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Give me South Africa any day

Commemorating South Africa’s 18th year as a democracy this past week calls for a patriotic blog post, as does the e-toll interdict which delivered a sweet respite and an appropriate present for May 1 to the labour movement for exerting their right to protest.

Owing to apartheid, I have never been much of a conventional patriot and have an almost Pavlovian repulse for nationalism including rooting for sports teams or players based on whichever country has bought them a passport.

I never saluted the flag nor sang Die Stem (which is tricky to pull off when you’re Head Boy of your school). As a 20-year-old backpacking in Europe, I wore a keffiyeh and hoped nobody would ask my nationality, even while I could spot other South Aricans by the bright red laces of their Cape Union Mart boots.

All that changed a little in 1994. Nkosi Sikelele is a beautiful hymn. The new flag, abstract.

In a peak of national fervour I allowed my dual citizenship to lapse – after all South Africa had just been welcomed back into the UN, OAU, the Commonwealth; every club on earth wanted us.

For all the international rhetoric in the dark days, it was remarkably easy for white South Africans to travel in the West.

Until apartheid collapsed; Europe and North America panicked. South Africa – a democracy? Black people will get passports. And up went the barriers once the apartheid regime was no longer screening out the Africans.

Visas have progressively become more onerous ever since (for a variety of reasons though).

Here we are 18 years on and South Africa’s democracy is still intact. We even survived the intrusion of Fifa. And despite the damage done by the arms deal, we have kept up pressure on the government for 13 years and we show no sign of flagging.

The people of South Africa have numerous times demonstrated their power to overrule government when it goes astray. Our state of the art Independent Electoral Commission is the envy of many.

Our democratic institutions are arguably in far better shape than other countries that were part of the so-called Third Wave of democratisation – Eastern Europe (1990s), Thailand (1992), Nepal (failed in 1991) and Iran (borderline since 1997).

We are streets ahead of nearly every African country on a continent that has seen too many reversions to autocracy, military rule and civil war. We share borders with the royal kleptocracy of Swaziland, an electorally dysfunctional Zimbabwe, and the partially democratic Mozambique. Botswana and Namibia are comparable to us, but their citizenry do not enjoy to the same extent the constitutional protection South Africans do.

Democracy might not yet be fully understood; clearly not everyone in power gets it, but this is not the same as having the kinds of fundamental obstacles to democracy that many countries face. Anyone who travels widely knows that the problems we face can be found in every country even Scandinavia. Much of what is good in South Africa is uniquely ours, and what is ugly is commonplace elsewhere in the world.

We have gangsters and corruption, but our government and judiciary are not run by mafia (unlike Russia).

It is true we fought for freedom and all we got was democracy, but the one can only follow from the other.

I concede we’re not exactly Denmark. Watching the Danish political television series Borgen makes one slightly envious. A prime minister that lives in a modest home and cycles to Parliament; a government that falls because the PM bought a dress for his wife on a state credit card even though he paid it back before it was debited; and the new PM’s husband can’t accept a position as CEO at a sub-subcontracted firm because of a state tender (and this is after it has been awarded). Sure, there is horsetrading, backstabbing and lying in their politics, but these shenanigans seem almost quaint compared to our spy scandals, hoax emails and low-level assassinations.

Meanwhile the self-styled gold standards of Western democracy, countries that for years have preached the gospel of democracy to the rest of the world, are rolling back the rights and freedom of their citizens at an alarming rate. The disenfranchisement of millions of Americans which has been going on since the Bush years is breathtaking.

I’m not sure who was the bigger disappointment – Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma or Barrack Obama – but right now I’m inclined to say Obama. As Obama claimed in 2007, “I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president [Bush] I actually respect the Constitution.” But on almost all civil liberty fronts he has been steadily abrogating the rights of Americans. The list is very long, but here are a few: there is now indefinite detention without trial; execution without judicial process (together with the suspect’s families, the postman and anyone else who happens to be in their proximity when the drone strikes) extended to American citizens; Americans can be tried by military tribunal and no longer have the inalienable right to civil courts, something that was stopped in 1866 after the miscarriage of justice following the assassination of Lincoln. Even whistleblowers on state corruption are being targeted in a way and on a scale unprecedented in American history, even when  they uncover massive corruption and theft from the state.

