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Adrien McGuire
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A dream squandered

03 December 2013, 15:11

I have been reading a lot of opinions about where we are as a country and have been amazed at the diversity of opinions , from the different sides of the political spectrum. If one is white then one feels that the future is bleak and if one is black ( or some shade thereof) then life has improved since 1994. Whatever happened to the notion of a rainbow nation , or is it just something we bring out of the closet, dust off and parade at events like the 2010 World Cup.

I think that if one reflects on the last 20 years, one must come to the conclusion that we have squandered the dream of the rainbow nation and it is now nothing more than  catchy advertising puffery.

In point form, let me express where I think we have lost the plot......


In 1994 we had a charismatic leader that gave everybody hope that we would thrive and grow as a nation. He gave us the dream of a Rainbow Nation and we all, bar a few dyed in the wool sceptics, would prosper without the cloak of apartheid weighing heavily on our shoulders. Madiba was probably not the most adept politician to have served this country but he was certainly a world class leader. The right man for the time.

Along came Thabo Mbeki, a self styled intellectual except when it came to HIV/Aids where he seemed to have mental blank. However other than that (rather large) blip he did a plausible job until he was deposed.

The new "leader"  arrived and since then he has done little but fight court cases and spend vast amounts looking after himself. If you tot up the amount of money spent by and on Jacob Zuma it is close to R1bn. This would include Nklandla and the roads leading up to it, the extra budget for a fleet of wives, enormous legal bills and holidays paid for by the taxpayer.

Jacob Zuma is a consummate politician , but he is certainly no leader. He has managed to politically sidestep every tackle attempted and in green and gold would make Willie le Roux look flat-footed. He has mastered the art of "divide and rule"  and is a supporter of every dodgy individual or country on the planet.

Wouldn't it be just dandy if we could have a President with the leadership skills of Madiba, the intellect of Mbeki (except the HIV/AIDS bit) and the political guile of JZ all rolled into one, topped off with  lashings of integrity?


The AG reported an amount of +- R30bn wasted by government structures and there seems to be not one sign of anyone being fired/ charged/ dragged over the coals for this travesty. We are in a country that does not have a cent to spare ,as we have so many less fortunate people to cater for, we cannot waste any money. Even if we saved half that amount every year we could build a South African wonderland in the years to come. If the government is not going to take action then the citizens should charge the CEO of company South Africa Ltd with gross negligence.

When the going gets tough the ANC led government hides behind the collective decision making process and therefore no-one is accountable. The small matter of Eskom comes to mind when this was used to fight of detractors. Surely the CEO's head rolls when you have an almighty stuff up like this, along with the divisional heads.


BEE is a necessary remedial exercise after the woes of the past , but not the way it has been implemented. It is being used to enrich a very small band of politically connected cadres. This group of individuals have become wealthy beyond most people's wildest dreams at the expense of the majority of the population. Until BEE is managed in a way that it benefits the masses, we will have a system that is demotivating and corrupt, and it will not achieve much.

Shared vision

Any leader worth his salt would formulate a vision for the country and promote it every waking moment. It would be this vision that would drive the populace to work harder , achieve more, dream more and happily pay taxes. At the moment we are a rudderless ship floating on the high seas and fighting off the pirates as they come along side.


On a daily basis we are calling each other racists and there is a very good reason for this. Every day we are told that we are racists by our "leaders". I am constantly amazed at the successful integration we have achieved in a relatively short time but this is always dented by the odd idiot that tries to destroy it single-handedly . We should be praising and promoting the achievements of those that have successfully   kicked the past into touch. Being a non-racist does not mean that we all have to rush off and intermarry etc, it means acceptance of our differences. Unfortunately , racism is the sheet used by the government and the ruling party to cover up it's inadequacies.

Crime and corruption

A leader would grab these issues by the scruff of the neck and shake the hell out of them. Instead we have someone that has appointed a series of dodgy police chiefs and prosecutors , disbanded a crime fighting unit that was working.... all to protect himself from 700 odd charges. One man has used the entire police force to protect himself , whilst neglecting every other person in South Africa. It stinks the same way that it did in pre-war Germany.

I wonder what the elections in 2014 will hold for this amazing country and whether we will see more of the same or will the responsible political leadership and the voters see the need for a change in direction. Will we get that " I have a dream" moment or will the nightmare continue based on a small band of people that are in politics to self serve , rather than serve the 50 million citizens of this country.

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