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Ask and Ye shall receive - An Open Letter to the people of South Africa

2014-05-08 14:18
John-Mark Abbott Comments: 23 Article views: 1217
Congratulations, my fellow South Africans. Today as the elections results are tallied, today as people celebrate and commiserate over the rise and fall of their political idols in the polls, today as we are meant to be celebrating the success of twenty years of free and fair democratic elections, I sit here typing, and ashamed.
I am ashamed that once again, South Africans have voted for all the wrong reasons. No, that is being uncharitable. South Africans have voted for better homes, education, healthcare, accountability in government, safer streets and an effective police force. We voted for our children's futures, for a country that we could be proud of, for that feeling we had after 1994 when being a South African 'meant' something.
Do you remember that feeling of pride? Can you even feel that swelling of emotion inside your chest, when we felt we were united finally, as one of the greatest countries on Earth? I can barely even recall it.
We voted yesterday to try and get that feeling back. We voted to reverse the downward spiral this country has been in, and to restore our place in the world. We voted, hoping that finally the people would stand up and say in one voice that enough is enough, and we would save our beloved South Africa.
Sadly, we have done the exact opposite. We have taken the flag of our country, thrown it willingly in the mud and muck, and trampled it down till nothing but filth can be seen. And now we celebrate that fact, as if it were something to be proud of.
I am not going to throw out names. I will not blame race. I won't mention a single political party. That isn't the point I am trying to make here. But I will make mention of this quote, attributed to the late Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".
We have spent the last five years as a nation rocked by scandals, by corruption, by nepotism and the blame game. We have gone from being a shining beacon of hope, to being a laughing stock. We have fallen far short of the potential and the future I believe Nelson Mandela had for us. And we have done so willingly. We have done so every time we have voted for a government that cares more about it's own status, power and comfort, than for the man, woman and child living in abject poverty.
And for that, my fellow South Africans, I am ashamed.

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