"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

2013-12-16 13:43

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

South African politics have become a dirty game. Speak to any adult South

African and you will hear them complain about various problems plaguing us

today, yet you go to a mall and you see us walking around, black and white,

living in a false sense of freedom. In South Africa, that has a high poverty

rate and a substandard education system, most politicians actually don't

give a damn. The reason for this isn't because of the elected. It is because

the good people have stood by and done nothing to stop it. We have lost the

culture of pre 94. Yes, you have various organisations that are fighting

against various social injustices in the courts, but is this enough?

Protest is a culture in South Africa, so much so that we have been dubbed

the protest capital of the world, stemming back to the first major protest

action seen during the Defiance Campaign back in 1952. Since then, the fight

against the injustices of the apartheid system intensified. Today we live in

a South Africa where we see protest action every two days on average.

But the question I ask myself is, are we doing it right? In the Western Cape

we have the "turd brigade"; in Gauteng the labour broker protests under the

guise of an eTolls protest; the youth wage subsidy march to COSATU house and

the DA's march to Nkandla. What was the result? Bad service delivery is

still an occurrence in the Western Cape and everywhere else in the country.

We now have eTolls. Labour brokering is still with us. There is no youth

wage subsidy and the construction of Nkandla is almost complete.

We are doing this protest thing wrong! We have been reduced to poo throwing

softies who say ridiculous things like "well, the ANC ... (insert excuse

here)".  How many of us have sat back since 1994 and had no political impact

in that we are actively involved in one of the various political parties in

South Africa? How many have said, "well, I have the ability to change

things, so I will go to a branch meeting and have my say"? I hate to break

it to you, and I'll try and do it gently, things are going the way they are

in our country because we have allowed it to get that way. The good people

have stood back and done nothing. Don't blame the ANC. You have had every

opportunity to join them and make a difference, to take the party in a

direction that stays true to the Freedom Charter, one that stays true to

what was fought for all those years ago.

I am a firm believer in John F Kennedy's statement, "One person can make a

difference, and everyone should try". If one person endeavours to make a

difference, others will follow. Active, proper and change making protest,

boycott and participation in the various political parties and organisations

in our country is necessary to achieve our goals. Yes, laws will sometimes

be broken, but we need true freedom in South Africa. No freedom was ever won

by throwing poo. The previous government was not beaten by people who

followed the law either. Laws were broken, people were arrested and scores

went to jail.  We have lost the ability to fight for what is right and for

all that is good. In the South Africa we live in today, mediocrity is

rewarded and celebrated. We are not an ordinary country. We have fought for

the freedom that many countries only dream of.

Fighting against things such as eTolls, for example, and successfully

stopping it won't simply involve not buying an eTag, it will involve not

utilising the highways altogether. We can learn from history: the Alexandra

bus boycott of 1957 lasted from January to June of the same year and was

named Azikwelwa (we will not ride). It was a massive success in that the

government of the day worried about the large numbers of the workforce

walking more than 20 miles a day to work, thus also having economic

implications. They won. And so can we. This is but a small example of many

things that can be done and we must start taking a tougher stance against

things that we are unhappy with.

26 June 1955, in Kliptown, the words "The people shall govern" a pertinent

statement from The Freedom Charter, is, I believe, more relevant now than

ever before. We need to do more as South Africans to take control of the

direction our country is moving in. If left as is, I believe we are set for

disaster. There are so many problems in the various political parties we see

today. Some are trying to COPE - some are trying not to EFF things up, some

are AGANG of people that don't really say much, another is seeing divorce on

a scale where an ANC isn't even helping, and DA minorities are sick and

tired of being side-lined. Only we have the power to change things. I

reiterate "One person can make a difference, and everyone should try". Let's

get involved. Stop complaining and get things to where they should be.

"And there are too many of us who stand on the side-lines, comfortable in

complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard." - Barack Obama

Let your voice be heard. You can make an impact and you can make a

difference. Do not underestimate the power we have as the people of this

beautiful country.

We shall fail as a country if we sit back and let injustice take its hold.

Follow Me on Twitter @tim_meh87

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