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What are you doing in that chair? It’s time for the Government to answer to the people.

So initially I was planning to post this as a Facebook status update. But my blog felt more appropriate. For the record, I am speaking about the South African Government, the ANC. But I believe the same principles apply no matter where you are. Unless you live in a country with a tyrannical dictator – then I’m afraid you’re shit out of luck. Well at least in so far as my post in concerned.

Today I’m having a go at the idea of a government. They are meant to be individuals elected to represent the populous. A group of leaders, in single body, that make decisions for the best possible growth of a country (or a state but in this case I really want to talk about countries). In the world that we live in today there are over 7 billion people who need to share the same air and land and food with us. I truly believe that, without governments and societies of law and order, the world would fall into chaos.

The problem is, we don’t have any proper leadership left. To me, it seems like everyone who goes into government is only out for themselves in the political minefield. The inevitable truth is that no one leader is going to appeal to everybody. Even dictators like Robert Mugabe were once considered the salvation of their people. Obviously this is not the case with all dictators. But Robert Mugabe, at the time of the Zimbabwean Independence, was democratically elected as the first real president (technically prime minister at first, later reformed to a presidency) of Zimbabwe. What he has done since his inauguration is another story altogether. Click here for an abbreviated history of Robert Mugabe at cnn.com.

But I digress, leaders are never going to be deemed perfect by any standard. There will always be a difference of opinion. A difference in thought patterns, or persuasions, or race. Any number of things could result in a leader not being influential over any number of people. Perhaps I have an inner optimist, but I think people should be able to find a consensus on what is both good and bad for a country. Sometimes the lines are far more blurred. With America for instance, with such differing viewpoints between the presidential candidates, there is no line of best growth in the middle. On the one hand President Obama has incurred more debt than any other president in American History. But he is also setting the groundwork for what he believes will be a brighter future and has the potential to make it so. George W. Bush made, what I believe to be, some pretty big mistakes – waving at Stevie Wonder for instance. On the other hand, he had an extremely difficult presidency with the incidents of 09/11. In the end America came out alright, so perhaps Mr. Bush wasn’t too incompetent.

South Africa at the moment is preparing for a presidential election and I have to say, “I’m pretty damn excited.” I think that, this time, the ANC has messed up so badly that we actually have a chance for a fresh start. With the passing of the millennium, South Africa has been in constant decline. I think it’s time that the people decide, for themselves, the difference between good and bad.

In a previous post regarding Nelson Mandela and his legacy I discussed some of the major issues currently going on. Now we’re suffering through this ridiculous e-toll debacle. Basically the ANC and SANRAL have attempted to ‘slip in’ additional road taxes to anyone using main highways in Johannesburg. Amongst other things it will result in millions of rands being sent out of the country, to Kapsch a technology company based in Austria. This is at a time when our economy is so weak that we may as well become another Zimbabwe. Honestly the potential harm is limitless, and with the current state of monetary control in this country I have absolutely no trouble believing those funds will end up in ANC officials pockets. Especially given the espionage-esque manner this was introduced to the public. (If you’re interested, get more information at OUTA) If our ANC officials spent as much energy on fixing the country, as some of them expend to be corrupt, South African Rand would be back one a 1:1 exchange rate with the British Pound.

I think that the government and president of a country is responsible for answering to its people. Those that have elected them through due process. 

In China at the moment, a city of 11 million people has basically ground to a halt due to the highly hazardous smog that has engulfed the city. Even though they are an authoritarian regime, the Chinese government is inevitably responsible for the lives of its people. The promises that were made to address the issues of air pollution now need to be followed up on and the people helped through this difficult time.

The same is true of South Africa. It’s time now that the ANC answer for their crimes on the people of this country. The ANC has become a doppelgänger Apartheid. The racism from the old days still holds true as the entire country makes it more difficult for those of other races to survive. Okay, they don’t kill whites for walking in the wrong area and they don’t enforce something like the group areas act. At the end of the day the principle is the same, because some people are of a different race they should not be given jobs. And that’s what it bubbles down to. Without a job how can anyone survive?

As a matter of fact, in some respects, the ANC are probably even worse than Apartheid. The ANC has instilled incompetence and corruption as the staples of the South African government. The money that should be used to help the poor and develop industry, goes into mansions and endless ‘corporate’ expenses. The money that should be used to educate and uplift, is being used in tender fraud schemes.

