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Letters to the editor: March 22 to 28

Serve the people, not yourselves

Save our country from another 25 years of failure, incumbency syndrome and majoritarian arrogance.

The ANC is the oldest liberation movement on the continent and for some odd reason they have managed to hold on to political power uninterrupted for the past 25 years without any significantly serious challenge from opposition parties.

The historically white liberal political party — the Democratic Alliance — has shown consistent growth since the 1999 national and provincial elections. It is a trend that should worry all former liberation movements, because indications are that black voters are shifting towards politics that are more liberal when we all know that the liberation struggle objectives are far from being achieved.

One of the issues that demonstrates this is the slow progress in returning the land to its rightful owners. Azapo considers this to be the basis upon which our liberation struggle is anchored.

The fact that after a quarter of a century we still expect the majority black nation to be politically, culturally, traditionally and economically affirmed by the minority white nation is an embarrassment and a betrayal of our liberation struggle and those who paid with their lives.

The governing party unfortunately missed an opportunity to use the political power it wielded to mobilise our people towards a common national goal and instead chose to focus on a dangerous narrow sectarian issue such as cadre deployment.

They had an opportunity to learn from the mistakes that they committed during negotiations and the transitional period that led to the expulsion of Azapo from the Patriotic Front. At a time when liberation movements were supposed to rally together, the older liberation movements — the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress — felt that Azapo was an unnecessary irritant.It appears that the governing party was so desperate to be in power that it forgot what the liberation struggle goals were all about. Their focus changed from that of the national interest to individual interest — they did not “struggle to be poor”. They allowed individual interest to supersede liberation struggle objectives.

The two weaknesses that will ultimately lead to the erosion of the governing party’s electoral support base, besides being too comfortable and complacent, include the incumbency syndrome and the majoritarian arrogance they suffer from.

As Azapo, we are going into these elections with the hope that the electorate will give us a vote to be in the top three political parties. Our primary target is not the opposition parties’s votes, but those 10-million voters who are not members of the ANC.

Azapo believes this country can do much better with the party well represented in all municipal councils, provincial legislatures, the national council of provinces and Parliament.

Azapo’s intention in contesting elections is not to increase the number of hecklers and howlers in Parliament, but to ensure that all public representatives diligently and selflessly serve the people. — Lesego Sechaba Mogotsi, Azapo national committee on publicity and information, Tshwane


Stand up against extremism

Many Muslims are already speaking out against Islamophobic rhetoric, but non-Muslim individuals need to step up and combat Islamophobic language as well.

Attacks on Islam and Muslims are the central organising principles of far-right movements across Europe.The New Zealand mosque massacres took place against the backdrop of a rise in Islamophobic hate crimes, racist violence and an increase in far-right extremist activity.

Islamophobia is deeply structured into European society in an attempt to create the conditions in which Europeans can fight unpopular foreign wars, particularly in Central Asia and the Middle East.

Whether it is extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalism or Islamic extremism, fear and hate fuel the violence and destruction that continue to afflict people worldwide.

We must continue to speak up against all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination, and there is clearly a need to better understand and study the growing trend of Islamophobia. — Hiresh Ramthol, Sandton


We’re again powerless

Before 1994, we, the majority of the people, the “nonwhites”, were powerless. We were denied the power to vote. But we had electricity, lots of it, cheap and no load-shedding.

Power to the people is what we need. If you want to live in darkness then vote for the ANC, because they have taken your power away and it has nothing to do with not paying your electricity bill.

Power corrupts and the ANC is powerless and will leave you in the dark.— Robin Naidoo, Phoenix, Durban


Parastatals need a Carolissen

How good it was to read “[Randall] Carolissen turns NSFAS around in six months”. As administrator, he was given the opportunity to clear the dead wood from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which enabled him to go ahead systematically and do what the “big name” previous chief executives had failed to do. He put his head down and supervised and rationalised the system.

Our failing state-owned enterprises would benefit from having people of his calibre. I am sure there are many experienced, hard-working, honest, hands-on executives like Carolissen who would be prepared to knuckle down and repair the damage done by uncommitted and unqualified political appointees.

But this could only happen in an environment free of political interference.

Well done, Randall Carolissen. I hope you will be allowed to stabilise and confirm the good you have done, to enable NSFAS to continue efficiently into the future. — Corinne Roy, Parkview

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