Monday, February 01, 2010

Bad Behaviour

by Mphatjie Monareng 2010-02-01 15:20

The ANC discussion document, Through the Eye of a Needle, is unequivocal on what type of personalities should lead the party and, by extension, the country.

A leader of the party, says the document, "should act as a role model to ANC members and non-members alike" and be "above reproach in his political and social conduct".

Now, with stories of the president of the ANC and the country, Jacob Zuma, having reportedly fathered a baby out of wedlock, it is clear our leader's behaviour deviates from that advocated by his own party.

Over and above that, it is also pretty obvious that the president is sending wrong signals to the nation - in particular the youth - in as far as the fight against HIV/Aids is concerned.

You can blame this conduct on several factors, including culture, but the one thing we've not blamed Zuma’s conduct on is ourselves as the nation. We made Zuma who he is, and we've been way too forgiving.

The media have become sweethearts, and our analysts, known for their fearless criticisms, have suddenly become praise-singers. Some are so openly sycophantic they are being recruited to government.

We often go to extreme lengths organising protests against the behaviour of corrupt and uncaring local government politicians. Many of us have risked their personal safety, especially during apartheid, to oppose poor leadership.

Now (is it because we think we're free?), we've become too tolerant. And, whilst we do that, our name as a country is being tarnished internationally. It is all fair to blame Zuma for that; but do we ever pause to think that we, the people, are also to blame?

We should be organising protests against this type of irresponsible leadership. It is clear those around the president will not tell him the truth: that he's an embarrassment to the nation and his family.

So why don't we organise the protests, print posters and tell Zuma in plain language: "You're a bad example"? We should be saying to Zuma: "Shame on you." "Stop sleeping around."

We probably won't influence his beliefs in polygamy, but we will make him aware that we disapprove of his shameful conduct. And, hopefully, in so doing, we will revive our culture of intolerance to poor leadership.

If we don't rebel against Zuma's irresponsible conduct - and his poor leadership of government (look at how bloated and slow-moving cabinet has become) - we would have no one to blame but ourselves for our country's descend towards moral and administrative decay.

Those ANC leaders who stood up against Mbeki when he was thought to be turning into a tyrant, where are they now? Why the silence on Zuma not leading by example? And our vociferous civil society and the media, this perennial adulation must end.

Quite clearly, we don't deserve a leader who behaves as Zuma does; and his own party says as much in the discussion document, Through the Eye of a Needle.

7 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Kaffirs will always have bad behavior - it is in their blood.

Anonymous said...

Culture can't hide the fact that Zuma is a philandering sex pest. He has multiple wives and he still needs to have more sex with other women - who end up birthing his spawn. How does he justify this abnormal behaviour?His "culture"!! How about you zip up your pants and do your job (which isn't going around having sex but to try to look like you're running a country). I can be that if a white president went around like this he'd have been hounded out of office. And this is the leader of SA! Sies.

Dachshund said...

It's not only whites who are disgusted with Jacob Zuma.

There's increasing support for Motlanthe (currently deputy president) to step into the breach. How to get rid of Zuma ... another Polokwane?

Scorpion said...

A post in the right direction, but sadly preaching to the converted. This should be published in the Sowetan or handed out at the gates of ANC rallies (in much simpler and basic language of course)

Mphatjie is one black amongst millions who voted this leader into power. Where did the idea come from that Zuma would be an exemplary leader? From a R15 food parcel 3 weeks prior to elections? It is hardly as if his conduct as a man was immaculate before and he has only now suddenly become an embarrasment.
Mphatjie, you and your brothers and sisters voted a scaly, immoral crook and rapist into power, and now you have a scaly, immoral crook and rapist as a president. Are you really surprised?

As much as I dispise the government and condemn Zuma's general conduct as a person, let alone as president, one has to stand back and question the mentality of the masses supporting him and ask the sobering question – As long as they have 20 children each, like their leader, will the mentality under the rural, uneducated masses ever change?

Swopping one black leader for another will be more of the same, eventually and undoubtedly. (Refer any African country run by black people if in doubt) Not Mothlante, not even another Mandela and certainly not Malema will ever make a positive difference.

Only by a miracle, or if AIDS speed up greatly and kill in the millions, will the white man ever again have half a chance to live in a beautiful, crime free, prosperous country as South Africa once was.

Viking said...

there are plenty of unconverted out there!

But I think Mphatjie suggests he isn't an ANC supporter. But you're right, until there are more dissenters (and even with a hopeful soul, this seems sadly unlikely for the moment) the leadership will continue to bribe and bully the electorate.

Anonymous said...

Progressive and far better black rule is possible - Ghana and Botswana are the two examples I'm thinking of (maybe there are more). I know that's rather slim pickings, but it is not true to say that responsible government is an impossibility in black ruled Africa.

As for culture, some aspects of African culture are good (respect for elders etc) but traditional African culture (either most or a lot of it) is simply not conducive to running a modern, progressive state.

Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS explosion is almost certainly down to ingrained habits of promiscuity, deeply rooted in the current culture and possibly in traditional culture as well.

Anonymous said...

It is well understood by anyone with brains (eg Bill Gates, etc) that the only solution to the AIDS problem is a vaccine, for the simple reason that it does not require self-control.

HIV is only a problem in those who are unable to defer gratification. This is a problem, obviously, in Africa, but not only in Africa.