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Nicholas von Stein
 
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Open letter to all South Africans:

10 April 2014, 07:36

This is long, be warned, but if ever there was a time to write about something, this is it and now is its time:

Taken on their own, scandals and corruption occur everywhere and throughout history, the fall of the Roman Empire can be directly linked to corruption among the elites that governed the Empire....

In some places like South Africa corruption is so brazen and so common, many people have become completely de-sensitized to it.


However a tipping point seem to have been reached, the sheer scale of the problem, and the fact that it COULD extend all the way to our President and many members of government in senior positions, citizens the country over are utilizing the tools of media (Radio, Newspaper, Internet) to express their disgust and frustration. ( I personally think he is guilty of multiple counts of Fraud amongst other things, but that's a opinion, I still trust our court system even though it is overwhelmed).

So here I am, a 26 year old South African and I feel betrayed. I never knew Apartheid, I was born in 1988. One of my First memories is going to a ANC rally in Cape Town pre-94 with my mother who was often arrested before 1990 in Anti-apartheid related activities. (I 'm not trying to paint a lily- liberal picture here, my mothers mother was racist to her dying breath,  she referred to black gardeners her daughters age as ''boys'', I cringe).
I remember learning in school about our horrible past and the man among many who led his people (all of them) to freedom (the opressors are just as oppressed in reality, just in different ways to the actual opressed), Nelson Mandela.

 What amazed my young mind is there he was, flesh and human, our President a man who realised with infinite wisdom and a strength of character few posses that the oppressors are just as oppressed in reality, just in different ways to the actual oppressed. A man who wanted to unite the country, move it forward, ensure the poverty that so many live in due to our past was tackled and at least addressed if not eradicated.


It is accepted that Mandela and FW De Klerk averted a civil war and a blood bath (in the power vacuum following the certain demise of a weakened Apartheid state, inter black ethnic rivalry could be very easily manipulated under such a environment).
With all this in mind, I entered my teen years knowing that we had many challenges, some new, many from the past, but I had FAITH that things would get better as the ANC got to grips with the reality and nuances of governing....

Fast Forward to today and that faith has wilted like the Protea's challenge for any trophy or my hope that Bafana Bafana achieve anything of note in my lifetime again.....
I look at the ANC of today and I feel nothing but seething contempt!
It is not possible to put into words how much I love and appreciate the fight, toil and lives spent fighting that truly evil regime by the likes of the: ANC, UDM, PAC, whites, blacks, coloureds, Indians, gays, lesbians, chrsitians, jews, muslims, hindus, jedi's, men, woman, old, young, South Africans and Foreigners.

And then the saddest part is how the ANC has pissed these 20 years away. Its one thing for a group of men who hate 89% of the population to misgovern and favour only certain people, but when you have been oppressed and your members are so varying in ethnic and cultural composition, and you began your tenure in power with so much goodwill only to throw it all away, that to me is almost as bad as Apartheid itself.
I  cannot compare the two as I'm to young, but to my post 94 mind, the tragedy of this country is just continuing..... You could say we went from the Fire to the Frying Pan: You're still gonna die, its just slower and more painful cause you know its coming......

Yes improvements have been made, of course and the ANC (probably) deserve more credit than they get.... BUT

Corruption and the culture of corruption with all its implied negatives has seeped into every level of state.
Not a day goes buy where there isn't at least 2 or 3 stories of corruption and nepotism that is so brazen, so infuriating, that all one feels is powerlessness. Which then leads to anger and resentment and here we are....

I want to vote the ANC, my heart tells me too, and I would if they ran a compotent government, this is a common feeling amongst youth my age across all colours and economic level, you meet a wide variety of people between university, community work, and working at a restaurant. 
Unfortunately, they don't run a compotent government.... And they never will as long as the culture of me me me and Enrichment-at-any-costs are firmly eradicated or at least trimmed to a few bad apples and not most of the crop...........

This culture exists because they are sure they will remain in power, this has to change, even if they stay in power they need to fear the results of miss-managing a state to the extent that they are.....

In the last few weeks, as my anger over Nkandla grew and grew, I began to bookmark government statements in 2014, but before I give them to you, a few words on Jacob Zuma...

