President Cyril Ramaphosa appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

#AnotherVoice: Hope should never be another country

By Lorenzo A Davids Time of article published May 4, 2021

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The political leadership in South Africa behaves like being married to an abusive partner, promising that he will reform himself but at each turn, the promise gets broken and the hope dashed.

All I ever wanted was to be married to a country that loves me and that I could love in return, crawl up safely into its arms and be protected from the harshness of the world around me. Instead, I keep thinking of 50 ways to leave this lover. Hope appears to be another country.

On a crisp, cold autumn morning this loveless marriage takes my thoughts to my early childhood spent across three homes in Cape Town.

My earliest memories are about waking up in Caledon Street in Bellville South, the children all gathered outside on a Saturday morning to play all the street and stick games in our then known world.

My second is from Belgravia Road, Athlone, walking to Heatherdale Primary and Belgravia High schools, with my heart beating in my throat thinking about whether I got my maths homework right.

The third memory plays itself out in Shepherd Way, Westridge in Mitchells Plain, waking up with thoughts about whether I should take a thirdclass train to UWC or whether I should save the money and hitch-hike to campus.

This entire week I spent waiting on this lover of mine to announce that he has given up his love affair with Ace Magashula. Instead, they are still together. I thought that he would prioritise me over this macabre relationship he has with his friends and their schemes. But he remains loyal to the things that are destroying me and him.

As a child in Bellville South, it was Rev Bill Burnett who made me believe that a better future was possible. At Heatherdale Primary School it was Mr Goldschmidt the caretaker who entrusted the school keys to me who made me believe in myself. At Belgravia High, it was Mr Britten who coached me to run faster than I thought I could.

At every stage in life, the universe provides us with these beacons of hope as icons of inspiration that appear on our pathways to inspire us for the next part of the journey.

We have lost the sober, iconic leadership of Nelson Mandela. We are missing the joyous inspiration of Desmond Tutu, the democratic discipline of a Frene Ginwala and the groundedness of a Cheryl Carolus in the public domain.

We are a lover adrift in a sea of fake lovers, all knocking on our door with their stench of betrayal wrapped in amorous platitudes. I don’t want another poetic moment. I want to travel safely to work on the train I love so much. I want to walk in the streets with gay abandonment. I want to see houses built, lights burning and school toilets used.

Waiting on the completion of the Zondo Commission and for the prosecution of those charged with corruption as a national cleansing of our corrupted political system is like Ms Irene Grootboom waiting on a house. She died before she received a house. How many of us will die before we see this moment of national cleansing take place in our country? How long before those who stole billions of state money go to jail?

I recall being in Standard 4 (Grade 6) and Mr Goldschmidt assigning me to clean the toilets after school. I remember going from toilet to toilet and seeing the mess little boys made and dutifully cleaning it so that the next day they would be clean for their use. I knew that Jeyes Fluid and hard brushing was required. If I did not do that, soon a health crisis would occur at the school.

Dear Mr President. Don’t be scared to clean the toilets. It’s central to our wellbeing. If you don’t, we will all eventually become very sick.

* Lorenzo A Davids.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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