Protests prove all is not well at grassroots

ANY reasonable person knows that the transition from apartheid was not going to be easy or cheap. However, if it had been handled properly, the millions of rands would have been money well spent.

ANY reasonable person knows that the transition from apartheid was not going to be easy or cheap. However, if it had been handled properly, the millions of rands would have been money well spent.

It was obvious that some South Africans would benefit from the new dispensation and others not. The general expectation, however, was that the lives of the majority would have improved tremendously.

Generally, the ANC has done a good job since there was no civil war and massive loss of lives as in some African countries after independence. However, the spate of protests in the past few years should be a wake-up call that all is not well at grassroots level.

Since the unbanning of the former liberation movements in 1990, the ANC has made some big mistakes. Firstly, its leaders portray themselves as servants of the people who have no aspirations of self-enrichment. But the many incidents of corruption among ANC officials prove that this is not the case.

This situation could have been avoided by paying lump-sum payouts or special monthly grants to all free fighters, dead and alive, from Robert Sobukwe, Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo to Hector Peterson, Tsietsi Mashinini, Griffiths Mxenge and Solomon Mahlangu. This would have cost us a lot of money, but it would have been worth it.

Secondly, government's mishandling of the more than five million illegal foreigners is another mistake. Most black people have no problem with government giving sanctuary to political refugees, but to expect us to live with over three million illegal Zimbabweans is asking too much.

Joe-Zak Khumalo, Ekangala

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