We have betrayed our children and for that they will exact a terrible punishment

2015-11-09 21:41

Arch racists Mfeca and Steve Hofmeyer symptomise the pain that the children of today,lied to,abandoned and feeling betrayed by the ANC led government in crucial areas such as education and employment,express.In this context the #FeesMustFall campaign needs to be understood.

In any revolution (let's not deny that what we're experiencing is a low level revolution in the form of the protest action that plague SA) the very first victims are foreign nationals and minorities. Though the media has yet to report, major xenophobic violence that has found over 300 foreign nationals seeking shelter in safe havens in Port Elizabeth is taking place and rabid racists such as Mfeca are spitting venom in the form of inflammatory hate speech that culminated in a final interdict against him.

But interdicts are not the solution to stop the pain that the TRC process failed to ease, They will not stop the unraveling of tertiary institutions whose autonomy government is eyeing. Nor will brute force protect our liberties that we have fought for so hard to place on our statute books.

'If there is one thing', to quote Justice Malala,'that we should have fixed (I would add, not interfered with in the first place)' in South Africa is education.

Quite rightly he points out how foreign nationals from Zimbabwe for instance, are 'at the top of the pile' in banks,pension funds and asset management companies,for instance and it is this betrayal by the ANC led government who had no business to tinker with education in the first place,that has spearheaded the xenophobic pogrom.Notably when Zimbabwe gained independence President Mugabe left the colonial education system intact and built upwards from there and not, as the ANC did, namely to dismantle the structures that were in place during apartheid.

What,I wish Gwede Mantashe to answer is, what has happened since emerging from the Manguang Conference of the ANC, to the ANC quest to declare education an essential service?

It's a matter of poor leadership riding on the wave of populism that finds our economy imploding. As Justice Malala rightly observes 'In education,as in so many areas,South Africa has no visionary leadership.' They have all being erased out of the system.

I believe that government, after the to be expected yet another abysmal results of the matriculants of 2015, should immediately declare a state of emergency in the area of education. It should swallow its arrogance and pride, and recall those educationists it put out to pasture through the system of voluntary severance packages and put them back in circulation. It must defang teacher unions who wield too much power and empower teachers and governing bodies to be able to discipline learners resorting to tried and tested methods short of corporal punishment of course.

Ultimately what I have to say is that my generation has done many terrible things in the new South Africa but these pale into insignificance if we consider the horror, nay the odium that we have, as Justice Malala concludes 'visit(ed) upon millions of children by allowing the education system to collapse.'

The future will judge us harshly,alternatively brutally, when uneducated,unemployed young people turn their anger on civil society. It is not too late and we can rectify,the mess that SA finds itself in.

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