It is gratifying to know that our national leaders read the Cape Times and heed ordinary citizens.
Example in “Justice is required” Cape Times 21st April, regarding the xenophobic violence, I asked, “what is the purpose of border control and what exactly is the role of our military if not to ensure national stability”? The next day the Cape Times reported that the military would be deployed.
Also in “Apartheid Museum” Cape Times 8th April I suggested “that Cape Town social /religious, business/political leaders as a collective under the guidance of the Heritage Council embark on a proactive approach regarding the removal of offensive symbols etc. Instead of having the process hijacked by opportunistic politically charged chaos, I suggest developing a regional Apartheid museum like the one in Pretoria and similar to the Jewish museum”.
In the Cape Times 23rd April the article “Arts and culture minister wants audit of all statues, names and heritage symbols that must fall” upheld my suggestion. The Minister Nathi Mthethwa added “It would assist in public education that will ultimately foster multicultural consciousness, appreciation of past injuries and diverse heritage as well as the current imperative of building a non-racial, inclusive, just and cohesive society” which is what I advised.
The two cited examples propose that the media can be utilized to effectively access national decision makers. By submitting researched opinions, ordinary citizens can inspire a grass roots support and influence national issues.
In the words of the wise, a leader often moulds consensus. A leader is best when people barely know he/she exists, when the work is done, the objective achieved, the people will say: we did it ourselves.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress