Nandipha Ngomane
3 minute read
7 Oct 2008

Ordinary citizens the losers

Nandipha Ngomane

Where does one begin to make sense of what is going on around us?

Where does one begin to make sense of what is going on around us? It is now clear that politics is really for the politicians. At one time in my life I thought that I had caught on to what it’s all about.

I was still recovering from Jacob Zuma’s court appearance and was wondering when the climax of this whole mess was coming and indeed it came. Now we are sitting on the side- lines as history unfolds and our tolerance and loyalty is being put to the test.

The people of this country have made me proud. One would have thought that there would be chaos. We have so many issues that need urgent attention but once again as the voting public we have been given the back seat as the powers-that-be struggle to prove who the bigger fish is. I am and will always be confused by politics, which is said to be the process by which a group of people make decisions. Unfortunately, the description does not specify which group of people should be making these decisions and how they will affect us, the ordinary citizens.

I’m not a politician. Had I been one I know that I would have handled things differently. When I first heard that president Thabo Mbeki was being recalled I thought it was a mistake. It is clear that I’m ignorant about a lot of issues. Had I been more politically aware I would have seen it coming and understood what is going on. Anyway it has happened and many of us have to learn to live with it and smile as things dramatically change and we have no say or control over decisions that are changing our lives.

I remember a time when one could have an opinion about anything and no one would take exception; now all of that has changed and you have to watch what you say, as for some reason it shows which side you support. But no one will remain unaffected by what has happened.

I guess it does not matter anyway. The powers-that-be have spoken and “there is no crisis”. It is a matter of either you shape up or ship out. However, with elections just around the corner one would have thought that the ANC could have waited and dealt with internal issues first before airing our dirty linen in public.

Public opinion is easily swayed and I worry as we face the coming elections. The ANC is a progressive organisation but it still has a long way to go in ensuring that the ideals, beliefs and principles of a better life for all are made a reality. That can only be done if it wins the elections once again with a two thirds majority but as 2009 approaches I cannot help but be worried.

I am struggling to continue supporting a political party that makes me believe that we have lost sight of the “bigger picture”. We seem to be caught up in “re-ward-your-friends-and-punish- your-enemies” syndrome. The question is who will suffer the most when the last man is left standing?

People are not stupid and good people are being lost in this war of camps and loyalty. Not being in politics does not mean that we cannot see what is going on. This is our country; we love it and we are able to reason.

Congratulations to those who are in power for now because come 2009 we will have to get used to new faces all over again.

In every war there are casualties. Once again the ordinary South African has become a victim in the war of power.