News / Opinion
In South Africa, it can honestly be said: “Never before has so much been stolen by so few from so many.”
As the local elections approached us, a comment attributed to prof P Lumumba perfectly summarised our situation: “In Japan a corrupt person kills himself. In China, they will kill him. In Europe, they jail him. In (South) Africa, he will present himself for election.”
Suddenly, politicians who are seldom seen or heard, were out and about, filling the air with more false promises, and sometimes downright lies.
They promised to start “fixing” things. They used the radio, television, mainstream and social media to plead their return to office – so they could continue their corrupt practices and embezzlement while neglecting their duties.
They begged for a “second chance” while claiming they had “learnt lessons” and promised to do a better job.
Given that many have done no job at all since arriving in office, can they improve on doing nothing?
ALSO REAd: IEC powering through load shedding to finalise results from local elections
Others, especially those who have been fingered for corruption and embezzlement, probably intend to do a better job at stealing.
We were even told by the government to honour the “legacy” of those whose corrupt actions have been exposed.
Between elections, communities are ignored while the politicians cheat, lie, and steal – and couldn’t care less about those who voted them into office.
Our political leaders have overseen once-wealthy municipalities into bankruptcy.
Our communities have lost all faith in those leaders who are responsible for the almost total collapse of businesses, governance, law and order, industry, and services.
They blame the Covid pandemic, state capture and apartheid for the mess we are in.
They refuse to acknowledge that their own incompetence directly fuelled both national disaster and voter apathy.
Before the elections, they used every opportunity to appear on television to show they had finally come out of hibernation.
They claimed they care for the communities. But they knew they were lying. We knew they were lying – and they were only speaking of caring and fixing to gain our votes – again.
Our communities are suffering from a lack of law and order (the minister famously blamed potholes for crime, maybe a solution would be to fix the potholes?), no public transport, no electricity, no water, and pretty much nothing of everything.
But to our great leaders, elections is the time to be seen and heard. They went on their walkabouts kissing babies and making empty promises.
They posted their own successes on social media: cutting ribbons to boast a new pit toilet they had built somewhere obscure for millions of rands or to praise their own poorly designed, overpriced sport stadiums.
They arrived at these famous events carrying bags of empty promises.
Our government famously stated that it appoints people to senior or ministerial positions based on knowledge and skill.
We have yet to see either – except when it comes to corruption. Here they are both knowledgeable and skilled. If this is the best the government has to offer, we are in for bigger trouble than we could ever have imagined.
The government has driven us to the cusp of failure. They have propagated national division and tensions. They have destroyed the economy through their greed and disconnected policies.
Their lack of leadership and management skills – like their accumulated wealth – is staggering.
They are the single biggest cause of the many problems in our country. We are tottering on the edge of failure – and they took us there.
The rising number of riots and protests, some of them violent, are simply ignored. The anarchy and chaos they oversee is apparently not their fault.
ALSO READ: Covid-19 pandemic reduces life expectancy in SA by three years
They claim it is driven by an unknown “third force”, unable to grasp that their incompetence has resulted in these destructive acts.
They called on voters to give them another chance – to ensure we will definitely become a failed state. We are told to view this as “progress”.
Ultimately, voting with no forethought has very serious consequences for the voters. The recent voter apathy merely entrenches the corrupt and criminal in government.
The time has come for our voters and young leaders, from all political parties, to stand up and together hold all politicians to account and fix the mess government has created.
Let’s stop the political rot that has been forced on us. Let’s unite and fix our economy and develop our industries again – we can.
And while we are at it, let’s jail those who bankrupted our country.
We must vote for sanity and progress in the future, instead of voting for more anarchy, chaos, crime, incompetence, and poverty.