23 July 2014

South Africa: Hot Air in a Time of Distress - Political Disconnect Keeps Failing South Africa

Photo: Capital FM
Police line (file photo).

The death of four-year-old Taegrin Morris "undermined the gains made by government in dealing with serious crimes". This is according to the chairman of Parliament's police portfolio committee Francois Beukman. A little child died in one of the most horrendous acts of violent crime in South Africa in recent history. Is this really what you want to be saying, Mr Politician?

Every day, statements are issued by politicians about occurrences, developments and plans that are supposed to reflect the state of South Africa. Often, all this does is reflect the social distance and disconnect between public representatives and communities struggling through life in South Africa.

There is little that can be more infuriating than politicians saying after a horrific road accident that they are "shocked" by what happened. If you know anything about the condition of South Africa's roads and vehicles and the way people drive, why would you be shocked? At 10,000 per year, this country has one of the highest road death tolls in the world; why then would people charged with the transport portfolio be perpetually surprised that people die on the roads daily?

Sometimes the obligation to say something, anything, makes a mockery...

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