Keep flying our flag and shout for education! 13


I did say earlier that it is not about who governs but how they govern! This is very confusing in South Africa because of our apartheid past. If we are white and we don’t vote ANC it’s because we obviously want to go back to an apartheid South Africa and if we are black and we don’t want to vote ANC we are traitors. I think I understand this turmoil in our young democracy because many people have a blind allegiance to those who worked since 1912 to free this country from white supremacists whose ideas ended up forming an apartheid government based on these white supremacy laws!!

Who would you vote for today if you had come from a disadvantaged background and let’s be honest here if at all possible. At this point you would have to look at who is governing and not how they govern! Our ANC government does come from an honourable background. The ANC election 1994 Manifesto can be found here; It’s worth the read (http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/policy/manifesto.html)

And this is the preamble to our South Africa Constitution!

We, the people of South Africa, Recognize the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to —

Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;

Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person – Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations. May God protect our people.

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso. God seen Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa. Mudzimu fhatushedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.

So what happened, what went wrong!! I’ll always remember listening to one of Mandela’s early speeches in the 1990’s and he clearly stated that the new government must guard against becoming ‘Fat Cats’ something which has clearly happened in our present situation. Read the books on other African authors and heads of State Seghor, Ahmadou Kourouma, Aime Cesaire and you will realise that in the 1960’s much was being said about post colonialist governments in Africa and colonies; Dictatorships that killed more people than colonialism ever did and the awful stories of child soldiers fighting for these corrupt regimes. At least we are no where near there!! We have to believe that Idi Amin and Mugabe are a dying bread of African leaders and that these new leaders will truly want what’s good for the people. Taking all the riches while governing a poor country will render that country uninhabitable and we know this with all the Zimbabweans living here. Governing a rich country and caring about the people will create a prosperous country for all who live in it including government who will get taxes from more people!!

This is South Africa and it is 2010 and it is time to educate the people of this country. Its time for ordinary citizens who were promised a say in the government;

An Open Society (ANC 1994 manifesto)

The ANC will strive for an open society that encourages vigorous debate. People must be free to express their views without fear, including criticizing the government of the day. Freedom of the media will be essential for a flourishing of democracy.

To stand up and tell the ANC that they must change their ways, stop corruption and despotism without feeling they are traitors. It is time for a new party of young African leaders who are representative of all South Africans to come out of the embers of a dying dysfunctional government and lead, not based on the past where the bitterness of the past affects your ways. Where you think you are owed a living because of what apartheid did for you but because of the future, a bright future! Where there is enough riches to go round to all South Africans and we truly understand the meaning of all South Africans who live here and that we stop blaming the apartheid government for present problems but we find solutions for the future. We stop allowing the fat cats to enrich themselves while still insisting that all the wealth is in the hands of the whites. Government clearly holds the purse strings and tenders are rigged and given to ANC family and cohorts!!

Lets be honest again – BEE is a fantastic concept to right the injustices of the passed but it is not constitutional. Its sole purpose is to improve the previously disadvantaged who are now advantaged pockets and the real disadvantaged are still poor and without proper education and sanitation. It places people in teams and work situations where they are clearly not qualified and ready for those responsibilities but it allows government to sit back and not take real responsibility for the people of this country. Equal opportunities stems from education. Educate the masses in the classrooms and on the sports fields. Award the education tenders to those who truly want to make a difference and not to BEE who come in at triple the price and never deliver. Don’t change the new less qualified teachers but mentor them to become great and inspiring and willing. Don’t talk JZ about 1 GOAL in Africa when we are still burning our schools in South Africa in this day and age!! If we truly educate in the classroom and on the sports field our students will not destroy their future by senseless acts. We will not need BEE because out of our masses will arise full potential of all South Africans who will achieve in spite of their back grounds. Our swimmers may be white and our basket ballers may be black but we won’t care as long as they play with passion and love for this country. Our academics will be totally representative of all South Africans because equal opportunities began in the classroom, tenders weren’t squandered and teachers made a difference. Jobs will go to those on merit and dedication!

Let’s stand up and make one noise, keep flying our flag and shout for education!

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13 thoughts on “Keep flying our flag and shout for education!