The current legal threats to South Africa’s democracy about which I am most concerned – the Protection of State Information Bill and the Intelligence Laws General Amendment Act – seem modest next to the laws Obama has signed. But because it is Obama and a Democrat president, who looks politically vulnerable, civil rights groups have been pathetically muted in their response. Had Bush signed the laws Obama has there would have been a frenzied outcry.

If you’re ever feeling depressed about South Africa, just listen to Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez’s US weekday programme Democracy Now. I guarantee you’ll feel better.

Of course, two wrongs don’t make a right. We must always remember they are both wrong.

Democracy, as we know, is the hardest form of government to maintain. By taking pride in the freedoms we enjoy and celebrating those things that do work in our country, we will be best positioned to defend and even deepen our democratic rights – crucially the freedom of information, protection for whistleblowers and keeping the security forces (intelligence, police, military) in check.

We should be able to patriotically tell our government (be they the ANC nationally or the DA provincially) when they come up with unconstitutional ideas and try to water down our rights: “You can’t do that. Where do you think you are? This is not America. This is South Africa!”

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Author

  • Brent Meersman is a writer based in Cape Town. He is co-editor of GroundUp.org.za and a columnist for This is Africa. His most recent novel is Five Lives at Noon (2013), and his previous novels are Primary Coloured (Human & Rouseau, 2007) and Reports Before Daybreak (Umuzi-Random House, 2011). He has been writing for the Mail & Guardian since 2003. Follow him on Twitter or visit www.meersman.co.za

41 Comments

  1. mike venter mike venter 30 April 2012

    Agree 100% well said!!

    And if you think Brent is talking nonsense go travel in Africa, you will come back and kiss the concrete slab at Oliver Tambo Airport happy to be back in SA when you get off the plane. SA is no more part of Africa, we light-years ahead in every aspect of life and society.

  2. Philip Cole Philip Cole 30 April 2012

    Excellent article, Brent, and very approproate for Freedom Day. Building a democracy out of an authoritarian racist state was always going to be a long-term project. We have progressed a long way in only 18 years and have much of which we can be proud as we continue to build a united, constitutional nation. Let’s use our pride to redouble our efforts for the long haul ahead!

  3. Godfrey Albertyn Godfrey Albertyn 30 April 2012

    Excellent, excellent article Brent! Very balanced and puts things into perspective. It is so easy to become negative and despondent

  4. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 30 April 2012

    Except that South Africa was streets ahead of every African country by the end of the 19th century already (ref: “Africa since 1800”) – long before apartheid.

    Geographically, as the furthest from the world marktes we should not have been the most developed – one of the Mediterranean countries should have been, like Egypt with its 7000 year old written culture and history.

    We have been slipping backwards since 1994 – check all the indicators.

  5. nama nama 30 April 2012

    Lyndall we don’t need people like you in SA.You only have negative thoughts running through your head. SA is a beautifull, vibrant and wonderfully democratic country. I may not be proud of the history we have as a nation, but I’m a proud and patriotic South African.

  6. Dave Harris Dave Harris 30 April 2012

    Its weird that you resort to left-wing politics in the US to compare Bush to Obama in matters of the Constitution. Similarly, a simple google search will show the numerous articles where the rabid right-wingers create fear about Obama attacking the US Constitution. You’ve now resorted to using US political rhetoric to accuse the ANC of being ‘unconstitutional” and generate fear about the passage of our long overdue, democratically approved POSIB initiative to strengthen our national security.

    Yes, I suppose “Give me South Africa any day” makes total sense for most beneficiaries of apartheid, who don’t really care about the strengthening of our democracy or the economic liberation of the millions of dispossessed landless living in abject poverty. BOAs offer no solutions, point fingers at government and use the courts to slow down transformation every step of the way, whil they continue to enjoy living in the unequal country in the world!
    Yes Brent, in SA, BOAs can have their cake and eat it!!! But not for long,,,

  7. The Creator The Creator 30 April 2012

    Nice, positive message. May not be true, but certainly makes a change.

    Although I think Zuma and Obama are neck and neck in the disappointment stakes.

  8. Reducto Reducto 30 April 2012

    @Harris: “You’ve now resorted to using US political rhetoric to accuse the ANC of being ‘unconstitutional” and generate fear about the passage of our long overdue, democratically approved POSIB initiative to strengthen our national security.”

    You forget (again) we are a constitutional democracy. So Parliament is not free to pass unconstitutional legislation. You really are going to be an unhappy chap when the Constitutional Court has its say on POSIB.

