My daughter, returning from Australia recently, remarked: “Their news is soooooooooo boring . . . nothing ever happens there!” Well, in South Africa we are certainly blessed to live in interesting times!
Over the past few months with the municipal elections it has been a roller coaster, emotional ride . . . often in the depths of despair as our president and his cohorts stumbled from one scandal to another arrogantly and blatantly putting themselves first, then the ANC and sadly South Africa last.
But the chickens have come home to roost, and one cannot once again be amazed at the inherent integrity and resilience of our people, especially here in Nelson Mandela Bay as they saw through the ANC charade that passes for a government and voted for change.
After the results, one has a feeling of vindication, an euphoric “I told you so”, allowing oneself to gloat for a moment. However, one is instantly reminded that “winning and losing are both very temporary things. Having done one or the other, you move ahead. Gloating over a victory or sulking over a loss is a good way to stand still” (Chuck Knox).
The election processes, the friendly and efficient assistants at the Summerstrand voting station where I cast my vote, the demeanour of the voters awaiting their turn, the open and transparent voting progression, the extensive news coverage – all showed our people to have a maturity beyond expectation and made one extremely proud to be a South African.
Not many countries can boast of such a comprehensive free and fair election with no overt violence and acrimony of note.
The television coverage was fantastic, but more importantly, the camaraderie and enthusiasm displayed by all the media announcers, the reporters, the political analysts and yes, the political party representatives themselves showed again what it is to work together as a team despite widely differing opinions. South Africans from all racial, political and religious persuasions freely gave their opinions but with an underlying, single-minded objective: the betterment of our wonderful South Africa and its people.
I would like to commend the press and especially my favourite newspaper, The Herald, and its team, for the comprehensive, unbiased reporting of the facts as they occurred free of any political or other interference.
Albert Einstein said: “Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.” I believe the recent elections have proved that South Africans collectively understand this principle of freedom and tolerance.
This tenet that underpins our constitution will in time to come be South Africa’s greatest asset and the foundation on which we shall build a great, prosperous and happy nation! Viva South Africa!