I think it’s finally time for all South Africans to make a stand and prepare to vote in the next elections. Not only should we vote, but we should consider exactly what it will take to get this country back on the right track. We need to ask the question “What are you doing in that chair?”

Until the next time,

Ciao

Desh

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When did who you know become more important than what you know?

I’m not naive. 

I understand that in the world there were those who were born to do great things, discover amazing oddities, travel into outer space, and there are those who were born to be nothing special at all. That’s not uncommon. There is always a flaw in the process, a chink in the armour or a weak point in the chain. In truth it doesn’t matter at all, all the parts come together and function as a whole, because even the weak link has a purpose.  

There was a time in the history of mankind when all you needed to be successful in life, was to be born into the right family. The only prerequisite to ruling a kingdom was a royal parent and a couple basic lessons in backstabbing and tyranny. Nepotism was, at the time, the only real means of getting of job security. 

In this ‘modern’ and ‘enlightened’ age shouldn’t we be past that? Shouldn’t the choice of who is more important to society be determined by their usefulness to society as a whole? Shouldn’t the man, or woman, with the best CV and resume get the job? I think so.

But apparently, I am wrong…

In my article about Honouring Nelson Mandela, I discussed the sense of entitlement many South Africans have adopted since the ending of Apartheid. The business world, the one place where you would think positions were decided based on merit has also become a victim in the entitlement game. Positions are no longer earned through hard work, qualifications and years of experience. They are instead given to those who know the most influential people. 

So, how do you solve a problem that is so entrenched American bunker busters couldn’t even shake them? A problem so rampant that politicians barely even bother to hide their tracks. I don’t really know the answer. I thought that total clarity could be an option, but since employers don’t bother hiding their nepotism what would be the point? 

Conversely, I understand that some people need a ‘leg-up’ in life. That without the metaphorical kick in the shorts, the careers of many people would never even begin. My problem is that there is no balance between experience/skills and connections. Blood doesn’t now, and never will define a great king so why shouldn’t the same principle be the same of an employee?

As I said I have no long term solution to Nepotism in a corrupt environment like what we have in South Africa. So I’d like some input on the situation if you have any experience with Nepotism in the workplace.

 

Ciao

Desh

Honouring the Father of a Nation: Nelson Mandela’s Legacy

How does one prepare for the end of an era? 

Rolihlahla ‘Nelson’ Mandela is a man that cannot be described in simple words. The love that the people of South Africa have for this man is undeniable, it is unyielding, it is beyond powerful adverbs and fancy adjectives. And yet. We, as South Africans, are preparing for the loss of our Tata (father). We are trying to find the words to describe the role Madiba played in our lives, because in our hearts we believe that soon we will not have the chance. 

So I pose the question, how do you prepare for the death of someone like Madiba? What did the Indians do before the death of Ghandi? What did the Americans do before the loss of George Washington? What will the English do when Queen Elizabeth II has retired to her deathbed? 

I don’t really have an answer. At least not one that will quench the driving need to find something, anything that might lessen the loss. I don’t know if, as an individual, I can help or change the present. I probably can’t, or rather I definitely can’t. This future in inevitable and I am on the roller coaster of history speeding towards the next corner.

What do we have to build on?

(Photo Credit: telegraph.co.uk)The future of South Africa, as a democracy, has dimmed over the past 10 years. Once shining brightly at the end of Apartheid and the victory at the Rugby World Cup 1995, the future now looks to be slipping away rapidly. Corruption, crime and poverty are driving this country into the ground and I fear what will come next. Not because it is unknown, but because I  no longer have much faith in South Africa as a country. 

Instead of pushing towards a unified future, as was Mandela’s dream, the Rainbow Nation has turned into the opposite. A country that still divides itself along the lines of race. Whilst there is no longer an ‘Apartheid’ to speak of, the African National Congress (ANC) has, to paraphrase the Dark Knight, “lived long enough to become the villain”. Succinctly put, the situation is now worse than ever. 

Here are just a couple headlines from local papers highlighting the situation in South Africa:

In truth, I do not know whether South Africa has the ability to develop into a real nation once again. Since the end of Apartheid, many people in this country have developed the belief that they are entitled to whatever they want. Apartheid is over now we can have what the white people had! This sense of entitlement has, for a very large part, been responsible for the collapse of the economy around us. As not only can people of all races get the positions they want, they no longer have to work for it.

