SOUTH Africans find it very difficult to learn from past experiences. Why do I say this?
Every time a "controversial situation" presents itself, we decide in awink which side to choose.
We do not adhere to the basics of good reasoning, which is to keep quiet, listen, get more information then be able to make an informed decision.
Last year when the rector of the University of the Free State, Professor Jonathan Jansen, decided to "forgive" the Reitz Four and welcome them back to the university, most of us had an opinion on the matter.
I was on the side of those who praised Jansen's decision to move forward and to "forgive and forget".
Later on, when it emerged that Jansen was so "over anxious" to "move on" with the matter that he did not consult with the perpetrators as well as with the victims, I realised that I did not have enough information to make an informed decision on the issue.
Currently in the news is the story on State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele's wife, Sheryl Cwele, who is implicated in drug dealing.
This is a very serious allegation. Now before we could gather more information, we jumped to the conclusion that "there's no way that the husband could not have known what his wife was doing".
Really? Since when do you need your husband's explicit permission, maybe in black and white, to deal in drugs?
Opposition parties are having a feast on the story and ask how safe we are if Cwele didn't know what his wife was doing?
It is understandable that the parties should use this incident to score political points. We as the voters should adhere to the rule that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.