Letters to the editor: December 4 to 8 2015

People of the future need acknowledgment now

No intelligent South African would deny that, in the first instance, we are all humans, and that, if we are born of and take our living from the African soil, we are Africans.

But coloured people are clearly something different to, something beyond, black Africans, and we want to be accepted and acknowledged for who we are (Don’t tell me who I am, black man).

Going back to my great-grandparents, I am Welsh, Malay, Irish, English, Khoisan and black African slave. Racially, we can think in terms of a Mediterranean type, reflecting the racial mixtures found across southern Europe and North Africa, stretching from Palestine to Spain.

As part of the community that sprang up in the Western Cape over the centuries, coloured people do not practice initiation and do not pay lobolo. We practice Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, and perhaps we should add atheism.

During the liberation period, we named ourselves “black” in total identification with the African community’s struggle for freedom. We suffered deprivation and humiliation along with the rest.

But the ANC government is discriminating against coloureds in the workplace, as in the case of 10 correctional services staff in the Western Cape who are being denied jobs and promotions in favour of black Africans who are brought in from other regions. So we are obliged to insist on the “coloured” label as a matter of political and social expediency to defend our rights.

Having discriminated against coloureds for many years, the ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, and his party now want us to think of ourselves as black, hoping to reclaim the Western Cape. Former government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi and others would like to forcefully remove coloureds from the Western Cape, their place of origin.

Coloured people are people of the future. We constitute the melting pot that the whole planet is evolving into.

This means that not all South Africans are black Africans, and that coloureds have a significant role to play, and need to be accommodated in the broader scheme of things, in our own right, as mixed-race people. – Irma Liberty, Cape Town

The watchdog has to keep up its guard

In last week’s editorial (Zuma’s favourite is wrecking SAA), the Mail & Guardian was seeing as skewed a picture as the Cosatu conference report.

Otherwise, how else would you say there was “unexpected good news” in the auditor general’s report? This is where it is shown that 72% of the state-run organisations audited did not have a clean audit.

Though it is important to expose the disgraceful events at SAA, it is equally important to tell it as it is. The alternative is what we see and hear from the state media.

The much-vaunted but hollow sound-clip SAfm is actually South Africa’s news and information filter. The omission of matters of national importance will never be anything other than what South Africa expects: these days the suits are worn by the ANC and not the erstwhile Nats.

Similarly, the news on SABC television is sanitised to avoid criticism. It is run as the governing party’s propaganda mouthpiece.

SAfm had its hour of white-bashing recently when a guest blamed people for having “whiteness”. Before that, we had weeks of Aubrey Matshiqi in the Business Day claiming whiteness was an affliction, and then, in the M&G a week later, a Muslim lawyer berated whites for not sedating their dogs during Diwali fireworks – when Hindus praise the goddess of wealth.

The conspiracy of silence over wholesale theft at government level and anti-white racism, used by the ANC-connected to allow them to keep feeding from government coffers, is only broken by outspoken editorials in the M&G.

Please do not fall into donkey flap mode. Your readers need you to shed light on the dark deeds that impoverish South Africa. – Tom Morgan

Time for ANC to hand over the leadership baton

I am not sure what more South Africans need to see before they decide that the ANC is no longer the party to take the country forward.

It lost the vision long ago. Its commitment to incompetence, corruption and dishonesty is starting to show in every facet of our country (ANC politics revolve around JZ’s survival).

Years ago, experts spoke about a looming electricity crisis – but our government denied it until we had load-shedding. Several moons ago, talk of a water crisis emerged, but that too was denied – now we have water restrictions.

Corruption has never been accounted for and now we have student protests because of the dysfunctional National Student Financial Aid Scheme. And we have e-tolls because our government is finding clever ways to milk taxpayers.

But the puzzling thing is that the ANC continues to win votes. I am aware that there are a chosen few who benefit from dysfunctional governance, but I would like to believe the majority of people do not benefit. So, it concerns me that people still find it difficult to cut their umbilical cord to the ANC.

People ask me who I will vote for if not the ANC. I say we have the Democratic Alliance. We have given the ANC a chance; can we give DA a chance; no one is perfect and, yes, the DA has its faults, but we have to move beyond this current government of vultures and hyenas. Surely we do not deserve them?

The ANC has served its purpose. It’s time for us to allow them to hand over the baton. We deserve inspiring, intellectual, authentic, visionary leadership. We cannot settle for Zuma again.

Voting on the basis of the past must fall, corruption must fall, incompetent leadership must fall, crime must fall, and disengagement from the critical issues of poverty, youth unemployment, climate change and women’s disempowerment must fall. – Lesego Setou, Johannesburg


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