  9. Dimitri the Russian Dimitri the Russian 30 April 2012

    “We have gangsters and corruption, but our government and judiciary are not run by mafia (unlike Russia)”. I don’t think you are quite right, sadly. The One Party in the One Party State certainly is a kind of mafia, with strong links to organised crime, and an approach to economics that is a combination of rent-seeking and extortion. The state itself is surviving, but not in a particularly good way. And SA is very much like Russia in many ways, with a political elite of kleptocratic politicians driving Benzes and breaking every law, adding no value to society at all whilst consuming and taking, whilst laughing at the poor who in many cases (much like Russia, although it’s changing) continue to vote for them. Only civic society prevents SA from being a Mafia state.

  10. Noted Noted 30 April 2012

    As Dave Harris notes, beneficiaries of apartheid, such as the political elite and their lapdog propagandists don’t really care about the strengthening of our democracy or the economic liberation of the millions of dispossessed landless living in abject poverty. Well done, Dave, you actually got it right for once.

  11. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 30 April 2012

    nama

    And your point is?

    That SA was NOT the biggest economy on the African Continent already by the 19th century – decades before apartheid?

  12. Steve Goodrick Steve Goodrick 30 April 2012

    “BOAs offer no solutions, point fingers…”: amusing coming from you, Harris, and quite ironic. You are describing yourself, a BOC, EXACTLY.

  13. mike venter mike venter 30 April 2012

    @Dave Harris.
    I do not know you from a bar of soap. But I have read your post and now visited your blog, and honestly you are the kind of poison with your pseudo- intellectual political mumbo jumbo that we do not need in SA any more. We will never move forward in SA with your kind.

    You drift in the quack mire of the ANC and swipe all whites with a broad brush, your comments are anything but rational. I understand it is difficult for some one like you to open and broaden your mind but it mind change your life.

    Apologies for this post Brent.

  14. Pieter Pieter 30 April 2012

    Although my heart tells me to agree with you, Brent, that we have much to be thankful for comparatively speaking, I am taken aback on a daily basis, by the sheer mismanagement of this beautiful country.
    Yes, we now have a democratic process, and a constitution to be proud of; yet we’re unable to develop a meritocracy in the public sector that will take talent to the top as is happening in the private sector. The result is a frightening situation where the country’s policies are determined by a powerful foursome, and not the cabinet, where criminal activities are covered up, and standards of education, medical and security service delivery are deteriorating, local authorities’ governance and management are pathetic – and one could carry on in this vein.
    Let’s stop comparing ourselves with the backwardness of Africa, or the worst in the rest of the world, but rather admit that we have a long way to go before we can start living up to the likes of Australia, Korea, Brazil, Turkey, Germany or even Chili.

  15. Khalsa Singh Khalsa Singh 1 May 2012

    Nice sentiment.
    I think it would have been better to come up with a whole new anthem…dropping the ridiculous Nkosi Sikilele and the controversial Stem.
    But to do that u need bold, intelligent leadership…..something neither Afrikaners not Blacks have produced…….a bit harsh, but I believe that could have helped us unite with something new and unspoiled.

  16. Guinnessholic Guinnessholic 1 May 2012

    More sock-smoking from the usual liberal suspects on this forum. The NuSAns (New unimproved South African) Constitution has been amended 16 times since 1996. And EVERY SINGLE AMENDMENT has granted the ruling elite – The ANC – more power, and HAS NOT favoured the freedom of it’s people. Compare this to The US Constitution which has been amended 27 times in over 200 years, the first 11 being the Bill of Rights which were added to protect it’s citizens at the beginning of it’s inception. And every single one of the remaining 16 Amendments granted MORE power and rights to it’s citizens, and not it’s government.

    Anyone who really believes the SA Constitution is in any way superior to The US, is really not a scholar, or even educated, but someone who is attempting to bray the loudest in the hope that the sheeple out there will believe him. The SA Constitution is vulnerable, susceptible to the whims of the ruling party (especially with their 2/3rd majority), and a legal document that has in no way been used to protect the minority. On the contrary in fact.

  17. Michael Osborne Michael Osborne 1 May 2012

    “The current legal threats to South Africa’s democracy about which I am most concerned – the Protection of State Information Bill and the Intelligence Laws General Amendment Act – seem modest next to the laws Obama has signed.”

    Here you go too far, Brent. The Secrecy Bill would be unthinkable even (!) in Obama’s America. And you say the people of SA have many times overruled their govt when it goes astray. Gauteng e tolling is a fine contemporary example. But elections are another matter. The larger reality is the government’s ability to persuade 2 out of 3 voters to support it in one election after another.

