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Kurt Ellis
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ANC supporters. Raise your voice and be heard.

17 February 2014, 12:00

I feel I should make a disclaimer upfront, before I even get into the meat of this article. I am not a member of any political party and have no affinity to any of them. What I am is a South African. In fact, I feel that any person who swears an unwavering loyalty to any political party is an idiot. I apologise if this offends, as I cannot think of anything harsher to call them. Giving a political party your unwavering support is the equivalent to giving your spouse permission to abuse you and cheat on you, complaining about it when it happens, yet staying in a relationship with that person. You and your political party should have a symbiotic relationship. They should fulfil a need for you and in return, you should fulfil a need for them. Simple. But that is not the case in South Africa.

 Men like Pixley Seme who co-founded the organisation and who studied at Columbia University and was awarded the Curtis Medal, Columbia’s highest oratorical honour. He went on the study at Oxford University before becoming South Africa’s first black lawyer. Men like John Dube who was an essayist, philosopher, educator, publisher, editor, novelist and a poet. Like Alfred Xuma, who was a member of Cornell University’s Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity who boasted members like Dr Martin Luther King, Jesse Owens and Dick Gregory. And Sol Plaatjie who translated the works of Shakespeare into Tswana and who was fluent in seven languages. A linguist, a writer, a journalists and an intellectual. And then there is Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Albert Luthuli and of course, Nelson Mandela. And there are many names that I have not listed who were all giants amongst mere South Africans. These men, my dear loyal ANC supporter, are the men you should be proud of. Men who sacrificed their lives for the betterment of an entire nation.

So my question is, how can you allow your organisation to go from Seme, Xuma, Tambo and Mandela … to Jacob Zuma? Is this what these men and other freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for? So a handful of black elite like President Zuma can spend R300 million on his own home, a spitting distance from people who have no running water, sewage or basic amenities. Nelson Mandela who passionately endorsed education once said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” You went from that, to Angie Motsepe’s inability to deliver text books to scholars on time. To a six year old boy who falls and dies in a drop toilet at his school. Did these men and women die so that the North West Premier Thandi Modise can buy herself a new R1.3 Million car in the same week that Rinah Moilwa, a 59 year old woman died of heat exhaustion after she had to walk half a kilometre in the North West province to fetch clean water? Did they sacrifice everything for the Gupta’s to have special privileges? For Shabir Schaik to play golf?

As I said initially, I am not affiliated to any political party. I am just a human being, and one of the blessings we have as human beings is the ability to tell right from wrong. Surely, what is happening to our country at the moment is not right. How can a person tasked with improving the lives of the people who voted him into the position build himself a R300 million home, when we have people going to bed hungry in shacks? That is not right.

If you, as an ANC supporter can personally go home and feel the ANC has met your needs – that the ANC is providing you and your family with quality education, quality services, quality healthcare, quality work and a better quality of life, then by all means, you should vote for them. But if they are not doing their part of the symbiotic relationship, then why should you do yours? Why should you vote to put people in mansions and fancy cars when you are living in squalor and struggling to make ends meet? Someone in this relationship is not meeting their end of the deal, and they need to get a wake up call. And not one like the service delivery protests, as they do not care. They are sitting in their mansions, watching the people burn on their flat screen TV’s, drinking Johnnie Walker blue label and eating R50 000 worth of fast food. They do not care. The only time they will care is when you go to the polls, so you should make it count. If you are a real ANC supporter and have the best interest of the party at heart, then I say vote for someone else. Show the party you love that they are better than what they currently are. That you deserve more from then. Save the ANC, vote for some one else.

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