Democracy didn’t free the masses

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION?: Hundreds of South Africans queue to vote in last year's national election. A reader questions whether democracy in this country has delivered on what people expected from it -
DEMOCRACY IN ACTION?: Hundreds of South Africans queue to vote in last year’s national election. A reader questions whether democracy in this country has delivered on what people expected from it –

WHAT does this democracy mean? What does this democracy not mean?

Democracy has been nothing but a confusing ideology, especially to the previously disadvantaged, and nothing perpetuates this phenomenon more than politicians not delivering on their promises.

A dream of a rainbow nation was well-marketed and sold by the likes of Nelson Mandela to the masses. Sold to the likes of “I’m waiting for government to give me a job, a house, a toilet and free electricity”, these expectations outweigh the current political system’s capacity.

Burdened are we with this democracy, a sword sharp on both edges, used to kill and protect the hope of the hopeless.

Were we ever ready for this democracy?

Today the likes of Eugene de Kock and Clive Derby-Lewis will gallivant in the streets that had the bloodshed of the people who were fighting and dying for this democracy.

The same democracy that the oppressors were so against is using the same democratic constituencies to free themselves behind bars.

The same democracy is causing an outcry and hurting the people who fought for it. Were things meant to be like this?

But then again it is a democracy. One thing that we need to understand about democracy is it does not mean absolute freedom!

There was never a perfect ideology, but democracy was seen as closest to perfect, but yet so far. The technicality of this freedom and democracy is something that was not conveyed to the people, or rather, was not fully understood by the people.

Who do we blame – the people of the movement of democracy or an ignorant society lusting over democracy?

-Lehlohonolo Mnyanda, Port Elizabeth

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