As is common before election time, the political jitters and vicious campaigning we would much rather ignore is, by force, fed to us. The meal could not be at a more appropriate time as we prepare to commemorate the 27th of April which saw South Africa’s first free and fair elections.
I’ve also noticed in recent weeks the remarkable transformation of the Democratic Alliance from a party that I thought shared my futuristic outlook, both in growing numbers and strengthening policy, to one that has triggered a High School memory I tried to repress.
While delaying in signing up for a limited History topic, I arrived at the notice board to find another scholar before me about to write his surname in the very last spot. I casually grabbed my physically un-intimidating peer by his backpack and managed to push him right down to the floor.
In what seemed like a quarter of a second, the smaller guy recovered and was a blink away from tackling me. Something-something “Davids” (Was his name) wrote his surname and in a moment filled with biblical resonance, I was the idiot Goliath who was left nearly paralyzed and additionally humiliated. Unsuccessful in my desperation, I was also sheltering an apparently broken arm.
The DA, which espouses liberalism with a bull-dog like stance now finds itself entangled by the serpent tactics of the ANC. Resorting to struggle credentials to attract the desired vote.
Yes, the events of apartheid are a terrible reminder that freedom will always require vigilance, but like my notice board incident, focusing backwards as opposed to exploring selectively undiscovered topics guarantees collective failure and exposes me to fresher casualties.
The “Know your DA” campaign was aimed at educating the party’s targeted black vote which “mistakenly believes the party will bring back apartheid” as Helen Zille said. Which I believe is rubbish and think she should have simply referred these fears to the Constitution.
In essence, to hide staggering public support, ANC comrades such as Xolani Sithole and Marius Fransman will never comply with the historical context that the DA provides.
They are merely a pair part of a group which believes the ANC (as sole custodians of the fight for freedom and truth) are guardians of the Mandela legacy and own the rights to the complex battle against apartheid. Such people are remarkably resistant to fact and should look no farther than the Multi-Party Negotiating Process to remedy that.
Such limited understanding of the formation of the Constitution, the birth of equal law and a selective approach to South African history, I wonder how these arguments contribute to the issues clouding the country today.
With Youth unemployment (now double the national average) at nearly 50%, I fail to understand how both these parties do not understand how we face a different, but no less mighty challenge.
Nearly two million “born-frees” eligible to take part in next years elections, this younger electorate will make up a third of voters by 2019. Will they be as obsessed about an oppressive regime, they did not live (despite its effects being prevalent today) and overlook the immidiate obstacles they find themselves in? Unemployment, crime, corruption, poor quality education to name a few.
Whereas other parties (read ANC) targets the past and so generously, frequently remind us that the freedom we enjoy today couldn’t have been achieved without them, the Democratic Alliance should press on the steps to achieve a better tomorrow.
The technique of suggesting that Blacks should surrender their vote in order to repay the ‘freedom debt’ is the trump-card of the ANC. It is the what they know and the proof if ever you needed it, is in their half-hearted attitude towards poverty, inequality, incompetence and the ability to pass laws and tolls over the objection of millions of its supporters.
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