There are many reasons why people stay in toxic relationships, some stay for security, some for kids and some stay for the nauseating reason called love. The truth though is that when we dig deep and remove the mask behind these excuses one reason emerges and that is fear. We are always afraid of the unknown, always afraid of the experience we yet to experience. We are so afraid of the unknown that we would rather stick with the known, no matter how bitter, terrifying, unreasonable or unbearable the known is.
I recently allowed myself time to ponder on the majority of black South African’s relationship with the ANC. I realised how we have allowed ANC to abuse us. We have rewarded ANC with faith when it failed us with the ever rising electricity tariffs; we have been with ANC even when it cheated us in the form of corrupt public servants who have squandered and continue to squander our tax money. We pardoned ANC for infidelity in the form of the arms deal and we are still pardoning it for slapping us in the face with e-tolls. We are now so weak because we are being infected with a deadly virus in the form of Inkandla face lift, and still we stay in this toxic relationship.
If you ask us why we stay with ANC, we will refer you to our kids in the form of the youth of June 1976, we will talk about security in the form of Employment Equity and Black Economic Empowerment, and we might even mention love for the likes of Oliver Tambo. The truth though is that if you remove all these reasons and dig deep, we stay with ANC because of fear. We have fear for Helen Zille, we fear to take a chance on her because of the colour of her skin; we fear the policies she has in store for us. We fear the changes she might come with. As the soul writers would say, Helen Zille activates our pain body. We fear her, not because of what she has done but what she reminds us.
I however wish to ask this question, where, do we wish to go as South Africans, what are our dreams for South Africa, what are our desires for our economy, our health, our education. Is ANC still the party to take us through to the next era? Is ANC still in alignment with the needs of the people, does it understand the principles of servant leadership or has ANC become so self-absorbed, so self-indulgent, obsessed by gluttony that it has forgotten the ladder by which it has ascended. Shakespeare once wrote; it is the bright day that brings forth the adder, indeed power is bringing out the serpent in ANC.