By: Sivuyile S. Sesi (www.756writing.yolasite.com)
In South Africa (SA) we can still avoid a lot of trouble and suffering if we appreciate each other and what our country have. With us caring for it, our country will become even greater with everyone enjoying its fruits. For that we must learn how to make the right decisions in our democracy.
With freedom we promised for one to be able to make, take responsibility and own up to one life. That's what make freedom special in today's democracy, each person is important.
Patricia de Lille has been politically free and worked hard to free others. Her career as a politician has reached climax and she still stand a chance for the highest peaks. She has broken the today's still showing racial and ethnic tensions. With all the difficulties in dealing with that she received high points for the work of her municipality than other municipalities in SA.
It is said that Helen Zille always talked to Mamphela Ramphele about joining Democratic Alliance (DA). DA have high regards of Ramphele. Now she has her own party, Agang SA. While that, DA chose Ramphele as their presidential candidate for 2014 elections, and at first she accepted, then she couldn't, because of her own party complications she declined in about a week. If she was free, by now it would have been final, and with the DA commitment to Collective for Democracy (CD) coalition, African National Congress (ANC) alliance divided, the Economic Freedom Fighters gaining support from ANC members, and her appeal to professionals and middle class as a role model, she stand a great chance to be the first female president of this country. But she is not free, her commitment to Agang SA is holding her back. With the way other women like Lindiwe Mazibuko, Patricia de Lille and Helen Zille are doing in the DA, with Ramphele they would do more. In reality the DA has made itself the great gift of what Nelson Mandela wanted in the struggle for this new democracy. DA is led by women and young people from different races, cultures, languages, and ages. It is breaking divisions and identity barriers. No other party match its representation. With Ramphele on her individual self she accepted to lead party like DA.
It is good that for people to feel free to stop thinking "oppressor and victim" mentality. We can take our country forward, its up to each and every person knowing and doing what is best for him/herself. It is for one to empower one's self.
Just to show how identity power struggles influence the direction of political decision making in this country. Trevor Manuel would have been suitable for president even at the time of Thabo Mbeki became president. Mbeki did a great job. With Manuel it would have tracked in a different direction of success. All I am trying to do is to show how we have fallen short with jobs and economy under Zuma's leadership. Manuel was new to the public life struggles when he joined in the late 1980's, early 1990's. The manner of professionalism, the way one portrays own identity and role modeling of a leader have an effect to the people. With Manuel as he was new in party politics being a president would have created fresh focus and unfolded to a different today. A lot would have not mattered to affect us today.
Even Ramphele once said that SA should have considered fresh faces for the new democratic SA from the start. All the parties with fresh leadership. That would have been a really extreme fresh start. Not based on apartheid on both sides of South African victims and oppressors. Especially now that it has been made to appear like top government positions are pay back for those who were incarcerated in Robben Island and their associate elites. So as we move our country forward a leader should be careful to not gain popularity for the unsuitable reasons, then end up costing the country.
There is also regionalism in SA and ANC seems to trust Eastern Cape leaders, with rural background is an advantage for them. That identifies with past black cultures power concentrate. Politics drive of many people still greatly mix with that. The way most South Africans don't consider competence than group divide has really costed us. No wonder Mbeki had to assert the African identity in him with his poem "I am an African", and other initiatives for the African Renaissance. Look at former Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) member, de Lille, when she left that party, forming Independent Democrats with a brand that shows the reality of identity crises in SA. SA in the apartheid era institutionalized ethnic and racial unfair and wrong identity divisions among the people. There was that tension. Which it has been a great cause of inequalities in our country. We should work hard to ensure identity does not hold us back or be a barrier to realizing our own dreams. Everyone must feel free to get involved.
Other people still call this country Azania because South Africa does not sound like a real name but where our country is geographically located in Africa. Africans still need better way to improve their lives. They are still deprived of land, resources, trade, skills, finance, property, etc. There has been a lot of name changes in Cape Town and South Africa, Patricia de Lille changing Lansdown Road to Govan Mbeki Road, Modderdam Road to Robert Sobukwe Road. Also Changed Native Yards (NY's) in Gugulethu to street names, Zapiro has a street named after him there. It is all about making the environment or surrounding relevant to the people so that they identify as they freely see with our country today.
DA is sending a sound and valid message to the South Africans that it is over and beyond racial disadvantages or problems as still other are still skeptical. They have all the women across generations on key position, so be thinking clearly before you talk about racism, and women marginalization right now at this time. These are hot issues in today's world. No other party can just do what DA did and be so well. This will surely engage the public and determine the outcomes of 2014 general elections.
Mandela championed against ethnic and racial tension and he prevailed and gave South Africans freedom and democracy and set the world with hope and example for their own lives. 20 years in democracy let's take a different route and show we are free and our democracy has grown and matured than ever. We can do that by making proper decisions. Still more people want to see their lives change for the better, overcoming divisional inequalities. Freedom should spread across peoples differences. The young depend on it.