Criticise the Government? Me?

“Why do you always criticise the government”?  He asked.  Who me?  I wouldn’t  presume.

But, it’s not as though they don’t give us stuff to talk about.  Am I criticising?  I’m observing.  I’m expressing an opinion.  Apart from us still having the constitutionally enshrined right to an opinion, is it not our duty as citizens and thinking beings to have one?  We elected this government.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I definitely voted for them.  Is it not normal to discuss what the government and president one voted for does?  If the government is not working to the mandate given to it by the people, is it not our duty to notice? And having noticed, should we not speak?  Is that not why our mothers and fathers fought for democracy?

Right now all talk is about Prez JZ’s new house.  For sure, I’m talking.  I have an opinion. It’s more than a house really, isn’t it?  It’s more like a village; a private hamlet.  One can’t help but wonder what consciousness makes one person, an elected person, nogal, who will not be president forever, think that it’s even within the realms of being ethical to build himself a hamlet when on the way to that hamlet he must drive past people who voted for him; people to whom he personally promised houses three years ago; people who are living in corrugated iron shacks of two metres square.  These people are still waiting for the houses the president promised them.  Those houses are not going to materialise because this one man has spent all the money on a village all for himself.   But then, I am wrong to say he will drive past the poor homeless ones.  He will fly over them in his helicopter.

Beyond the abuse of public funds, and flagrant giving the finger to the people, where is the morality or ethical conscience in this situation?  Is it wrong to ask that question? Does it qualify as criticism?  It’s an honest question which hopes for an answer.  Personally, I don’t object to him having a lot.  He has been our president so he must leave office with a lot of money and stuff, but this is extreme, and not a little obscene.  Could he not, at least, build houses for the people at the same time as building so much for himself?  Could he not ‘conspicuously’ make us see that he’s fulfilling his mandate of taking take care of the people?

I would love to hear the justification for further building this private hamlet to the tune of R235 mill.  There hasn’t really been one, has there?  They don’t seem to think one is owed.  They say it’s none of our business. They say it’s about security?  That’s some security. But, I don’t know, perhaps he does need it and the accoutrements of a private trauma clinic, a private fire station, a bunker in case of drone attacks. Is there a swimming pool and tennis court?  There must be.  Is there a spa for all those wives? Is there a gym?  There is also a visitors centre.  Come on now, a visitors centre at a private home?  The spokesperson said it’s for when Obama comes to visit.  Is he serious? No, surely he’s joking.  Are they new BFF’s?

Then again, we must think forward.  Perhaps he’s being forward thinking.  This is ‘let them eat cake’ stuff. Perhaps he anticipates that he will need security from the revolution that, some say, is being incited by this ostentatious self-worship and self-enrichment in the face of preposterous levels and effects of poverty and hardship.

Perhaps he thinks he will need protection from the revolution that the pundits say is  being agitated, not only by such phenomenal rapacity, but also by the killing of the miners at Marikana, which will not easily be forgiven or forgotten; by the discontent among the workers and the unemployed, by the ‘gatvol’ protests of the people.  Commentators and cerebs have predicted our ‘arab spring’, coming soon.

If this ‘spring’ comes to pass will it be while this president is still president?  Will our president be happy to sit by and let ‘revolution’ happen?  Will he send the army, once again to kill fellow South Africans?  Will he be happy for South Africans to kill one another, as long as he can stay protected from it all within the confines of his hamlet?  Will his little hamlet be enough to make him secure?  Will he not fear “till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane”?  And then The Wood did come to Dunsinane.

In all the fun and games and pass the parcel of power, those to whom the legacy baton was handed are ignoring the ideals that our fallen struggle heroes fought for.  This isn’t so much a criticism as the observation of a fact.   The ruling party, for whom I was so proud of having voted, is not taking care of the economic rights, and dignity of the masses.  And we, the citizens are guilty because we see but we don’t criticise.  Where did we ever get the idea that holding a president, or a government accountable is unacceptable?   Where did we get the idea that criticism is a negative thing?  Who said that criticism is wrong?  Constructive criticism is caring and responsible citizenship.   We need more of it.

But, then again, perhaps it’s also a waste of breath.  We don’t actually have any say in this democracy, do we?  I’m cocksure and certain that no one up there in the government gives a damn what I think.  They don’t care what you think either.  Why would they?  We don’t choose them.  They choose each other.

We could have this same president for, at least, another seven years.  While we respect his office, we are not blind, neither are we troglodytes.  We have seen what has gone on.  It’s only reasonable, therefore, for us to consider; if our Prez has done so much in the name of self-agrandisement in only three years, what can he not do with another seven?  We’d better gird our loins.


