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Strong leadership!! That’s what SA needs, now

Artikel in Afrikaans Hieronder

It’s only the beginning of the road to elections 2009, but the choice of which leaders and which political party to represent us in the following 5 years is of critical importance. True leaders in SA are hard to find, almost completely non-existent. We have plenty of politicians, good politicians. Yes, people who know how to play a political game, but true leaders, NO WAY.
The past convention just proved this once again. The old story rings true; criticising your political opponents followed by vague promises of protection of the constitution and human rights etc, supported by a few “AMANDLA” and “VIVA” cries to lift the spirits. For the message itself, fails to impress. Similar to the olden days where the NP and CP political gatherings were marked by cries of “HOOR, HOOR” should you agree, or “SKANDE, SKANDE” should your political opponent come under fire from the speaker. But, inspiration, unity and the creation of trust are a far cry. Maybe we have simply got used to being satisfied with too little. I would love to get excited, as on Rapport wrote on its front page: “HIER KOM ‘N DING”. But no luck, the same old story again, nothing new…
I’m looking for something with an “Obama element”; a man just elected as the next President of the USA, which has only a 12% African-American population. Why can’t our leaders pick a few ideas from his recipe book for elections 2009?  It does not matter whether or not you are an Obama supporter: The man can inspire!  A Shilowa or a Lekota simply does not have it. They both struggle to hide their bitterness toward their previous political home. I was hoping that a few potential leaders and speakers would appear who will make a difference and give us hope for elections 2009.  (I think Hennie Smit – Bertie from Egoli – who also attended the convention out of curiosity, would have been a much better and more inspirational speaker than any of the ANC break-aways). The hope, however still exists that a few strong leaders will appear from their midst.
It is true that we need a new group who will halt the unhealthy overpowering force of the ANC in the 2009 elections, but at the end all succeed or fail at leadership. For that reason, this new group will have to search for those within who can lead, unite and inspire.
Leaders must command respect and values that a proud nation would want to identify with. Mr Zuma and his leaders are not such leaders, and for that matter, a split in the ANC is very welcome. This new era of a divided ANC will however require strong leadership and management. Our democracy is a young one, and it is clear that within the Zuma faction, not all understand what that means, and that it is in fact acceptable to differ.  We are entering a very delicate stage in time, and should this not be managed correctly, the elections could result into conflict and violence. Wisdom will be needed though. Leaders who are able to manage these differences, are required for the democracy to continue. The attitude that many of our people have, i.e. “Let factions in the ANC destroy one another”, is a reckless attitude. The ANC remains the government of South Africa, and what happens in the ANC has a direct impact on the whole of South Africa. It is important that economic stability remains – especially now with the world economic crisis, where South Africa, even with political stability, is seen as a high-risk market.
The DA does not boost plenty of strong leaders either, but I must admit that Helen Zille was the exception at the convention. Firstly, she attended it without reservations, a sign of someone that does not feel threatened. (In addition, credit to the break-aways that invited other political parties). She seized this opportunity and instilled so much trust in a group that would not support her traditionally. Helen Zille became one with them and created the impression that she understood them. She seemed genuine and not just playing politics. Whether she will succeed in attracting disgruntled ANC members in the 2009 elections  is still doubtful, or maybe it is still a little early to say. However, other political parties should be worried at Zille’s evident influence. Maybe it’s time for her to give up the position of Mayor of Cape Town, go to Parliament and be seen as a national leader and not one of a region or a city. If there is not one capable person to fill her position, then the DA is just as poor on leaders.
One example of poor decision-making is that of the Freedom Front Plus. The decision not to attend the convention will probably be excused by a few thumb-sucked strategic reasons. The fact remains; they missed a golden opportunity. A platform was created to send their message (direct TV coverage, with local and international media), but they say: “No thank you”. How can people hear your message and judge if you aren’t even there? How small and irrelevant of a party do you want to become by distancing yourself from reality? I can’t think that Pieter Mulder would support such a decision. I think he would have done very well at the convention. It’s a pity, because such a chance does not come often.
But, the convention was an ideal kick-off to the 2009 elections. Such variety of people coming together gives me hope. Interesting times lie ahead. South Africa is most definitely not a boring place.
Barend La Grange                                                                                                              Elections 2009

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11 Responses to “Strong leadership!! That’s what SA needs, now”

  1. 1
    Peter Owen:

    Hi Barend, thanks for the great article. Yes I also feel that our country doesn’t have the leaders it needs. I think Helen Zille can be a great leader, but the rest of the country needs her as well, not just Cape Town.

  2. 2
    Steven Els:

    How can it be that a country with 50mil people don’t have proper leaders? I certainly don’t mind a black, white or brown president. His or her values must be strong. The leaders must teach the people how important love and trust in families are. That’s where it begins I believe. People wants to know that their leaders have strong moral standards. Barack Obama made that very clear and I think that’s a huge factor why he is so popular.

