Stem this anarchy

IT MIGHT be easy for all of us to return to our default positions to diagnose what ishappening at the Mpumalanga township of Sakhile inStanderton.

IT MIGHT be easy for all of us to return to our default positions to diagnose what ishappening at the Mpumalanga township of Sakhile inStanderton.

It is nothing we have not seen or read since the elections in April.

A group of residents has decided that local councillors are not delivering services to the residents' satisfaction so they think the best thing to do is to plunge their town into an orgy of lawlessness.

Those who in the past thought that the best way to deal with such behaviour was to get tough, probably think the same must apply with Sakhile. Ditto those who were of the view that tough action against protesters was akin to returning to apartheid days best left forgotten.

But Sakhile might be telling us something else. It suggests that whatever ideological box we might have confined our thinking to is not enough to address these problems.

We can rest assured that after Sakhile another community will erupt and demand more or less the same.

Instead of condemning or condoning such actions, we need as a nation to formulate the rules of engagement that determine how grievances are dealt with without sacrificing the sovereignty and the duty of the state to maintain law and order while criminalising honest, even if misguided, expression of frustration.

Leadership and not appeal to emotion or ideological cages is required on all sides if the momentum of community anarchy or government unresponsiveness is to be arrested.

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