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If I were to write a letter to the president

12 July 2013, 13:11
Good morning Mr President. I woke up this morning and three gentlemen on the poster in my shack were smiling at me. Those are Mr Mandela, Mr Mbeki and you Mr President! I just smiled back. I am sorry that you have to read this in the morning when you are supposed to be enjoying your English breakfast, I didn’t have any breakfast, things are a bit tough this side. I only have three eggs left and they are to sustain me for the next few days until I get my  weekly pay.

I understand you are renovating your Nkandla compound and planning to build a new town in your village and the tax-payer is footing the bill, pity I don’t earn enough, makes me feel bad that the nation is doing something good for you and I am not. My brother who works in Joburg paid me a visit a while back and he brought me a copy of a national newspaper. The paper had some information on the compound, things like security, helipad, gymnasium etc. I thought my eyes were playing games on me when I saw how much the compound costs. Yo! Mr President you are quite an expensive man. I want to be like you. All I have is small shack that lies about  a kilometre from the main road. I understand there is a multi-million rand road construction in progress. Mr President the road to my shack is only 30cm wide and always covered with cow dung in the mornings, I don’t really mind the size of the road because I will never afford to buy a car. Mr President if I may ask, how are these beautiful things that you are doing going to benefit the next president or someone like me?

Mr President I am a 36 year old man, matriculated in 1993, single with 2 kids. I am from an extremely rural area where prices are so high compared to those in town, which is 130km away. We only get to go to town once or twice a year and for the better part of the year we stay in the village and play our games. People in the village love you, as much as they loved Mandela. Some can’t even recognise your face but they love you. They see you as their source of hope, their pillar of strength. If given a chance they’d also contribute to the building of your compound. They’d spend their last dime just to make you happy even if it means sleeping on an empty stomach or having to go to a “mashonisa” the following day, that Mr President, is how much they love you.

The elders always tell young ones about your party how it brought about freedom and kids grow up knowing this and they pass it on, unfortunately some like my brother go to big cities upon completion of their studies and come back with different views. Those are called enemies in my village; their opinions don’t count because they don’t have respect for great people like Mandela. The villagers will attend every political party’s rally just to get a T-shirt and come Election Day they will vote for you. I am writing this letter wearing the opposition’s T-shirt, I have 7 of them. Poverty stinks this side. I always ask myself, what makes the villagers love you so much?

When you came into power the people were so happy they thought that as a man from a rural area, with no formal education and lots of respect for tradition you have an idea of what the rural people are going through. They thought that as a traditional person you know more than all the modern men in your party. You can differentiate between right and wrong.

They believed that you were going to take our country to new heights, reinforce basic things like respect, love, caring for one another and condemn all the activities like theft, corruption and laziness.

I must say Mr President you surrounded yourself with people who want more money and  want to spend more and spend more time literally sleeping on duty. You listened to the masses at one point and decided to have a direct line so we can speak to you. Where I stay there are no phones, NO cellphone reception, so we always hope that your once in 5 years visit will bring change, but nope! We are still where we were 20 years ago and we are the people who will passionately vote for you.

Talking about you being from the rural area, in my village the elders always teach about respect. Respect for one another, respect for the elders, respect for neighbours, and all forms of respect. I was surprised on your rise to power when I saw a young man Julius Malema wreaking havoc  in your presence and all you did was sit, smile, sing and dance. Former President, ministers and everybody else insulted and all you wanted was your machine gun. Don’t you think you could have asked for something smaller like a stick? My mother always told me “spare the rod and spoil the child” Today I am not surprised that the toddler has turned into a monster, he was pampered and nurtured. He no longer wants to kill for you but wants to kill you. Is that why your compound’s got and underground bunker?

I was surprised that you have taken the gloves off against the media. Don’t you think that in a democratic country like ours we should let media freedom and freedom of speech prevail? If your people were not as corrupt as they are, they wouldn’t have a problem with media freedom. An old say goes like there’s no smoke without fire. So if the media brings out a story to us, the people building you a compound, sure we need to know. Starting with Tony Yengeni and all the other persons in your party every time a story breaks denial takes place and at the end the bitter truth comes out. Your case was thrown out of court because of some spy tapes. What I ask myself is what if there were no spy tapes? Where would you be free or jailed? Why are you not releasing the spy tapes as ordered by the court? Be an example to the nation and be transparent.

We sympathised with you a lot and you took advantage of that and that is why we will vote for you again in 2014. Purely because of sympathy. In 1994 when people voted for the ANC it was because there was no other party strong enough to stop the National Party. Years after that it were for various reasons. Some of the not so obvious reasons are sympathy, poverty and lack of knowledge. We are poor and hungry and we think that you are going to feed us and that is a myth, you are not going to. Even if you can try, someone along the line will divert those bread crumbs towards his pockets even though we have the ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation. There is a road between Koster and Lichternburg and it’s been under construction since 2008 and there no signs that it will be finished soon. Why is it like that? Diversion of bread crumbs. If you want to gag the media, who is going to inform us of all this wrong doing?

You have recently reshuffled your parliament, and you offered no explanation. Don't you think that the people who pay your salary deserve some answers. What is suprising is that the minister of Education is still part of the wolf pack. She must be doing a sterling job, seeing that 20 years into democracy mud schools are still around. 7 months into the year some schools are still without textbooks.  Was she backing you leading to Mangaung?

Speaking of Mangaung Mr President, we understand that you promised that those who didn't support you will not be purged, but what happened the poor Tokyo. The guy was good he understood our needs.

Let me not bore you further Sir, you have some purging to do. But before I go, was your reason for leaving us without an explanation when you made an announcement a sign that you don't care. Remember Sir, not all of us can be fooled. Do have a god day. And i wish you the best of luck against King Dalinyebo.

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