Opinions are telling

From time to time, the Dispatch opinion page carries several apparently disconnected articles but these are underpinned by a common theme. Each appeals to the higher values of humanity while lamenting that we so often fall far short.

For example those of June 30 – Jonathan Jansen’s “Many preachers who do more harm than good”, Afrika Mhlophe on “Violence not new ‘normal’” and the editorial inviting us to “Participate in PP selection” are such a collection.

Events in South Africa increasingly point to a society dangerously at risk of becoming dysfunctional by failing to strive for the betterment of the lives of all within it. Whether by desperation, ignorance or a misplaced sense of entitlement, the wanton destruction (as witnessed in Tshwane and Vuwani), religious hypocrisy (would you regard Pastor Andre Olivier as a good Samaritan) or disregard for the rule of law (in what proper democracy would citizens be apprehensive about the qualities of an incoming public protector) all demonstrate that the so-called vision of “a better life for all” is no more than a political slogan paraded to solicit votes. This in order to retain a ruling elite which has clearly not lived up to its rhetoric.

Rather, we should reflect on the underlying message these three articles reveal – that a greater concern and respect for each other does follow from heeding our responsibilities as much as our rights. Our constitution did not provide for both without reason. — Bill Gould, Southernwood

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