Good Day Ladies and Gentlemen. Leading up to today - May 7 2014, I was very weary about voting ANC for all the reasons we are all so familiar with. Now that its done. I am at peace, confident I have made the most progressive decision I could have made. I am not here to defend any of the many blemishes in Msholozi's file, or am I here to motivate anyone else to vote ANC just only to share my reasoning.
For the last 6 years I have used the following 2 lines from a William B. Yeats' poem titled "The Second Coming" as my political compass:
~~~"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
~~~Are full of passionate intensity"
First I think I should state that while not a "Born Free" and not having a trust fund attached to my name, I ashamedly consider myself to have grown up embarrassingly privileged. Ashamedly because, being black I need not go far to see the injustice that is the legacy of apartheid still affecting black South Africans. These black South Africans are in very close proximity to me, some of them are cousins I grew up with whose biggest downfall in life has been the cards they were dealt, the only difference between us. This minor detail has been the sole cause in the disparity of what we have accomplished in life, our levels of education, our goals, dreams and most importantly the value we apportion to ourselves as individuals.
As part of my "privilege package" I was also fortunate enough to go to a very good lily white private school in Honey Dew called Trinity House, a high school of 625 pupils in 2003 with only 13 "Nie-Blankes" or "non-europeans/whites". I spent a large part of my formative years socialising only with white South Africans and black family cause that's all I was exposed to.
My best friend and brother was and still is white(Chase Tatham Evans) - biggest enemy was white (REDACTED) - my first girlfriend white (Robyn Todd) - first and second love white(Samantha Dengler) and (Danielle Pugin) my "second mother" white (Gail Evans) etc... So I was able to observe life on both sides of the fence. No running water or electricity when visiting cousins who live in Pretoria north and flying in private helicopters when visiting friends from school.
At the time I saw nothing wrong with this, "it was life". It is only now after my stint at TUKS(University of Pretoria) in 2006 mixed in with a more representative, though still exclusive sample of society, only now after 5 years in active politics that I have come to realise just how tragic this situation is.
I for one cannot stop a single white person and accuse them of "Stealing" anything from me, those thieves are all long gone hence I cannot vote EFF. I truly believe that the best South Africa we can possible be is a united South Africa where everyone is equal, black/white/Indian. For as long as you swear allegiance to the land and its people then you and I should be no different.
This is my dream for the future. A dream I think the DA and every other liberal political party has a very real part to play in. The only problem though is the majority of our people are still feeling marginalised and the apology that was 1994 seems to have not come with nearly enough redress, only superficial levels at most.
For me its like this - Our past was a war, 1994 was a peace treaty but after the white flags were raised the majority of black South Africa was left on the battlefield with gaping wounds. For as long as they continue to bleed the war continues to affect them.
Someone needs to stand up, grow a pair and orchestrate the rehabilitation of these soldiers. Heal their wounds and re-capacitate them to contribute positively to society. At some point the pain will seize to be bearable the wounds will demand action, an action motivated by pain and suffering. I look around and see evidence of this everyday. It is to be expected. It is highly unfair to expect a wounded soldier to limp of the battlefield and into mainstream society without any help.
A certain young party is counting on this, capitalising on this very real need of our population because no one else had the balls too. The unfortunate thing is that now they get to package it as a fighter. Something “fighters” understand something I don't feel is conducive to the united future we all so desperately want. A common phrase comes to mind, it begins “Two wrongs don't...”
This is the premiss from which I approach politics in the rainbow nation, in a nutshell - There is a future we all want but there is a past that continues to victimise entire sections of our population. This automatically fractures our society because while some dream of unity in our lifetime others are still too busy crying from hunger pains, sleeping under the cover of leaking tin shacks and marching for clean drinking water. What is the value of national unity to a hungry man who helps park Bentleys for donations?
This is the reason I vote ANC because the job is not done. I hope my kids will not find a need to vote ANC. I hope one day to have the freedom of choice when it comes to my vote. But for now the emancipation and rehabilitation of all South Africans is not a choice. That brings me to my previous quote and how it helped make my decision, alternatively as Edmund Burke so succinctly put it - "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing".
The ANC has great policies very few can fault them. The problem is not so much with ideology or with the perceived evil that is and was always there but, more with the complacency of good men who have left vacant the posts once occupied by the Mandela's and the Sisulu's of this world. In my time in politics I have been excited by people like Bandile Ntombela and Khomotso Dukes Maduane who though having broken free of the shackles of "being black in South Africa" did not neglect the struggle.
They fight a losing fight but they fight nonetheless. They understand that it begins with you. That your vote in the ANC has 52 times more weight than your vote in the national elections and therefore has a 52 times greater influence on the leadership and direction of both the ANC and the country. They like myself recognise that the ANC has not yet delivered on its mandate, a mandate which is paramount to the success and realisation of a unified South Africa.
A mandate which can only be delivered if more good men heed the call.
Do I vote based on legacy issues? Hell yes, unfortunately I can no longer ignore the fact that legacy issues are still very current. Legacy issues are still day to day issues for many South Africans. Legacy issues are NOT legacy issues just yet. Do not get me wrong, I am a firm believer that until our democracy has displayed an aptitude for transferring power from one party to the next without incident , it will remain a theoretical democracy.
So power does NEED to shift one day... but not today. The aptitude of our democracy has to continue to play second fiddle to the more pressing issue of the rehabilitation of the previously(read "Currently") disadvantaged and the restitution of the dignity of the the African child.
Disclaimer: I say African because I truly believe for as long as long as White South Africans continue to inherit the sins of their fathers they too are not free.
I write this on this 7th day of May 2014, election day, not because I want you to go vote ANC but because elections are just the beginning. Your country needs you...Your future needs you, will another cross in 5 years be enough?
Ndabazezwe K Mncube