There is a phrase repeating in my mind, as voiced by one of the most well-known authors to come out of this country over its troubled and painful history – “Cry the beloved country”.
With so much to offer, and so much potential, why should we be crying now, as a new democracy which was brimming with goodwill and excitement only a few short years ago?
The disappointments are too many to mention, despite the good intentions, and the much-vaunted roadmap towards an equitable and non-racial society has been lost, seemingly permanently.
Another despot has been endorsed by the ANC, which is, effectively, and sadly, South Africa’s voice. Gwede Mantashe, the voice of the party and the government, has publicly endorsed the party’s support for Zanu PF in Zimbabwe’s elections next year.
Conflict of interest with President Zuma currently the SADC appointed mediator in Zimbabwe is obviously of little concern, as once again ‘liberation’ in its various forms is touted as being behind this solidarity.
Although the political ramifications of such blatant partisanship are obvious, yet ignored, the most worrying and the clearest indication of impending dictatorship is the ANC’s absolute disregard for the opinions or concerns of its populace. In a democracy, the people have rights, and the right to express their approval or disapproval of the leaders of their country. Increasingly, in South Africa, given far too many recent events, that is no longer the case.
History has shown us many examples of despots, dictators and absolute rulers, and the few words which seem to tally with the direction in which our beloved country is heading were uttered by Louis XIV, the longest-serving monarch in the history of Europe. ‘L’Etat c’est moi’ (I am the State) seems to fit, and while I sincerely hope I will be proved wrong, and denials will be uttered, so far the silence is deafening.