The truth matters

Decades ago at university; a political science lecturer said that “part of colonial philosophy was to embed within the colonized psyche, a sense of inability”. The notion and plan was to ensure that the colonized mind needed to believe that European intrusion was necessary and beneficial.

As a result and by implication, using the lecturer’s logic, it could be considered unpatriotic to blame lack of progress on our current leaders as this would exonerate the nefarious intent of colonialism.

At university the idea of freedom was a shared activist mantra. Ironically there was a deep resolve for victim and a victor status to exist as this would ensure that victimhood could be conserved even when the victim eventually resorted to betrayal of principles.

Years later, the mantra of blaming history is wearing thin as the media shines light on issues that are difficult to ignore. The colossal levels of corruption, wastage and ineptitude in governance have blunted the patriotism of even the most stalwart of former activists.

Since regular folk can identify the issues without the need for political analysts, has led to anger. This disturbs all classes who witness a handful, living extraordinary wasteful lives on taxpayer’s expense.

What is now transpiring is that activists, who see the rot, are rallying around issues of ethics and values while lesser activists and newbie chancers are rallying around “political party before nation”.

What are vital are those current and resurgent ethical voices. They must be allowed maximum opportunity. Leaders like Thabo Mbeki, Achmat Kathrada, Denis Goldberg etc.must be interviewed regularly so that they are given occasion to share their wisdom and experience. We cannot allow people of such calibre to fade into the political wilderness without benefitting from their insight.

In the words of the wise, since we all err, if the resurgent political voices of ethics are minimized we fortify those who use our democracy for nefarious self-enrichment. If they succeed then we all lose.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress