To be silent is to invite deserved contempt from rulers

OUR country is now officially designated the most unequal society on earth.

OUR country is now officially designated the most unequal society on earth.

What a dishonourable prize! South Africans are moving in two sharply opposite directions - a minority getting richer and living in unbelievable comfort, while the majority are getting poorer and are left to misery and despair.

Their hope lies increasingly in picking up a rock to throw at the helpless but arrogant local politician in what is fast becoming a nation of service delivery protests.

Our people must throw stones and taste rubber bullets and jail in their quest to be heard.


Do our rulers care? Or are they merely power drunk? How do we explain a minister spending almost a million rand on accommodation in the most expensive hotels the country can offer? How do we explain that our new ministers have spent R40million on new cars they don't need?

What makes them think they are so special that they deserve this kind of life when the people they rule are mired in poverty?

And the madness of a string of body guards? What are they afraid of?

Why do they need 10 cars with blue lights and bells at high speed on our highways? They are in a hurry to where?

Our beloved country currently kills more of its citizens than the war zone called Iraq. Count the bodies we bury every weekend from gunshots and stabbings in our townships. This is a sign of a society in decay.

As if that is not enough, our rulers are now planning to increase the price of electricity to frightening heights and they know we will mourn a little and then go with it.

The same people are now also planning to spend about R47billion on new military flying machines we don't need, while some children still learn under trees and go to bed hungry.

Of course the children of our rulers and their business connections are over-fed and spoilt rotten. Have you heard that our rulers destroyed a school in Nelspruit to build a 2010 stadium and now the children learn in a spaza school?

In 1981 in a small country in West Africa, then called Upper Volta, a young man had to ride a bicycle to his the first cabinet meeting.

A year later he was prime minister but resigned because his colleagues wanted to continue the corruption of the previous government.

Then in 1983 he become president and Thomas Sankara. at 33 years of age, introduced the most dazzling changes to his country. Within a mere four years they achieved food security, immunised millions and built roads and accommodated his people.

He fought against women oppression and curbed the powers of chiefs.

He even changed the name of the country to Burkina Faso to match the changes going on. A caring nation and new culture was born.

Sankara confronted powerful countries that supported apartheid. The first thing he did when he become president was to sell all government Mercedes-Benzes used by ministers and get everyone to drive normal cars and use third-class flight tickets.

He halved the salaries of parliamentarians and ministers. No one died or lost dignity. It can be done.

In 1987 the enemies of freedom murdered him.

He died a poor man, but had set a great example of what can be achieved with love, respect and commitment to the people.

It's up to the people to demand these things from those they entrust with power. To be silent is to invite deserved contempt from our rulers.

lMngxitama is publisher of New Frank Talk