Opinion: ‘Tide of change’ merely a dull merger

8 03 2009

Mar 08, 2009
Source: The Times

In Njabulo Ndebele’s imaginary interview, “A new breed of voters wants imaginative politics” (March 1), he manipulatively electioneers for the Congress of the People, depicting it as a “tide of change” for “real political choices”.

Ndebele should know that multiparty democracy is not, in itself, “imaginative politics”, and that COPE’s policies are a dull merging of the worst of the ANC and the Democratic Alliance.

Of what use is it to “let a thousand parties bloom and give renewed life to our constitution” when it protects illegitimate white wealth and fails to protect people’s rights against poverty, social misery, unemployment and landlessness?

Ndebele’s suggestion that an electoral system in which “local communities elect their representatives and president directly” will improve transparency and political accountability and empower the electorate, is unfounded.

The electoral system is neither the cause nor the solution to people’s problems.

That lies in the socioeconomic system, in which gender, race and class inequality are permitted by all political parties.

If the electoral system was magical, the US would not have ghettoes, brutal police, racial profiling and a perpetual underclass.

Even if inadvertent, Ndebele was condescending in his eulogy for places such as Soweto as well as in his directive that people must demystify parties and trade unions.

To Ndebele’s feigned elitist ignorance, communities have demystified politics and trade unionism for initiatives such as the Landless People’s Movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo (shack dwellers’ movement), the Anti-Privatisation Forum and the Anti-Eviction Campaign.
He groundlessly claimed the debutant youth vote has “open-mindedness, new ideas and fresh perspectives” and loathes the simplistic discourse of exploitation and confrontations decreed by the “laws of history”.

The Skierlik shooting, the Waterkloof Four, the University of the Free State video and the incarceration of black youths is sufficient proof that our youth is not born free from the “laws of history”.

Where is the open-mindedness in Jika maJika and fresh perspectives in iPodism?

What is a “sense of social purpose” when thousands of youths are unemployed and dying of HIV/Aids?

Ndebele also bizarrely stated that ending the unfinished work of apartheid required that South Africans honestly confront themselves about how they are socialised.

What socialisation?

Apartheid was systemic, and systematic structures of anti-black oppression and socialisation followed.

Politics dealing with socialisation is unimaginative.

The imaginative politics, urgently needed in South Africa, is the politics of socioracial justice. Sadly, just like Ndebele, no political party provides imaginative politics. — Nkosinathi Mzelemu, Bhobhoyi, KwaZulu-Natal

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