Friday, April 08, 2016

Too prophetic for words.

Many religious leaders now jump on the bandwagon to say that we must now get rid of Zuma. In a way it is understandable. We all want to be seen to be prophetic. We in South Africa like to be nostalgic about 'the role of the church in the struggle' and now, there's a moment in history to also be prophetic - in the struggle, so to speak. For most, this is where it will end - so to speak.

I do sound cynical, yes. Why, I ask myself? Given the view points that I've raised on various fora (as well as this blog) this is perhaps the moment of reckoning - the moment to join forces for that last push in order to get rid of #1. I am not that excited though.

If I think for a moment, there's a few reasons why this kind of prophetic opportunism doesn't cut it for me. Is Zuma really the individual that we should focus our attention on, I wonder. Looking back at the struggle against apartheid, it was clear: whether the National Party replace John Vorster with PW Botha, didn't matter. The revision of the constitution didn't matter - it didn't matter that PW Botha was senile or suffered a stroke, and did not effectively lead the government, or was replaced by FW de Klerk. What mattered was the system, the fundamental injustice that was embodied and perpetuated. The monstrosity of a colonial system was the target of the struggle for justice. Is this what is at the heart of the current haste to get in line for a seat in Luthuli house or the Union buildings?

The serious allegations against the current president and all his cronies, points to a deeper rot that is entrench into the system of governance. To take out Zuma or Mbete is not going to improve the living standards of the poor, black masses in this country. It is the kind of macro-economic policies which governments like South Africa follow and put in place which need to be targeted. These faith communities and their leaders, who continue to preach a capitalist, middle class gospel, and who continues to aspire to take the seat of the current high and mighty will not go to the heart of this systerm. They want to be there in those leather seats.
It is also important to note that like what happened in Polokwane in 2007, it is not enough to simply join hands to get rid of the one individual, without having a clear picture in our minds on what the alternative will be.

So, let us (not) wait and see. Rather, we need deeper conversations on what we are today compared to where we were since the 1980s where black lives didn't matter. It still don't matter. Can any of these leaders, drinking tea in Luthuli House show us what has changed for the black masses since the ANC has taken over government? The challenge is how to we turn this reality around and do it with a long term view of where this country, within the broader post-colonial context of Africa will be 20 -30 years from now. That is prophetic - in the true sense of the word. This is where our focus should be.
Or perhaps I am simply too cynical for words.
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