06/07/2017 03:59 SAST | Updated 06/07/2017 03:59 SAST

We Cannot Afford To Stop Fighting, The Country Is At Stake

Where we stand today isn't the South Africa we imagined. It's not the South Africa we were promised. It is not the South Africa for which many died.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
A boy holds a flag as President Jacob Zuma addresses the National Youth Day Commemoration in Ventersdorp, South Africa, on June 16 2017.

There was a time when South Africa was ripe with possibility. Even as Black South Africans, in the main having been brutalised and stripped of our dignity by the apartheid regime, we imagined that the fight against apartheid was well worth it because the prospect of "a better life for all" was tangible. We, the people, imagined a life where young people would be afforded quality education, where the economy would grow in such a way that it guaranteed you would be able to feed your family comfortably as an outcome of your hard labour. We, the people, imagined that our sisters would be able to walk the streets free from harm.

We, the people, imagined that our leaders would deliver on their promises as a result of an expansion of the tax base and policies guided by the need to build a better country for all its people. We, the people, imagined that equality before the law would exist. We, the people, imagined that journalists would conduct their craft without facing physical attack from a morally and ideologically inept cabal for hire. Where we stand today is not the South Africa we imagined. It is not the South Africa we were promised. It is not the South Africa many whom we knew died for.

What we have seen and experienced over more or less the past decade, especially in the time that a pathological liar and looter has occupied the Union Buildings, is a flagrant betrayal of the struggle that was nobly fought. In simple terms, those responsible for the current morass have sold out! The country's so-called leaders unapologetically rush us from mega-crisis to mega-crisis: Waterkloof Air Force Base landing, Marikana, Nkandla, Esidimeni, junk status and a plethora more behind and in front of us, all because of greed, arrogance and a sheer disrespect for what the struggle strived to achieve.

Power and authority no longer reside in their constitutionally sanctioned spheres. Instead power and authority have been leased to a racist, money-hungry family that has, with the help of the most senior figures in the majority party, corrupted, captured and collapsed strategic state agencies, departments and institutions for the sole purpose of enriching a kingpin, who claims to be the president, and his criminal network, which has armed itself with a propaganda machine and thugs.

Parliament serves, by and large, as a lapdog instead of a guard dog against those who have freely and shamelessly undermined the Constitution and the people. The Union Buildings merely sit as pretty buildings, where a Madiba statue stands as a memorial of the country we were promised and what we have been robbed of in broad daylight. We, the people, are only left with the judiciary, which is now facing harsh attacks, as a bright star in a very dark sky. We are left with the media and opposition, which fight to ensure that what is left of the state is not pillaged; and those activities that happen in the dark are brought into the open for scrutiny and prosecution.

I am angered about this because this mess we have been placed in robs those who have the least, and it will be at these people that the liars and looters throw their slogans, T-shirts and food parcels come the 2019 elections. I am furious because they claim to be the servants of the poor, when in fact they only serve to make themselves rich using the people's money. For those who have not woken up to reality: we, the people, are engaged in a war to take back the country from a corrupt cabal so that the project of rebuilding what has been broken can begin. We have committed ourselves to a battle that will ensure that once we are done the promises of a bygone era are fulfilled.

This is a critical time for the country and, sadly, the situation will deteriorate even further before it gets better.

We cannot afford to stop fighting because once we do that we are choosing to surrender the country to a criminal syndicate that has stolen so much from the people. They are not taking from the rich, as they claim, and giving to the poor; they are taking from the poorest of the poor to amass riches that go from here to Dubai.

We cannot afford to stop fighting because, for many of us, this is the only place we want to and can call home. We should not be discouraged by the name-calling when we take to the streets. We must push even harder when leaders of opposition parties and media professionals are threatened and attacked; it means we are pushing in the right direction.

To those members of parliament (MPs) who have been threatened, may those threats not be in vain and may you vote to start the process of rebuilding the country. To the MPs who have spoken out against those who have stolen the country, may you vote knowing that your first commitment is to the people and Constitution, not party colours.

This is not about removing one party and replacing it with another (that will happen in 2019, through the ballot box), this is about removing the kingpin of a mafia network. We cannot afford to stop fighting because there is so much to lose.

This is a critical time for the country and, sadly, the situation will deteriorate even further before it gets better. But that is exactly why we cannot afford to and should not stop fighting, because when the dust settles and we have rid South Africa of unsavoury elements, we can start debating and finding solutions to unemployment, inequality and poverty.