There are many reasons why people stay in toxic relationships: some stay for security, some for kids and some for the nauseating reason called love.
The truth though is that when we dig deep and remove the mask behind these excuses one reason emerges and that is fear. We are always afraid of the unknown, always afraid of the experience we have yet to experience. We are so afraid of the unknown that we would rather stick with the known, no matter how bitter, terrifying or unbearable the known is.
I recently allowed myself time to ponder on the relationship the majority of black South Africans have with the ANC. I realised how we have allowed the ANC to abuse us. We have rewarded the ANC with faith when it failed us with the ever-rising electricity tariffs; we have been with the ANC even when it cheated us in the form of corrupt public servants who squander our tax money. We pardoned the ANC for infidelity in the form of the arms deal and we are still pardoning it for slapping us in the face with e-tolls. We are now so weak because we are being infected with a deadly virus in the form of the Nkandla face-lift, and still we stay in this toxic relationship.
If you ask us why we stay with the ANC, we will refer you to our kids in the form of the youth of June 1976, and we might even mention love for the likes of Oliver Tambo. The truth, though, is that if you remove all these reasons and dig deep, we stay with the ANC because of fear.
We have fear for Helen Zille, we fear to take a chance on her because of the colour of her skin, we fear the policies she has in store for us.
I, however, wish to ask these questions: where do we wish to go as South Africans, what are our dreams for South Africa, what are our desires for our economy, our health, our education? Is the ANC still the party to take us through to the next era? Shakespeare once wrote: “It is the bright day that brings forth the adder”; indeed, power is bringing out the serpent in the ANC. – Lesego Setou, Johannesburg