Perspectives: A Quagmire of Folly
A Quagmire of Folly: It is time for the ANC to reassess itself or to cease to exist.
by Lindelwa Farisani
I know that most of you will look at my title with scorn and perhaps disbelief, “how dare she?”, after all, to most people, calling for the “removal” of the ANC in its entirety is sacrilegious, blasphemous, totally unheard of, something that should never be said. But I am saying it and if it were for me, I would make sure that the ANC goes. And this is why:
- I am tired. I am tired of the ANC; I think the time for the ANC is over and that we need a new sense of political leadership. We need fresh ideas, we need people who will lead the country, not singing songs of freedom, but really serving the people. And the ANC, right now, is not doing that
- I am tired of the PATHOS! I don’t think there has ever been a more childish and pathetic political party. It is absolutely mortifying to say the least. Last night I was listening to the Radio – SAfm about the proposed removal of the Springbok emblem from the rugby team. A minister vociferously cried out “they have taken the animal since 1902, they have captured the poor animal, the poor animal has done nothing and they have taken it as if it is their own”… and these words were uttered in a parliamentary meeting. Meanwhile, millions of South Africans do not have the proper textbooks to study even as matric exams are less than a month away. I am a volunteer mathematics tutor at an Orphanage in Soweto and it is a struggle to help the kids because 50% of them do not have textbooks. I find it difficult to give them the help that they deserve, but even worse is the fact that they cannot study because they do not have books And yet, our leaders would rather discuss the abuse of the springbok animal than discuss which textbooks are best suited for our kids and how we can work with private companies to make sure that our kids have books….Hayi, ngikhathele!
- As a student of Economics , one of the things I like about economic theory is its focus on efficiency: resources are scarce and must be used efficiently or rather “opportunity cost” which can be translated as the opportunity forgone by doing one thing instead of another; which is a measure of both rationale and efficiency. So If I am a rational human being, I want to choose the option that costs me less both from a monetary and a satisfaction perspective or one that will benefit me more in the future, so the opportunity cost of discussing the emblem of the springbok- which adds absolutely nothing to our GDP by the way, was to me the chance to discuss better education, better healthcare, or if we want to keep matters at sports levels, how about we discuss the construction of sports centres for people in Soweto – tennis courts, swimming pools and other sporting facilities so we do not have one person winning a medal at the Olympics, but so that our whole nation may be equipped to win as many medals as possible. These things do not take geniuses to fathom; they just require basic rational human beings. And what further infuriates me and hence the pathos, is how our politicians demean themselves with such childish analogies “they have taken the animal since 1902, the poor animal has done nothing wrong…” I mean seriously now. I did not go to school to succumb to such folly! We deserve better leadership than this. People do not have to be experts of economic theory but they need not undermine the people they lead by resorting to folly in order to make a point.
- Our leaders spend time fretting about what Lekota said and his desire to divorce the ANC and other such follies instead of dealing with people such as the Malema’s who are an integral part of the organisation, who are leaders within the organisation and yet who have thus far not displayed any sense of leadership. The ANC should be concerned about the likes o f Julius Malema who have steered the ANC into a “quagmire of folly”; what not with the showing of their buttocks at a conference and the calls for killing for Zuma. I understand that the leadership of the ANC has called him to place a few times, but perhaps more than wasting their energies on the rebuke, the ANC needs to evaluate Malema’s leadership abilities and his role in the ANC. Since his comments on killing for Zuma and his other absurdities, most people have now lost respect and are reluctant to vote for the ANC. I am not convinced that Julius Malema is the right person to be leading the youth league and I believe that his presence within the ANC will have bigger implications than Lekota’s persistent threats to create a new political party.
This fretting over Lekota instead of properly evaluating and assessing implications of the leadership abilities of the likes of Malema is another representation of misplaced energies and misallocation of “resources”. Once again, the ANC spends too much time and energy on things that are of absolutely no benefit to the country. This would be somewhat excusable if we had the luxury to dwell on such, but as human development statistic show, we do not. Education is remains a big failure in the country, so is healthcare and unemployment is shockingly high. We really need to move beyond the folly and the personal politics. The ANC leadership must stop worrying about people threatening to leave and focus on their mandate “to serve the people”.
I am tired of this cartoon show. Nowhere else in the world have politics become as petty as they are right now. I have no respect for the ANC leadership at this point. I embrace their fighting for my freedom and I choose to use that freedom to call for an end, a split, anything, anything but the status quo!