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Thank you ANC

29 April 2014, 21:00
Dear African National Congress

I want to take this time out to thank you for enabling me and a few grateful others to flourish in a nation of endless possibilities and opportunities since the advent of democracy.

I was born on the same year and month of the release of the late great veteran of our struggle, Dr Nelson Mandela.  I may not have suffered the pains of apartheid, but that doesn't justify ignorance to the good things you have done for this nation. On the aftermath of democracy I saw you touch a lot of lives and much invaluably mine.

I grew up as a farm-boy and I'm not ashamed thereof! I stayed at a squatter-camp for some time wearing clothes to shreds and suffering great destitution too.  I was raised by an uneducated single mom whose lifetime jobs were either as a nanny or a domestic worker.  It was your government that gave my great-grandmother a social grant which came in very handy towards supplementing my mom's monthly salary which has never exceeded R600. 

In the year 2001 my great-grandmother fell sick and because of your government, she had access to free medical care until she closed her eyes and left us for good.  My mom had quit her job to look after her and after her death, my family's destitution relapsed as my mom struggled to find a job.  I used to fetch wood from the mountains of Zastron and dry cow-dung from the velds in the vicinity in order to cook and warm water.  Have I thanked you for giving my mom a piece of land amid all of that and building her a house to dwell in?

At school I was always in arrears with my fees and when I got to Grade 10 your government in the Free State province identified my school as one of the most disadvantaged in the province and suppressed the payment of school fees at the school for all learners. 

In a free education environment I couldn't sit back and relax, I had to make the most of that privilege. 

A department of your government in the Free State Province helped me get in touch with my public speaking gift when it introduced the Speak Out Competition among high school learners.  It is in that competition that I got crowned the best speaker in the Xhariep District, coming second in the provincial levels soon thereafter. 

I went on to pass my matric with three distinctions and even though I expected a bursary, half a loaf was better than nothing at all; I secured myself a student loan from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and I managed to get myself into the University of the Free State's law school as a mainstream LL.B student.  Isn't NSFAS your government's initiative?  However, I didn't manage to complete my studies due to family financial problems which couldn't cover up where NSFAS fell short.

I was fortunate to secure myself a learnership with one of the country's leading retail banks and to get myself one of the most sought after qualifications in the banking sector while on the learnership.  It is your government that enabled the existence of learnerships, wasn't it?   However, I got myself dismissed when I didn't declare a surplus of R35 on my cash-holdings, which I didn't appropriate for myself though.  That doesn't mean I shouldn't thank you for that wonderful opportunity! Life may not be easy, but you have given me hope of turning it around.

I promise not to be deceived by those offering milk and honey and to put you back to power on May the 7th.  I will do what's right for myself and the generation of my children.  I owe my life to you ANC, without you I'd probably still be living in squatter-camps without matric and the least that I can do for you now is to vote for you on the 7th.  I won't give up on you because you never gave up for my sake in the apartheid era.

I will forever remain loyal to you!


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