  18. Leon le Roux Leon le Roux 1 May 2012

    The author of this article is probably hoping to get a few state tenders after writing this. Or he is trying to get a job in the government communication office.
    I think that if one finds the current situation in SA “wonderful”, then you certainly have not been to a country where true democracy works.

  19. manquat manquat 1 May 2012

    I would like to see more of these positive news stories. Whenever we open the newspapers we see negative news about SA. But there’s so much that’s good in our beloved country. Keep these positive articles coming in.

    Positive thoughts about our country will lead to national pride. National pride will lead to all of our citizens valuing our country and beautiful people.When we do this, everything will change and maybe just maybe we could reach the goals that the National Planning Commission(NPC) has set for us in 2030.

  20. Brent Meersman Brent Meersman Post author | 1 May 2012

    @ Dave Harris. The right wing attacks aginst Obama are never on the issues I discuss here. Health care, controling campaign funding and gun control are among the issues the right wing paint as attacks on the constitution. Keep googling.

  21. Chris2.0 Chris2.0 1 May 2012

    @Davey Harris:

    As someone born in ’75, I will not deny I have a good schooling from the previous system, but getting a bursuary in ’93, even with a few distinctions, was not to be… SO I started working my way up, and even now as I sit in a foreign country because I am too european to work in ZA… Can a BO(new)A say the same?

    In any case – the easiest way forward in “strengthening of our democracy” is if the people would vote the ANC out of power! And “the economic liberation of the millions of dispossessed landless living in abject poverty.”? Simple – ban Cosatu and see how many students gets taught, and how many people are employed… And get the ANC to give title deeds to the owners of all the houses they were “given”… Or less like given, more like feudal patronage?

    “BOAs offer no solutions, point fingers at government and use the courts to slow down transformation every step of the way, whil (sic) they continue to enjoy living in the unequal country in the world!”

    Solutions? See above.

    Using courts? Only to stop superficial name changes and unfair reverse discrimination…

    Unequal? The whites and blacks of SA? Or the rich ANC cadres vs the poor? Stop thinking in colour Davey – that alone will solve most of your problems…

    And like I wrote earlier – I’m not even living in ZA anymore, but not because I don’t want to… I’m working outside ZA because I have to support my family…

    What’s your excuse?

    Lastly – at least we know…

  22. Thomas Thomas 1 May 2012

    @ Dave Harris

    What is going to happen to the BOAs…?

  23. Dave Harris Dave Harris 1 May 2012

    Is that all you got Brent? Can’t you even address the substance of an argument? LOL
    Anyway, World Net Daily, is a right-wing conservative organization that many of our BOAs can relate to.
    http://www.wnd.com/2008/10/79225/ is where Obama is attacked for his “redistributive” ideas on wealth. Similarly, to how our BOAs view our government’s ideas on land reform, taxation etc.
    http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/obama-crushes-civil-liberties-like-bush-never-did/ speaks, just like you do about our government taking away our civil liberties.
    Sounds EXACTLY like your line of reasoning. ;-)

  24. Graeme P Graeme P 1 May 2012

    @Nama
    No. What we don’t need are people like yourself who spend their time ignoring facts in order to sustain a dogmatic view. This works for both the doomsday club, and the “I love South Africa” club.
    We need clear headed thinking that carefully considers all the facts, regardless of whether or not they complement your world view, in order to properly tackle the serious problems faced by South Africa. Not your candy-floss pollyanna refusal to deal with them.

  25. Peter Joffe Peter Joffe 1 May 2012

    INJUSTICE!!. The ANC ‘government’ put the toll road ‘deal’ together with Sanral and who knows how many ANC hyenas would have benefited? 80% of the income goes to collection fees? How much of those fees are for kickbacks to the hyenas? What was the toll road ‘deal’ put together for, the roads or the collection chargers? There is more money in the charges than in the tolls so that smells like a rat to me? Now, we the citizens who have had to pay the costs, through taxation for the ‘deal’ and the legal costs to defend the indefensible, now find that we have to also pay the legal costs to stop the rotten ‘deal’ . The ANC should also pay the costs for the opposition to the ‘deal’. Bad government policies and projects that require active citizen opposition should not be for those opposed to pay for. The ‘government’ should foot the bill for both sides, as unfair as that may be, as it means that the taxpayer has to pay for both sides of the stupid project’s legal costs. Perhaps the ‘corruption’ fund could be forced to pay these costs instead of swelling the pockets of the corrupt. Why should we, the taxpayers be forced to pay for the incompetence of Sanral and the ANC? I suppose that is because it is our ‘democratic’ right to vote in idiots and then pay the costs for having done such a stupid thing with our miserable one vote.

