Politics has never been a clean game. It is always necessary to react to it by reading between the lines and discerning between truth and lies, sanity and recklessness, and enlightenment for betterment versus obfuscation for self-interest.
But in South Africa at this juncture President Jacob Zuma and his shameless flunkies have alas, sought to swim the entire nation deep into the morass of rotten self-serving deception and downright propaganda.
In response to the anti-Zuma sentiment and marches following the economic downgrades the president’s acolytes and the president himself have resorted to the type of regressive populism that divides and endangers people.
Foolishly, like Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi propagandists, they appear to ascribe to the deluded notion that the more you repeat lies the more these look truthful.
Meanwhile, in spite of a constitution that guarantees the right of every citizen to protest, a volley of hardly veiled threats and intimidatory remarks have been issued.
The values of an equal, non-racial and non-sexist society that all citizens supposedly aspire to and that underpins our constitutional democracy are being trampled daily.
Never has the race card been pulled with such vigour, at such a high level and with such disingenuous intent as by the Zuptas.
Scapegoating is the name of the game.
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina – “we will crush anyone who stands in the way” – certainly appeared to be threatening violence against Save SA and white people as a race.
Whites it would seem are not supposed to even whisper one word.
How on earth have things come to this in a country with a background such as ours where all freedom loving patriots have not only long sought equality but harshly denounced the monstrous inanity of ascribing individual behaviours to the colour of people’s skin.
We have black and white racists just as we had white and black freedom fighters.
But we dare not allow the divide and rule approach driven from the top of government to continue.
I, by the way, am who I am today thanks to a good-hearted white woman who assisted me in securing funding for high school and later a job during my expulsion from college in 1980. That lady later served as ANC MP and Buffalo City councillor.
The modus operandi of the Zuptas is clear: deflect blame and do not address the real political issues head-on.
This is exactly what they are attempting to do about the recent investment downgrades – downgrades caused by the Zupta government, which need never have happened and which will adversely affect the majority of the poor, unemployed and uneducated people of our country.
How can anyone in a position of authority trivialise and ridicule economic downgrades that will ultimately hit hard everyone’s pocket?
Did the patriots who paid the ultimate price fighting to liberate this country really want the masses to go hungry for the sake of a few rich politicians, bureaucrats and sleazy crooks who amass conspicuous wealth through corrupt tenders and obscenely exorbitant salaries or inexplicable severance packages?
Did those freedom fighters expect to be establishing a platform on which a president dripping with corruption charges would debase the constitution and recklessly ruin our economy?
As for the Zuma leadership, do they seriously expect citizens to be gullible voting fodder that stays quiet in the face of persevering misrule?
Who are the real traitors of today? Those marching to defend and preserve our hard won constitutional democracy or those loyal to the marauding looters busy selling out this country and its resources to the most convenient bidders?
Mzantsi finds herself on the edge of an abyss of bankruptcy today because of the actions of a president who is supposed to be protecting the interests of the country but cannot as his moral decadence has made him a hostage to the Guptas and perhaps a few others too.
His “achievements” have been debilitating anarchy across all levels of government, continual violation of the constitution and diligent facilitation of our economic slide to junk status.
Wilful economic sabotage is nothing but high treason.
The anti-Zuma marches were a cri de coeur to unite and dislodge Zuma and his ravaging vultures.
As the EFF leader Julius Malema aptly put it “If removing Zuma is racist we are all racists”.
Indeed yes. Let Mmusi Maimane, Sipho Pityana, Desmond Tutu, Pravin Gordhan, Derek Hanekom, Barbara Hogan, Ronnie Kasrils and the whole glorious rainbow nation rise to defend our constitutional democracy.
Madiba once said: “Since we have achieved our freedom there can only be one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not.”
How prophetic! For the majority of us the choice is to cherish democracy and we shall defend it at all costs.
Vivi Mpikashe is a resident of the Eastern Cape