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Suffer the children

05 October 2012, 12:26

After reading a letter posted earlier this week - Tiani van Baalen’s cancer of the brain - I thought to put what is needed to save her life into perspective with other goings-on in SA.

My wife recently passed away, this in spite of the best efforts of medical staff and oncologists in Cape Town, as her cancer spread so fast after the first op that neither radiation treatment nor chemo could save her. Cancer is really a nasty disease and anybody who has seen a loved one suffer from it will agree with me, I’m sure.

I’m lucky in that I have an excellent medical aid, otherwise the cost of treatment would have killed me off, and thus my son and I will be able to rebuild our lives. How will Tiani’s parents manage? How would you manage? How do the millions of unemployed, desperate people in our country manage when they have a personal tragedy?

Now, we have a president who is going to spend R 203 million of our money on improving his palace / harem when Tiani’s parents desperately need less than a million to save her life. Is this fair?

What particular right does this man have to spend such an outrageous amount of our money on himself and his growing family when not only Tiani but thousands of South African children are suffering from diseases, malnutrition, poverty and hunger? And don’t give me that bullshit about Obama needing a place to stay when he decides to slum it in Africa, keep that rather for the ignorant masses. Obama needs to visit Zuma like I need more beneficiaries or grant recipients.

Our education system is in a mess, as rightly acknowledged by Prof Jansen, as is our health care system which anybody who has visited a public hospital could attest to and the children of SA are the ones who are bearing the brunt of this maladministration, poor governance and corruption.

Why then are we allowing this virtual genocide to go unreported and unpunished? Why is the presidency itself not standing up and demanding that the responsible ministers do something to stop these horrendous crimes against our children?

Why too are the opposition parties not demanding that this unofficial war on our children be stopped, that the perpetrators be brought to justice and that measures be put in place to rectify the situation?

Are they all perchance more interested in their own pockets, their own families and their own positions of power and influence? It sure looks like it to the observer, doesn’t it?

We have a couple of hundred people in the ruling party - plus 4,000-odd delegates now intent only on partying till they drop in Manguang in December - spending billions on parties, functions, homes, motor vehicles, and personal glorification – all because it’s allowed for in the ministerial handbook – and yet these same people, responsible for all the people of this country, cannot come up with enough money to give the children an education, or health care, or meals, or homes. Why not?

We are allowing a couple of thousand high flying individuals to wreck our country, ruin our children’s lives and throw our money around frivolously and it’s time it stopped.

Joyce Banda, the new president of Malawi recently announced that she will be taking a 30% pay cut to show solidarity with her people and their austerity programme.  Why then, when SA is in similar dire straits with strikes, soaring crime, massive unemployment, an education crisis and untold misery amongst the youth are our leaders not doing similar? Do they really not care?

I would suggest that all elected officials, including the president, now show their good faith - and also their solidarity - by publicly donating 10% of their remuneration to a fund to help children like Tiani Van Baalen whilst the relevant departments are ordered, by the courts if necessary, to get their act together and start doing their jobs.

In an instant enough money would be raised to help Tiani and these benefactors would simultaneously show that they are with us and not – as it seems – just reaping all the benefits that we are working so hard to create.

Perhaps if they spend just a teeny-weeny bit less on their luxurious motor vehicles, lifestyles, overseas “fact-finding” trips and their beeg bash in Manguang, they would actually be able to assist the innocents, and the people who elected them. That is after all why we pay their salaries.

If they don’t then we will know exactly where they stand and we will vote accordingly when our chance comes.

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