Occasionally i come across well-written commentaries which i share with you. I’ve already expressed my admiration for the Mail & Guardian from which this piece by Koos Kombuis comes from.
The winds of change have finally started blowing for the ANC government, just as they started blowing for the National Party government in 1960. In 1960, this event was formally announced by former British prime minister Harold Macmillan in his famous address in Cape Town on February 3 that year. In this Year of our Lord 2011, a similar announcement was made by Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu.
The situation in which our governing party finds itself in this time is eerily similar to the situation the Nationalists found themselves in 1960.
Like the National Party, the ANC is underestimating the seriousness of the threat against them. They are not truly aware of the breadth and the depth and the scope of the dissatisfaction of the people on ground level. They have treated the question of the Dalai Lama’s visa application as a trifle, something unimportant, a little administrative matter, an irritation that would go away if they ignored it for long enough.
They have underestimated the symbolic importance of this event. They have misread the signs. They still do not realise that they may already have passed the tipping point. They are unable to realise that, by refusing to grant a visa to a Nobel Prize winner to visit a fellow Nobel prize winner, they have sent out the wrong signals to everyone. It is perhaps one of their most serious public-relations errors ever.
I disagree with Bishop Tutu on some minor points, as I have disagreed with him when he proposed, among other things, the welfare tax for rich whites a few weeks ago. Unlike him, I do not believe that the ANC is “worse than the apartheid government”. And though I will certainly pray against the ANC, I realise that I cannot expect all fellow South Africans to do the same. After all, some, if not most, of my best friends are atheists.
Though we should applaud those ANC ministers and officials who are honestly doing their best to govern this country fairly and honestly — I know that, in spite of the blanket criticism of the biased local media there are many competent ANC officials — we cannot turn a blind eye to the divisions in the party, to the obvious fact that the ANC, as a revolutionary force and as a political organisation, is running out of steam in very much the same way the Nationalist Party was running out of steam in 1960, when Macmillan made his speech… Click here to read the rest of the article at the Mail & Guardian.