New Year's resolutions for SA

2013-01-07 12:19

A week into the new year, many of us are pushing ourselves to keep those resolutions. Since I have none of my own, favouring vacation resolutions as a student, I decided to think up a few resolutions for South Africa – from our president to the ordinary citizen.

Floyd Shivambu – Shut it

While it is Malema who is often quoted for inane comments, I must say it is only Shivambu whose news stories seem to exclusively consist of the expelled ANCYL Spokesperson not learning his lesson and continuing to say things which land him in hearings. I wouldn’t be surprised if Malema associated himself with this individual for the sole reason that when comparing the two, Malema’s IQ seems to soar. My suggestion would be for this former spokesperson to give up the limelight and keep quiet for his reputation’s sake.

However, it probably won’t be long until he proposes a regime change in some other country and defames or verbally abuses another journalist

Julius Malema – Tell the truth

Somehow Malema has this wonderful talent of making his fans believe his lies when evidence points to the contrary, so it’s no wonder that he doesn’t bother confirming the verity of what he says. While he may not consistently lie with every single statement, his very persona is a lie for his followers. He portrays himself as a champion for the poor, yet squanders money on a lavish lifestyle and stands accused of using corruption to fund this lifestyle.

He also says whatever will get him more power. First Zuma is wonderful, innocent and the best presidential candidate – to Zuma is a rapist who needs to be reinvestigated for corruption and should not be leading the party. He went from willing to kill for Zuma to wanting to politically assassinate the man.

SA government – Stop the corruption

While not every individual in government is a corrupt liar using their status to ingratiate themselves, there are certainly enough of them to severely impact on development in our country. Even one official who thinks like Smuts Ngonyama, that they “did not join the struggle to be poor”, is one too many. And while Apartheid’s effects are certainly still prevalent today, it is government officials who forget the struggle was supposed to be for freedom and not profit who allow SA’s progress to be stunted.

Jacob Zuma – All of the above

While one would definitely not want our president to be silent, all too often Zuma says things which reflect anti-gay and anti-feminist sentiments. Patriarchy is well enough entrenched in our society – we don’t need our country’s leader further entrenching this discrimination. Of course, he is also a keen liar – proclaiming he would never cheat on his wives yet fathering children with many other women he has no intention of marrying. He also loves to define African culture to suit his agenda. Vavi, who has criticized Zuma on several occasions, posted a picture of himself with his dog – and now according to Zuma owning a dog is “un-African”. When he was on trial for rape, suddenly it was his Zulu ‘duty’ to sleep with his victim.

Zuma has conned our country – keeping his popularity whilst robbing us blind. Making each of his wives a First Lady (despite traditional African culture which gives the first wife seniority over the others), he is able to fund a lavish lifestyle not only for himself, but each of his wives. This is evidently not enough, as he wants to extend taxpayer spending to the area around his residence in Nkandla. Never mind the R45.5 million of public funds which he spent without authorization –as required by law. I just wish Zuma would make his resolution to actually be a good president.

Helen Zille – Quit only pointing fingers

While criticism is essential for the opposition, I’m tired of seeing the DA solely in the news in this role. Zille seems to only say what the ANC is doing wrong, instead of what the DA is doing is right (and not in contrast to the ruling party). The DA’s policies need serious revision if they wish to win the vote of the majority – but instead they focus on discrediting the ANC rather than building up their own reputation and following independently. I would rather the DA’s strategy expands to ‘vote for us because this is what we do’ rather than ‘vote for us because this is what the ANC is doing wrong’.

The media – Prove you can be responsible

Having just finished my Bachelor of Journalism, I must say that I am about to enter a career where profit is increasingly becoming the goal of many media companies. Sensationalism is lauded over real investigation, and getting every reader’s attention is better than actually informing readers of real issues. News outlets are desperate for Malema’s next publicity stunt, ignoring other topics which might have more impact.

And the way the media surround the Mandela family, keeping close watch on Madiba in case he makes their biggest story by dying – it’s shameful. By making a spectacle of a man loved by many in the country, the chance that more death hoaxes gain power becomes more likely.

The media’s freedom is already under threat in SA, there is no need to give the cannon that is the Secrecy Bill more fodder.

The people – Open your minds

The chief product of South Africa is discrimination – sexism, racism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia and discrimination against the disabled are rife. It’s a disease which we help to spread through our everyday comments and thoughts. If more of us were to just open our minds to the idea that everyone deserves to be treated equally maybe, just maybe, more of us will realise that no person deserves to be stereotyped and discriminated against according to some superficial quality.

Myself – Quit bitching

Finally, I have decided to give myself a resolution, as I am not beyond reproach. With all the injustice I see, I tend to focus on the negative. In no way will I shut my eyes or plead ignorance is bliss, but every now and then I will look at something positive – an individual or group to be commended, a victory for justice or positive change I see. I think after this post, I need a dose of waking up and smelling the roses.

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