Guest Column

How will you vote, Lindiwe Sisulu?

2017-08-06 06:06
Walter Sisulu and Amina Cachalia

Walter Sisulu and Amina Cachalia

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Ghaleb Cachaila

Dear Lindiwe

We were both born in the mid-1950s. Our parents were firm friends and comrades.

My mother often fondly recalls visiting your parents’ home in Soweto during those times.

She would recall Walter’s mother filling buckets of water from an outside tap.

These visits were characterised by hours of entertaining conversations about everything and anything.

These were such fond memories.

She often spoke about the pioneering days with your mom, Albertina, in the Federation of Transvaal Women and later in the Federation of South African Women.

She recalled sitting at the same table with both your parents at Madiba’s 75th birthday celebration – incidentally, where Helen Suzman sat beside Nelson, at his table.

A site that would later become iconic.

History recalls Walter and my dad, Yusuf, serving as joint secretaries of the Defiance Campaign in the 1950s and both being part of the 20 leaders charged under the Suppression of Communism Act.

They both served time in jail.

Those were the days – struggle, release, reconciliation and freedom.

I remember going to school in Swaziland to that wonderful institution, Waterford-Kamhlaba, along with many children of icons in the struggle. I remember you being there, a year or so ahead of me.

I remember meeting Madiba along with your mom and dad, on the day of his release, at Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s home in Cape Town.

In 1994 we were all at the Carlton Hotel celebrating the ANC’s victory. It was there that Madiba thanked South Africa and asked the people of this country to hold the ANC accountable one day if it ever lost its way.

How things have changed.

I have witnessed the complete collapse of institutions in democratic South Africa.

I have seen the people who entrusted our generation with the responsibility to lead, experience a failing education and health system.

I have seen an unprecedented rise in state capture and looting of public resources at the hands of people who vowed to protect and uphold our Constitution.

This broke my heart because I knew what sacrifices our parents made for democracy to become a reality.

I commented from the sidelines. I wrote articles in the press. I voiced my discomfort until I couldn’t any more.

Until, about a year ago, I rolled up my sleeves and joined the DA.

I stood for election as mayor in Ekurhuleni where, together with other opposition parties, we brought the ANC below 50%.

I lost the mayoral election by a small margin, in the very heartland of the ANC that reflects the massive discontent of voters with an ANC that has sullied its soul.

A year later I transitioned to Parliament and I now sit across from you.

I watched with mixed feelings as you launched your presidential campaign

This was because I wondered how you would position yourself as a leader that would bring about change considering you served under one of the most corrupt leaders in democratic South Africa.

I am still wondering how you intend to overcome this impossible feat.

I would like you to detail how you would pull South Africa out of a crippling recession, return hope to the millions of South Africans who remain unemployed while billions of rands exchange hands among the corrupt few.

Given the road you, me and our respective families have travelled and our exposure to real and authentic leadership, how will you fare?

Lindiwe, as we draw closer to August 8, when Parliament will consider the DA’s motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, I sincerely hope you will do the right thing.

If not for the people of South Africa, then for the sake of consistency of your campaign.

How will you vote?

Will you honour the memory of your parents and the legacy they have left behind?

Will you vote for the National Assembly to finally rid this county of a leader who has – with the help of many others on the ANC benches – plunged us into one crisis after another?

Or will you do the right thing – choose South Africa over the ANC?

I sincerely hope that the people of this country will matter to you more than your personal ambitions.

Kind regards,


Read more on:    national assembly  |  da  |  anc  |  lindiwe sisulu  |  constitution


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