Here is a quick little dialogue detailing how the South African government acts with regards to education and employment.

  • Government: “Hello my boy, now how are you doing in school?”
  • Citizen: “Eish mister minister, the school work is too hard, I can’t pass!”
  • Government: “Well how hard are you studying?”
  • Citizen: “What is this thing stud-ee-ying?”
  • Government: “That’s okay my son, we beat Apartheid, now we can have whatever we want! We will just make the passing grade lower for you, and you can do the lower difficulty maths.”
  • Citizen: “But how will I go to university?”
  • Government: “Don’t worry we have BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) so the universities must take all the people we want them too, regardless of marks! We will also give you a top paying job with the government, even if you don’t finish your degree! Then you can embezzle all the money you want as long as you can come up with a ‘good’ lie about where the money is. And the best part is that you don’t have to do anything!”

Granted that may have been a little scathing and I’m probably a little biased, but unfortunately, in a very condensed form, that is how the ANC is acting towards South African Citizens. If we wanted an Apartheid-like system of degradation based on race in this country, then we wouldn’t have voted ANC in this first place. This ANC is destroying the country and at least the National Party wasn’t corrupt and incompetent. 

With the current state of affairs in South Africa, the loss of Mandela may be enough for total panic. This idea, quite understandably I think, worries me. The last thing that Mandela wanted for this country was a violent future and whilst violence may have been involved in the past, it should not hamper our growth anymore. If South Africa continues developing in the current shape, then there is no hope that we will see Tata Madiba’s dream realised.

If we truly love Madiba, and I believe that most of us do. We need to take steps, strip off these individualistic and greed ridden traits that have haunted our government for too long, and move forward. No more procrastination, no more laying about waiting for time to change everything around us. Pick up a pen, or a keyboard and make a plan to create the type of country that we truly want it to be. 

What better way could we honour Tata Madiba on his birthday?


Ciao

Desh

P.S. in the upcoming weeks I will be posting an interview with an ANC freedom fighter giving you a detailed image of living under apartheid. Keep reading!

P.P.S. on another sidebar official news states that Madiba is recovering, we’re hoping for the best!

Dick the Dictator: The Morsi Situation

So as many of you should by now know Mohammed Morsi is now the former president, or perhaps former attempted dictator, of Egypt. Late yesterday the Egyptian military followed through on their promise to oust the “Dictator” Morsi should he not resign willingly by the 3rd July 2013. Say what you will about Robert Mugabe, or Kim Jong Un but at least those men know how to be real dictators. That being said this represents a massive victory and a step towards a fair and democratic Egypt. I think however that people need to understand, at least a condensed version of events, how Egypt arrived at the present situation.

Mohammed Morsi was elected as the 5th President of Egypt on the 30 June 2012. Morsi, a leading member in the Muslim Brotherhood based in Egypt and was formerly the Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), a role which he resigned on entering the presidency. Morsi, whilst no longer the chairman, continued to represent the FJP in his term as president. 

Throughout his term, Morsi continued to incite anger from the Egyptian peoples with a combination of his incompetence and dangerous decree making. Most notably, on the 22nd November 2012, Morsi drafted a decree which allowed him to create legislation without official judicial review. This unadulterated power, which Morsi claimed would “protect” the nation until the ratification of a new constitution, angered the Egyptian public to the point where hundreds of thousands of people protested in the streets. Whilst this protest was officially effective, and the fanatical decree was revoked, there were rumours that the power of the declaration still remained in effect.

Now I’m really not much of economist, so I’ll refrain from telling you this side of the story but Morsi did a lot of damage to the Egyptian economy, yet another of his critical mistakes. I ended up reading this article posted by Marketwatch and I found it to be quite informative: 

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/morsi-repeated-mccains-error-ignore/story.aspx?guid=%7B2F92CA62%2DE3DA%2D11E2%2DACAD%2D002128040CF6%7D

So really Morsi was destroyed by his own incompetence, should he have maintained his calm and carefully assessed his options there could potentially have been another dictatorship in the world, along with the likes of Zimbabwe, North Korea, Iran, Cuba etc. In the meantime, Adly Mansour has been appointed, by General Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi, as the interim President of Egypt. Until such time as a fully democratic election can take place.

At the end of the day, may the Egyptians enjoy their victory because tomorrow they have a lot of work to do repairing the mess that was left by Mohammed Morsi. 

 

 

 

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