Business Day – Johannesburg South Africa
LETTER: Democracy benefits few in Africa
June 04 2015, 07:42
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"THE real cause of this crisis is corruption at the highest levels of government,"
wrote Bolivian journalist Arturo von Vacano in his book, Biting Silence. He may
have been talking about Nkandla, the National Prosecuting Authority and
everything wrong about the leadership in this beautiful land.
After Police Minister Nathi Nhleko gave voters the middle finger last week, many
people are asking where our country is going? Is this what freedom is about —
where elected leaders have no respect for the citizenry?
This is not a South African problem. Africans have lost hope in democracy.
Leaders abuse democracy as they loot public trust and funds.
Burundi is in turmoil as the president clings to power. Africa bleeds. About 175-
million people have no access to basic sanitation in Africa. Thousands die on
foreign seas fleeing poverty and starvation.
We the ordinary are wondering, has democracy failed in Africa? Who benefits from
democracy?
As the delegates to World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa gather in Cape Town,
we ask them: What exactly is the purpose of this meeting? What difference have
these forums made to the lives of the poor in Nairobi, Harare, Cairo and Cape
Town?
Such forums failed to notice the early warning signs of the 2008 financial
meltdown, prepare for the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, deal with mass migration of
Africans to Europe, come up with solutions to the Zimbabwean political crisis, find
answers to the terror destroying Somali and Nigeria, root out corruption stunting
African economies, improve access to quality healthcare and education, end Africa’
s Big Man syndrome, make political leadership accountable and increase respect
for human rights.
If the WEF has failed in all of the above, what is its purpose? Three days of
shopping and a holiday in Cape Town? What about the poor?
As Von Arturo would say, "If you leave politics to indecent men, you hand them the
country on a platter."
Dr Lucas Ntyintyane
Cresta
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