“If this continues, I’m going to be the first to mobilise a tax strike to bring this government to its senses.”
This call by Zille, a premier of the Western Cape, is ridiculous, contemptible and as Ebrahim Rasool characterises it, borders on treason.
This call is not only reckless, but dishonest. The history of boycotts in South Africa is the history of the struggle against colonialism and apartheid laws.
The Bambatha Rebellion of 1906, which Zille bastardised and distorts horribly, is the revolt against the imposition of poll tax by the brutal colonial government in Natal. The imposition of this tax was in response to the collapse of the Natal government in 1905, due to the state of the economy.
Bhambatha kaMancinza or uMagudu, as he was called by his peers resisted this. He knew this was a ploy to steal more from his people and force his people to work in the mines.
He, his generals and people stood up and fought ferociously against this poll tax.
He was beheaded and his head was waved around by colonialists. This was the last battle in the wars of resistance, which had started in Cape Town to the Nkandla forests at Mome Gorge.
Thus, to equate Zille's madness with this hero of the wars of resistance, is an affront and ridicule to Bambatha and the African people.
Other boycotts took place after that, fights against the Land Act, Pass Laws, Group Areas Act and rent, sanctions, sport boycotts and other boycotts.
All these boycotts cost enormous loss of life and imprisonment, injuries and death sentences.
By the way Zille, all these boycotts and struggles had one strategic aim, to rid South Africa of the obnoxious system of apartheid.
In short, these were struggles for freedom, democracy and constitutionalism.
Therefore, if you, Zille, want to change any form of government, the constitutional and democratic means are availed to you and your party, the DA.
More so, the call for this tax boycott is so impractical that your call borders on stupidity.
How are you going to implement it? Simply put, how are you to persuade business to join you in this fratricidal stupidity of your proposal?
How are the millions of responsible taxpayers going to follow your ill-conceived proposal?
How are you even going to mobilise car users not to pay fuel levy every time they put in their petrol?
In summary Madam Zille, to you democracy is democracy if it is only your own way or the highway. But South Africa has fought for its own democracy. You are a duly-elected premier of the Western Cape, a province of democracy.
The ANC is in government in many other provinces and nationally because of being voted by over 11million people - democracy mam!
If you want to govern South Africa, work harder and harder.
For now please refrain from proposing such madness.
Otherwise the outcome may end up for you and your party being not only ridiculous, but silly.
My advice is to either keep quiet on things you know little of, or join the Thuma Mina campaign of our president.
If you so do, it will imbue you with more positivity and a constructive contribution to broader society.
- THE MERCURY