Democ­racy is an in­stru­ment of op­pres­sion

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Nkutšoeu Mot­sau

THE NE­GO­TI­A­TIONS which pre­ceded the 1994 elec­tions, Codesa, brought about the en­fran­chise­ment of the black peo­ple in this coun­try. That is, for the first time the black peo­ple were go­ing to be al­lowed to vote. Now we are liv­ing un­der a demo­cratic dis­pen­sa­tion, a con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy, to be pre­cise.

We have had reg­u­lar elec­tions every five years since 1994. Two ma­jor changes have taken place: by means of the vote the black peo­ple have re­moved white peo­ple from po­lit­i­cal power; and the new dis­pen­sa­tion has cre­ated the black mid­dle class.

The Pro­gres­sive Party, the pre­de­ces­sor of the DA, started to talk about the im­por­tance of the creation of the black mid­dle class as a buf­fer be­tween the su­per rich whites and the poor black ma­jor­ity in the early 1970s. This has been achieved. Now the rul­ing party and the DA have be­come two sides of the same coin. These par­ties serve cap­i­tal.

The Free­dom Char­ter says: “The peo­ple shall gov­ern.” But the rul­ing party has thrown away the Free­dom Char­ter. They no longer talk about it. The slo­gan “The peo­ple shall gov­ern”, is about democ­racy. It is about the gov­ern­ment of the peo­ple, for the peo­ple, by the peo­ple. This can­not be seen any­where in this coun­try. The peo­ple are still be­ing gov­erned as be­fore. The peo­ple are not in power. And power is not with the peo­ple. Where does the power re­side? What has hap­pened to “Power to the peo­ple”?

If the peo­ple were truly in power, if they were truly in charge of their lives, they would not be so restive. The peo­ple are march­ing and de­mon­strat­ing against the gov­ern­ment. They de­mand ser­vice de­liv­ery. They want houses, jobs and se­cu­rity; they want to live de­cent lives. Democ­racy is mean­ing­less to them.

It is like a birth­day card from an ir­re­spon­si­ble fa­ther who doesn’t main­tain his child. The kind of houses that they build for the peo­ple are an in­sult to their dig­nity. They are worse than the four-roomed match­box houses of the by­gone era. They have al­lowed squat­ter camps to thrive, call­ing them in­for­mal set­tle­ments. They are now a per­ma­nent fea­ture of our land­scape. The in­dig­nity of liv­ing there is unimag­in­able.

The truth is that we have a bour­geois democ­racy. That is, a democ­racy that uses the state to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of the mid­dle class and the rich. Peo­ple must not for­get that democ­racy is an in­stru­ment of op­pres­sion.

Now it is be­ing used against the work­ing peo­ple and the poor. The work­ing peo­ple and the poor must es­tab­lish their own democ­racy, which will pro­tect their in­ter­ests.

Peo­ple want houses, jobs, se­cu­rity

Chair­per­son, Aza­nian Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Army

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