Nathaniel Lee, like most people in this country, continues to blame the ANC for our woes (Sowetan, October 26 2020). The ANC did not assume the position of power by its own will/volition. All it did was to offer itself to the citizens to be appointed to run the affairs of the country. Other bids were there.
The citizens chose the ANC from the rest. bushiri, Pastor Mboro etc. did not forcibly drag people out of their homes to come and worship through them. They just claimed to be the way to God. It is the people who fell for the joke.
There is really nothing spectacular the ANC did in the so-called Struggle for any well-informed thinking individual to believe the fable of the ANC having liberated the country. You wonder how its members experienced history they lived through between 1960 and 1994. De Klerk, already a president, elected in a whites-only election, conducted a referendum in 1992 among white people to get a mandate to engage in negotiations that would do away with apartheid.
Obviously, it was because he respected his people. When the Scandinavian countries decided to channel funds only to the ANC in the late '80s the ANC could not care a damn that other liberation movements would be deprived of resources despite them also being engaged in the liberation effort for the benefit of the people.
That they were with them on Robben Island, in exile, even shared the SA seat at the United Nations meant nothing. Why would anyone believe such people give a care about the rest when they showed such scorn for those they were with in the trenches?
The ANC not only went on to negotiate without a mandate but rejected the suggestion by others that development of a constitution should commence with all people taking part in an election to appoint people to write that constitution.
Yet people believe the organisation cares about them. The ANC commenced its “rule” in 1994 by closing teacher training and nursing colleges. Would anyone who cared about the state of education among his people close teacher training colleges? Well, it is the citizens who still saw them as caring despite such action.
They budgeted for the infamous arms deal while there was no threat of war but a huge backlog in infrastructure etc. Is that a display of working for ‘a better life for all’? As the scandal unfolded it was clear that the arms deal was for their own personal "better life".
They were shamed by Uganda in the handling of the threat of Aids, while engaging in the Sarafina scandal instead. How did this strike citizens as a commitment to "a better life for all"? The mess in which the country finds itself is a result of the bad choices of its citizens. It will continue on the downward spiral unless citizens wake up to the realisation that the ability to run the affairs of the country is not the sole competence of a specific entity. The basis of democracy is an antithesis of dictatorship where all the answers are assumed to lie with a single individual or entity. Citizens need to be conscious of the power and the responsibility placed on them with the vote. They need capacity to evaluate and to adopt a culture of verification.
• Dr Mosalakae is a Sowetan reader and a regular contributor to Letters