Political leaders ignore the people at their peril

What happened to the overrated and superficial "rainbow nation"?

What happened to the overrated and superficial "rainbow nation"?

I have always felt that the card of the rainbow nation was being overplayed and grossly exaggerated.

In fact, I have warned, many times before, that our beautiful country and its people have never been given the opportunity and privilege to shape their own destiny.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission can't even be considered to have been a drop in the bloodied ocean, nor did it scratch the surface.

The right to vote is never sufficient to measure or to serve as an indicator of a working and productive transition .

I have been called a seasoned pessimist more times than I care to remember but I take the effort to remind my detractors that the actual definition of a pessimist is "an experienced optimist".

While no sane human being can condone or justify the brutality of the senseless violence that has generally been associated with xenophobic tendencies, one must readily admit that this turmoil has been brewing for a long time.

Unfortunately, there is no amount of political rhetoric that is going to permanently quell the frustration and escalating anger of poverty.

My general and humble opinion is that our political leaders have focused more on pursuing their political agenda instead of focusing, with undivided commitment and an unequivocal focus, on the upliftment of our own people.

Let's turn our attention to the HIV-Aids battle as a practical example. It took many years of toil and thousands of lives before our government could be convinced that the provision of antiretroviral treatment was an important strategy in addressing this scourge.

Millions of taxpayers' money, countless court cases, and crucial time was wasted as this infection continued to increase, to maim and to kill our people.

Daily, for many years, newspapers are splashed with undeniable facts of corruption at Home Affairs, where foreigners with criminal tendencies acquire South African IDs fraudulently.

One frustrated young South African eventually staged a "kidnapping" at the Home Affairs offices after he tried for 12 years to acquire a legitimate document.

Within the South African Police Service there are untold episodes of corruption while murderous rapists roam the streets because dockets are said to be "missing".

Our people have been belittled, dismissed and disregarded for too long. Unfortunately, the poor and helpless foreigners have become soft targets.

I can promise you now that if our political leaders continue to ignore these desperate calls, then this anger will be re-directed to government institutions.

The rainbow nation concept is a fallacy; it will only work when our people become a priority in service delivery.