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Better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all…

04 February 2014, 10:30

Something those criticizing the failed DA/Agang merger as “rent a black” fail to appreciate one thing. What the heck- for a change we would have had almost all South Africans voting for black leaders- the apartheid leaders would have been turning in their graves! Opportunity wasted!

Look- I am one of those pretty disappointed by Dr Ramphele/DA “divorce”. Well- with all the comments in the past week I was cautious in my optymism and a bit unsure what to believe and hoped things would become clearer once the dust settles.

I do not think Dr Ramphele is had some hidden agenda. It is possible she merely misjudged the sentiments of Agang supporters. And it is a pity they could not see past their prejudices. One of Dr Ramphele’s statements published just after the announcement of the alliance drew fire from right and left- which was a good thing. It showed she was not compromising to make the white DA members happy. I think DA would have benefited from her insights. And I think Agang would have benefited from the infrastructure and organization DA has to offer.

The white DA voters try too little to understand that in spite of BEE vast majority have to deal with anything but a level playing field- regardless of our 20 years of democracy. You cannot argue that trying to finish school while living in a crowded shack with no electricity or other services some of us take for granted, attending an overcrowded school with books arriving any time in the year as opposed to the beginning, with parents who possibly did not have the education to help one with homework- or for that matter able to afford study materials, decent meals and so on- makes for a fair start in life. OK- I am not talking about tenderpreneurs, the elite, and those who have made the system work for them- just the ordinary folk.

Anyhow- one thing this exercise has proven is that the more outspoken of the DA supporters at least had little reservations about voting for a black leader- and were pretty happy about welcoming Dr Ramphele onboard.

In my own case- I have often admired her comments in the past- in fact since watching Cry Freedom (portraying days when she was still a young & idealistic doctor). Perhaps she still is more idealistic than it is healthy in politics.

I wish her well. This was an opportunity wasted certainly.

Still- better to have tried and failed- then not to have tried at all.

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