Monday, 10 September 2007

The “democracy” South Africans fought for

Barney Mthombothi, Financial Mail Editor, in his 3 August 2007 Editor’s note said that “listening to senior government officials, including President Thabo Mbeki, making excises for lack of service delivery and appealing for patience from those who have lost it is like hearing a reply of a broken record.”

As a South African citizen and being on the receiving end of government service delivery – I totally agree with Mthombothi’s statement. This is not because I believe in everything I read but it is because from observations – only about 30 % of government of officials are accountable to the society whereas the other 70 % God knows what they do let along knows if they exist.

Maybe “democracy” is only democracy when it suits us. And maybe only when we have freedom of speech and expression like this piece I’ve written and you’re reading, right to information although limited – can one say its democracy.

It will take SA some time even another decade or so to achieve its “democratic” goals among other things, a non-racial society, zero tolerance for corruption and a better life for all.

Given what’s happening currently in the country and especially the succession issue – and some people wanting only a particular person to be the president just makes one wonders if this is really the democracy the ordinary South Africans voted for in 1994.

Isn’t democracy about freely electing one’s representative based on his/her knowledge or expertise, experience, analytical skills and abilities, multitalented, to a certain extent his or her qualification and quality leadership style and not somebody electing such a representative on one’s behalf irrespective of one’s objection to such election?

Well, maybe my “definition of” democracy is different from that of Fikile Mbalula, Jacob Zuma, and Thabo Mbeki to mention a few.

Having said that: it is therefore necessary for all SA citizens especially those on the ground to vote for whatever reason(s) because they are already being voted for on their behalf?

Then how about changing “A better life all” to “A better life for some” because this is the democracy prevailing and seems to be the democracy voted for.

In his conclusion, Mthombothi said that “only then would it be possible to say with some conviction that the people govern” when they are able to elect their own MPs and I think the electing of their President too!

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