Untruths harm democracy

MEC Paul MashatilePic Martin Rhodes2006/03/23©Business day
MEC Paul MashatilePic Martin Rhodes2006/03/23©Business day

I READ with astonishment the story that a group allegedly aligned to Paul Mashatile is "gunning for the Gauteng premier's head".

I READ with astonishment the story that a group allegedly aligned to Paul Mashatile is "gunning for the Gauteng premier's head".

Everyone is within her or his rights to aspire to leadership positions as long as it is an open, fair and principled contestation.

But it is incorrect to engage in character assassination and slander in a desperate attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

It is also improper to engage in a concerted media campaign to deliberately peddle untruths.

This unbecoming conduct does not advance democracy. One thought that lessons had been learnt from the events preceding the ANC Polokwane conference as the aftermath is still being felt today.

What an unfortunate turn of events and South Africans should be very worried. Indeed, we should be apprehensive since these contests cause grievous bodily harm to our body politic.

It is a given that the political atmosphere is contaminated and all sorts of alien predispositions are emerging.

South Africans should express their collective disapproval at tendencies that shame us. No matter how tempting the opportunity to sell their titles are, our media should resist being dragged into this untidy situation.

At face value it might seem to be so-called ANC internecine strife that we can ignore or utilise as a stick with which to beat the governing party. The stark reality is: if not properly attended to our body politic will slide down the slippery slope. Something proud South Africans can ill afford.

Mogomotsi Mogodiri, Johannesburg

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