The Torah, Bible and Quraan confirm that humans were created with faults and are prone to error. This is why the Almighty God revered by Abraham, Isaac and Ismail sent books of guidance and prophets so that manifest error is avoided. If humans deliberately ignore this guidance, God clarifies that he will be the final judge.
Throughout history this quality to error is tolerated, subject on who you are. At varied levels of society the same errors are regarded differently. Example when a religious leader gets divorced it is considered by society as much worse than when a fruit and veg vendor divorces. These are unwritten and unspoken rules of society albeit divorce is divorce. Society expects more of some members than of others and this gives rise to issues of class and social hierarchy. Thus a married religious leader because of expected ethics enjoys a superior social status compared to a divorced taxi driver.
Recently in a dramatic turnaround‚ trade unionist Zwelinzima Vavi apologised to former president Thabo Mbeki for siding with Jacob Zuma in a leadership struggle that divided the ruling party a decade ago. Vavi along with Julius Malema were the main protagonists who were prepared “to die for Zuma” and wore t-shirts to fortify the message.
Shortly after the “Zunami”-(a political wave that annihilated his rivals) Zuma was elected as President. This desire “to die for Zuma” faded fast and both Vavi and Malema soon become the President worst enemies.
Over time, Vavi and Malema have crossed all limits of discretion to humiliate the President. Not even Presidents who served during Apartheid were and are degraded as much as President Zuma.
Questions that remain are -what went wrong in this high powered bond? What is it that Vavi and Malema wanted that Zuma did not do? Was the nature of the link built on ethics, principals or material opportunity?
Since we are well aware of the President personality, the answers are vital as it gives voters insight into the character of Vavi and Malema. If the differences were not based on values that benefit the South African electorate, then the potential political rise of Vavi and Malema may spell more bad news for South Africa.
With increased corruption, mismanagement and bureaucratic stupidity in municipalities and failure in service delivery at all levels of government, our politics is in desperate need of realistic, intelligent, ethical leadership.
Democracy struggles to exist as an enduring form of government. It exists until the majority discovers it can vote itself charity out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the least amount of work. As a result, democracy predictably collapses. It is always followed by despotism. Example, in Indonesia parliamentarians voted for themselves, so called constituency funding of more than $1.3 million US dollars per person with no genuine levels of accountability.
Nkandla may ironically be the least of our problems. Those fixated on Nkandla and have nothing else to honestly offer South Africa, may become worst problems in the future. Have we learnt nothing from the history of African politics?
In the words of the wise, we need better leaders.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress