I'm often at odds with my family. To be fair, we're at odds about most things. I'm not Christian enough, I'm not straight enough, I'm not responsible enough...you could pretty much add on to that list at will and whatever you add onto the list will probably feature in some shape or form. Now, despite the fact that I can tie my rebelliousness to a myriad existential reasons, the cold hard truth at the end of the day, is that my choices remain my own. My life, as colorful and varied as it has been, has been mired with a seemingly endless array of dramas, ups and downs and everything else in between. From running away from home as a teenager, a dip into the occult, a love affair with drugs that lasted many, many years and what appears to be a never dying desire to live life on the edge, yep – I've pretty much seen and done it all. What I've also had to learn and have done so with some aplomb, is that no matter what I might think is the resultant underlying motivation for any of these things (some of which maybe more valid than others), I've had to make peace with the fact, that ultimately – I am responsible for them all.
Now, I understand (like many reasonable and thinking South Africans) that we have serious legacy issues in this country. Need proof? Look around you. The scars of the scourge of Apartheid are all around us – no more than in places like Johannesburg or Cape Town where million dollar mansions are just a stone's throw away from absolute squalor – and it makes me sick to the stomach to see it. I wonder, how is it possible that in a US$500 billion economy, that this is still happening. Our finance minister just tabled a budget that well exceeds R 1 000,000,000,000 (that's a TRILLION to you and me) do we still have elderly black women in the Eastern Cape who have to pay their neighbours son (from a paltry social grant as it is) to push their WHEELCHAR to the nearest town for the umpteenth time, to query from a belligerent and uninterested official, the status of their RDP house? Which, is no show-home by the way.
How do we have a health system, who my dear old Mum who recently had malaria had to experience, where when a nurse is asked if she could manage to bring Mum a slice of toast, the response is “sorry, we don't have a toaster!?”
How do we have a president who, came from the same organisation that birthed those fine and noble men, such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Albert Sisulu, Steven Biko and even Robert Sobukwe? Where is our activist spirit when this same man spends R 250M on his home, in an impoverished and derelict area of our country?
...and where are the millions of black South Africans who should be even more disgusted and appalled at it all, than the rest of the country is? Are you not ashamed of your leaders and if not why not?
That brings me to the crux of this article.
At what point do we put partisan interests aside, personal feelings to the corner and fear of the collective's judgement behind the plough, to begin asking our society some very uncomfortable questions? The short answer is: NOW!
South Africa, we cannot be laboured under this leaching cancer that is running our society into the ground – and seemingly with the will of the majority?! You can NOT reason that the DA will never govern, purely because the majority of black South Africans mistrust the white “madam” at it's helm – it has to be argued that even if they did ONE DEGREE better than these current fools are doing, that that would be worth their tenure? I was never a big fan of the DA. In fact, I was of the ilk that experienced the protests around the Chris Hani assassination when I was in standard 6 and thought of myself as being so privileged to see the changes coming to my country, in my lifetime.
I know that I will now be subjected to various yells of neo-liberalism, racism even – but I don't care. I don't care that some may find this post offensive – let me tell you what I find offensive.
I'm offended for the millions of black South Africans who have seen little if NO improvement to their lot – while their elected leaders grow fat a-la-Mandla Mandela (disgrace to his name!)
I'm offended for the millions of South African women who are raped and murdered every day because our police force is grossly under resourced and ill equipped to deal with the influx of victims while “premiers” live in homes that will cost the state R7,5M to maintain. The behaviour of our leaders is less than resembling integrity and seeing the opening of parliament as they all slap themselves on the back while frothing at the mouth for their next dodgy deal. (Frankly that includes some of the DA membership as well).
The whole system has failed and in the name of “cohesion” and “homogeny” we simply sit back and accept it as normal because we are African after all. THAT offends me. It offends me in ways that I cannot put into words – and I speak six languages!
My article is not unbiased. It is not completely objective – but it is true.
So now I ask my fellow black citizens, specifically, as they hold the power – how much longer will YOU be silent and content to see this happening and not speak out for fear of being branded a traitor? How much longer will YOU sit back and see this gorgeous country crumble to dust? How much longer will YOU watch YOUR OWN PEOPLE sink further and further into despair – I'll tell you what I say, I say SHAME ON YOU! This is not what was fought for. This is not the dream that Mandela, Tutu and the rest of those brave and courageous men had for us, men who inspire beyond race, class and nationality.
When will YOU TAKE RESPONSBILITY for our nation? Bad education? Apartheid, I can accept that, it will take some time yet to restore our education system. But the current minister of education who presided over an entire lost year in that system was not put their by Apartheid's leaders. My brother Johnny is in a mixed race marriage with his wife Johanna and let me tell you, for a couple that should be enjoying the very fruits of liberation offered to our country at the time, they are now, grudgingly having to consider immigration to Canada (that would be a huge loss to our I.T field by the way) and our government would simply look on and say “....they can simply leave this country...”
No South Africa, NO. We have to now look past political correctness, look deep into ourselves and ask those questions because time is not on our side. I could care less what racist whites would respond to this article – and even less than that, the opinions of self-righteous blacks because I care enough of my country to say these things. To risk the torrent of abuse which will no doubt flow as freely as the premium brand alcohol at government parties.
I'm not a Christian, but when you look at what's happening around us, you'll forgive me for saying:
“Nkosi Sikilel i'Africa” - PLEASE! Now, more than ever.
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