The South African Political Scene (1)

February 27, 2007

2. The ANC
3. The opposition parties
4. The people


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First let me say I see South Africa as The Miracle Country. Never in my lifetime has how bloody the struggle for democracy usually is been more evident than in Iraq right now.

My knowledge of history isn’t brilliant it being more a hobby than a serious study but I am hard pressed to think of another country that reached democracy peacefully. Well, fairly peacefully. England: war. France: revolution. America: 2 wars. We had 20 years of bombings aimed mostly at infrastructure, not people, but nothing compared to what these countries and much of Africa, Europe, South America or Asia has had to endure to achieve the same.

A minority population in a cushy position under a controlled media that had been telling them for 40 years that should they give up their power they would be murdered in their beds or, at best, lose everything they had voted to give up that power simply because it was the right thing to do. The did the right thing and decided to let the chips fall where they may.

If that wasn’t miracle enough the majority population, when they reached power, took no retribution for what was essentially 40 years of slavery. An essentially communist movement looked at the world and saw communism failing and moved their ethos toward social capitalism.

Rather than mass trials, death penalties or jail sentences for the Apartheid Regime we had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The principle being that the truth was more important than punishment. Political Crimes on both sides would be forgiven if they were confessed and proved politically motivated rather than for self-gain.

Wealth was not torn from the hands that held it but instead affirmative action was adopted to make sure we did not end up in a future revolution. The government turned to the population and asked for patience for change. This after 40 years of struggle and, what’s more, they got it. Radical parties like the PAC who want immediate redistribution of wealth or the FF who want a return to white power have decreased in power since our 1994 elections, not increased.

This newly formed democratic government set up a police force to police itself. A unit dedicated to corruption the like of which I am hard put to find in existence anywhere else in the world. A force which really investigates and really gets convictions. We have jailed dishonest politicians and fired our deputy president on corruption charges. How many countries can say the same in recent years?

I do not want you to get the impression that South Africa is perfect, some Utopian Ideal, because it is not. Far from it. But regardless of our faults we must not forget our Miracle. The Miracle that is the people of this country- of all colours and religious convictions. People who have made decisions with reasoned brains regardless of their education. People who have proved that by their nature they are concerned with the welfare of their neighbour. People who are trusting but not stupidly so. A people who watch their government with an eagle eye and implement the basic, correct, question of Democracy so perfectly put into words by Janet Jackson many years ago.

“What have you done for ME lately?”

..part 2, The African National Congress to follow.


One Response to “The South African Political Scene (1)”

  1. […] post courtesy of midnight jester. THE MIRACLE […]

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