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Pieter-Dirk Uys

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Citizens of South Africa deserve what they get

– Pieter-Dirk Uys, Cape Times, 13 June 2013


The General Election of 2014 will be unique. For the first time a generation of young voters (those born after April 1991 and before May 1996) will be eligible to vote for the first time, exercising their right to choose a path to the future. Most have little sentiment about the Struggle, little compulsion (and in my view even less reason) to support a tired former liberation movement. They are the born-frees who will vote for their future.


Into the pond of our politics Julius Malema has now dropped his pebble, investigating the formation of a political party. Might Juju be voted into power by the disgruntled, disappointed, marginalized, confused, frightened and poor former supporters of the present government? Malema’s reputation as a ‘corrupt, arrogant, charismatic’ former ANC Youth League president will only add to his glamour. How many political legends today started off with those very credentials? Even our incumbent Mshowerlozi had to confront unproved charges of rape and corruption before he could launch his Zumafication of the land.


Democracy demands freedom of choice. Freedom of expression. Freedom of speech. Freedom to mock and freedom to embrace. Citizens of a democracy always deserve what they get. If we all are involved with the protection of that democracy, the news will be encouraging. If we sit back, whinge and whine, sigh and snooze, the country will be lost. A Malema onslaught from ‘the left’, an Agang advance from the centre and a DA annexation from the right can only rattle ANC hegemony. That’s also good - a democracy should not be allowed to disguise a government for the people of the people and by the people, who in our case obviously don’t give damn about its people.


Go for it, Juju. If we do our homework, we will be ready for whatever you unleash on us. We will just Google ‘Weimar Republic’ and ‘Adolf Hitler 1929’ — he was also sneered at as a loser and a has-been. Five years later he was Number One. But maybe history does not repeat itself in South Africa. Maybe it only rhymes: from apartheid to tripartite.