  • Tim Madgwick

    Hi All,

    The debate is interesting and as long as there are those who can make money from apartheid it will not be allowed to die. We live in a country that is still obsessed with race, you can have a Black organization and it is politically correct yet try and have a White organization and it is automatically deemed to be racist. I am sure that there will be readers who will claim that I am a racist yet they have no idea who I am and what value I have added to people of all races. The Madiba spirit is slipping away , we should base our thoughts, actions and comments on mutual respect not the colour of our skin. We must all aim at continous improvement not selfish self enrichment, quality can never be compromised. There are many people of all races who have sufferred because of apartheid both in the past and the present. I have always been a supporter of building together with equal input using each others strengths. We acheive nothing by tearing each other down. Let all of us nurture and guide the teenager that was born in1994 with wisdom and patience.

  • Don Leffler

    Interesting and divergent views !!!

    I hear Nkosinathi’s views that this should not be used as a forum for debating politics. However, education is political and will remain so. The Soweto riots of 1976 emphasised this. Free speech is a foundation of a democracy and we should Fly our Flag for better education for all by voicing our different opinions.

    Yes, much good has been done and is being done but there is still a mountain to climb.

    Government focus should be on delivery – the ANC Manifesto and the Constitution state what must be done and how it must be done. These are “living” documents and not just political verbage. Education is a fundamental basic human right, and this is what we are striving to achieve.

    I thought, Lisa, that your views were activist, and a little reminiscent of your Aunt who was viewed as a revolutionary ANC stalwart exciled for her commitment to the struggle. I wonder what she would say if she heard you been labelled a conservist …… In my view your views mirror what millions of people over the past decades have struggled to achieve – regardless of their race, gender or political party affiliation.

    I like Gift’s views where he references spirituality. Indeed, our souls do not see gender, race or party affiliation.

    Bottom-line is we all want the same thing: A BETTER EDUCATION FOR ALL.
    So, let’s all keep Flying our Flag for 1 Goal and for Better Education for All.

  • Des Squire

    I find it hard to continue flying the flag for education or anything else. We live in a “low trust society”. To survive and succeed we must first address issues around trust and honesty. Leaders from the top down must be seen to be trustworthy, honest and ethical.

    In South Africa there is a need to win the trust of all. Our politicians need to urgently win the TRUST of both the local and international community. Trust levels are being eroded due to lack of honesty and the ongoing dishonesty of some of our leaders. Our leaders in government must possess and demonstrate the following traits

    Transparent – totally open, going beyond current requirements or expectations
    Responsible – clearly acting in the broader and longer term interests of all
    Uncompromising – total commitment to highest moral and ethical standards
    Successful – great results combining excellence in all areas with strong values
    Temperate – taking care to avoid major risks, wild decisions and extravagance

  • Lisa Amanda Bradshaw Post author

    Thank you Jabulani for raising your plight on services and sanitation. It is a crucial part of raising the flag! The councillors must be held accountable!! If we raise the level of education we will raise peoples ability to stand up for their rights!

  • Lisa Amanda Bradshaw Post author

    I draw your attention Nkosinathi to the 1994 ANC manifesto on an Open Society
    The ANC will strive for an open society that encourages vigorous debate. People must be free to express their views without fear, including criticizing the government of the day. Freedom of the media will be essential for a flourishing of democracy.
    We all need to learn all the time as well as the ANC government. As educators we never stop learning!! It is education that will allow for more healthy debate so that more of us can air our views and work towards a new SOuth AFrica governed by whoever that allows you and I to learn from each other and not shut each other up!! It is only in being able to air my views that I learn that I may be conservatist and that is good for me as I strive to become more open to understanding and respecting the views of others!!

  • Nkosinathi Mkhize

    The Universe must speak on these matters.

    I am not thinking that we should allow ourselves to be fed some ‘antirevolutionary’ politics in this forum; neither the politics of the rulling class. Some of your views may be labelled as conservative views, aligned to old order. If perhaps you have a score to settle with any institution, rather direct your complaints and the likes to same. The gutter politics of calling for the new political party; labelling the current government as dysfunctional; labelling some of us as blind voters, because of our allegiance to the rulling party should be challenged. If Helen Zille and / or Particia De Lille, represent(s) the politics of the day [for you] so be it. Let us be challenged on matters of skills development. I have not heard you questioning the appointment of Black & Women ‘Directors’ in white SMMEs to address compliance, because we only learn of these ills when the relationship sours and its only then we learn of window dressing. We need to challenge our own stereotypes. The ANC & its alliance partners is mindful of the emerging tendencies amongst its ranks and it does not need to be taught on how to deal with same. You will note that there are so many instances wherein the members of the rulling party are calling on their won comrades to account and be responsible. Now, let it not be projected that all the members are turning a blind eye on important matters and matters that seems to suggest the emergence of a new tradition. The majority Black and internalists never struggled to be poor and should not be condemned into same, that’s why the downtrodden workers have a right to demand what is right, including those who struggled since 1912. Let us respect this Forum.

