According to al-Ghazali in “The revival of the sciences of religion” the human lifecycle has various stages of development.

Thus kids for example enjoy having fun, playing sports, eating candies etc. Young men desire flashy clothes, fast cars, impressing and pursuing young woman. Mature men take pleasure in power, name and fame. The elderly approaching death seek to be remembered and thus speak on issues of justice and equality etc. At each changing phase, the other considers the earlier phase as wasted energy.

So when elderly people plays kid games or eat excessive candies, society views this as abnormal. Similarly it is doubtful that kids seek power, name and fame as there is no value in these accolades for a typical child. For millennia these unwritten and unspoken norms have been accepted by society.

Thus when youngsters seek power, name and fame and speak on issues on justice and equality like in parliament, it is a concern as they lack the experience to identify what they seek to represent.

Example, there are those in political leadership who are adulated by society, yet in truth they actually lack any genuine skills. When leaders who are theoretical expected to be thinking adult, behave like youngsters seeking pleasure, what does this say about their cerebral progress and ability to lead?

Last week South Africans went to sleep and awoke with the edict of a new Minister of Finance. Not even other national Ministers knew that this change was in the play. This week we again awoke to discover that that Minister whose name is not worth remembering now, has been replaced.

Normally when a Minister is replaced especially a key Minister, there are months of conjectures and obfuscation by the national leadership that is fed into the media. There is always created anticipation and then the falling of the sword. This is the nature of a mature, accountable, transparent democracy.

Immediately after the new Minister was replace by Pravin Gordhan, those who sought to ingratiate themselves with the leadership went on the attack and defence at the same time. The “markets are racist because it rejected the Minister. The President is not a dictator as he listens to advice”.

The quality of the attack and defence was so puerile that a grade 7 primary school child can identify the grovelling and sucking up to the leader. This type of juvenile childish reaction suggests a serious lack of maturity and a lack of education and a proper understanding of “real politic”.

Example, a few months ago Transnet went into the same mode of deception when media reports suggested that billions of taxpayers’ money was spent on unsuitable trains bought in Europe. It was then revealed that the top leadership lacked qualifications and that the incorrect trains were indeed received. Ironically while the fiasco was unfolding, those liable also accused their critics of racism.

It is vital to note that when leaders guilty of ineptitude attempt to hide their folly behind claims of racism, very soon genuine claims of racism will amount to nothing.

The point is that those in leadership cannot be allowed to make statements and decisions with being liable for the results of their actions. It is normal an expected of a mature adult especially those in leadership to accept responsibility for their actions. This is the variance between a child and an adult.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress