of the poorly-built rondawels of his large Nkandla estate begin to show. Much like Malema’s version of RDP houses, built for those who already have houses, no matter how poorly constructed. The ANC, in its bid to hold on to power, now employs similar tactics of “break-em”, “dis-em” that the National Party used to undermine their parliamentary opposition during whites-only elections, particularly as their support base began to decline. There is irony in this, because that support base did not translate to votes for the then-Progressive Federal Party (Democratic Alliance) but rather to the Conservative Party of the late Andries Treurnicht. The Freedom Front Plus of the brothers Mulder has its origins in this party machine which wanted to concretise apartheid rule, rather than dismantle it. Corne and Pieter Mulder are, of course, sons of the late Corne Mulder, who is infamous for the Information Scandal which forced B J Vorster to resign, much like American President Richard Nixon was forced to do after allegations of spying on the opposition Democratic Party came to light, and much like that Party’s future presidential candidate was nearly forced to do after allegations of sexual impropriety was laid to bare.
Perhaps, this is where the GOOD story of this historical 2014 South African elections can begin. No, not Jacob Zuma’s Good Story in which he omitted to mention porous hours spent by his predecessor in engineering South African society to reflect an ANC society, and in which he omitted to mention over 700 charges of corruption levelled against him (later dropped under his mercurial, reptilian watch). Perhaps we should also start with one civil servant who has plunged in head first, nose and hair, to do her job as she was mandated to do. She has a beautiful name too.
She has released her long awaited Nkandla report which has damaged the ANC’s reputation irreparably, never mind that of Number One. A minor piece of electioneering mischief by the ANC’s political opponents labelled Zuma A THIEF. His acolytes dutifully took the DA to court and predictably, the case was dismissed with costs. In a society of free enterprise and freedom of speech and expression, enshrined in the South African Constitution, the most progressive of its kind in this world, and continuously undermined by the ruling ANC, our rights as free and equal citizens are safe for now.
Even with a two-thirds majority, it would take years of incompetent bungling by the ANC government to unravel the Constitutional institutions which they clearly do not understand, appreciate, or respect. No longer Africa’s largest economy (by numbers mind you, only by numbers), it would also take many a year for Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters to Nationalise all, or most institutions of government or private enterprise as he has promised to do. If he is to succeed, he would have to do this by force. How? And with what? Many a savvy BBBEE-empowered careerist would soon realise where their mouth watering white bread is buttered and proceed to dutifully maintain the status quo.
Thabo Mbeki’s younger brother, political analyst and businessman, Moeletsi, has stated that this election is the last election that the ANC as we know it today (a corrupt, racist, patronising organisation and not the liberating one we grew up with) will win. Will a new ANC emerge from the debris of Jacob Zuma’s kleptocratic rule, just in time to rescue the nation from a national/socialist movement under Malema?
There are many more men and women such as Thuli Madonsela waiting in the wings, as opposed to Malema’s central command committee devoid of the skills, patriotic passion and democratic vision to take South Africa to its rightful place as a uniquely free and independent nation, able to stand on its own two feet amidst the growing uncertainties that geo-politics brings today. Particularly when the bubbles in both the West and East burst.
A labour movement which truly acts on behalf of the much poorer workers we surely must have. But so too, democratic institutions which are user friendly and business friendly. While my vote remains my own best kept secret, and while I am not giving anything away, one new political party, untested at the polls speaks volumes (and only in name, for starters) for what a good future in South Africa may hold if the decline in democracy, as lamented by Trevor Manuel recently, is to be arrested.
LET US BUILD SOUTH AFRICA.