I waited. I waited for the final verdict. The reasons for the verdict no longer mattered. The trust was already broken. I expected nothing. Nothing much has come from Baleka Mbete anyway, only favouritism and a consistent lack of impartiality in parliament.
“Say it already, just say the words!” I shouted at the TV impatiently.
Then she said it!
“I therefore determine that voting on the motion of no-confidence in the president on the 8th of August will be by secret ballot!”
Silence. Unbelief. Excitement. These may just be the most important words Baleka Mbete ever said in her entire life. The cough was excused.
Could we be on the verge of a new chapter in South Africa? Could the dream that lies in tatters be revived, at this very last moment?
Maybe, I am a hopeless optimist. I easily rally with good news. I cannot understand why the leaders of this country consistently fail to create good news by truly pursuing the upliftment of South Africans across all divides.
Colonialism and apartheid failed to do this. And now our young democracy has, as of now, dismally failed to do this as well. Trying to uplift “black” people has ended up being an attempt to uplift “certain black people”. And uplifting “certain black people”, has ended up being an attempt to “uplift the Guptas”. Instead it brought the corruption and betrayal of our nation.
Maybe now, we have got a clear view of the folly of allowing political self- interest to overwhelm our country.
While most people may accept that political self-interest is the nature of politics, it is, nonetheless, the one thing guaranteed to make politics fail in transforming society.
Hopefully, once we understand the folly of accepting a culture of political self-interest, we will consider the alternative. Our politics must always build our nation.
Maybe we need to realise that building a nation requires the use of everything at our disposal to create the kind of nation we want. We must use our political and economic space to build the nation. We must use our security forces to build the nation.
We must use education, health, social development and every possible area as a rallying point around which we must build this nation.
The exciting thing about Baleka Mbete’s decision, …eh, thanks to our gallant Constitutional Court, is that it gives us, once more, a chance to reclaim the soul of our nation. That soul was sold by the most trusted among us, the president of the country. That president was propped up by one of the most famous former liberation parties in Africa, the ANC, ever since he assumed office. However, now, an opportunity has been offered to the ANC MPs in parliament as well, to redeem themselves and vote for the renewal of our nation.
We have yet to see what the vote of no-confidence will bring us. If the motion succeeds, we will first celebrate the departure of one of the foremost traitors in our history! After that we have to embark on a conscious journey of building this nation up once more, without entertaining any of the illusions that have previously hobbled this country. Central to these illusions is the idea that South Africa is a country ripe for the taking.
Instead, we must regard our country differently. We must realise that it is ripe for a story worthy to be told for many years to come. That is a story of a people who realised that their differences are far less important than their nation.
It is the story of Madiba and many more before him. It is a story of the development of a national passion to contribute, each playing his or her part in building this nation. It is the story of a common national culture of selflessness, service and justice.
This may just be the beginning of our renewal.