What has become of us in a democracy? It’s almost given that a protest for a particular cause would descend into violence and a destruction of the amenities.
We’re grown accustomed to a strike ending with a burning of school and library or clinic. This pandemic will be with us for a long time. Gone are the days when visionary leadership with conscience and constructive engagement was a standard.
Now we live in interesting times with no shortage of rogue lackeys at the helm.
When Parliament went up in flames with security officers on duty, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) was on the defensive.
Nehawu’s knee-jerk reaction was to blame it all on government’s cost-cutting measures. That was a mere conflation of issues in an attempt to exonerate inexcusable derelicts.
Similarly, the health authorities went on the ground to get all the facts first-hand after catching a glimpse of the obstruction of health-care services by striking public servants.
And Nehawu leadership was on autopilot to impugn the preliminary report attributing deaths in the facilities to a strike.
Yet there are visuals of its members blockading roads and entry points to inhibit essential services staff access into the premises. They couldn’t care less of the consequence of denying children, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions their right to health care.
The callow mob continued to infringe the rights of citizens and brazenly undermining the Batho Pele principles, which ought to be observed at all times.
In the end, an injured bunch in those demonstrations sought medical attention from the very facilities which they disrupted from serving vulnerable patients.
What a mesh of contradictions. It’s easy to imagine the worst as these vacuous characters without grace would soon run for public office.
Morgan Phaahla, Ekurhuleni