THINGS FALL APART WHEN BLACKNESS IS BASTARDISED

THE past few weeks have not been without drama. If it is not the poor workmanship of RDP houses raised by Tokyo Sexwale, the housing settlement minister, it has been the blank cheque of reconciliation that keeps issuing endless amounts of forgiveness to habitual and remorseless offenders.

THE past few weeks have not been without drama. If it is not the poor workmanship of RDP houses raised by Tokyo Sexwale, the housing settlement minister, it has been the blank cheque of reconciliation that keeps issuing endless amounts of forgiveness to habitual and remorseless offenders.

William Mbatha, who the law believes has numerous cases to answer to, enjoys the dubious honour of being crowned "king of bling" with elaborate transport arrangements swinging into stylish action to mark heroic court appearances.

The drama has been as present in courts as it has been in corporate corridors. If it is not the dicey friendship that is under trial between Jackie Selebi, the former national police commissioner, and state witness Glen Agliotti, it is the underworld and over-world finding an awkward face-to-face meeting in court.

If both Selebi and Agliotti are innocent bystanders in a game that wittingly placed both at the scene of the crime launched by the state, then the hidden guiding hand that claimed their friendship will not escape exposure.

In this trial, there may just as well be a lesson for us: in the scheme of things where crime fighting strategies also count on "taking a chief to catch a thief" crime fighters are not beyond being taken over.

At Eskom, not only does corporate governance appear ready to bolt out of the window, but so has "mass action" threatened to enter the fray to decide on a matter on which it has no legal standing. A dispute between board chairperson Bobby Godsell and chief executive Jacob Maroga is a company matter to solve, or the courts, in the failure of internal remedies.

Racism has curiously also surfaced as additional issues to the dispute.

Blackness is more than just a job opportunity battle. Transformation is similarly not a blind and uncritical personnel change to the total neglect of what may be at stake, since an unchanging system is capable of using both black and white alike in order to perpetuate itself. This is how the bastardisation of blackness comes about when launched outside the ethics of black solidarity.

Far from being opportunistic camaraderie, blackness should not be devoid of a sense of judgment, values, excellence, standards and sound IQ for futuristic plans.

Outside these bearings, blackness carries the risk of allowing clowns, who believe themselves to be constantly clever, to push the wise to the periphery in order to deny ordinary people from acquiring the gift of critical common sense. In the hands of such clowns, the centre gradually wobbles. Inch by inch, society loses the moral fibre and compass. Ultimately, things begin to fall apart.

Therefore thinking, speaking and acting against the ways that allow for things to fall apart is a standing obligation to deliver society from buffoonery in defence of our democracy.

In his book, Education Under Siege, Henry A Giroux advances the meaning of democracy that post-1994 South Africa should grapple with: "Democracy is not, for us at least, a set of formal rules of participation but the lived experience of empowerment for the vast majority.

"If one takes the view that schools are amongst our leading and ideological institutions, it is a contradiction to envision a democratic society when its inheritors, the kids, are forced to live under conditions of unrelieved subordination".

A defective RDP house does little to bring an end to continued subordination. If poor workmanship by contractors continues regardless of Sexwale's raised alarm, no one should be surprised when 2010 stadiums prove to be more durable than houses people live in. The drama is far from over.

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