The city of Cape Town has honored the Obamas with their Freedom Of The City award, much to the discontent of the ANC. Is it politics as usual? Or is this just another painful sign that South Africa is indeed still segregated?
“To us this is nothing other than a diversion and I think it would be a pity if Obama accepted the award from a city that doesn’t care about the poorest of the poor,” ANC Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile told the Cape Times.
Truth is, party politics in South Africa have become somewhat predictable in the last 10-15 years. The presiding party has found itself at the center of embarrassing controversies time and time again and the opposition party has taken no leave on publicly critiquing their every move.
You may be thinking, “Well, that is what opposition parties are supposed to do,” and sure enough you are right. But is that all they are supposed to do? The DA, as diligent as they seem, only have a 16.66% vote from the nation, as compared to the ANC (as languid as they might come across) who gained a 65.9% vote in the last national elections.
Surely there is no true competition? So if you’re the DA, shouldn’t you be less worried about general criticism (for we can all see the truth, or at least read it in the newspapers) and be more worried about national mobilisation? The answer is not to wage a redundant war, but rather to uplift the majority of the citizens of South Africa, who have been bribed and falsely misled and strive to take them out of the obscurity in which they find themselves in the new South Africa.
What does all this political jibber jabber mean? Simply put- solidarity. That is all we can ask for as citizens of South Africa- that our leadership share a unified vision when it comes to matters of true importance. And an important place to start would be the way in which our nation presents itself and deals with the rest of the planet.
So when Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille makes the decision to honour the Obamas in recognition of their inspirational example, the ANC does little for us when they throw their toys out the cot about it, especially when the “First couple” have already accepted the honour. Whether or not it’s a plot by the DA to distract us from the shaky situation in the Western Cape, as the Western Cape ANC claim, or it is a last minute move to ensure the Obamas take a view of Table Mountain so the mother city gets its due attention during Obama’s pending trip to South Africa, we must present a solid front when we deal with rest of the world.
Continuous disagreements among our political leadership create inconsistencies. Inconsistencies create global distrust in the long term. So the current state of our national politics may be more dangerous then it seems. With that said, Let them fight in the national assembly and fight in the councils, fight– because that’s democracy. But the ANC and the DA will have to agree on something if the Republic is to move forward in the strength and solidarity it needs to reach its potential.
The Obama’s will pay official state visits to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania from June 26 to July 3 to strengthen “economic growth, investment, and trade”.