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It's not easy being optimistic in SA

10 December 2012, 09:22

 Nothing depresses me like writing about the ANC these days. Everything about this leaderless organization drives me bonkers. My sense of optimism has never been this low.

I have no doubt that the Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself alight early last year and sparked a popular uprising that deposed the government in that country felt the same way. He’d had enough of living in poverty while government leaders were living in opulence, courtesy of tax payers. He just couldn’t take it anymore.

 I am worried that writing about corruption, incompetence and poor leadership is fast turning me into an angry pessimist. I am trying to stay positive. Believe me I do.

But it’s not easy being optimistic, especially when your president is planning to air condition his rondavels to a tune of millions while the majority of his people live in abject poverty.

Take for instance the Lenasia demolitions. You see, nothing gives credence to the depressing notion that those who occupy positions of power careless about the poor than this.

What we have here is case of a visionless government which has found nothing wrong with allowing a sad history of its own people to repeat itself. It is a depressing story of a liberation movement which has divorced itself from its tradition of safeguarding human rights.

A Lenasia woman, who is homeless as we speak, is quoted as having said “the Lenasia demolitions are Nomvula Mokonyane’s own Sophiatown”. She is right.

On the eve of the Sophiatown demolitions the ANC issued a stamenent warning the Nationalist Government that “an extremely dangerous and explosive situation will arise” if the demolition was carried out. This ANC was at the forefront of the fight against the violation of black peoples’ rights by the apartheid government. It just couldn’t stand seeing poor people’s homes being turned into heaps of rubble. It was in touch with the underprivileged and downtrodden.

Sadly, that ANC is dead now.

The South African Human Rights Commission hit the nail in the head when it said the Lenasia demlitions “disregard constitutional values and makes a mockery of human rights”. Who would have thought that one day the ANC would trample on the human rights it fought so hard for? Who could have foreseen this madness?

However depressed I may be by these so called leaders, self immolation is the last thing on my mind. I like breathing and, like most of you, I am interested in how South Africa would be after Mangaung.

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