I am not formally or informally a member of any political party, within or outside the borders of South Africa. My support of the ANC has and always been based on what my grand parents and parents endured under apartheid and that has always influenced my decision to or not to vote during the past national elections. As we draw closer to the 2014 national elections, that struggle is slowly creeping up and got me taking stock and wondering how do I hold those I voted accountable. How do I make sure that they hear my cry, my suffering and about my daily struggles?
I am writing this after reading the ANC’s response signed by Jackson Mthembu, to one of those open letters. The first paragraph reads: “The African National Congress will not enter the recently fashionable fray of trading insults in the public domain. Indeed as recently articulated by the Secretary-General of the African National Congress, Comrade Gwede Mantashe, “the ANC is convinced that the mainstay strategy of the opposition forces in all formations and structures is that of agitation for discontent. These opposition forces have nothing to offer. We must seek to avoid responding to these provocations and lies, trying to correct every individual detail or allegation””…. And to me it sounds like the ANC is not interested in listening to us the citizens of South Africa, they decide to address issues of Zuma being called a monster than address other issues raised in more than one of those open letters. The ANC decided that anyone who asks questions with regards to national government and how it operates should be labelled as an opposition force. The ANC should be building and making sure that it unites all South African citizens, labelling brings divisions within the organisation and country as a whole.
The definition of leader according to few dictionaries is: One who is in charge or in command of others… In trying to address this Mr Mthembu found himself shielding the person of President Jacob Zuma. I hoped in trying to keep in line with the opening paragraph, the statement should have sort to protect the leadership of ANC and not single out an individual. The ANC should stop viewing our concerns and complains as provocations and lies but continue to value our input in trying to improve and build this beloved country of our forefathers since the struggle does not belong to the current leaders of ANC but us the citizens.
Yes, the most recent open letter is addressed to Jacob Zuma and the honours to respond should have been left to Mr Zuma. I believe that if the Presidency feels that the letter undermines the Head of State, then they should address those points and set precedence if necessary. This should be addressed according to South African laws and constitution and not how it is done else where in the world.
“… There are no facts that prove the above to be true therefore the wild accusations are a deliberate intention to insult and undermine the leader of the African National Congress and the Republic of South Africa” Since there are no facts, Mr Mthembu can not dismiss the statements or claim “such statements as disrespectful, distasteful and insulting to the person of the President and the ANC.”. What I consider disrespectful, distasteful and insulting. Is when we are treated like we don’t understand anything with regards to how people who hold key positions can influence decision making within the country just to make sure that they benefit inappropriately. Decisions to have information kept as secret from us to avoid accountability, the continues decision to ignore calls for clear and fair discussions with regards to e-tolls, the inability to shut down or speak against “Boeremag” camps in the country but choose to speak against an open letter raising concerns of more than one person. That to me are some of the things that make me feel disrespected and insulted.
There is one thing though that I agree with, that is said by Mr Mthembu. President Jacob Zuma is part of a collective, and they all share the same believes or similar style of leading. Lead by threats and discourage constructive criticism “The membership of the ANC is well aware that others who have traversed this route of insulting the leadership of the ANC have expelled themselves from this glorious organisation. History has ample examples of these characters.”