Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Vote for Accountibility

The IEC has released Voter Registration Statistics as at 6 May 2014. I found these figures rather interesting.  In particular that the biggest number of registered voters are between the ages 20 to 39. I fall somewhere in the middle of that age group.

It’s also a telling statistic. Between the ages of 20 – 39, we’re young enough to have some degree of faith in ‘Democracy’, and we still care.

That numbers dwindle as people age, to me it implies a loss of faith in the system. A why-should-we-vote-since-nothing-ever-changes attitude. Which, as I near forty, I begin to understand better.  I have registered though. I have every intention of voting. But I still haven’t settled on who I’ll be voting for.

The only thing I am certain of is that I won’t be voting ANC. I’m not going to even bother listing the bigger issues that motivate this decision. Alex Eliseev  has articulated much of what bothers me in his piece that appeared in the Daily Maverick

What I am going to try to do, is address the Muslim myopia that saw these pamphlets stuck to car windscreens, this Jumu’ah past.

To the statement by our Imaam, that threatened, that if we vote for the wrong party and they ‘do wrong’ we are answerable for the wrong they commit. While I know he was hinting at the DA and targeting the pressure point that ANC members single out, when they tell us that the DA is pro Israel, if we applied this logic universally, this would mean that SA Muslims who voted for the ANC in ’94 and continue to do so even now, are in part responsible for the Same-sex Marriages being legalised, for myriad other laws that fly in the face of Islam.

In a secular democracy where protection of the rights of minorities is enshrined in our constitution, (yes, this includes gay marriages), that argument becomes nonsensical.

The truth is, whichever party we throw our lot in with, we will be obliged to accept the freedoms being accorded all citizens without fear or favour. There will be laws that are pushed through, IN OUR NAME that contradict our faith. There will be shady donors whose names we’ll never know. There will always be a conflict of interest. It’s high time we grew up and accepted this.

Another thing that gets under my skin, is when politicians (I use that as a dirty word), quote the Quraan to justify voting for the ANC.

It is easy to select verses of the Quraan out of context, to validate all manner of idiocy. We see it time and again, when atrocities are committed in the name of Islam. It is this mentality that has contributed in part to the negative image of our deen that is portrayed by the media. I won’t repay their duplicitousness in equal coin, but I will say this much, as Muslims, we are duty bound to speak out against oppression wherever we see it.

It is unconscionable that One Man could spend well over 240 million on his personal residence when millions of South Africans live without access to basic services and are denied human dignity. No amount of pro ANC rhetoric can whitewash this. No amount of President Zuma saying that only ‘very clever and bright people’ care about the security upgrades at his Nkandla home and that ordinary South Africans are not concerned with the issue,' is going to convince me to embrace stupidity.

Also, just so we’re clear, the freedoms we enjoy in South Africa aren't the fruits of the ANC’s labours alone. South Africans from all walks of life worked WITH the ANC to defeat apartheid.

The ANC of 20 years ago was a very different animal from the one we see today.  This one has been fattened off ill-gotten gains. Rewards corruption. It is a greedy beast and we all know that nothing satisfies man’s greed except the sand of the grave.

So, who do I vote for? I still don’t know. But mine will be a Vote for accountability, as much as it is a vote against the ANC.

Scrutinise the party you've been considering. Are there criminals on their lists? Are their leaders under investigation?

Islamically, leaders were chosen from among the best. Is the candidate you’re endorsing The Best?

People don’t need much to be happy.  But happiness cannot flourish where injustice is the order of the day.
The ANC NEEDS to be shaken. Even the justice loving of their friends think so.

Some reading material, in case you need help arriving at a decision.

1 comment:

Farzana Tarajia said...

Thank you for a well written piece. You've articulated what I myself have been grappling with