– Used by all when we can’t say what we really want to say – Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 12:20am
I read in the Citypress of today Rev. Frank Chikane’s plea for the “Rainbow Nation” to be saved from the most famous and abused word in SA politics namely corruption. Firstly it is my unequivocal and irrevocable contention that this word is conveniently used by anyone for their own political reasons when it suits them.
This plea whilst to be commended must like all things in the SA body politik be contextualised. When Rev. Chikane pleads today for such saving of the Rainbow Nation it must first be asked what rainbow nation? For the description of a rainbow nation is not the people’s making but the creation of the almost iconic but highly controversial Archbishop Tutu.
I am just not sure if we as the people ever claimed such rainbow status for if it is our claim than we should echo it as Rev. Chikane calls us to. Yet I argue if we can ever claim the fallacy of rainbow nation as ours.
Secondly when Rev. Chikane pontificates for such saving one is compelled to read into such a sense of “this corruption did not happen under our watch, when we or the Mbeki presidency was in power”. He goes on to attempt a corroboration for such contention by sharing a solitary case of solicitation on the part of business.
It is right here that I struggle with Rev. Chikane, for none of us can explicitly confirm the exact date space and time our famous quoted pet subject “corruption” became a part of us in democratic narrative. It is a given that under apartheid, corruption was a reality and I am one of those who believe our infamous sojourner has been always with us, not that such is any justification for it’s existence, for it is in the least my attempt to defend the indefensible, corruption must be condemned day or night anywhere and everywhere.
Yet it is political spin of the worst kind to attempt to advocate against such conveniently as a means to attack the existing leadership in the name of an exacted and arrogated morality that argues in a veiled sense that such corruption is new and necessarily to be associated in particular with the Post Polokwane context.
Rev. Chikane appears to absolve himself and the Mbeki – Administration from the presence of corruption by his sighting of the salacious temptation(s) advanced. It’s the same argument some new billionaires who became billionaires under the Mbeki administration advance when they don’t tell us how they made their money devoid of their usage of political connections for many of them are not organic business people or entrepreneurs. Yet these now hog media in advocating the meridian of morality on moneymaking.
There are civil servants who it is claimed had shares in mines in foreign countries whilst serving as civil servants under an Mbeki administration. This off course is no reflection to be inferred as directly condoned by the Mbeki administration but it attests to corruption as existing in that epoch no different as to a Mandela era and a brief Motlanthe and now Zuma era. If there is any truth to the claim of a much publicised arms deal mega-corruption than it becomes difficult to disown the existence of our infamous ‘partner’ throughout the discourse of the Post Apartheid paradigm.
The challenge here for me is not to argue, prognosticate or condemn corruption, but the need to categorize such as a part of this epoch distinctly, that for me is the sophistic erroneous and somewhat politically crafted context that I seek to expose and lay bare. The protagonists against corruption often are blinded by the advocate of media who shares such disproportionate outlook of this the genesis of such corruption.
I am on record for saying corruption was not born in 2007 corruption in government context was inherited from the Apartheid regime and it lived through the epochs of unfolding democratic embrace. Rev. Chikane is correct to argue against such corruption but he is wrong for in a veiled sense advocating that such is a post-Polokwane phenomenon. He is incorrect to pretend that such corruption as the proverbial monkey did not hitchhike a ride for the length and breadth of the 17 years.
If we say today that provinces such as the Eastern Cape are corrupt in an endemic sense than we must concede it has it’s roots long before there was a Polokwane of December 2007.
Lastly it appears to me that corruption has become the pet subject of all conveniently when it suits them when these want to denigrate this government. It has certainly become the flavour of political ambition, draped in moral dictate.
It also appears to me that corruption is a very appropriate theme to propel ones new career out of a forced retirement. It is used by the bosses of organized labour when they want to threaten ANC leadership to expose such.
It is used by former government leaders and civil servants when they want to redeem themselves from a conjoined role in it’s origin. Corruption is even used by ANCYL leadership and members when they want to cast aspersions and communicate their misgivings with the sitting president for political expediency.
It is used by opposition parties, notwithstanding the fact that they too are not immune to the prevalence of such, let us not forget the premise for the limping – court cased COPE which subsequent became the very tarnished claim of corruption aired by its surrogate mothers and leadership.
It is used by the Media, when they glaringly expose others, when they equally have shown proclivities for such.
It is used by public intellectuals when they set discourse from a vantage point of ‘innocence’ when they equally fail to explain to us who lines their pockets and for what agendas.
It is used by private sector when they want to expose fellow private sector and public sector unpleasantries, yet it stands naked in the relationship of corruptor and corruptee, for there is no real corruption unless private sector defined in business is a part of such.
I guess corruption is the proverbial convenient football that all like to use against others when we claim moral high ground in defense of our legacies and our disregard for others who do not fit the proverbial “ticket” of our endorsement. There is no question that we have to as a nation contend with the issue yet we must be honest in such contention. If we seek to deal with the subject can we start honestly by first acknowledging it was there all the time.
Can we desist from the politicking of the theme for it is not helping anyone to try and accuse others when fingers can be shown at oneself, one never knows who knows what about the other.
Corruption must necessarily be stymied, it must be condemn and rid from our society. It must be sent packing from all corners of SA yet the fight against it does not start by throwing stones from political ideology embrace.
We must condemn, expose and eradicate it from the South African populace. My plea let us leave the so called convenient ‘rainbow nation status” of the retired Archbishop aside for we the masses never endorsed the rainbow definition of us as a people in which black remains conspicuously absent in benefit.
Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine