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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Loyalist

from News24 Voices, by Thabo Seroke:

CaptureI’ve often suffered the misfortune of being called “a mouth piece for the enemy”, usually by people who claim to be ANC loyalists. As a relatively young South African, who has spent most of his conscious years in our cancerous democracy, maligned by constant promises of transparency, accountability and competence, I quiver because I had no idea who this enemy is. I have unfortunately allowed the term to occupy most of my thoughts and I have reached several conclusions.

The enemy here not only represents white South Africans who are obviously unsatisfied by the direction (or lack thereof) of the country but equally opinionated Black, Coloured or Indian South Africans who share similar sentiments.

Sadly, these ‘loyalists’ are naturally oblivious to their own conditions brought upon by the people they constantly claim to be willing to die and kill for. They are usually readily available to cause havoc to any individual, group or opposition party because a large majority are unemployed and their occupation is protest, vandalism and disruption. They equate the relevance of these protests to the apartheid era, except this time, in defense of the very government that oppresses them.  They are loyal nonetheless to the leadership because they can be bussed in anywhere to stand in contention with something they hardly understand, if the know what it is they are against at all.

Even a greater number of them are the youth. The biggest victims in my opinion of this veiled democracy. They’re being crippled with flawed education but no chaos there; there are after all more pupils in classrooms now than in 1994. Quality is optional and out of gratitude, the loyalist accepts education that rates part of the lowest in world.

An even comical sign of loyalty was when the SACP and COSATU marched in support of Zuma’s administration, celebrating his success since taking public office. Ironically, now the constitution is an obstacle to our President’s agenda

They descend on you en masse wherever you are. The ANC women’s leagues, major loyalists, are willing to turn their backs on the people they should be standing up for. Last week our President, perhaps the only survivor of the Stone Age met with other traditional leaders who gathered in support of the Traditional Courts Bill. Out of loyalty, the ANCWL joined our tribalist Zuma in time travel by endorsing him for a second term, a step that will take women’s rights 600 000 years back.

The thing is, it is not necessarily just Zuma they support. Loyalists oppose every other opportunity for progressive change. It isn’t the ANC they were defending on Sunday when they stopped Zille’s intentionally dubious visit to Nkandla, they were purely just defending a man who can do no wrong in their eyes. This loyalty bears fruit, because it fast tracks the supporters’ position in the queue. When its time to dish up, such devotion is beneficial

This culture of crushing the voices of these ‘mouth pieces for the enemy’ will be the demise of our democracy. Should I be satisfied with incompetence, complacency and poor service delivery purely because I am a black person and owe my freedom to the ANC? Am I less of a black person for disagreeing with the party’s leadership?

Perhaps my loyalty changed when I stopped supporting the man and grew back to the party in hopes of restoring it to what it was almost a century ago. We often make the mistake of never finding the connection or distinction between deployed leadership and founding principles of a particular organization. If your loyalty has blinded you, I ask this, is this the vision of Luthuli, Sobukwe and Biko?

The common assumption is that if you vehemently oppose the manner in which an ANC led government does things and express your views in a liberal tone, you’re automatically labeled a DA member or counter-revolutionary.

It would be ambitious to the point of foolishness of me to describe the South African voter as independent, I mean we say we but are we really? As long as deferring from archaic, tribal rule is seen as a disdain of black heritage and back-stabbing the people who sacrificed their lives for the freedom we claim to have today, we cannot be independent.

The reality we face is that South Africa now has to deal with an inactive, unemployed and unskilled youth that is running out of patience and if the government still believes that all it expects from that youth are praise singers, they are sitting on a ticking time bomb. The amplified voices of these youths will one day speak out for themselves and they will be their own mouth-pieces, which will be highly necessary when testing their loyalty to the country and that will be true freedom.

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Misguided loyalty will not help you or your sons”

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