Stijn van der Kasteel (mahnmut) wrote in talk_politics,
Stijn van der Kasteel

ANC's 100th birthday

I thank telemann for pointing me at the feature at the TIME magazine in regards to ANC's centennial anniversary:

"The ANC blames apartheid's legacy and, as party spokesman Keith Khoza describes it, "the reluctance of business to come to the party." But 17 years is almost a generation. The government's failure to transform South Africa from a country of black and white into a "rainbow nation," in Archbishop Desmond Tutu's phrase, means black poverty is still the key political issue. A second, related one, however, is the ANC's dramatic loss of moral authority. At 93, Mandela is still among the most admired people on earth. But his party has become synonymous with failure — and not coincidentally, arrogance, infighting and corruption. Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and, at 80, still the nation's moral conscience, encapsulated South African political debate last year when he came out of retirement to give two speeches. In the first he asked whites to pay a wealth tax in recognition of their persistent advantage. In the second he called the ANC "worse than the apartheid government."

I think the author speaks truth. Now, more than ever, John Pilger's documentary Apartheid Did Not Die, is valid and worth considering.

You know, when I was leaving NL on my way to my new life here in SA, my dad sent me with the words, "Remember: it took a generation to defeat white supremacy; if it'll take another one to defeat black totalitarianism, you should be ready to go for it". But that's only one half of the story. The other one is that this isn't the main struggle now. The enemy is poverty, and corruption, and the marginalization of vast chunks of society from social and economic life, and the HIV epidemic.

Old grudges and prejudices cannot be healed in such a climate. We have to address the real roots of the problem, not just fool ourselves around with doing short-term damage control of the symptoms. And that may take more than a generation. But ultimately, it's worth the effort. Because the alternative looks much bleaker.
Tags: africa
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