Voters cannot regret conduct of leaders they elect at polls - choose corruption at your own peril
South Africa was buried in din following the chaotic scenes in parliament at what should have been a dignified State of the Nation Address.
Every commentator and journalist shoved hard in the jostle to register their voice in condemning the unseemly behaviour of our politicians.
Recent as the event is, it is hard to remember which commentator said what in that noise. What we can recall is that they all condemned it.
Such is the unhelpfulness of those who are supposed to inform us. They get sucked into the ecstasy of the moment, and fail to float above the wave of a raging storm.
This kind of conduct is driven by an unquenchable lust for popularity, and the inability to break out of the straightjacket of political correctness.
Thus the spears of our commentary cannot penetrate the fundamental truths embodied in the drama of human affairs.
One of the misconceptions that sprang out of the commentary that followed our recent parliamentary drama is that of a nation disgusted by the barbarism of uncivilised parliamentarians.
This is in fact a local version of a global attitude in vogue.
That the world is currently in a state of madness, those who have eyes can see.
But the tendency is to disconnect the madness of leaders from the voters who elected them.
We are persuaded to believe that Donald Trump's insanity has little to do with the state of America's national mind. This is wrong.
In a democracy, where leaders ascend to power through the ballot box, the election of a mad leader cannot be disconnected from the madness of voters.
The voters who elect a mad leader today, and ask God to save them from their leader tomorrow, are by their very conduct confirming their own madness.
If you give power to a thief, and you complain tomorrow when you hear that the thief is busy stealing, you are essentially telling the world that you are not well in the head.
Responding to an article in which this columnist lamented the terrible leadership of President Jacob Zuma, a reader by the name of Henry Gray said, "May President Zuma be blessed as he leads the country that elected him as its president. I am sure he has a lot to offer."
Gray is quite right. It would be wrong to ask God to save South Africa from Zuma. The correct thing to do would be to pray for God to give Zuma good health for him to do more of what he has been doing in office.
Zuma's corruption charges were there before South Africans made him their president. Some among us even announced passionately that they want "Zuma with his corruption".
Our country is now in turmoil, chiefly because of Zuma's conduct. But he is the same old giggling blockhead who does not care about people who complain about him.
So, when Zuma continues to do more of what he has been doing, we must thank those who wanted him with all "his corruption", and those who voted for him.
It is like Zimbabweans praying to the Almighty to save them from President Robert Mugabe, the mad old man they voted into office.
The Zimbabweans who think like that are not different from the South Africans who voted for EFF leader Julius Malema.
Before Malema was voted into our parliament, he did not hide his penchant for violence. He told all of us that he was prepared to "kill for Zuma". He went further to announce his wish to nationalise mines and banks, and to expropriate land Mugabe-style.
When Malema is seen wearing overalls and throwing makarapa in parliament, commentators say they are embarrassed by such conduct. But they fail to remind South Africans that this is exactly what Malema promised.
A Chinese theorist recently said on Ted Talk that democracy has become "a cycle of elect and regret". He is right, although he is too diplomatic.
Evidence in America, and indeed in our own parliament, suggests that democracy is fast becoming a cycle of angry voters who dig themselves into more trouble, hoping to be saved by God when their leaders do what they are known for.
If you are a voter in South Africa, and you are embarrassed by the mayhem you witnessed at the State of the Nation Address, ask yourself the question: Did I vote for those leaders or not? Did I vote for Zuma, Malema or DA leader Mmusi Maimane?
If your answer is "yes", don't be embarrassed; you must ask God to bless your leaders as they continue to do what you voted them to do - to loot, ignore the constitution, giggle and cause chaos.
We must never allow the emotional din that followed the chaos in parliament to prevent us from seeing ourselves in the honest mirror of our leaders' conduct.
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