Editorial: ANC, stop hurting our country

We elect people to serve our best interests. 

Actually, in our current system we vote for a political party and it decides who will represent us (although this system will change following a recent Constitutional Court ruling). 

The majority of citizens have consistently voted for the ANC and, therefore — through who it sends to Parliament — it is the party that represents us. 

It is a party with lofty, laudable ideals, but it has become an instrument for self-enrichment for many. 

This week Andrew Mlangeni, the last living Rivonia Trialist and someone who had criticised his party for its corruption, was buried. Former president Jacob Zuma spoke at his funeral, despite Mlangeni’s family asking that he not do so. 

At the funeral, government officials crowded close together, ignoring physical distancing regulations. 

Army officers clustered together, lighting up literal cigarettes as they blew figurative smoke into the faces of hundreds of thousands of South Africans who have been charged with breaking the Covid-19 ban on cigarettes, while others have had to bury family and friends from a distance.

After the ceremony, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula tried to explain away the disregard for the law. He would not accept the reality of what had happened.

On the same day, the spokesperson for the human settlements department mocked a journalist — Aldrin Sampear — when he tweeted about the difficulty of surviving this moment in our history. In response, Sampear tweeted: “You have no fucken idea what we are going through. Everyday, I listen to people’s cries & I carry that pain & my own. FUCK YOU, ACTUALLY.”

It is hard to not react the same way that Sampear did. The spokesperson has since deleted their tweets, and the justification for their comments.

This week alone, the ANC, through its political deployees, has shown just how little it understands our country, and how little it cares about the consequences of its decisions.

We report this week that our most important state-owned enterprises are in crisis because of decades of mismanagement, which also made them sitting ducks for state capture. The situation is now being exacerbated by the ruling party refusing to allow managers to try to save them. People in charge of entities such as SAA and Eskom have quit because the government will not allow them to restructure. 

At the SABC, R3-billion is spent on salaries but more than 50% employees are apparently not suited for the positions they hold. Last week, ANC officials in Parliament refused to take seriously the broadcaster’s presentation on its reality. The SABC is a crucial source for news, particularly in the languages.

The ANC either does not understand the best interests of those it was elected to serve — or it knows and doesn’t care.

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