How South Africa elected a king instead of a president

I don’t think we, as South Africans’, fully understand democracy. I think we like to believe we are democratic and we have adapted some of its tools, and they are powerful tools. However, I don’t think we live democratic lives. We have taken what we liked, those things that made us feel important like the voting process and forgotten those that seemed like burdens such as responsibility for our actions.

We like the global image of our example as a tolerant and understanding nation. We fall very far short on accountability for our actions, in this area we have a lotsof excuses. The past indeed does have some blame. I do believe that every year that blame has to diminish, as every new generation is born their future cannot be tethered to the past and it’s failings. I wonder if we are truly working as hard as we must to move beyond our haunted evil past.

Nkandla has thrown all of these issues into stark relief. We seem to have managed to elect a king instead of a president.

  • Kings believe they have the divine right to rule, are answerable to none and are above the law. I think we can all draw the parallels to this statement.
  • Presidents, democratically elected presidents, first and foremost uphold the laws of the land, operate within them under the mandate of the people that elected them and are wholly and completely answerable to their nation.

I’ll expand on my thinking here, surely every project that is carried out for a president needs to be conducted in a transparent and open manner? It needs to be the epitome of how this elected official operates. It must be directly overseen by them and they must be one hundred percent answerable to end result.

This is even more to the point when it involves a person’s home, a place where their family will reside. How can these details be handed off to someone else? What kind of a person allows others to make arrangements for their family with no input no oversight?

Every president/party gets elected based on campaign promises, these are areas of specific interest to the people and the president. All of these areas should receive presidential oversight and responsibility they deserve, nothing less should appease the voters.

Kings are unanswerable to their people, carry out their own agendas from behind palace walls and rule by force and intimidation. Handing out favours to those that flatter and dealing harsh punishments to those that dare disagree.

I believe it is time the elected government topple this monarchy they have allowed to be built upon their shoulders. They must offer up a true servant of the people, a person capable of accepting responsibility, a person capable of leading and working with those they may not always agree with for the betterment of all society. For this to happen though we need to be educated about a citizen’s responsibility. That everyone of us is answerable for our decisions. That we must lead our lives and hold ourselves accountable for our actions so that we can ask others to account for theirs.

We need to accept all tenants of democracy not just those we like or those that are easy.

I want South Africa to be great, I believe if we were capable of producing one great man that we are capable of producing others. Great leaders, great thinkers and great healers. In order to achieve this we need to work together, we need to meet those thinkers that appose our ideas and examine each other’s thoughts through dialog and discussion. We need to realise we can disagree and still respect one another.

I want us to take the moral high ground because we deserve it. I want us to lead Africa away from fear and elected kings. I want us to rise! I believe it is our time to do great work to show the world that once united we are unshakable. That those with the loudest voices are not always correct and that will listen to the quietest voices with equal measure and think before we act, and we will indeed act, not out of fear but rather great vision! I want to see that no person is above the law and if someone is accused they will stand trial, be they beggar or “king”.


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