I hate liars, especially in a political context. They use words as weapons that are ripping South Africa apart. Nowhere is that more apparent in South Africa than on the Garden Route.
If I hadn’t experienced the lies of the DA in my home of Knysna (Mayor Georlene Wolmarans, Deputy Mayor Michelle Wasserman, Councillor Esme Edge), the wall of delay and eventual inaction (from the likes of Geordin Hill-Lewis, the DA Chief of Staff, and Minister Alan Winde), and Helen Zille’s own failure in adhering to her response policy, I may never have quoted for the job to create the website for the Justice & Equality Front (JEF) (whose first action was to beat the Plett DA with the justice system). I did because I believed that battles in the courts were preferable to battles in the street. I did because the information that JEF provided me cast further doubt on the so-called honesty of the Democratic Alliance.
It all boils down to the simple fact that the DA and ANC are at war. For want of a better name, it’s a Cold War, filled with propaganda and skirmishes, pushing and shoving for power and wealth. The situation is as ludicrous as it is in much of the world, whether it be the US (Republicans and Democrats) or Afghanistan (buy-a-dictator). The powers-that-be are not looking out for the public. It’s self-service, not public service. Here in South Africa, it gets an uglier side when party loyalty is oft based on the colour of your skin and race is used to divide and conquer.
As much to blame is the public’s apathy towards educating themselves towards opinion.
What should count is the heart of a person…and if they follow it with action. Belief without action isn’t belief at all.
Few would disagree when told that there are good and bad black people, good and bad white people. But that common sense is somehow forsaken when having an opinion about the state of our towns; tourism, economics, crime, politics etc. Everyone has opinions. Few substantiate them (just look at this comment section on Politicsweb which forsakes rationale for slander). It’s mostly an affair between apartheid and reverse-apartheid, white versus black, have money versus wanting money.
I regularly experience mindless or hateful attacks. The perverse logic is that if I question the “transparent” DA, then I’m ANC – I’m not. In fact, in Knysna, I consider the DA to be corrupt and the ANC to be useless, selfish opposition. That opinion could easily be reversed in a different election. I question the DA because it’s dishonest. I’m willing to chat to all political parties because the only way we could possibly move forward is if our politicians start working together. Of course, what I believe means nothing to my detractors…and the problem with public attacks is that they don’t have to be substantiated (hell, online, they don’t even have to use their real names).
The KEEP (or the Knysna Keep as it’s become to be known), was meant to seek and represent truth whilst simultaneously working on projects that bridge the divide. That last part is very important but it has sadly not happened as much as I’d hoped. When I informed those that were going to help The KEEP what I was about to start blogging, who I was aiming at, they pulled back in case it affected their lives or businesses. Or maybe it was just because they, like most, hang around in easy situations but run from conflict. Furthermore, making enemies of Knysna Tourism and Knysna Municipality certainly hung many project intentions (not that I’ve given up, I do what I can without finance. I hope that Love Knysna and Knysna Schools are considered by all to be positive for our town. I’ve also brought locals online through their own websites). Ironically, I support both those essential bodies…but not the rotten people that run them for themselves and the DA. That is a distinct difference! Note that, if anything, i’d much prefer spending less time on this blog and more in the field.
We, the public, deserve public service, not puppets working for Cape Town or favouritism to their buddies. We need leaders who will criticize their leaders, both Jacob Zuma and Helen Zille, for the sake of democracy. We need leaders who do their best for our towns, who put the public first, not their grossly, inflated paycheques and political climbing. We need leaders who will identify crime, poverty, drugs and racism as prerogatives, discuss them with us and make a plan to make life better.
We need honest mayors and councillors. We need media that will report both sides.
We don’t need what we’ve got.