Mea culpa South Africa

2012-09-14 10:21

Lately, people have been comparing the current state of the country as the same as it was under its apartheid rule. Since the dawn of democracy, the common mans expectation of its product was that it would create a free and fair space for all, the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of one’s country and the right to hold those in power accountable.

Sadly, this hasn’t been the case. Mea culpa South Africa, I have misled you.

Yes, we often speak so highly of our women. Beautiful, dark and curvaceous. We spend millions of rands throughout the month of August celebrating those heroines who displayed bravery in 1956. Since the President took office, we have even seen the establishment of a ministry dedicated to Women, Children and People with disabilities, but mea culpa South Africa.

You now find our grandmothers are elements of our fetid sexual fantasies, the same women who protested for the freedom we claim to have today and despite maternal mortalities dropping throughout Africa, they’ve increased in our country. Some of the so called ‘born frees’ come into this world through mobile backlight and HIV positive women face constant torture at the hands of our nurses for ‘not closing their legs’.

Oblivious to shocking rape statistics and almost monthly lesbian killings our leaders continue to believe they are making great strides. This may not be the democracy you expected, but its democracy nonetheless. One where ventilation machines are manually pumped by already frustrated, over worked and under paid nurses to keep patients alive because of failed backup power.

When the President can stand before his people and vehemently states that in a democracy, the rights of the majority will always surpass the rights of the minority, I shudder and out of fear, agree. Mea culpa. It’s perhaps the most overt way any leader can communicate an established style.

Is this why children are constantly denied their right to basic education? And yes, there are more children in schools today than during apartheid but what’s a school without books and how much can you really learn in dilapidating conditions after walking 10kms? The Basic education Minister retains her position despite continued theatrics regarding textbooks and failed deadlines but alas, matric pass rates will continue to soar. Though in this democracy, we say it is, but education cannot really be our focus, let us harness all this energy (if Eskom will be so kind as to continue with their supply) to Malema .

A democracy born and evidently maintained though questionable violence combined with the mobilization of former militants and miners by a single man sends the whole nation into total panic and without interest in the pleas of those concerned, MP’s fear for their own lives. Mea culpa, the democracy you were promised gave you a false sense of accountability and freedom.

If you want to continue with this democrat-ishness, statistics suggest you will succumb to a life of unemployment unless you are higher up on the food chain.  If you are affiliated with right people, you’ll be guaranteed a better life for all, but mea culpa, all is not really everyone.

The difference is, under apartheid, one was fully aware who they were up against. In South Africa 2012, one has to look no further than institutions of safety and security such as the SAPS, to find their opponent. Tactical response teams terrorize the very people they should be protecting and as it was so prevalent in Marikana, violence towards its people is the only remedy.

Too often, sinister threats to our constitution are concealed as things taken out of context and alarmist. After the ANC stood in defense of the historical struggle song, ‘kill the boer’ saying that AfriForum’s response was caused by no more than “mistranslation of an otherwise harmless art form”, in a very schadenfreude way I celebrated at the increasing protests in the country, mea maxima culpa. I shouldn’t have.

I wondered what they meant by art, and was very quickly taken back to the Brett Murray and (I may get struck by lightening for this) Zapiro works. I reached the sordid conclusion that freedom of expression may be exercised on the condition that it does not tarnish the reputation of those who have done very little to deserve it. See how democracy works?  How do you protect and preserve a song that incites violence towards the very people you are trying to assure that even with policies such as BEE and EE, this democrat-ish country is a place equal and safe for all?

This, coupled with land reform should really give the ‘minority group’ who have such limited rights when compared with the majority really peaceful nights.

Mea culpa South Africa, it’s easier to fight for principles than to live up to them. Mea maxima culpa.

Do follow me on twitter: @Thabo_SerokeY

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