Mature leaders embrace diverse views

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IT IS truly a sad day in our nation’s history. Twenty years ago Nelson Mandela in his inauguration speech as South Africa’s first democratically elected president stated: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another”.

One day after the 24th anniversary of Mandela’s release from prison, this land sadly saw the oppression of one by another when ANC supporters attacked a peaceful DA march to Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg.

Whether we agree or disagree with the merits of the DA’s march to the ANC’s headquarters is immaterial in a democratic society where the constitution is supposed to be supreme.

In a mature democracy there is tolerance for differences of views and opinions and mature leaders realise this and even embrace it. Leaders such as Nelson Mandela understood this and that is why he championed such a progressive constitution.

Unfortunately, the current ANC – Jacob Zuma’s ANC – is incapable of understanding this.

The DA’s march was legal and the relevant permissions were obtained well in advance. Was this the case with the ANC’s gathering?

The DA’s march was to highlight the Zuma-ANC’s inability to deliver on campaign promises. Five years ago they promised five million jobs, yet today 1.4 million more families are struggling to put food on the table than at the last national elections.

Another result of the DA’s march is that it highlighted the ruling party’s complete disregard for the rule of law.

The fact of the matter is that on May 7 this year we as a nation need to use our vote to send a clarion call to the ruling party that we will not tolerate this level of anarchy.

Grant Abbott, Charlo, Port Elizabeth


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