We can pull out of this fatal spiral
The struggle, friends, has been downgraded from self-determination to 26% black empowerment. Someone decided that we couldn’t own the whole cow, and reserved the blocked teat on an otherwise healthy udder for us.
We agreed to call our children “previously disadvantaged”, as if they were survivors of a disability they were born with.
When they didn’t go to school, we blamed their teachers.
When they failed their exams, we blamed the school system and then adjusted their marks upwards.
Believing they are indeed disadvantaged, black people now idolise the white man, as if he is the god that opens the gates of fortune and misfortune.
As the black government worried about looking good in the eyes of its detractors, the packaging became bigger while the product diminished; the spin grew until everyone was dizzy.
In the meantime, the struggle became a petty squabble about resources, like hosts and guests who fight over what’s left on the table without thinking about cooking some more food.
Unfortunately, more got wasted and our freedom was squandered.
The world watched as we tore into each other, and the goodwill that had opened the trade routes slowly evaporated.
Our currency to command respect became weaker until we became the joke of our illwishers.
No, friends, I have not been captured by the blight of negativity that is omnipresent in our country. I am simply reviewing how we lost our way. The aim is not to blame, but to learn. We lost our way when former president Thabo Mbeki appointed someone who was less qualified than him to be his deputy.
If it is true that presidents Mbeki and Jacob Zuma were friends, then Mbeki would have known all of Zuma’s weaknesses.
He would have known about his voracious appetite for women and money.
He would have known about his propensity to be manipulated by those who dangled the cash carrot.
He would have also known that his friend lacked the mind and sophistication to manage the web of complex financial and political systems that connect the modern world. On this, former president Mbeki failed us. He groomed an ageing warrior who uses a spear in the era of drones.
Mbeki failed because the primary job of a leader is to build a sustainable organisation and to groom his successor. That is what Oliver Tambo did. Look at the leadership pipeline of the ANC, and then get ready for its funeral. The ANC is dead.
The problem is, no one is willing to take the party off life support.
Look at the opposition and weep, because those are empty vessels whose main gripe is that they were excluded from the largesse. They have no vision for the future. They cry about corruption, but, in reality, they are in the queue to do the same.
Mind you, I have faith in this land and its people.
It has produced incomparable leaders in many spheres. It knows how to heal itself.
It will produce new leaders in remote villages in Xhora. It will give birth to more principled leaders even in demented squatter camps such as Dunusa – young men and women who have experienced the injustice of our times, and who are determined to end it.
It will produce businesspeople who are too great to be chained by the prejudices of our time.
This is our South Africa, the land of the resilient.