Do we choose Political Parties or do they choose us?
Apartheid had major draw backs but the one blessing in disguise was that we did not belong to any political party – we had no choice! Then along came Democracy - with all its promises of change, freedom for all, employment, housing, business opportunities, job opportunities, we were one happy Rainbow Nation and we were going to share in the wealth of our country. We were all equal and never again would we be subjected to the wrongs of the past and so on and so forth!
With this newfound Democracy came the choice of a political party. Being a “New Nation” most of us knew who we were going to vote for – our Liberators – the ANC. Having just stepped out of the dark age of Racism and Discrimination the ANC was our party – a great new life awaited us with Mr. Nelson Mandela at the helm. And so they chose us, they chose us to be loyal, obedient and faithful. They chose us to follow them blindly……
A second term for our Madiba saw us voting for the ANC. Still faithful and loyal – especially our rural citizens – promises still making their eyes sparkle. They believed and queued in their thousands. Voting for the ANC. Madiba’s term of office ended and reality started to raise its head. This new found Democracy allowed us to ask questions. Who amongst us was amassing the wealth? Who was benefitting from BEE? What sort of Socio Economic structures were in place? What was being done for Youth Development? No, there were no answers. And corruption started rearing its ugly head. Our liberators were finding ways and means of enriching themselves! Stalwarts were shedding their places in the ANC to become CEO’s, Directors and Board Members of huge conglomerates. The struggle was over – they did not join the struggle to be poor, they wanted titles and lots of wealth!
By the time Mr Mbeki took the reins. I had lots of questions but no answers. Democracy allowed me to choose a political party – I wanted a party that wanted me to walk with them – not follow blindly. I was ready to choose my own party – but only after I had been to a few rallies. The ANC rallies were a lot of hot air, promises and too much singing! There were no answers to my questions. My first DA rally was a shock to the system! There were thousands of Black people supporting the DA. This was no “whites only” party. I was no racist and I liked what I saw. The ensuing rallies were the same. I was hearing what I liked. There was no racism from black or white DA supporters. We were welcomed and I was ready to exercise my rights in our Democracy…. I chose the DA!
People have tried to judge me – some even calling me a traitor – oh and a coconut - but no. I am brave, honest and forthright. I know what I want. And I know what I do NOT want. I will not be led. The DA may never come into power in my lifetime but, I know I am making a difference. I am making the Opposition one vote stronger, I am helping the Opposition to become a voice of reason, I am helping the Opposition to question the wrongs of the Ruling Party, I am preventing my country from becoming a one party state. I have used my vote wisely and this is a Democracy – freedom of choice. I have exercised my Democratic right. And when the DA does not live up to my expectations? I will exercise my Democratic right again…. By choosing a new political party – it’s my right! Call me racist, it’s a label I wear proudly. I have chosen my party, have you?