About Tselane Tambo

I share myself in these desultory ramblings. It’s my thoughts and memories; some anecdotes and opinions. It’s an accidental autobiography. When you’ve meandered through these pages you’ll be within reach of a little piece of me. Thank you for dropping by.
This entry was posted in Nocturnal Ramblings of a Mind Unplugged. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Criticise the Government? Me?

  1. kwakhehla says:

    Speak out strongly Tselane! It is sad that a freedom struggle leader and now President has to protect himself so heavily from the people he helped liberate. Where, indeed, is the morality? Where is the love?

    The Black Eyed Peas have it right:

    I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
    As I’m gettin’ older, y’all, people gets colder
    Most of us only care about money makin’
    Selfishness got us followin’ our wrong direction

    Wrong information always shown by the media
    Negative images is the main criteria
    Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
    Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema

    Yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity
    Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
    Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity
    Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity

    • Tselane Tambo says:

      I’m impressed with your knowledge of the Black Eyed Peas. LOL! Ah, my opinion is insignificant, but I’m still allowed to have it, right? Bless you.

  2. collins says:

    On point

  3. Tebogo Tleane says:

    My sentiments exactly! For the life of me I just can’t understand why money has to be spent on this private village; He is going to own a village? He can’t be serious, not when every time and anytime he goes to the Union Building, he passes homeless people within one kilometer radius of the most politically sacred building of them all in the country. You can go check now if you think I’m lying, there is no way he could miss them, unless he only sees no further than the margins of the car he is riding in, (his private space and life). Does the estate really have a visitors section? My word that is not even interesting, that is something that just doesn’t make sense. In this day and age where homeless people literally hold on to the fences of the Union Buildings like sinners outside Heaven after they have been sent to hell, just begging for mercy, if they could just get inside the Union Buildings, their life might change for the better, since they have never ever experienced the “Better life for all” slogan that I once heard just before one of the previous elections. Not when children are being denied the most precious human right of them all, Education.

    He actually goes and builds a private village with a visitors section, I wonder if it is also going to be a small museum displaying and describing how a man who (even though found not guilty) faced charges like those he faced before taking office, actually ends up as a president of a country and builds himself a private village with a visitors section for the likes of Obama. I really wonder if there aren’t going to be any homeless people at his visitors section of the private village begging for anything from visitors. I bet our Tax money is going to pay a few people to make sure that that does not even become a thought in his mind (homeless people around his private village), and the sad part is that he will hire more and more of them, soon he will hire me to keep you away from the private village because you are homeless. I mean we are the ones who made him president, what did we expect???

    In Setswana they say; “Mojamorago ke Kgosi”, meaning; King\Leader feasts last. What happened to a leader serving his duties to a nation, and only after seeing smiles on all citizen’s faces, deserves a chance to feast? How can I feast if a man I personally made a promise to never let him sleep without a meal and shelter, is actually looking into my eyes with eyes that reveal a soul that is suffering the greatest injustice from the effects of poverty, how can I feast? I cannot exactly say I have fulfilled my promise, how am I going to explain to him why he is still homeless today without food and education? I’d rather not embark on that self-torture to my conscience, I’d rather not deal with him and you anymore, so I am building myself a small village, where I can actually take a few kilometers walk or drive and not see a homeless man at all.

    King\Leader feasts last.
    What happened to that? Or does it not apply to us? Does it not suit our governance? Is he not the leader we thought he was or is our democratic constitution not what we know and believe it to be? Let’s face it, it all comes down to this fact; If all who think this is wrong, actually hears that it is not wrong to a point that it is justifiable, then it means we do not fully understand our democratic constitution. If it happens that this is found to be wrong and cannot be justifiable, then it means he is not who we thought he was (we thought he was not going to look at self-enrichment when he is leader, but did we really believe that? I mean there was some saga about arm deal before he took office, what made us think he would never ever attempt to exploit to the last degree every chance he would come across for self-enrichment?)

    Maybe we need to understand his reasoning behind this idea, I mean the private village will have a bunker, what does he need a bunker for? Who or what will he need protection from? Isn’t he the one “in someway or the other delivering lectures this days” preaching freedom to our nation? Why would he go dig a bunker then, what for if we are free and safe, what for? If you have made this country a safe place as you always preach and have not only freed but liberated this nation as you always sing mchini wami, why do you feel such great need to protect yourself? Protect yourself against freedom or against the nation you liberated? For this country’s sake, I hope with all my might that the two options I have just mentioned (against freedom or against a nation he liberated) are far from the truth, because if they are not, God have mercy on our souls, because our leader will not hear any of it.

    Like I said in the beginning, I just can’t make sense of this, honestly.
    Tebogo Tleane.

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