Will De Lille's 'Good' be good enough for voters?

Patricia de Lille announces her new political party (Jan Gerber, News24)
Patricia de Lille announces her new political party (Jan Gerber, News24)

Here is a veteran of South African politics who realised that there is nothing good about our politics at the moment. Can she make South Africa good again? asks Ralph Mathekga.

Did Patricia de Lille just pull a practical one on South Africa by simply naming her party "Good"?

The former Cape Town mayor did not even try to prefix the word "Good" with anything to the effect of "South Africa Good", or even "Good Enough".

It's indeed a feel-good idea to name a political party plain "Good". After all, politics is not complicated, it's about good and evil and De Lille is clear as to where she stands.

Some will find this idea a stroke of genius, others will think it's lame and not good for the country. When one considers the dismal state of South Africa's politics, it makes sense to just commit to be good. Goodness describes the basics that we probably need as a nation.

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This party could be on its way to become "Excellent", as in the name of the party. For now, however, De Lille concluded that all we need is the basics minus the fancy claims in party names that end up being pies in the sky.

Here is a veteran of South African politics who realised that there is nothing good about our politics at the moment. Political parties have made all claims you can think of in their names.

Some of our political parties have claimed to be revolutionary and democratic while remaining stagnant and fascist in the manner in which they operate. Some of the parties have had leaders who came out of closets and wished they could be dictators for a week just to sort a few people out.

We are a nation of slogans and snazzy expressions. Even our government has a habit of coming out with catch phrases just to express policy priorities. We talk a lot and come across as very committed, yet we do so little in practice.

Remember ideas such as "all hands on deck" under former president Thabo Mbeki?  President Cyril Ramaphosa took the matter to another level and adopted "thuma mina".

One person has been observing all the empty talk and decided she is "Good" with all this talk by people who are claiming to be working on building rockets to the moon whilst failing to find the nearest post office.

In all fairness to De Lille, South Africa's politics lacks the moral basis. And this is just not good! The dormant political parties in South Africa are not acting on the basis of what is good or bad for the nation; they are rather guided by political expediency. Therefore, De Lille decided to put the good back into our politics.

Before I ruin this beautiful day of simplicity and sheer honesty – attributes that have become so scarce in our politics lately – let me stop here and salute the leader who decided to commit to MAKE SOUTH AFRICA GOOD AGAIN! 

- Ralph Mathekga is a senior researcher at the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape. He is author of When Zuma Goes and Ramaphosa's Turn.

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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