Hashtag - A Vote of No Confidence

2016-03-04 08:39

No one expected to win the vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma. And no one expected to be convinced that he is the man for job. And so the motion failed, and the President remains in office.

This week’s parliamentary debate offered little surprises to anyone. Scripts were followed, tantrums were raged and fun was pretty much had by all. That is by everyone but the jaded and leadership-weary people of South Africa. A magnificent people who deserve so much more.

South Africans are punch drunk. The last few months in "the ring" have them clutching desperately to the unstable ropes that keep them momentarily in the game. The bell continues to sound and the President continues to strut his stuff. He flexes his muscles and one by one he eliminates any challenger to the title.

In his corner, a few adoring enablers mop his brow, replace his mouthpiece and recklessly incite him to continue, for just one more round. "You have this one", they tell him, if he can only survive a little longer. And so he continues; with brute force and with cunning, his opponents are discredited, intimated and ultimately eradicated. Anyone daring to challenge him will leave the ring bloodied and broken and wondering if it was worth the fight.

What the President and his enablers fail to realize is that when the bout is over and he finally chooses to look up from the competition, the stadium will all have but collapsed around him. Little will remain of the magnificent theatre that was once filled with hope and with colour. Where the people of the rainbow nation cheered and hugged and were an example to the world.

And the President, oblivious to the destruction of his making, will hold up his arms in victory. He will roar the victor’s roar and laugh the laugh of the triumphant. And his jubilation will be met with silence, apart from the smattering of few clapping sycophantic hands, who choose to believe that he is indeed a champion, or who are too afraid to suggest otherwise.

He will raise his arms to a destitute and broken people, who he has failed. Because instead of fighting for them, he has fought against them. A survivor in essence, he has turned on the people he was entrusted to protect and ensured that he is indeed the last man standing. The price of the win is the citizens of the country who have indeed been sold “Over a plate of curry”. A people who deserve so much more.

No one expected the vote of no confidence to go any other way. But then no one could have expected that South Africa could find itself in the position that it does.

South Africa is not an easy country to destroy. Filled with kind hearted people, magnificent vistas, a plethora of some of the world's richest mineral deposits, a well developed infrastructure, a mild climate and sophisticated judiciary and economy, one shouldn’t under estimate the commitment and dedication required to bring it to its knees. One has to wake up pretty early and train relentlessly in order to achieve current status. And on some level, perhaps, this should be appreciated. Or at least acknowledged. In a bizarre sort of way, it's somewhat of an achievement.

In truth, it’s actually enough with the “Votes of no confidence”, with the “ Zuma must fall” hashtags and with the childish antics in parliament. The situation is dire. The stadium is collapsing and it is time for the ANC to convince the President to stop fighting, to look closely at the people in the bleachers, and for once to think of them and not of his next opponent. As much as he seems to enjoy the challenge of it all.

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