  3. 3
    Hennie Smit:

    Dagse Barend , wel gedaan . Ek was een van die min wittes wat die konvensie bygewoon het . Wat n belewenis!!. Ek wil jou en alle ander belangstellendes uitnooi na n inligtingsvergadering wat ek gereel het met Mnr Lekota as spreker . Dit vind plaas op 19 November 2008 om 19:00 by Union Caterers, Utopia Onthaalsentrum op die hoek van Curalaan en Lynnwoodweg, Pretoria. Kom luister en vra jou vrae en besluit self of Mnr Lekota en die Congress of the People Party n duik gaan maak in die politiek in SA. Kom ons neem weer n slag deel aan die debat en hou op om net te kla . Ons moet ons eie toekoms bepaal en die 2009 verkiesing is ons kans om n nuwe regering of sterk opposisie te kies . Ek is lief vir hierdie land en wil hier bly en n beter toekoms help skep vir ons nageslag. Sien julle daar en bring jou vriende saam

  4. 4
    Jana Warffemius:

    Nou ja; dan wil ek ook dankie sê vir die geleentheid Barend. Ek’t maar gewonder, as ons dan nou praat oor sterk leierskap, of daar ander is wat dink dat Mnr Bantu Holomisa (die Leier van die United Democratic Movement)nie die profiel pas nie: ék dink so en daar is ‘n paar ander ouens wat ook so dink… sien
    http://www.sowetan.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=692825 of http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/davidsmith/2008/08/01/in-praise-of-an-ex-dictator/ of http://www.thetimes.co.za/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=792656.

    Vir sogenaamde die ‘jonger generasie’; die man het sy eie FaceBook profiel… dit half ongelooflik; ek dog politici is “technology-challenged’. Ek dog ek sê maar net!

  5. 5
    Eric Savage:

    Rev Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP is the epitome of a strong leader and deserves more than just my mention on this blog. The principle of strong leadership is not just pandering to the desires of the voters, which exactly what Zuma and Malema are doing, each in their own ways, but directing the country to where it needs to be. Meshoe stands up and lays down the principles from which we have drifted … honesty, work ethic, morality, family values.

    While papers like M&G are happy to draw cartoons that ridicule that kind of appeal to morality, perhaps we’re all now at a place where none of us can deny that exactly what our government needs is more morality.

  6. 6
    Elna Erasmus:

    Ek het Rev Kenneth Meshoe al hoor preek en sing, en ek dink hy is ‘n goeie leier, maar ek dink in ‘n land so uiteenlopend soos ons s’n kan jy nie net politiek bedryf op die “christian ticket” nie. As jy iewers wil kom moet jy almal betrek – alle gelowe en oortuigings en dan sal daar sukses wees. Die Christelike waardes is eintlik universele waardes en as hy dit kan regkry.

    Ek weet en verstaan dat 98% van Suid-Afrikaners se hulle is christene – maar as jy na die land kyk, besef jy gou dit is net lippetaal, maar jy moet alle mense laat tuis voel in jou party as jy ‘n indruk in die land se politiek wil maak

  7. 7

    Ek dink dat Helen Zille die geskikste kandidaat is om hierdie land te lei. Sy doen n uitstekende werk in Kaapstad en is ‘n beginsel vaste persoon. Sy glo in die land en sy glo ook in elke Suid Afrikaner se potensiaal ongeag wat jou velkleur is. As ek dit mag noem wil ek graag net se dat hierdie land nooit weer apartheid sal sien nie.

    Helen het my stem en ek weet sy sal die land kan lei deur elke krisus en probleem.

    Viva Zille Viva

  8. 8
    molau monyela:

    to battle south africans to battle 4 a truly democratic south africa! all democratically minded and patriotic south africans across class and racial lines are called upon to join hands in defending the democratic project that many of our country men and women have have paid the ultimate price so that we can be truly free from the evils of apartheid capitalism. the revoltuionary tasks demands that we rise above our petty political ambitions and defend the leader and vanguard of the ndr. The motive forces which constitute the political army is called upon to occupy the battle trenches in defence of our country our people and our revolution. Freedom or death victory is certain. Viva ndr viva, down with hypocrites down with sellouts. Amandla

  9. 9
    m vd Merwe:

    Barend mobiliseer asb gebedsgroepe en reel ‘n biddag vir SA se Christene, sodat ons kan begin bid vir die verkiesing!!!!!!!!

  10. 10
    Eric Savage:

    Molau, your comments belong in a Madam & Eve cartoon! Unfortunately you represent the majority of South African voters, a majority that simply does not know better, that hasn’t been exposed to history and to endless research that shows that the ANC’s economic policies kill countries, not heal them.

    The frustration for all of us here on the Internet is that we can see the problems, but the real voting power is in the hands of the uneducated masses who vote without understanding or with intimidation. Your ra-ra-ra approach unfortunately works, which is a shame.

  11. 11

    Eric, i must tell you that Molau is still suffering because of apartheit,which is why He wouldn’t vote for anybody who seem to have benefitted from apartheit.

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