In response to National Union of Metalworkers of SA president Cedric Gina’s statement: “We reject Trevor Manuel’s views finish and klaar” at the National Bargaining Conference. You know comrade, when Dali Tambo on his People of the South programme on SABC television hosted Jay Naidoo, a former union leader, and Zwelinzima Vavi, the current leader of Cosatu, both labour experts of the poor working class, requested the politicians and government employees to stop blaming apartheid for their repeated failures, the whole country was silent.

However, when the “yellow” legend and mastermind Manuel dishes out the very same truth with 20 years of accumulated evidence, the corrupt, incompetent politicians and their sidekicks are barking like toothless dogs to confuse their poor voters.

On your point of racism it seems that as a union leader you still do not understand how some of our corrupt politicians have created a new dynamism of racism. Let me educate you with an example: under apartheid we correctly blamed the white oppressors for dividing black people and Indians.

Presently, in our democratic country, corrupt black politicians together with corrupt Indian leaders are awarding themselves inflated tenders worth billions of the taxpayers’ money and they have failed to deliver to the people. Now you cannot blame that on apartheid, finish and klaar.

Furthermore, in many instances corrupt politically connected Indians sitting on the interview panel in government, ensure that other competent, righteous Indians do not get appointed, to protect their own roguish habits. Of course, their black bosses and partners in crime just turn a blind eye. Now you cannot blame that on apartheid, finish and klaar.

Yes, apartheid has harmed our country and it is still obvious in the segregation of land, townships and suburbs that affects the working class’s convenience to commute to work.

However, comrade Gina, if we did not lose about R25 billion annually through poor service delivery, tender rigging and other forms of corruption we could have saved approximately R500bn or more in the past 20 years, which could have contributed to at least 1 million more low-cost houses, better roads network and affordable public transport for the poor and unemployed. Now this cannot be blamed on apartheid, finish and klaar.

Many Durban residents have directly experienced the impact of a few corrupt, lazy, and incompetent local government councillors and the non-co-operation of some of the eThekwini municipality’s officials. To date there are councillors and officials who do not answer their phones or reply to their e-mails and they cannot use their computers provided by the council at the expense of the ratepayers. They also choose not to understand the needs of our people.

They are arrogant and do not care because they are guaranteed positions by their corrupt political bosses. In essence, they get paid to be “deaf, blind and voiceless” so that some of our politically connected leaders can “legally steal” from the ratepayers.

Now this cannot be blamed on apartheid, finish and klaar.

I suggest that instead of fighting Manuel, fight the Chinese who have hogged and closed down our clothing and textile industry.

Moving forward, foolish corrupt leaders should stop convincing yourselves that you can deceive millions of our poor, law-abiding voters. We have caught you with your hands in the cookie jar, finish and klaar.

Ashnie Bisoonpersad

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