Lindi Dlamini: Taking back my power: My Struggle, My Voice
I will use my own voice, my own feet, my own strength to speak up for myself against a leadership that clearly places narrow interests above those of ordinary South Africans like me.
As I bade farewell to the 44th year of my life and welcomed the 45th on 31 March 2017, a thief pounced in the night onto an already fatigued South African.
The previous weeks and days had seen me in a heightened state of anxiety over the fate of South Africa under the hands of a guffawing president who saw no real need to take the South African public, for whom he is meant to be working, into his confidence. I questioned whether I was catastrophising or indeed “upsizing” the problem faced by our nation.
In an attempt to be objective and in a bid to make up my own mind with no competing rhetoric, commentary or narrative, I examined some of the facts pertaining to the president’s conduct in recent days.
Asked by a journalist whether there was a pending Cabinet reshuffle early in the week as he left a function, he cackled.
He recalled now the erstwhile Minister of Finance and his deputy from an international show in the UK before it has been completed. What was germane at the time, the country's image to potential investors or to show who is boss?
If it was important for them to return at once so that they don’t complete their nefarious mission as alleged in the unintelligently written intelligence report, what evidence was there of this plan and are we to expect treason charges as one would expect if there were a conviction around the veracity of the report?
If indeed there are reasonable grounds for this particular duo to be excused from serving in their ministerial capacity, would it not behove the president to have faced them when firing them rather than subjecting them, and others, to the ignominy of finding out through the media (that most despised conduit of information and distorter of facts, if one believes his acolytes) that they have been relieved of their duties?
If it is South Africa that Zuma serves, is there not a need in the face of the prevailing mood to address the nation personally on his motives for the sweeping changes and justification for the retention of sub-optimally performing ministers? Is it not the way of The Movement that competing views are put on the table and debated so that there is an opportunity to coalesce around the view that is most persuasive?
Ukuba isicaka sika hulumeni nomholi sekwaba ubukhosi na (has public service been elevated to royalty which is a birthright)?
Or is the prevailing mood just mass hysteria of captured blacks (a moniker for clever blacks) and white monopoly capital? Captured by what? Did “they” steal our brains? The same ones on whose account we are accused of being “clever”? To paraphrase a listener on Azania Mosaka’s 702 show on insomnia this week, “How can we sleep when the president has made sport out of continually molesting our psyche and emotions?”
In the days that follow, I am vindicated by ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe’s statements expressing discomfort over Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, referring to it as a “list that has been prepared somewhere else and given to us to legitimise”.
I am not imagining that the president’s conduct is treacherous and sinister. I am heartened by the Deputy President’s public statements strongly voicing his disagreement with the president’s Cabinet reshuffle and the manner in which it was undertaken.
Alas, my buoyancy is short-lived as the lily-livered gentlemen are swift to eat their words and apologise for their actions when hauled before their collective. In a moment I knew – black woman, you’re on your own.
So I will use my own voice, my own feet, my own strength to speak up for myself against a leadership that clearly places narrow interests above those of ordinary South Africans like me. I will speak up for my children because when history judges this moment in time, I must at least be able to tell my children that I stood up for them. DM
Lindi Dlamini is a lawyer, business executive and a member of Shukumani Bafazi, which is participating in the people’s march.