Ignore Twitter wars: place country in good hands
There is a low-intensity war going on between one of SA’s respected editors, Peter Bruce, and members or supporters of the Democratic Alliance, notably Athol Trollip.
More correctly, in the lexicon of social media, it is a “twar” – a “war” on Twitter.
The point of contention is Bruce’s unflinching support for Cyril Ramaphosa and Trollip’s (necessary) opposition to the leader of the ANC.
My instincts made me choose a side.
I side with Peter Bruce for several reasons, but I also have great admiration for Trollip.
Bruce is an accomplished, highly professional and reliable journalist, and a friend.
Trollip is a politician whom I have met only once – very briefly over canapes at the South End Museum.
Both are loyal South Africans.
I may not always agree with everything they say, but I will defend their right to say what they will.
Unless, of course, they make bigoted remarks, or they have puppies on a torture rack in their basement . . .
Sometimes it is impossible to “turn the other cheek”.
Which beggars the question, whether, given that the ANC has given the country a massive 25-year snot klap, we should turn the other cheek?
The country is weary. Not to sound too dramatic, we’re in something of a death dance.
Take a look around, and ask yourself whether you would choose to go and live in a country where there is irregular supply of electricity; where people in towns across the landscape have little access to potable water; where young people, in their millions, have no jobs and no prospects of jobs; where violent crime – murder, rape, assault, the abuse of children and women – is comparable to a war zone; where public officials and networks of cronies have siphoned astonishing amounts of money from the state and its agencies; where sovereign debt has almost tripled in a decade; where young people are lining up to vote for a political party that is influenced by ideologies that have destroyed communities from Cambodia (during the Khmer Rouge) to Venezuela (currently); where an elite (minority) hold almost all the wealth in the country because of an earlier political dividend, and claim that the acquisition of wealth and privilege were their inherited right; where the most odious characters hold influential and powerful positions in the state and shady characters who have become wealthy without breaking a sweat; where children drown in pit latrines; where people go to hospital relatively healthy, and walk away with diseases; where dedicated and hardworking medical staff are forced out of hospitals for “working too hard” and putting laggards to shame; where political leaders and activists encourage the killing of people of a different race; where police officers cannot be trusted; where the military is made up of lazy and slothful people who have not done an honest day of work, and refuse to take instructions from someone who is not of their own race group, and anyway, their trade union has given instructions that override any instructions provided by higher-ranking officers, and where stockpiles of ammunition are redundant . . . It goes on and on. This is South Africa. Pause for a moment. Those are facts.
Now think: Andile Lungisa, Andile Mngxitama, Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu, Ace Magashule, Jacob Zuma, Bathabile Dhlamini, Susan Shabangu, Nomvula Mokonyane and Hlaudi Motsoeneng represent all the above, without any senses of compunction or responsibility.
These good people, and so many more, have presided over a country now in a veritable state of marasmus.
Spread across this body is the saprophyte called the ANC.
It feeds on the decaying body that is South African society. They are the ones to fear.
They represent the sum of all our fears.
While the ANC has long ago elided the difference between the state and party, they now have the gumption to speak of the ANC as “the people”. When Bathabile Dlamini was called on to explain the basis for her inclusion on the ANC’s list for the elections, she said it was the will of the people.
“We are elected by the people and therefore what is there is the will of the people,” she said.
The problem with that statement is it was ANC members who appointed her to the list – and not “the people”.
This gallery of rogues has to be emptied out.
What do we do, then, come the elections?
Do we vote them out of office, or do we turn the other cheek and give the ANC a sixth chance?
Voters must decide for themselves. I would say this.
For four or five years while I worked in the secretariat of the National Planning Commission, I worked with Ramaphosa, Trevor Manuel and Joel Netshitenzhe, I have also had interactions with Pravin Gordhan, Lesetja Kganyago, Kuben Naidoo, and any number of exceptional people.
Each one of them knows exactly where the problems lie, and what should be done.
With them, the country is in good hands.