Letter to the President

2014-01-16 21:04

Dear President Zuma

As destiny dictates we arise yet again to decide on how we, the people want South Africa to be administered for the next five years. We the people have legitimate expectations which thus far have been shelved ostensibly overridden by priority projects informed through the constitutional enterprise. We patiently endured the trials and the tribulations that inevitably inform a nascant democratic order.

The past five years have been anything but pleasant.People waited patiently for 20 years hoping,praying and then exploding into an orgy of protest ( and they still do) seeing that they have been reduced to waiters at the banquet in which an anointed few feast. They are angry that you have a R206 million upgrade to your homestead whilst they cower in informal settlements or inferior RDP houses.

Breyten Breytenbach,in a letter dated 17 May 1994 to President Mandela,warned shortly after Mr Mandela had appointed his cabinet which he described as "lappies kombers" i.o.w a patchwork quilt of divergent interests that had to be stitched together which included in his words "many crooks and demagogues and dogmatists."

This has not changed. Just as you learnt during the memorial of Nelson Mandela at the FNB stadium, the barbarians gnawing at the frontiers of enlightened decency have broken through the gates seeking to dismantle the very glue that binds a fragile nation, namely the Constitution.

Twenty years later,Mr President,you have a unique opportunity to redeem yourself and to discredit your detractors by reviewing and reversing the rot by appointing ably and eminently qualified people from across the political spectrum.Call it a " Cabinet of National Reconciliation" if you will.

Breyten Breytenbach, in that letter also cajoled President Mandela about a great forward leap (of faith?) "to bring about democracy with a human face" inspired by many paradoxes inherent in our society (sic). Remember we talking of the dawn of our nascent democracy that followed after the beast of apartheid was slain but the monster of economic exploitation lurched about in the periphery. Has anything changed Mr President?

So,here we are, twenty years on and whilst we did not go down the Algerian road of a liberation movement that inducted into power a largely exiled leadership that promptly set about plundering and looting the state, what is evident is a "prolonged orgy of corruption" and, as Breytenbach wrote way back in 1994,we are beginning to reap the same whirlwind as a generation of fundamentalists have arisen to vomit the very ideals of tolerance and civilisation and, yes, Oh yes,emancipation.

Which is why,Mr President, I hope that this letter reaches you through medium of this blog.

I suggest that following your appointment of that cabinet of national reconciliation, you prioritise the convening of a national reconciliation convention which must include ordinary South Africans to achieve the desired results that were absent when the TRC process wrapped up.

Hence my contribution through this blog is evocative of the loyalty I owe to the Constitution as well as my vigilant opposition to any attempt to dismantle or dilute the very document for which so many of our country men and women died to see materialise.

I must remember a final, though not ultimate,paradox Mr President. For the first time in 20 years,I find myself truly liberated as I raise my concerns without any physical harm or freedom removed. Yet, subsisting in a state of siege and brigands that hold us hostage I pen this letter from the security of barbed wire fences and I feel just as I did during the apartheid era.

We must, Mr President,see beyond the rims of our spectacles and see the paradox that requires us to stand up to what Breyten Breytenbach referred to as "mundane corruption of power inherent to all politics" and to principally oppose through civil society and to keep a wary eye on those whose usurp our freedoms through guile and stealth.

Your's faithfully

Saber Jazbhay

@ jazlaw24

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