Re­minded of what we are miss­ing

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

THE VAR­I­OUS rit­u­als, speeches and dis­cus­sions mark­ing Man­dela Day were re­mark­able in their di­ver­sity.

Gen­er­ally they served to re­mind us, even the most scep­ti­cal, about Madiba’s ex­tra­or­di­nary qual­i­ties: his vi­sion, in­spi­ra­tion, hope, moral courage and so­cial in­clu­sive­ness.

For in re­cent years, the deeply in­sult­ing la­bel, that Man­dela was a “sell­out”, has in­creas­ingly been heard, es­pe­cially among the young.

But since his pass­ing, there have also been in­creas­ing ob­ser­va­tions crit­i­cis­ing the cur­rent regime’s “lack of lead­er­ship”. This es­sen­tially means the lack of lead­er­ship of the Man­dela qual­ity.

The in­creas­ing con­tes­ta­tion for power in the party shows it­self to have too many lead­ers, some gen­uine, some pup­pets. There is no doubt who is the pup­pet mas­ter. But where is the real sub­stan­tial leader, steer­ing the na­tion through crises, tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity for prob­lems and scan­dals, car­ing for the poor and the weak? He only makes to­ken ap­pear­ances.

The ANC has be­come in­creas­ingly au­thor­i­tar­ian, whip­ping MPs into con­form­ity with the party line. It de­mands loyal and un­think­ing fol­low­ers.

The pend­ing vote of no con­fi­dence re­veals some­thing far more sin­is­ter, that the ex­er­cise of con­science in op­pos­ing the lead­er­ship could gen­uinely be dan­ger­ous for your health.

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