Tyranny of the educated

2008-08-13 00:00

William Gumede in his article “Stopping at nothing” (The Witness, August 5) speculates and repeats inaccuracies masquerading as fact. In doing this he confirms my view that the more some of us get educated, the more we become unable to think critically but are dependant on the theories and models that we learn from great American and European authors. This results in us divorcing ourselves from our reality in Africa and in particular, South Africa.

Firstly, why is it becoming a problem that Jacob Zuma is using the legitimate judicial system in his legal battles? Even the chief custodian of our Constitution criticises Zuma for this. Why are they in such a hurry to have Zuma tried and thrown into jail? In 2006 it was the state that wanted a postponement in its case against Zuma because it was not ready. It was also the state that appealed the judgment of the Durban High Court that had declared the search and seizures invalid. Why then is there this argument that Zuma is delaying his trial?

Secondly, Gumede is a pathetic liar when he alleges that Zuma has a strategy to get the African National Congress (ANC) as an organisation fully behind him. It is public knowledge that when Zuma was prepared to be inactive in politics and attend to his legal challenges it was the membership of the ANC at its 2005 general council meeting that resolved that they would not accept that attitude from him and further resolved to give him their full support.

Thirdly, I do not understand why intellectually pretentious people like Gumede feel that we must be apologetic about our freedom. They believe that we must not criticise the media or the judiciary. We must be subtle and kind in demanding our freedom and we must not complain. They seem to believe that now that we have won political power there is no need to be radical and transform society in a revolutionary manner. If we do this they get embarrassed and call us idiots, imbeciles and other such unpalatable names. It is because of apologists like Gumede that after 14 years of political freedom black people are still beggars in their own country.

The Constitution of South Africa was written to guarantee our freedom and liberty. It is now abused like the Bible was, to rein in the illiterate unthinking masses so that they do not say things that will embarrass the elite blacks and threaten the white minority that is resisting socio-economic transformation. We will not stand by because of some people who think that they are clever and are the only authority on the Constitution and who feel uncomfortable when we assert our rights.

Gumede is also lying when he says that Zuma has a strategy of building a popular image of the Scorpions as allegedly part of a conspiracy against him. Zuma has no such strategy. The Scorpions have done that themselves by inviting television crews and the media when carrying out raids Hollywood-style. It is from such unjust and dramatic actions that people have formed the opinion that Zuma is being persecuted. Equally those charged with the responsibility of being custodians of the Constitution need to interpret it appropriately within the context of our political landscape and not think that we are in Europe.

Finally, the so-called xenophobic attacks, the poor delivery protests, the lack of housing protests and the stay-aways are all signs of a nation becoming impatient. We are impatient that we are nursing and massaging the egos of white people at the expense of the majority of the people of our country who are living in squalor, if not dying from poverty. We are impatient and angry that the leadership we had entrusted with the responsibility to attain us our socio-economic freedom has instead become elite and apologetic and wants to debate complex economic theories. We are tired of white people setting the agenda and standards of morality and values for us at the expense of our culture and traditions, and of being expected to conform to that in the name of peace and reconciliation.

We believe that the new ANC leadership under Zuma will be more sensitive to the plight of the poor and will not be apologetic and embarrassed for us.

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