When I read the January 12 statement by Cope's president at the Umlazi rally where he said "you can't take a former gardener and give him the task of leading a country or a city simply because he was in prison, fought for freedom or is a comrade," I felt ashamed.
South Africans in general, and the working class and the poor in particular, should be happy that such statements are made long before voters go to the polls because:
Firstly, we get to know which political parties see the masses as an integral part of South African society and not just voting fodder whose usefulness is confined to the ballot;
Secondly, we can identify which parties will never acknowledge workers as a key force that contributed immensely in the fight against apartheid and who are entitled to enjoy the fruits of freedom in the same way as the Lekotas have and continue to;
Thirdly, this statement sends a very strong message that should Cope become the government, the socio-economic conditions of workers will be worse than it was under apartheid, given their opinion of "once a gardener always a gardener."
His statement to insult the ANC president says a lot about Lekota's intellectual capacity. If he does not believe that a former gardener can lead the country, how on earth does he manage to work with a former security guard as his deputy?
Jomo Khoza, Durban