An as­sault on prized unity

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE de­ba­cle around our Fi­nance Min­is­ter ob­vi­ously poses very hard ques­tions for all of us. Clearly we can­not al­low our­selves to be given the false choice of rand or rule of law.

How­ever, we face an even harder choice. We can choose to press for­ward with a united gov­ern­ment and one that care­fully treads on how we con­duct gov­ern­ment to gov­ern­ment af­fairs, or we can re­treat into a sharply di­vided gov­ern­ment, reck­less in our ways of deal­ing with one an­other, and ul­ti­mately, face an in­evitable con­flict, which will rat­tle us to the core, that be­ing the ANC it­self.

Unity of gov­ern­ment is a main pil­lar in the ed­i­fice of our hard- worn free­dom. It is what gives us hope for pros­per­ity, It is what en­sures our tran­quil­lity in our homes, it is what makes us not fear en­e­mies here and abroad, it is the rea­son we con­tinue to be­lieve in this democ­racy which we so highly prize.

What unity of gov­ern­ment means to our democ­racy is the most com­mand­ing mo­tive for care­fully guard­ing and pre­serv­ing that unity of the rul­ing party it­self.

That is why gov­ern­ment to gov­ern­ment re­la­tions must be treated with such del­i­cacy. There is al­most no way, with­out unity of gov­ern­ment, that cit­i­zens will be able to ex­alt the just pride of pa­tri­o­tism in our coun­try.

The re­cent acts, par­tic­u­larly around the sense of state ver­sus state, brings a sense of pain, as it be­gins to weaken in our minds the con­vic­tion about our gov­ern­ment and, if there is an area to test our col­lec­tive se­cu­rity, it is to direct a con­stant and ac­tive as­sault on this prized unity, and Rome will most likely not stand.

It is ex­tremely im­por­tant that at all times we must prop­erly es­ti­mate the im­mense value of our gov­ern­ment’s unity and its im­pact on our col­lec­tive and in­di­vid­ual hap­pi­ness.

In this re­gard it falls upon all of us to al­ways cher­ish a cor­dial, ha­bit­ual and im­mov­able com­mit­ment to this unity.

It is gov­ern­ment unity that gives us a sense of po­lit­i­cal safety and hope for pros­per­ity; we must watch for its preser­va­tion with jeal­ous anx­i­ety, dis­coun­te­nanc­ing what­ever may sug­gest even a sus­pi­cion that it can in any event be aban­doned and in­dig­nantly frown­ing upon the first dawn­ing of ev­ery at­tempt to de­stroy this unity, con­vinced that the sa­cred ties which now link to­gether the var­i­ous parts of our gov­ern­ment are worth all the sac­ri­fice, all the cost.

To choose to tread care­fully when deal­ing with other or­gans of gov­ern­ment is no diminu­tion of zeal for your job or coun­try, it is not any de­fi­ciency of ap­pre­ci­a­tion of in­de­pen­dence of your or­gan in the big­ger scheme of gov­ern­ment, but a full con­vic­tion that tread­ing care­fully is ac­tu­ally com­pat­i­ble with that very in­de­pen­dence. What­ever pe­cu­liar value our ser­vices pro­vide in gov­ern­ment dur­ing our terms of of­fice, it is but tem­po­rary, gov­ern­ment is for­ever, and its unity is what guar­an­tees that, hence pa­tri­o­tism for­bids any act that may dis­in­te­grate that very gov­ern­ment.

What­ever pas­sion we may have for our work, it should never cause a sense of ag­i­ta­tion in our gov­ern­ment, it should never mis­di­rect its cause, there should never be ap­pear­ances that may be deem du­bi­ous. There should al­ways be a sense that we want our gov­ern­ment to suc­ceed.

I do not be­lieve strength­en­ing gov­ern­ment is pos­si­ble if our de­sire to have power over other or­gans of gov­ern­ment gives way to an im­pulse to dom­i­nate or hu­mil­i­ate other or­gans of gov­ern­ment. Then the frag­ile bonds that keep our gov­ern­ment in­tact will fray. Unity of gov­ern­ment, how­ever, is not by di­vine providence, it must be sought. Ev­ery cit­i­zen’s sup­port is es­sen­tial in these ef­forts and serves as a guar­an­tee that with all our ef­forts, such unity is pos­si­ble.

We must at all times be driven by a sense of broth­erly af­fec­tion and it must be per­pet­ual. The great con­sti­tu­tion which is the work of our hands must be sa­credly main­tained.

Such unity re­quires that ev­ery ad­min­is­tra­tion in ev­ery depart­ment be stamped with wis­dom and virtue, that, in fine, the moral of the peo­ple in these de­part­ments, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and or­gans, may be en­riched by so care­ful a preser­va­tion and so pru­dent a use of our pow­ers.

The big­ger ques­tion then be­comes, what are you, and you and you, do­ing for the en­trench­ment of gov­ern­ment unity?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.