Booing a sign of our time

2013-12-15 10:50

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Stand up for Madiba’s legacy by saying enough is enough

Tyrone Maseko


This week was a watershed week for South Africans. We grappled with the loss of our beloved Madiba, and asked ourselves where we are as a people and what lies ahead.

Have we forgotten the values espoused by Nelson Mandela barely 20 years into our democracy?

Much has been said about the booing of President Jacob Zuma at Madiba’s memorial and it got me wondering whether this is perhaps not an expression by ordinary South Africans, albeit by a small group at the FNB Stadium relative to the general population, that enough is enough.

The booing that we witnessed was, in my opinion, a sign that the people are starting to realise that relying on Parliament, the judiciary, chapter 9 institutions and other democratic institutions to hold our politicians, and more specifically our president, accountable is simply not enough and we have a collective responsibility to make this a participatory democracy.

Most ordinary folk do not speak up because they are afraid of reprisal. Is this the kind of society we want to live in?

So perhaps now is the time for the citizenry to stand up for Madiba’s legacy by, firstly, refusing to vote for tainted and unfit leaders and, secondly, when elected officials let us down like Zuma has, asking them to step down – or embarrassing them like Zuma was on Tuesday and doing it at every occasion until the message is clear.

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