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Mphatjie Monareng
 
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'Dear Pessimists...'

14 October 2009, 11:27  - Mphatjie Monareng
Dear Pessimists,

Sometimes I even wonder if, by entertaining your whims, I am not wasting my precious time because, much as you would like to believe, you are actually not so different from Julius Malema.

You see everything in black and white, and you see negativity everywhere. You often choose outrage over reason. You're in denial, and a few setbacks confirm your prejudices.       

But, unlike Malema, you like to pretend that apartheid did not happen, and you want to deny its impact on our current socio-economic situation. You have a big problem: you suffer from historical amnesia.  

You think we're going the way of Zimbabwe - and other failed African states - and we're not. Jacob Zuma is our fourth president since 1994, and Zimbabwe has had Robert Mugabe in power since 1980.

South Africa has a sophisticated economy, a strong and independent media, effective and fearless opposition parties, big business here is really big and politicians are not laws unto themselves.

You can choose to see only the negatives, such as crime, unemployment, poverty, corruption. But let me tell you: there is no place like South Africa.

You can pack up and emigrate if you want to, but chances are that you'll be back here some time in the near future. Many others have returned.

Some of us do not really understand why you are so preoccupied with Malema and what he says. When I am in a taxi and someone makes a remark about Malema, the reaction is usually common: "Malema? Wahahahaha!!"

You fear that one day the poor may invade farms. Are your for real? Invade farms? For what? Even in Zimbabwe the poor do not invade farms. Only politicians and their gangs do that.

People here have learned the art of forgiveness, and our history is now really just that, history - except for people like Eugene Terre'blanche, whom many of us see only as contemporary clowns, to be pitied, not taken seriously.

You can choose to get stuck in the past and hang on to old racial prejudices. You can choose to go against the flow of traffic, have your clock ticking backwards, but the rest of the country is moving forward.

I can't force you to love this country and be positive about the future, but it is for your benefit that you now start seeing the bigger picture - seeing that the positives actually outnumber the negatives.

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