Zahira Kharsany
Zahira Kharsany

Elections

Another long delay before writing this piece …

There have been various things happening over the past two months. We had Polokwane, Eid-ul-Adha, Xmas and New Year’s. I had my holidays in between, and, boy, was life eventful.

The usual mad rush at the end of the year is expected, but throw in the curve ball of the ANC elections and they sure up the tempo. So Jacob Zuma is ANC president and he has been sentenced to a trial by the media till his court appearance in August. I’m sure all of this was as expected. Whether he is guilty, or even guilty by association, we should honestly leave it to an unbiased court to decide. The ongoing media reports are sure influencing the majority of people in the country and the question will be: How do we live with the situation if he is in fact not guilty? The way things are going in most of our heads, we have already found him guilty … I wonder what the outcome of the court case will be.

Zuma may have his faults and may or may not be guilty of the fiasco of the arms deal, but trying him before the public (through the media) even before his actual court date would be wrong on any part, especially by South Africans who seemingly believe in the justice system. If we wish to have any faith in the justice system we should leave it to investigators and judges and lawyers to play their part in the final act.

On another note, has anyone any idea what the actual policies discussed at the ANC conference were and what part they play in our future? These same policies will be the most important things we look at the next time we go to make our mark in the national elections (in 2009). Most of us have no idea what was in fact discussed. The focus was mainly on the presidential race and now on Zuma and his problems. Personally I, for one, would like to know what economic stance the ANC will be following as well as what its social developments and its attitude to health will be.

Interestingly, the US presidential hopefuls are in the midst of their elections. The focus is greatly on the two Democrat candidates — Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Is this a suggestion that the tide has changed so much so that people want a Democrat even if the candidate may be black or a woman? (Is the US ready for such a change?) The Republican hopefuls are also having their very same elections, but all you see in the media are the Democrat hopefuls. The same close race between the Democrats can be reflected in the Republican elections, except they are both men and white — one a pastor, the other an out-of-favour senator.

The policy decisions made by any future president of the most powerful nation in the world will undoubtedly play a major part in the rest of the world. Are we, the world, ready to be ruled by a black man or a white woman?