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The Lizards of Democracy

13 February 2014, 11:51

More riots in South Africa with many turning violent.

In the Cape Times yesterday, Max du Preez said that there'd been "nearly 3000 protests in the last 90 days - more than 30 a day - involving more than a million people."

This week, in my hometown of Knysna, there was another protest with no one knowing why it happened. Maybe the 50% of South Africa's youth that are unemployed, if stewed long enough, simply have to boil over?

How many times must businesses be burnt down or national roads closed before politicians start listening to the masses who are frustrated by their election lies?

Each time ugly violence or idiotic rhetoric raises it's arse i'm tempted to repeat that the biggest problems in our country should not result in an ANC versus DA, or vice versa, blame game. Politicians need to stop pointing fingers at the opposition and instead use both hands to help the people they were elected to serve. Unfortunately, their level of education seems to only enable them to count up to that one finger which serves not only as misdirection (and a refusal to accept responsibility) but a telling "f*ck you" to the public.

If politicians don't start doing their jobs and the media keeps misreporting then South Africa will go up in flames. That's no exaggeration. It's too common in history for the more comfortable public to be deniers, or turn their backs, until lies are vanquished by violence on their doorstep.

2 years ago, i read an article by Paul Berkowitz in the Daily Maverick wherein he reminded me of Douglas Adams' poignant definition of democracy in his comedy book, So Long and Thanks For All The Fish:

“On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said Ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"

[If you're wondering where the book title comes from, it's the message the dolphins leave behind after departing Earth - it's become a way of poignantly saying goodbye, particularly useful if you've used up everything you were offered without giving back much.

Yes, that does sound like our local politicians, somehow elected without CVs and answerable to Cape Town and Nkandla (instead of us), so that they keep their jobs (and big salaries) even if they don't do it.

Suggest you watch the Dolphin song at]

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