Zuma should know better!

2013-10-24 08:25

I don't particularly know why, but I woke up very pissed on thursday (24th October) morning. Could have been my incredibly inconsiderate neighbour who hosted an all-night, week-day party blasting 90's hits and causing misery to all within a kilometre's distance or simply by own struggle with insomnia.

So I puckered up the courage and did something quite usual, fixed myself a cup of tea and headed to opinion-ville. Now it must be said that I'm not easily driven to exasperation, but I do have quite a temper lately (blame the sleeplessness). I also suspect at the end of this 'rant' or 'scribbling', as some beloved [Insert smiley face] News24 trolls have said, I'll get ridiculous threats and insults. Please do, those are always exciting.

However, I stumbled upon a disturbing view in defense of President Zuma's cringe worthy comments about not thinking like "Africans in Africa" and "national roads in Malawi".

Step forward, Marianne Shamm of the Daily Maverick!

It seems Miss Shamm was outraged (or at least pretends to be) at the Kings Speech but poured very little effort at understanding why those comments deserved such outrage.

She goes on to imply that the President is free to say what he likes, no matter how divisive or how much diplomatic tensions may arise because all this is sugar coated as 'generating debate' and as 'a healthy democracy'. There are surely many other people who feel this way

This is a hard pill to swallow because quite recently, an Ethiopian shop owner was gunned down by thugs in Diepsloot. This is obviously unrelated, but I feel its an injustice to those hundreds of foreign nationals in South Africa who have been attacked because of the language Zuma's so fluent in to ignore such commentary. I think its these people too, who'll find the generating debate argument suspect.

It reaffirms an uncomfortable truth, as South Africans, we've established our own view of African hierarchy and unfortunately (we think) most African nations are far beneath us.

In fact, they can't even come to the measuring scale because their national roads are so pathetic, regardless of their many triumphs, we simply shouldn't think like them, lest we end up like Zimbabwe! This is after all Johannesburg and we do support free speech unless the dignity of the President is compromised.

What many pupils of this school of thought fail to recognise is the ability of their leaders to influence their ridiculously obedient supporters to hold prejudiced and xenophobic attitudes. And the President, with his fondness for freedom of expression when convenient has previously targeted Homosexuals, Women who aren't married, White people and their dogs etc!

Ironically, its the same ignorant language used to privilege one group over another, if JZ really wants to make a genuine appeal in support of etolling here's an idea: Why not, NOT do it at the expense of other nations? Especially one that has taken a bold step in the advancement of Women's rights, while we are not ready for a female President.

Catch me on Twitter : Thabo_SerokeY

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