AMANDLA AWETHU!

This week, our country was held to ransom by the ANC. They are the ruling party after all. The masses voted them into power. And amidst all their rhetoric in recent years, they forgot about that ever-popular slogan, “Power to the People”.
As their internal squabbles played out, our lives were on tenterhooks. Even Cupid’s arrow fell far off the mark on Valentine’s Day. There was no love lost. Zuma had to go.
I’m not going to dissect former President Jacob Zuma’s reign. Simply put, he entangled himself in a web of cronyism and corruption. And when the walls of that web began to crumble, he was forced to meekly crawl out alone, at the eleventh hour, literally. After many exposes, court battles and so-called state secrets as revealed in The President’s Keepers by Jacques Pauw, Zuma has now been rendered powerless.
And seemingly, to many, the man now in power, Cyril Ramaphosa, is the panacea South Africa has been crying out for.
I’m cautiously hopeful. I dare not say optimisic. It is too strong a word for my stance.
I don’t look at our new president with rose-tinted glasses. I have more questions than answers.
Like, what really was his role in the Marikana massacre. Yes, it was a massacre. Do not be fooled by those who call it a tragedy. Watch the documentary Miners Shot Down by Rehad Desai. It will stir your inner being. Post-democracy, that Marikana even happened, can never be forgiven. It blackened an already fading rainbow.
There are other questions too; about his personal wealth amassed after leaving politics for business and his buffalo breeding shenanigans. Again, I will not detail that here. Our country’s astute journalists have unpacked all these, as a quick online search will reveal.
Whatever the issues are, he can’t be as bad as Zuma, I hear you say. Look at how well the rand is performing now! The chorus sings to that tune. I will admit the Ramaphosa presidency has helped boost our international image and I’m sure ratings agencies will be watching closely ahead of next week’s budget speech. There’s also a cabinet reshuffle looming, hopefully with appointments that are strategic, based on expertise and nothing else.
It must be business unusual.
That applies to us citizens too. Let us not become complacent. We need to hold the ANC accountable as it goes through the winds of change. It’s not the first recall of an ANC President. You have probably seen the memes going viral on social media saying Zuma is being served what he dished out to Mbeki. But, this recall so close to the 25 year benchmark of our democracy and the 2019 national elections, is significant.
It must signal a restoration of bringing back power to the people. It’s what holds our constitution, our country, together. Fortunately, our political parties and many civil society organisations are constantly reminding us about this. They have already vowed that they will not stop. We need to stand strongly with them.
Ramaphosa’s presidency is no dawn of a new era for me. It’s about switched loyalties within the ANC; an organisation that is no longer united. Much of what they have done to the public purse cannot be zipped up and forgotten. Ramaphosa inherits this system. He must make his moves very carefully. We will be watching the political chessboard with the desire that South Africans across the social strata can share in the advances.
So while I sit on the fence with this one, as I am allowed to in a democracy, I am very clear about one thing; never and never again must we be held to ransom by the ANC. The greatest power in our land must be the power of the people.
Amandla Awethu!

Leave a Reply