When Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as our first democratically-elected president in 1994, South Africa was given the chance to become the beacon of hope on the African continent and, indeed, the world.
Madiba, our father, had the chance to create a society that over time would redress the terrible consequences of apartheid. He proved himself to be a statesman of world standards, trying to hold together our fractured, and at times, explosive society.
He succeeded in keeping the calm, and it looked as if we would move towards a society, where all our people would be in a position to prosper irrespective of their race or background.
Sadly, even during his tenure, it all became about enrichment and the poor were left behind. Exit left, arrive Thabo Mbeki.
This intellectual pipe-smoking president will forever be remembered for his disastrous Aids policy. He condemned tens of thousands of people to a life with HIV because of these untested policies.
The emotional and financial cost of these failed policies will be with us long after he is dead. How many children did he condemn to a reduced lifespan, through his refusal to administer anti-retroviral medication to expectant mothers.
Exit left, enter Jacob Zuma. I would have to fill The Herald pages to document the failings of this man, and don’t wish to spend my time regurgitating all the unpleasantness that has characterised his tenure as president.
I’m on record proclaiming the greatness that was Nelson Mandela.
I, however, feel that he failed us as a nation, when he failed to intercede with Mbeki on his disastrous Aids policy and again with Jacob Zuma and his despicable behaviour.
I’m hoping he tried and was ignored, but I’m more likely to believe that he was an ANC man before a true South African and was cowered into silence.
I believe South Africa has been granted a second chance to return to the vision of Nelson Mandela. Mr Trollip, I can’t compare you to Nelson Mandela, but you and the DA are in a position to return South Africa to the path that he envisioned all those years ago.
I’m sure you’ve realised the enormity of the task at hand, and are assembling the team you will need to perform the task at hand.
Voters you have given the DA the mandate it asked for.
DA don’t mess this up, we won’t get a third chance to set this country permanently on the path to prosperity. It’s been an honour and a privilege working on this dream of a better South Africa, Good luck!