The #AmINext protests of the past two weeks were a game-changer for South Africa, writes Adriaan Basson.
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Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Picture: Felix Dlangamandla)
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I have many friends who can get terribly uptight about things that happen in politics. Of course decisions made by politicians can affect our lives dramatically, for better or for worse. But I have learned through my almost three decades in political life that it is essential to have a good sense of humour in order to survive. Winston Churchill understood that well and had a deprecating sense of humour when it came to his profession. “(A politician needs…) the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year—and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen,” he is reported to have said in 1902.
Churchill also said: “In politics when you are in doubt what to do, do nothing.” Wise words indeed except that he then added: “…when you are in doubt what to say, say what you really think.”
Eh, maybe not so wise, Mr. Churchill – especially when it comes to the public figures in South Africa as some of the quotes of 2016 prove.
There were the insensitive ones:
The wise-but-unlikely-to-have-any-effect ones:
Of course there were the downright stupid ones:
And ones that made no sense:
Then there were the funny ones:
And the less than frank ones:
Then there was Hlaudi. (Because Hlaudi is just Hlaudi.):
And our President. (Hee-hee-hee!):
And of course the president in waiting:
Finally the prize for the most memorable quote of 2016 must go to Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance:
May 2017 bring more wisdom, truthfulness, honesty and sensitivity from our public figures. Happy New Year!
*Melanie Verwoerd is a former ANC MP and South African Ambassador to Ireland.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
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