The farce that has become the butt of many memes and jokes worldwide – the firing, hiring and rewiring of our Financial political portfolio over one weekend – is tragic. It has lent itself to wry, ribald, rude and radical humour. It has led to a spectacular (as in creating a spectacle) crash in the value of our currency. It has led to a more spectacular loss of confidence in our government, internationally and by many here at home.
Multiple campaigns have blossomed, bloomed and blown up calling for the ousting of President Zuma: apparently even a picnic is organised. It has happened before: Mr Mbeki found disfavour, and found the door. Some may say that the racial oppression that dominated for so many decades has blatantly morphed into economic, political and self-serving oppression – still by the elite few.
Amidst the finger pointing, the jokes, the blame and the bludgeoning, I thought to share this, from the statesman who helped birth the beautiful country that now teeters, to help us connect with our options for our response to the situation:
“It could have been that our own hearts had turned to stone. But we understood that the oppression dehumanises the oppressor as it hurts the oppressed. We understood that to emulate the barbarity of the tyrant would also transform us into savages. We knew that we would sully and degrade our cause if we allowed that it should, at any stage, borrow anything from the practices of the oppressor.” Mr Nelson Mandela, 1990
In this time of crisis, I hope, with extravagant belief in the possibility, that we keep our hearts open while our voices are raised in outrage, that we keep our values set on good for all while seeking solutions for the one, and that most of all we join in heartfelt unity to make sure that we need never again cry, the beloved country.