MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 2
Article views: 581
Latest Badges:

View all Markrschulz's badges.

Repugnant South African exceptionalism

17 July 2014, 15:40

Mandela Day is upon us again and, in much the same way as Christmas brings dreams of snow covered villages to people living in a country that is forced to endure the summer heat, the day celebrating Mandela’s birth brings to South Africa its own ludicrous fancies that are at total variance with the sad reality that its people actually face. Chief amongst these delusions is the nauseating manifestation of our own brand of exceptionalism. ‘Since our country has produced a Mandela, is there anything that we can’t do?’ our leaders like to boast, and many of us like to think. We are sure to see this attitude influence both domestic, and foreign policy in the future. However, there are three current affairs that are infected with this philosophy that are sure to make us the butt of the international community in short order.

The recent conflagration of hostilities between ‘Palestine’ and Israel will be the primary issue upon which South Africa will choose to flaunt its moral authority like the proverbial emperor’s clothes. The 1994 resolution will be held up as a model for ending the conflict in the middle east, the ANC will give credence to the screams of Israel acting like an ‘apartheid state’ (as who would know the characteristics of such a system any better than those people who had once suffered under one themselves?) They may even condemn Israel for its poor treatment of African immigrants. Meanwhile, the ANC government kills protesters in the streets, fails to protect African refugees, and uses its army to prop up corrupt African regimes. Of course, none of this matters, because we remain Mandela’s South Africa. The contrast between the dream and the reality is startling. What does South Africa have to contribute to international conflict resolution, while convinced that it is the ‘gold standard’ of all such endeavors? South African leaders have to wake up and realize that our country does not stand alone in the world, and is not blameless merely because it happened to ‘defeat’ apartheid.

Secondly we will see the South African government talk about liberating themselves from the influence of the west by getting fully behind BRICs initiatives in order to undermine the global hegemony of the IMF and World Bank. What could be more in the spirit of Mandela than liberating the citizens of the third world from economic oppression? Such lofty goals are indeed within our grasp, even at the cost of a quarter of our annual gross domestic product being signed away to foreign powers with motives that are at least as questionable as America’s. The decimation of our reserves and the impoverishment of our own South African citizens will just be the price required to sustain this idea that South Africa is a special case, totally exempt from the realities of domestic economic and fiscal responsibility.

Lastly, South African exceptionalism is going to complicate the ongoing issue of land redistribution in South Africa even further. The plans that have recently been laid out have been tried all around the world, and have met with abject failure just as bad as was predicted. Even staring the Zimbabwean example right in the face, South African leaders are pushing ahead with these reforms without even the slightest bit of research into alternatives. I would like to imagine the thoughts rolling around in their minds, if they even took the first step towards thinking, ‘Russia didn’t have a Freedom Charter! [They had a communist manifesto!] ‘North Korea didn’t have a Nelson Mandela! [But the ANC has compared him to Kim Il Sung!] ‘Pol Pot didn’t unite his nation and triumph over racial animosity before starting his reforms!’ [As if the ANC has?] ‘Of course these reforms will succeed where others have failed; we are South African!’ […] The rosy dream fails, once again to even approximate the reality, or complexity, of the situation. South African exceptionalism is worthless as a philosophy for steering the country through the issues it faces on a day to day basis.

I could go on citing examples, but I’m sure the reader is, by now, familiar with the strain of thought I am attempting to isolate in our leadership. That is, a willful disregard for all rational thought, and a complete embrace of the lie upon which all of their thoughts are based – the lie that the South African way is the only way. How are we to progress as a country with such thoughtless imbeciles directing our affairs? It’s time we as a nation reject the ideas that holidays like ‘Mandela Day’ attempt to instill in us. We must repeat again and again until we know by heart, ‘We are not special. We have a lot to learn from others. We have to awaken from our self-induced stupor.’

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Reply to the Nelson Mandela Found...

Yes, there is no question about it. We need radical change. Social justice. But what are the ills we see? What are the solutions?  Read more...

0 comments 399 views
Submitted by
Chili Nel
ANC Adieu

A clearly debilitated ANC is limping along to 16 December, hoping for a miracle cure; something that would heal the suppurating sores on it’s mangy coat and save it from decaying into oblivion. Read more...

0 comments 475 views
Submitted by
Sean Parker
Which car would you max on this r...

If given the opportunity to reach the top speed of any car on an airfield, which set of wheels would you choose to go blisteringly quick in a straight line? Read more...

0 comments 4674 views
Submitted by
Third force behind The President'...

Politics is a knife that cuts into the Public every which way it can. Politics is the sociopath, the Public its willing victim. The Public needs to demand better instead of praising sensationalism, gossip and bias over logic and truth. Read more...

0 comments 1967 views
Submitted by
Palestinians have nothing to gain...

Palestinian political unity is the biggest threat to the occupation. And demanding that Hamas disarm is the biggest threat to the unity agreement between Palestinian factions. Read more...

0 comments 190 views
Submitted by
Robyn Boake
Once the pride of CT, the MyCiti ...

Up until recently it was a service that Capetonians were proud of, a service bragged about as an example of what could be achieved as a solution for the masses. But that all changed. Read more...

0 comments 1475 views


RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2017 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.