ANC has betrayed its legacy - Ramphele

2012-03-23 09:43
Johannesburg - The ANC's current leaders have betrayed its legacy, according to academic Mamphela Ramphele.

The ruling party's ongoing attacks on the Constitution were evidence of this, Ramphele was quoted by the Daily Dispatch on Friday. She spoke at the Guild Theatre in East London earlier in the week.

Ramphele urged South Africans to stop being “passive subjects” and become active citizens because the Constitution was under threat.

“There is enough concern about the utterances by ANC leaders and government officials to suggest that not all is well in our constitutional democracy," she said.

Clash of values

“There is a clash of values between those who believe in the sanctity of our constitutional democratic foundations and those who see them as an obstacle to the second transition.”

No democracy could survive without active citizenship, she said, but most South Africans were passive subjects.

“We sit back and expect government to deliver and, if it does not, our only recourse, it seems, is to protest by at best marching in the streets and at worst burning a local clinic or school."

Active citizens did not burn libraries and clinics, she said.

Using the example of a company, she said the public was the majority shareholder in South Africa Inc, and the government was managing it on their behalf.

"Our Constitution requires the involvement of active citizens, who defend our so-called first generation rights such as security, privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of association," she said.

Citizens had to actively work for "second generation rights" such as universal access to housing, healthcare and a healthy environment, she said.

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