Open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa
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DURBAN - DEAR Mr Ramaphosa,
I think it’s time we had a heart- to-heart conversation about the state of the nation. Perhaps if you hear it from an mlungu, who has been your greatest cheerleader as well as an ANC supporter most of my adult life, you will “listen properly”.
Sir, I was a teenager during the dawn of democracy I luckily slid into this world near the end of apartheid, and was lucky to have been raised during the last of it by forward- thinking liberal activists who wanted to see change as much as you did.
I cried when I realised I wouldn’t be old enough to vote in 1994. When I was able to, I voted ANC for one reason It made sense that if “we” fought for the freedom to choose the ANC, then we should support them with our vote if we wanted them to really succeed.
Twenty-five years on I look back at myself, and besides a little giggle at my naivety I’m honestly more than just a little disappointed and ashamed.
You see, Mr President, I believed the promises. I advocated the policies. I supported BEE knowing it was the right way forward, and access to education for those who hadn’t had the privileges others had. I praised new economic policies and even agreed with land reform within reason.
But I also expected that the managing of those transformations was in the hands of capable keepers - 25 years on, I can see I was misled.
We have just had a voter registration weekend. And maybe that, along with the voiced opinions of two respected men in the media this morning, is what has made me realise that it’s time for change.
I figured in exchange for the support which I and my fellow South Africans put into your party, we would like a few things in return.
First, Jacob Zuma must go to jail for what he’s put this country through. This is not negotiable. He and every single person implicated in state capture must be severed and cast out of the party immediately.
I understand it’s not an easy task and will require all your attention, so I don’t mind if you cancel all social engagements and trade negotiation policy meetings, etc, in favour of focusing on the cancers within the ANC and government first. In fact, that’s what we expect from you.
I had a whole list of demands that my vote will depend on, but on reaching this point in my letter I’ve realised I’ll settle for just one. And this is where I ask the people of this country who feel the same as I do to use their power as a united nation to take a stand and issue you with some tough love.
Instead of voting for promises, we will vote on results. And if you’re intending to have an election this year, I’d say you had better get moving if you want those votes, Sir.
I hope that like me, others will take their voting responsibility seriously and give you the ultimatum you need to do what needs doing.
No arrests/convictions in state capture equals no votes.
I don’t care who they vote for instead. No one really stands out that much right now to me.
Maybe they should all spoil the votes. Bring the election process crashing down not through violence but in a silent and powerful gesture so you get the message clearly once and for all.
No action from the ANC = no votes for the ANC. No results = no support.
That’s where I stand, anyway. I’m really sorry but your party is out of chances. Make the hard decisions we expect before the election or you’ll be out of office sooner than you think.
For the first time since 1994, I believe that this, Mr President, is the year the ANC may fall.