Events of past week have been distressing! Never before in the 21 years of our democracy could any of us have imagined that we would be saddled with a leader as reckless as our current. The sacking of Nhlanhla Nene so soon after the country was put on negative watch by ratings agencies can be kindly described as utmost stupidity. If we wanted to be brutally honest, we would probably have to find words that have not been invented yet, and which would never make it to the dictionary because of their acerbic nature.
The dawn of our democracy brought great hope that the last of the atrocities of the last century had come to an end. Yet, here we are saddled with a President who has shown complete and utter disdain for the people who put him into office. From his utter disdain for the families of those who died in Marikana, his lack of judgement on keeping the company of the Guptas, accusations of self-enrichment to now sacking a finance minister at a time when the economy can only be described as bleeding, we are witnessing a leader keen on destroying whatever little value he inherited from his predecessor. And the losers? South African children who will never know what it is to escape poverty because their leader did not care enough to liberate them from the yoke of poverty. Through sheer determination, he engineered a spectacular fall for a country that had so much promise.
Perhaps it is because our democratic system does not really empower ordinary people to choose their leaders in a way that engenders accountability. Perhaps it is because the ruling party has descended into such chaos, that the supposed leadership of the said party does not have proper avenues to hold its president accountable for his decisions. Perhaps our fear of what happened in 2008, when former President Thabo Mbeki was recalled, has cowed us into such a state that we constantly fear that raising our heads above the parapet could have negative consequences for our personal well-being. Perhaps it is the seeming rise of criminality on the part of those who hold public office, that those with positions of authority actually have material fears for themselves and their families if they were to stand up to the carnage that President Jacob Zuma is wreaking on our country on a daily basis
At this time of great danger to our republic, the time have come for all of us to ask searching questions about our role in enabling what has become an immediate danger for the democratising project that many fought and died for, over all those years of struggle. The signing of petitions online seems like such a cowardly thing to do because it allows us to claim to have done something to right the wrongs that are being constantly visited upon this nation, without putting ourselves at the firing line of an increasingly brutal police force. We shirk our responsibility to come out to the streets and demonstrate with our numbers and voice the end of our tolerance for the wilful destruction of the only home that most of our kids will ever know.
How many times have we sat by hoping that the ANC would take a stance against Jacob of Nkandla? How many times have we hoped that he had reached his credit limit with the organisation, and that he would be reined in and made to toe what most acknowledge to be a very well-defined line?
We will have nobody else to blame when things get worse in this country. Sadly, we are the ones who will have to pick up the pieces and somehow ensure that this country retains our respect and that of the world. At this rate, the bunch that left for the shores of England, Australia and New Zealand on the premise that things are about to get worse must be enjoying the view from across; watching us flapping all over the place waiting for a saviour to liberate us from one of the most incompetent leaders this continent has ever seen. I can also imagine the losing side in Polokwane watching with anger at their predictions coming through as surely, their patriotism still made them hope he would succeed. The ANC has failed to lead South Africa, especially when it comes to the economy. It is time for South Africans to rescue this country by voting the ANC government out in the next elections.
South Africans; wake up! In isiXhosa we say “evuka emva idliwa sisagweba’’ (He that rises late catches the whip)! DM
Mvuzo Shaun Dlanjwa is a young entrepreneur and former EFF Junior Researcher at Gauteng Provincial Legislature. He’s writing in his personal capacity.