  26. Monty Monty 1 May 2012

    Dave Harris its incredible that you are still spouting the myopic view you were 5 years ago. You were childishly amusing then….. downright boring now. Although thinking about it, there is probably no cushier job than getting paid to sit in front of a computer and propagate the web with someone else’s viewpoint so I can understand why you have stuck with it for so long.
    Your self satisfaction is evident of having come up with your very own acronym (BOAs) that you now use in every post, and which has become your current target of choice ( After right wingers, the DA, liberals, neo-colonialists….;).
    Wouldn’t it be great if you actually got off what must by now be a sizable arse and actually tried getting involved in making a difference by volunteering or working to make the country better,like SO many patriotic people are, in larger and larger numbers from all political, religious and social standing. There are none so blind than those that cannot see Dave…..

  27. Bovril24 Bovril24 1 May 2012

    Re: Dave HMV Harris drivel

    !Spot-on Monty

  28. GarethV GarethV 1 May 2012

    The author is in lala land. The e-toll mess is exactly the kind of madness that is sweeping this country into the gutter.
    Perhaps Dave Harris can sing the author a lullaby, ululating the the prophecies that still await this county under ANC control.
    Cry the beloved country indeed.

  29. Brent Meersman Brent Meersman Post author | 1 May 2012

    @Michael Osborne: ” ‘The current legal threats to South Africa’s democracy about which I am most concerned – the Protection of State Information Bill and the Intelligence Laws General Amendment Act – seem modest next to the laws Obama has signed.’ Here you go too far, Brent. The Secrecy Bill would be unthinkable even (!) in Obama’s America.”

    I agree with you, and I see now how that line can be read as implying this, but isn’t what I meant.

    I wasn’t saying that the US would pass a bill like POSIB, but that our concerns about POSIB and freedom of speech seem modest when we’re talking about detention without trial, execution etc (and I can add rendition out of the US to countries where they can be tortured for US intelligence purposes though US operatives are no longer allowed to do the actual torture etc.)

    Although when all US government employees were instructed they could face prosecution if they had the New York Times in their possession even at home because it was reprinting still classified info in the form of the Wikileaks cables I began to wonder who as in a free country!

  30. beachcomber beachcomber 1 May 2012

    What was the point of this article? You can read the same banal comments on every letter page in the local press.

    This is hardly a novel or intellectually stimulating piece.

  31. Oldfox Oldfox 1 May 2012

    @Benzo,
    The “R40 billion” squandered through social grants fraud in two years is representative of the same kind of trashy financial journalism where million gets swapped with billion and vice versa.
    For a number of years grant fraud was around R1.5 billion a year – way too high agreed, but way below (R40 billion)/2.

    SASSA is effectively the grant distribution arm of DSD. DSD employs actuaries to determine sustainability etc of grant payments. I cannot accept that over 20% of all grant funds get lost through fraud.

  32. Charlotte Charlotte 1 May 2012

    Sorry, Brent, your analogy makes no sense.
    It’s like saying it’s better to have half a bad apple with half a worm, rather than one that’s completely bad.
    Any fruit that has started to get rotten, needs to be removed from the bowl – otherwise it contaminates all the rest of the fruit.
    …which is exactly what the present ANC has done to the country. It is our ‘rotten fruit’.

    Chris2.0 said it right: “…the easiest way forward in “strengthening of our democracy” is if the people would vote the ANC out of power! ”

    This is not the ANC of Nelson Mandela. They have simply hijacked the acronym.
    The ANC of today stands for Arrogance, Nepotism, Corruption.

  33. Bill Rhymes Bill Rhymes 2 May 2012

    Thanks for a truly refreshing take on South Africa. It’s nice to hear an opinion not shrouded in negative sentiments for a change- not unlike many of the respondents who seem bent on keeping it gloomy.

  34. Clear Cut Clear Cut 2 May 2012

    @ Nama There is a diference between being ‘negative’ and being ‘realistic’.

