Tue Oct 25 19:32:45 SAST 2016
Mkhwebane leaves Zuma‚ Van Rooyen interdicts

The new public protector says she will leave the dispute over the state capture report prepared by h.

Politicians think they've natural right to the country's riches

By Thabile Mange | Mar 31, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

OUR political leaders did not take part in the struggle to enrich themselves but to liberate the country from the shackles of apartheid.

OUR political leaders did not take part in the struggle to enrich themselves but to liberate the country from the shackles of apartheid.

But one look at the situation suggests otherwise.

I did not join the struggle to be poor...

And amass riches, they have. Before you hurl insults at me, let me quickly remind you that the statement was unashamedly made by former ANC NEC (now Cope) member Smuts Ngonyama. He might have uttered the statement in a certain context, but he clearly summed up the attitude of our current political leaders.

How many black politicians have become instant millionaires and billionaires (the ANCYL leader Julius Malema included) after liberation? The number may not be that big, given our country's demographics. Suffice to say the number is growing.

For the record, there is nothing wrong when the "African child" becomes rich. Africans have as much right to be wealthy as other nations. Riches are not preserved for a select few nations, as others would have us believe.

But the manner in which our political leaders amass their riches raises more questions than answers.

The thinking among our political leaders seems to be that they should quickly enrich themselves before the end of their five-year term because they don't know if they will be in office in the next term. But when will they better the lives of the poor? Time is running out - we are 16 years into our democracy. Will they make for lost time? I think not.

If our politicians want to be rich, why don't they go into business and make money there? Why do they opt for the easy way out of getting tenders using their political influence and positions? What message are they sending to the youth, whom they accuse of being consumed by materialism?

It is sad that discussions and debates nowadays revolve around tenders, materialism and positions. What about the bread and butter issues? Are they no longer important? Expect more service delivery protests as we move closer to local government polls.

It is interesting that those who claim to represent the poor are the very ones who care less about them. These false prophets are obsessed with amassing wealth and riches in the name of the poor.

The tragedy is that power has gone to their heads, and now they think they own the country. They also think they have the natural right to the country's riches. Who do they think they are? Their arrogance stinks.

These false prophets do as they please and get away with murder. They are of course drunk with power. But one day this will come to an end. As the Bible says, everything has its own time. So they must enjoy it while it lasts.

History is awash with stories of liberators who turn to be oppressors. Liberators have a tendency of thinking that the masses owe them something because of their participation in the struggle. This is false thinking.

One important fact that liberators seem to forget is that we all played a role in bringing about liberation in this country. They couldn't have done it all by themselves. And they know that.

A clear message must be sent to them that power doesn't lie with them but with the masses. The fact that the masses still vote with their hearts, and not minds, doesn't mean things won't change in future. Remember, change is a constant.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT