Tony Leon makes a list and checks it twice.
I haven’t thought much of Tony Leon in the past. He is the head of the Democratic Alliance party and although that is who I vote for, he has not really impressed me personally until now.
This freedom day (yesterday) he released a list of 13 factors which threaten our lives as South Africans. Coincidently this comes 13 years after our first fully democratic elections.
This list just about completely sums up my view and he puts them across so eloquently that I may just send him a basket of fruit. This is still vastly superseded by my crush for Mayor Helen Zille, who will rule the world from the emerald tower one day.
These things only really effect us people living here and potentially those that invest here. Tourists can come, go and enjoy without having to painfully deal with all our charming little inefficiencies.
“It is a sad irony that after 13 years, there are 13 real threats to our hard-won liberty, and we need to have a frank, honest discussion about them.”
First on Leon’s list was the government’s continuing attempts to encroach on the independence of the judiciary.
Next was an overreach of the executive power. Leon said that a steady consolidation of authority in the presidency had usurped decision-making from elected representatives.
The third and fourth dangers were the closing of spaces for civil society, and encroachment on media freedom.
Next was a lack of respect for democratic outcomes. Leon said the ANC’s attempts to unseat the DA-led Cape Town multiparty coalition was a warning that government cared about democracy only for as long as it was winning.
Number six was crime, as most South Africans were living in fear.
Next was foreign policy, which Leon said had betrayed a legacy of negotiated democratic settlement by supporting or refusing to condemn a “rogues’ gallery of despotic regimes”.
He said: “We are becoming associated with the polecat-club of dictators shunned by most of the world.”
Eighth was the ANC’s determination to rewrite history to privilege its role above others – changing place names, airbrushing individual histories and “generally falsifying history into one triumphalist, majority-nationalist narrative”.
HIV and Aids followed, and at number 10 was worsening poverty and unemployment – the government’s failure to implement growth-driven reforms was “lighting a powder-keg of resentment among the poor”.
“Far too many of our people stand resentfully outside the winners’ enclosure, peering at a small, well- connected elite whose privilege drives home the majority’s suffering,” he said.
Lack of education and skills training was the 11th danger, followed by failure to deliver on promises.
The 13th threat was the biggest, Leon said. “It is the governing party’s obsession with transformation, meaning political control by the ANC of all levers of power in society as well as the relentless pursuit of demographic representivity at all costs.” This was “inimical” to the values of individual freedom and accountability. – Sapa