Wednesday, 16 October 2013

On Electing Presidents...


I’ve been behaving really well these past few weeks.  But there is one topic that has been sitting on me, daring me to comment.  I’ve been fighting the urge, but alas, it appears that sometimes a dare, just needs to be taken up.  Even if that dare only exists in my mind. 

I read a news article recently about the Zwelinzima Vavi, Secretary General of COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions), about the sex scandal that has been hitting the news of late..., see it’s been a few weeks..., I have been trying to hold out on this one... 
Somehow, I think that perhaps South African concepts of democracy and freedom are as new as the democracy itself (?). 

After years of living in South Africa; here’s what we do know:  We cannot paint the President with his pants down (the country goes mad).*3  But he can go and make babies with his friend’s daughter and that doesn’t bring a reaction from the people.*1 (If my friends be eying my daughter, God help them, they had better be making right with Jesus).  Or the fact that he has fathered at least twenty children with women that are his wives and some that are not his wives, also does not seem to bring his character into question.*1  All justifiable in the name of culture; right?  Which culture?  Whose culture?  Is it even an accurate reflection of his own culture or is ‘culture’ merely the emotive word thrown into the mix to ensure that no one has the guts to question its authenticity?    
That brings me to another observation, in that particular article written about the alleged sex scandal regarding Vavi, it states “Vavi is presidential material: we can't afford to lose him:*2           

What I would like to know is: How did ‘sex scandals’ and ‘candidacy for President’ become so intertwined?  Shouldn’t that be the downfall of a leader, not his rite of passage into the highest office of the land?
I am very confused here and I understand that my status in South Africa is that of a mere ‘legal alien’, but I am prone to believe that if a man has no respect for the women in his own household, he has even less respect for me, a women, and the rest of the women and children in the nation.  Can we really entrust the future of women and children in South Africa to men like these?  Seriously, there are times when I am very thankful that I am not a registered voter in South Africa. 

Truly, voting in South Africa now is a difficult choice.  To place an ‘X’ on the merits of the lives lost during the fight for freedom and not what has been built and produced in the past nearly twenty years of democracy, seems like a desperate attempt to hang on to the idealism and illusions built under years of oppression. 
Yet on the other hand, to place an ‘X’ on the current leading opposition’s side, strikes me as an enormous leap of faith as we are asked to believe that the new, latest colour of the chameleon, is its truest colour and we should disregard the colours of its past.   
  
And the other parties at the moment seem somewhat inconsequential.
 
It’s a difficult choice; one that I truly do not envy.

In the spirit of democracy (my understanding), it is my hope that another party, one rooted in the history of the liberation struggle, that talks the language of inclusion, development and has the courage to develop the potential of all South Africans and ensure that colour and poverty are no longer the key determining factors to one’s access to opportunity, rises up. 
 
South Africa needs a party that has a clear VISION for the country, the courage to level the playing field in a very strategic way and build the country through a deliberate investment in the education of all South Africans.  A political party committed to developing a country that opens access to opportunity through a strategic investment in the potential of all South Africans.
 
If eighteen years ago, we had corrected the standard of one grade per year across the nation, the matriculates today would be performing at the same level.  We should not have children with music, athletic or other abilities and talents, undiscovered, undetected and undeveloped.  We should not have children with unequal access to education.  We should not still have children going to school under trees.  We should not have children born into this nation unable to develop their God given gifts and talents.
 
If a country develops the human potential of a nation, the economy will grow itself.  Jobs will be created.  Roads will build themselves.  Houses will build themselves...  Perhaps, we are not so interested in democracy after all?   
 
That is my hope for South Africa.  And God knows; the country needs it 

One thing is for sure, the inability of a man to chronically keep his zipper closed is not on my list of characteristics needed for Presidency. 

References
1     http://www.nairaland.com/390637/jacob-zuma-fathers-20th-child
*2    http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2013/08/16/vavi-is-presidential-material-we-can-t-afford-to-lose-him-ilive                                                     
        iLIVE Kiekie Mboweni, Nkowankowa | 16 August, 2013 07:30
*3   http://www.zapiro.com/Sponsored-by/Brett-Murray-Why-I-painted-the-Spear/