Ok, who turned the world upside down? Who turned the bad guys into the good guys and the good guys into the bad guys? Who turned the ANC into the old Nats and The Arch into PW Botha? Who turned the Dalai Lama into Pol Pot and Jacob Zuma into Mr Min? April Fool’s Day is over. Can we get some reality back please?
Hearing the ANC attack Desmond Tutu rings with bewildering irony for any of us who lived through the eighties and the so many occasions when the same voice who now criticises this government lambasted the National Party and then premier PW Botha when they were in government.
He attacked them here and abroad. He attacked them when newspapers in this country could not report his words, his words nevertheless being reported abroad so that we could hear his ringing condemnation of apartheid and its atrocities despite the best efforts of the Nats to quieten us and block our ears and minds to the truth.
The ANC now dares to round on this great man of peace, one of the world’s greatest 20th century voices for what is right and against what is wrong. Listen up, you in the now governing ANC who would attack such luminous voices as those of Tutu and the Dalai Lama. We have the vote. We know how to use it. And sure as hell will never freeze over, we will we use our vote to oust the dark voice you seem to have found in these bizarre times. We have a democracy and we have your organisation to thank for that in large measure, and the ANC we once knew will always have our respect for having achieved that.
But right now you are making us very, very angry with your draconian attitude to great men of peace. So hear this in your palaces of untouchable, unspeakable arrogance: we can vote you out of power, this new ANC that is not the ANC that I, for one, once voted for. Hear that it is not only voices from the opposition that you are offending by attacking Tutu and the Dalai Lama and by riding rough shod over any voice of reason that dares to speak up and decry your present ways.
How bitterly sweet, or sweetly bitter, would it be if the democracy the ANC supposedly sought — and I’m not sure that the jury’s in on that one just yet — were to be used to chuck out an ANC government that is offending its electorate by behaving alarmingly like PW Botha’s final government. How unexpectedly, ironically mad would that be? And how unwarranted and unwanted.
Hear this: nobody wants this. Nobody wants to have to throw out a bad government, because all we really want is a good one. South Africans, all South Africans — this has nothing to do with race — proved in April 1994 and have proved so many times since that all most of us really want is a thriving, well-run country where we can all live in peace, harmony and have a free and fair shot at wealth and prosperity.
Give us that South Africa and you can have enough of our votes to stay in power. Is that too much to ask?
And that includes not pissing us off by attacking our true heroes. We said it 20 years ago and I for one say it now. If ever — ever in my life time — you want my vote again: HANDS OFF THE ARCH.