  • Lisa Amanda Bradshaw Post author

    Yes Gift, healing is so neccesary but with the future focus and personal responsability potential is released. Heavy baggage with a past redress focus I believe creates the fat cat me me mentality. I like your thought on spiritual developement and the aspect of value. Let us educate and debate with wisdom to look after the soul and create a sound value system for all!!

  • Dawn Anita Harrison

    Spelling errors Mbongeni Ngema and Dingane
    continued sentence ” It is the pride of the previously disadvantaged that prevents any correction of error and seeking professional advice and guidance is problematic all the while lining pockets with the spoils of the middle class workers in our rainbow nation.

  • Dawn Anita Harrison

    Hi Lisa

    To quote the sage insightful words of Moeletsi Mbeki ” South Africa has moved from a country of production to a country of consumption,” in my opinion is true. It is an historical fact that history tends to repeat itself and there is nothing new under the sun. I remember reading Mgbogeni Ngema’s monologue in WOZA ALBERT and I quote “Do you know Piet Retief the big leader of the white men long ago the leader of the Afrikaners? Ja he visited Dingane the great king of the Zulus. When Piet Retief came to Dingane he was sitting in his camp with all his men and he said “Hey those white men with their guns are wizards, they are dangerous. But he welcomed them with a big smile. He said “Hello !! Leave your guns outside and come inside and eat meat and drink beer.” Dingane sat down with all his men in his camp and Piet Retief came inside. Dingane’s men all the time were singing and dancing waiting for the signal from their king and Dingane stood up he spat on the ground hit his beshu and shouted KILL THE WIZARDS! and Dingane’s men came with all their spears. I personally feel that this monologue is a metaphor for what is unfolding in our rainbow nation today. Unless one aligns oneself with the “Dingaans” and leave our weapons outside be it culture colour call it what you will it would appear that the pride of the previously disadvantaged who are lining their pockets with the spoils of our rainbow nations middle class workers. Unless one gets into bed with those who have been given authority it would appear that it is now the minority who come off second best. In the same breath I can not lay blame at anyone’s feet other than we are eating the fruit of apartheid and let’s hope and pray that our new democratic rainbow nation of young people do not follow in the foot steps of our infamous Julius Malema who let’s be honest shows signs of becoming another Mugabe pupeteer. I still feel that alot of healing still needs to be done. The wounds of apartheid lie deep and perhaps another truth and reconcilliation committee should be formed. Exposing the truth in that the Ministers of Education have changed the curriculum no less that five times since 1998 causing a plethora of teachers to leave the profession, our hospitals are embarrassing, crime pays in our country and the story goes on. But I guess rather than admit error government plough forth eating off the fat of the few who support the majority. It would be wonderful if we could unite, ice cream is ice cream no matter what the flavour. I am as passionate about empowering young people as I was the first day I stood in front of a class fresh from teachers training college but unfortunately there are all too few Hellen Zille’s and Patricia de Lille’s in this country giving the big boys a run for their money. The answer? I am most sincere when I say that only God could intervene and change the hearts of the Kings. In the interim ? We keep on keeping on. PS Why don’t you consider starting a political party?

    Viva a better education for all !!!

  • Don Leffler

    Hi Lisa,

    I have read your commentary with interest and support your overall approach.

    Unfortunately SA is stuck in a little bit of a time warp – a sense of entitlement to redress the past. Our history is important to understand to build our future. However, South Africa and South Africans need to become more progressive in its/our strategic thinking.

    We need to develop a new SA culture based on sustainable and inclusive VALUES which acknowledge our past but prepare our children for the future. The Constitution and ANC Charter should be “alive” documents which are measured in terms of our Leadership and positioning in the global community.

    The 8th Nelson Mandela / Wits University dialogue on 31 July 2010 addressed Memories and positioning our past as a legacy for the future. The content of the Paper presented at the Dialogue Presentation may be viewed at link http://www.nelsonmandela.org/index.php/videos/full/video_of_the_eighth_nelson_mandela_annual_lecture/

    We read about Teachers set to go on strike for higher salaries, and whilst we empathise with their plight we wonder about their PERFORMANCE and DELIVERY of Governments’ strategic objectives. Where are the Values in the Teaching Profession? Where is the commitment to the 1 Goal strategy? What happened to the Mandela / Kennedy approach of “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what YOU can do for your country?”.

    We did it during the World Cup – let’s do it for EDUCATION. Keep Flying the Flag for 1 goal – A better Education for all !!!

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