    What Lyndall Beddy says is correct – and realistic.
    Quote: “Except that South Africa was streets ahead of every African country by the end of the 19th century already (ref: “Africa since 1800″) – long before apartheid. ….
    … We have been slipping backwards since 1994 – check all the indicators.”

    What Graeme P says is also correct – and realistic
    Quote: “.. What we don’t need are people like yourself who spend their time ignoring facts in order to sustain a dogmatic view. …. … We need clear headed thinking that carefully considers all the facts … in order to properly tackle the serious problems faced by South Africa.”

    What you say to Lyndall, “We don’t need people like you in SA.” is neither correct or realistic – or ‘proud and patriotic’, as you appreciatively and misappropriately describe yourself.
    We DO need people like Lyndall Beddy; whereas people like yourself are expendable from the viewpoint of being ‘puerile and pathetic’.

  35. MY Love MY Love 2 May 2012

    Speaking from a lay man’s view, South Africans have a lot to be grateful about….every time i follow these posts,its gratifying and humbling to see people criticizing government without having to be censored and constantly watching your back. The ANC maybe screwing up but the bigger picture reflects a country that is somehow moving in the right direction….

    We as neighbors of South Africa always wish we had the kind of democracy SA has but we are far off..Right now as i speak in Swaziland, they are about to pass a bill in Parliament that will ban all criticism of the government especially the King. In short all im saying is South Africans shouldn’t take their freedom and democracy for granted…..

    This comment has been edited.

  36. CharCoal CharCoal 2 May 2012

    @My Love. One hears what you say, and can only commiserate. A bill, such as you describe, is despicable and shocking.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t make something good by comparing it with something worse; and in your case, odious.
    It makes it good because it IS good and by comparing it with something better.

  37. Paul Paul 2 May 2012

    @Guinnessholic

    ‘The NuSAns (New unimproved South African) Constitution has been amended 16 times since 1996. And EVERY SINGLE AMENDMENT has granted the ruling elite – The ANC – more power, and HAS NOT favoured the freedom of it’s people’

    Ignoring your spelling errors, at least five of those amendments have been for the redrawing of provincial boundaries, as allowed by the Constitution. I’m failing to see the logic behind your claim.

    ‘The US Constitution which has been amended 27 times in over 200 years, the first 11 being the Bill of Rights which were added to protect it’s citizens at the beginning of it’s inception. And every single one of the remaining 16 Amendments granted MORE power and rights to it’s citizens, and not it’s government.’

    Tell me about the 18th Amendment, more commonly known as Prohibition. Tell me which rights and power were conferred with that Amendment, which was eventually replaced with ANOTHER amendment a few years later.

    There is no monopoly on political meddling. There’s also no monopoly on ignorant fools with an internet connection and no idea of the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s’

  38. Michael Osborne Michael Osborne 3 May 2012

    @ Charlotte

    “This is not the ANC of Nelson Mandela.”

    I think we should be careful about idealizing Mandela. Many of the allegedly repressive tendencies of the current government can be traced back quite a long way. Consider that, in 1997, Mandela told the ANC Congress that “During the last three years it has become perfectly clear that the bulk of the mass media in our country has set itself up as a force opposed to the ANC.” And this at a time when the ANC was in fact enjoying a honeymoon with the press, which was much less critical then than it is now

  39. Charlotte Charlotte 3 May 2012

    @ Michael Osborne You are correct.
    This is not a case of ‘idealising Mandela’.

    Apart from a ‘subtle rebuke’ sent from The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory regarding the ‘Protection of Information Bill’ which ‘did not meet the required standards of constitutionality and aspirations for freedom of information’, I have often wondered about the silence from Mandela in the light of the corruption and mismanagement which has so obviously manifested itself in the ANC during the past few years .

    What I meant by ‘the ANC of Nelson Mandela’, was that it was one which advocated
    and promised ‘a non-racist, equal opportunity society’; and that the ‘ranbow nation’, full of hope and optimism, could look forward to it’s new-found democracy and a ‘free-and -fair’ future for all

    Regretfully, this promise and image does not apply when it comes to the present ‘ANC’.
    As has been indisputably proved by our present governement, the acronym now stands for ‘Arrogance, Nepotism, Corruption.’

  40. Charlotte Charlotte 3 May 2012

    @Michael Osborne
    What I should add, is that my idea of the ‘ANC of Nelson Mandela’ – i.e. ‘a non-racist, equal opportunity society’ offering a ‘free-and-fair future for all’, is now manifest, promoted and practiced by the D.A.

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