There was a time not so long when public service was more than about plastic titles shining on dark wood stretched desks in plush offices that smell of nurtured leather. We have fallen in love with characteristics of leaderships, fallen in love with the ego stroking poetry of positions and intoxicating punch of power. Perhaps our political organisations have been contaminated by a wide spread of shallow, Macbeth-like ambition. I say this because what i see is a battle for power rather than a battle to serve ordinary South Africans longing for more than the cold reality of poverty, crime and disease.

There was a time not so long ago when ANC members spoke truth to power for the purpose of principle rather than the servitude of camps. It is these situations of invested interest where we will see the dilution of truth. It will become a fluid abstract concept subjective to what camp you represent or what interest you hunger. For instance, ill discipline is Lekota addressing Jacob Zuma but it is not ill discipline when Julius Malema is calling Thabo Mbeki a coward, this is a blatant double standard that has become regular in an environment of pledging loyalty to camps for political longevity or political entrance. I support one camp only and that is one of principle, therefore i am a disciple of truth. I am in all quantum of thought anti camp but instead pro truth and ideas that refused to be confined to the marginalisation of camps that hunger for higher positions. It is my belief that in this hunger even principled men will squint their eyes to see shit as pudding. On countless instances we have seen ANC stalwarts hold their tongues when our fragile democracy was threatened by the public display of unruly behaviour. The motives of our leaders have been a mixture of job protection and vile vendettas. Its quite funny really, some of these men walked in death strides fearlessly for liberation, but when it comes to risking your pay well that’s another story. I guess death has nothing on an outstanding mortgage. If the apartheid government had known the method to destroy the ANC was to give them positions, 94 would have been 84.

This commitment to camps seems to have become about career elongation and career creation instead of it being about the yearning to better implement the very policies we voted for. But we are to blame for the status quo and the lesson learnt lies in slogans chanted by exiled soldiers dreaming of a new south Africa”POWER TO THE PEOPLE”. We thought this was reference to black people, but actually the people is a reference to the powerless, the subjects and ordinary citizens under a rule that has forgotten the masses. We are to blame because we disarmed ourselves of the very weapon we bled for….our vote. We disarmed ourselves by allowing to be conditioned by the accepted notion that we can only vote for the ANC. I would never suggest we vote any other organisation, even in its state i love the ANC, but what i am saying is that predictability is always the platform for abuse. We have become too predictable as citizens like the mentally broken wife who will still come home and cook after her abusive husbands disarms her of choice. We are too predictable and we have accepted the unfavourable compromise of not having alternatives. Our reactions are predictable too, a flurry of letters to editors and sms’s to friends displaying our displeasure, but like clockwork after that last full stop we will still come home and cook. Would you like a beer with that honey.

Mayihlome Tshwete