ANC and government not to be trusted with reconciliation, nation building and social cohesion – Initiative needed from civil society
The Afrikanerbond attended the last two days’ cohesion summit on social cohesion and national reconciliation in Kliptown. Despite the urgent and desperate need for national reconciliation, our initial misgivings about the programme, content and participants, were confirmed with the ANC’s abuse of this opportunity for its own political agenda.
In the two days of the summit, approximately 2 hours were allocated to discussions from the floor by participants, while the rest of the time was mostly filled by speakers from the ranks of the ANC. Some of the speakers did more harm to the sincere fears and aspirations of cultural minorities, with their ill-considered comments. In this regard, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s despicable accusation that minorities considers themselves as superior, is rejected with contempt. This snide comment was unnecessary and yet another display of the continuation of the ANC’s view of minorities to mention a few:
- “colonialists of a special child,” (Thabo Mbeki)
- “Once we agree they stole our country, we can agree they are criminals and must be treated as such” (Julius Malema in the presence of Mr Jacob Zuma)
- “some people still feel superior because they belong to a certain race.” Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
The above are just some of the statements in the recent past by members of the ANC and the recent summit was also riddled with accusations and propaganda. It is unfortunate that this opportunity was abused to further and advance own interests and support within the ruling party, at the expense of nation building. No one is denying the need for nation building but in the process of nation building, national reconciliation and social cohesion, the ANC / government cannot simultaneously be player and referee.
At most, the ANC / government can be a participant in an independent and transparent process. In our opinion such a process would be better managed and facili tated from the ranks of civil society. The Dinokeng scenarios for 2009 identified three scenarios for South Africa. In the third and widely accepted scenario, Walk Together, our challenges are addressed by active citizen engagement with a government that is effective and listens with strong leadership in all sectors. Therefore someone such as Dr Mamphela Ramphele who managed the Dinokeng process and as a leading and respected South African established herself as the ideal person to further facilitate such a process.
Reconciliation has come and gone. Where ordinary South Africans try to survive daily in economic, societal and social areas, the government and its cadres continued to drive a wedge ever deeper between South Africans of all backgrounds and races. The 1994 so-called Mandela dream of reconciliation, nation building and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s rainbow nation have been undone by public statements, policy implementation, defective leadership, and political opportunism and expediency. The good faith and will to committing to the so-called “new South Africa” soon led to general disillusionment. This was confirmed at the recent summit.
Where reconciliation and nation building determined the agenda in 1994, it has all been undone by:
- ANC loyalists who are being appointed in management positions for which they have not been trained and for which they definitel y do not have the expertise or experience;
- Cadres who through redeployment (which is simply another word for the recirculation of poor management) are paralysing our public service and parastatal institutions;
- Catastrophic experiments with our education where only one of every 100 Grade Ones graduates; The fiasco and growing crisis with schoolbooks contribute to this.
- The deaths of newborn infants in State hospitals, which are attributed to negligent conduct;
- Gruesome murders and assaults on innocent victims;
- A police service which is itself so inherently corrupt and plays an increasing and greater role itself in the commission of crime;
- Corruption and mismanagement which are the norm;
- Open challenging of the constitutional state;
- Parastatal institutions which can no longer function independently and rely on State aid;
- Food security which is threatened by an ill-considered Green Paper on land reform;
- Extremists among trade unionists and the youth who hold sway;
- Public calls by the youth for the government to nationalise productive agricultural land and mines;
- Unilateral changes in place names that disregard the history of minorities;< /li>
- Marginalisation of indigenous languages and the down-scaling of Afrikaans universities and schools;
- Threats to introduce English classes in Afrikaans schools, contrary to the language policy established by governing bodies;
- Infrastructure which is not maintained and deteriorates by the day;
- Blatant lies about the white population having stolen the land;
- Policy based on a new racism, such as affirmative action and black economic empowerment.
We can add to the list daily. The decline of the State and the daily crises harassing all South Africans can all be traced back to the application and blind pursuit of the National Democratic Revolution. That is why this ideology is the single biggest threat to reconciliation and for this reason the ANC and government cannot take this process further, because of its direct role in polarising communities and secondly because this process cannot be managed by some one who is simultaneous player and referee.
During the two day summit the Afrikanerbond provided Minister Paul Mashatile with an analysis of Malaysia which went through the same process of reconciliation and nation building. Malaysia, a multicultural country, addressed their strategic challenges around nation building in the document Vision 2020, with the important statement:
“The challenge of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny and establishing a mature and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creeds are free to pract ise and profess their customs, cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation.”
Various minorities have committed themselves to work towards the future of a successful South Africa. In South Africa, the many minorities which demonstrates and constitutes the diversity of South Africa’s cannot be ignored. To deny or ridicule minorities is not in South Africa’s interest. Therefore, the process cannot be managed by the ANC. We believe that civil society must take the initiative and provide guidance and leadership.
Statement issued by Pieter Vorster and Jan Bosman, Afrikanerbond, July 6 2012