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Mon Nov 24 06:00:01 SAST 2014

Ramphele is not a messiah, our destiny is in our own hands

The Times Editorial | 11 February, 2013 00:07

The Times Editorial: Whether Dr Mamphela Ramphele enters the world of politics this week by launching her own party or not, the life of ordinary South Africans will continue as is.

Those who think that with her presence in parliament our problems of inefficiency, corruption, red tape and abuse of state resources will come to an end should think again.

Ramphele, an activist and human rights campaigner, is not a messiah.

She said it herself last week when "impatient" journalists wanted to know whether she would take on the dominant ruling ANC.

The problem with us South Africans is that we always seek salvation in others - even when the trouble with our country lies in us.

Instead of being our own liberators, we shout from the comfort of our homes and offices and hope that Ramphele and others will venture onto the streets and protest on our behalf.

We have effectively outsourced our rights as citizens and now and again we jump up and down hoping that a messiah will emerge to rescue us from our situation.

The problems in our education sector, from the non-delivery of textbooks to teachers going on strike, should make us stand up.

The continuing killing of policemen should galvanise us into action.

The blatant corruption in our public and private sectors should make us furious. But instead we resort to writing letters, phoning radio talk shows and cracking jokes about how corrupt our leaders are.

We are unable to get out of our comfort zones to fight for what is right.

The messiah we are hoping and waiting for will not deliver us to the promised land as long as we continue to outsource our responsibilities as citizens.

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