Mboweni hit nail on the head

2009-09-18 13:43

THIS refers to the speech made by Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni at the 10th yearly Steve Biko Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Town on September 10.

He touched on some of the social realities that our government tends to disregard; realities which lead to disorderly conduct countrywide as seen in recent weeks.

Mboweni quoted Biko’s biography, highlighting ignorance in the country. He observed that the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. Indeed, the liberation of the oppressed is not only political, economic and social but also involves psychological liberation.

Can we claim to have liberated our minds when the daily statistics of rape and other forms of violence against women and children leave us questioning the very essence of our humanity?

This cannot be what Biko envisioned when he wrote: “We have set out on a quest for true humanity, and somewhere on the distant horizon we can see the glittering prize. Let us march forth with courage and determination, drawing strength from our common plight.”

He mentioned Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu pointing out that we seem to have lost our sense of right and wrong.

We are not appalled that striking workers can throw people out of moving trains because they have not joined the strike. Why is it common now to trash streets and go on the rampage during strikes?

Even striking students destroy facilities they need for their studies.

It seems we have perverted our freedom into the right to be irresponsible. Rights go with responsibility and respect for oneself.

Health professionals abandon the sick. Teachers abandon learners. Soldiers disobey a court order and run riot near the Union Buildings.

Mboweni was not afraid to speak his mind for fear of being humiliated by those who wish to drive big cars and live large at the expense of the poor.

MK Marumo


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