This is South Africa, post-apartheid… 18 years to be precise. It’s come to this. No, no, no. Actually it’s been like this for 18 years.
Whenever a White person speaks out against the Black government, about the sad state of the nation, the sad state of democracy, they’re labelled whiners, or worse, apartheid denialists and racists. Sometimes you’d hear the popular refrain “White is not right.” When a Black person does the same thing, they’re labelled coconuts, traitors and worse things besides.
I speak out as often as I can; not always expressing myself with the same finesse as newspaper columnist William Saunderson-Meyer. But he’s one of those who are White and right. Truth has no colour…
South Africa is in a dire state. Incompetence and irresponsibility are rife. Bad behaviour is the norm and few dare challenge it, which contributes to the undermining of democracy.
No, that’s not opposition Democratic Alliance leader, Helen Zille, on song. Boiled down, that’s the view of Auditor-General Terence Nombombe. He was this week lamenting the collapse of the public service at every level, from municipal to national, saying that the government’s lack of support for his office was making it irrelevant.
His concerns echo those of the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela. She speaks of how the ‘silent thief’ of corruption has stolen the constitutional dream and how the secrecy Bill would derail her constitutionally mandated role.
As a nation, we should blush at the hash we are making of freedom. Unfortunately, South Africans are not big on embarrassment. Our instinct is to brazen it out.
The popular phrase, ‘S/he has no skaam‘ — one of those subtle Afrikaans words that encompasses being abashed, humbled and ashamed, even humiliated, but also penitent — should be emblazoned on the country’s coat-of-arms. In Khoisan, of course, so that not too many understand it. No one wants their nose rubbed in the national affliction.
Read the rest of this brilliant article here. It’s the right thing to do.