''I didn't ask for it, why should I pay for it?'' THAT is your response???????????? Well done on gauging the public sentiment, never mind E-tolls...
Did this man who I believe is intelligent (zero wisdom though) not begin to question the direction of his administration after he was boo'ed at Mandela's funeral?
Sure the spin doctors can go on about ''rebel'' elements in the crowd, but the booing was loud, long and only when his picture was on the screen (never mind the embaressment of other heads of state being there to witness first hand), in his heart of hearts, in the ANC big-wigs hearts, they must know something is seriously wrong when many of their own supporters boo not only the President of the country, but the President of the ANC....

Below are just a select of the articles I have kept track of:

A compilation of Quotes from various persons in our government over the year of 2014 aka election silly season:

1) "Nxamalala [Zuma] has increased grants, but there are people who are stealing them by voting for opposition parties," he was quoted as saying.
"If you are in the opposition, you are like a person who comes to my house, eats my food and then insults me." ANC provincial politician. http://www.news24.com/Elections/News/Dont-steal-grants-if-voting-for-opposition-MEC-20140409

2) Comrade Blade: Speaking at a launch in Pietermaritzburg, he said: "When I was growing up, we used to call the newspapers white man's lies… and they still are reporting for their white owners." http://www.news24.com/Elections/News/Nkandla-articles-white-peoples-lies-20140409

3) http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/SA-respects-Ugandas-anti-gay-laws-Zuma-20140408 (never mind our constitution btw, sure you can say you respect their decision ( I do as well as a gay man, I do not agree with  the Ugandan  or any laws, I can point out many flaws, I do think they backwards and its horrible and I will strenuously point out so), but where's the part from the president where we respectfully disagree, because you know in this country we have a lot of experience on the issue of denying people basic rights, in essence moral leadership VOID)

4) Paraphrasing here: ''Zuma did not act how a President should'' http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Zuma-conduct-inconsistent-with-his-office-20140319

5) ANCWL: State didn’t fund Nkandla upgrades: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/ANCWL-State-didnt-fund-Nkandla-upgrades-20140321

6) THE BEST ONE: "They did this without telling me," he was shown saying on ANN7. "So why should I pay for something I did not ask for." Zuma, http://www.news24.com/Elections/News/I-didnt-ask-for-Nkandla-upgrade-Zuma-20140331

7) Media projects party's leadership as corrupt - ANC. http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Media-projects-partys-leadership-as-corrupt-ANC-20140401

8) Okay not in government but still a symptom of the times:
A woman wearing a T-shirt with Jacob Zuma’s face on it told Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille that she would be voting for the ANC because they were corrupt.
Zille said: “One lady had on an ANC T-shirt and she was making a point about the ANC. So I said to her you are welcome to vote ANC if you want corruption.
"She said well if you can’t beat them, join them. And I said are you joining the ANC so that you can also benefit from corruption and she basically said yes." http://www.news24.com/Elections/News/Woman-tells-Zille-all-politicians-are-corrupt-20140405

9) Judge erred in SMS ruling - ANC: "The public protector's report... shows an unchecked or inadequately checked dipping into public funds by those responsible for the significant upgrades to the president's residence," Hellens (a judge) said in his judgment. I refer everyone back to point 5. http://www.news24.com/Elections/News/Judge-erred-in-SMS-ruling-ANC-20140404

10) Lastly: Thinking before one speaks helps if you are a politician: http://www.news24.com/Elections/News/7-of-the-worst-ANC-quotes-20140326.

I see the desperate poverty some people are in and I feel powerless to help, I earn barely enough to cover all my expenses every month, petrol is so expensive that If I drive once a week I relish it these days, how am I supposed to help uplift an entire country, when I can barely keep myself afloat? Whats worse is this powerlessness is worsened when those who have the power to make a real difference squander it on themselves and friends........

So I'll say it again, what do I do on May 7? How can I vote for the ANC after everything I've said above, I want to, but my head over rules my heart and I wont...... I'm not a DA or Agang supporter, but one of them will have my vote as its anti-ANC and that saddens me greatly.... 
I don't want to have to be in a ''negative'' voting mindset, elections should be a joyous day for everyone, I want to be inspired by someone again, I want a leader I know is tackling real issues and in a way that makes me proud to be a South African, which I am.

In closing, the governance and culture of leadership in this country is severely lacking, and has been since well forever with the exception of the moral leadership we had from Mandela throughout the 90's.


So proudly South African, so unabashedly ashamed of my government. The corruption, nepotism, cronyism has to stop, please for the love of god, just stop.


Cry the beloved country indeed.

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