To the majority of locals our history is a domicile of discomfort and sorrow. The past is usually recalled in the shadows of colonialism and Apartheid and everything is inextricably linked to politics. Historic injuries remain an obsession and contribute to head counting regarding employ and equity. In the last election, local Muslims ignored Muslim parties including the former liberation movements and gave their support to the DA, which was their democratic choice. However, besides the City Manager, Muslims are not represented at senior levels in this City. This includes at the Executive Councillor, Portfolio and Sub-Council Chairperson, Executive Directors and Sub-council manager level. While the Muslim population exceeds a million in this province, Muslims are absent in the legislature. Those who anticipated demographic representation are disappointed. Muslims who are historically part of the Coloured community are further disadvantaged with the ANC determination to use national instead of regional demographics in the Western Cape workplace. In the end politicians appoint whom they please and often deploy devotees. Whites and blacks understand this reality, which is one reason why whites usually vote DA and blacks vote ANC. Though Coloureds and Muslims may know this, their collective political inputs continue to remain marginal and limited. Peter Marais recently said that whites in the council are unwilling to accept coloured leaders. Mayor Patricia de Lille confirmed that there were members who stood against transformation but that she had a mandate to make the city an inclusive one. That whites and blacks are politically strategic is evident from the quality and size of party branches and the influence they yield within political structures. White and black businesses are also financially committed to their politics via campaign funding. Since Coloureds and Muslims are generally unable to organise major political actions or contribute towards political expenses, their influence is restricted. The ideal of having qualified and deserving applicants receiving employ and promotion based on merit and equity seem distant. Someday this process will have to be implemented otherwise racial innuendo and accusations will endure. Coloureds and Muslims should recognise that their reluctance to engage meaningfully in political structures and their lack of financial support is within their control. A typical example of how money influences politics is that people connected to the ANC and the DA received money from the Gupta’s. Since key political leaders frequented the Gupta homestead not so long ago, what moral ambivalence do politicians expect from citizens? Why should citizens support contrived outrage when politicians enjoy lavish meals with the Gupta’s and their associates? When politicians publically or privately trade their values for position and fortune why do they protest when they are dishonourably used? Voters who do not have easy access to those in power should consider the link between politicians and campaign funders. How does this relate to “jobs for pals” and “contracts for donors”? Without investigative oversight from politicians and a free and independent media, we may as well auction our democratic process to the wealthy and stop being coquettish about the pretence of being principled. Cllr Yagyah Adams Cape Muslim Congress

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