Why is a second term necessary?

2012-06-23 08:07

Here I am, listening to yet another discussion on in-fighting among factions within the ANC.

It is the ANC’s election year and I am reminded of the previous election in Polokwane and the nightmares that created.

Our president was recalled, the national police commissioner was in trouble and accusations of plots to undermine leaders and contenders as well as accusations of misconduct were rife.

Fast forward to 2012 and yet another election.

Only this time it will take place in Mangaung and we are told it will not be anything like Polokwane. Or will it?

Let’s review recent stories that made headlines. One of the most profound stories was the expulsion of the ANCYL leader and previous ANC superhero, Julius Malema.

He became Enemy Number One when he started turning on his parents instead of the opposition.

With the ANCYL leaderless (and pretty much voiceless), the next step was to start leaking stories that would make the main contenders look bad.

We saw stories of bribery in Iran, secret meetings to overthrow the existing leadership and the one that gripped the nation: The Spear painting depicting the president in a bad light.

It caused so much outrage and confusion, everything else seemed unimportant. Significant hours weren’t spent condemning the fact that schoolchildren in Limpopo were denied their basic right to a decent education.

No march was organised to demand justice for the thousands of citizens going into yet another winter with no roofs over their heads or food in their bellies.

There was no leadership recall for the shocking state of our police and the allegations of political interference.

Which brings me to my original question: Do we really need this?

Wouldn’t it be better if leaders only had five years to prove their worth and leave a legacy?

We are repeatedly told that political leaders in our country only execute policies made by their parties.

So would it really matter if they were replaced every five years?

In fact, would we not see more open campaigning and less of the cloak-and-dagger rubbish?

Would we see better results as they only had five years to shine?

These questions can only be answered if we try it. But who will be brave enough to implement it?

I seem to recall a candidate that hinted this would be one of the things he would change if elected but that “hint”, like many other made by political campaigners the world over, died a quiet and discreet death.

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