Letters to the editor
ANC's eye of the needle as wide as east is from west
I am flabbergasted by the president's letter in the newspapers stating why we should vote for an ANC "that will eradicate corruption".
He made this call after his party had submitted to the electoral commission a list of candidates, some of whom faced evidence of reckless avarice. ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule arrogantly responded that "people were innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law".
I want to say to Magashule, jurisprudence alone and your ANC cannot and must not be regarded as an absolute criterion for moral rectitude. The moral fabric of this nation is in tatters because of disseminating this belief. What has happened to botho (humanity)?
The ANC talks of "the eye of the needle". What we see in this list, the eye of this needle is as wide as east is from west. I am a senior citizen and cannot condone and support Ramaphosa. He was in the Eskom "war room" with a mandate to fix state-owned enterprises, in particular Eskom. Mr President, I listened to you in parliament extricating yourself from the mess. Truth is, you went there and saw an orgy of malfeasance, and recommended this so-called war room be terminated.
Second, how can I rally to your call when you told us that "you find yourself lucky" because you have past presidents to get advice from? Soon after that we hear about nine wasted years. What a contradiction.
- LB Angoma, Kelvin
WHY DID CYRIL NOT KNOW?
I would like to comment on a few recent utterances by Cyril Ramaphosa.
I do enjoy listening to Ramaphosa. He is urbane and charming. However, let's examine what he has said.
The ANC voter will forgive us for what we have done. That may well be, but let's be aware of what has been done. This is no bunking-class offence. This is grand theft on a huge scale and for a long time from people the ANC promised to help. This isn't just taxpayers' money. This is money meant to uplift disadvantaged people.
Cyril also says he didn't know how bad corruption was and is. In other words, angazi (I don't know), an excellent Zulu word.
I am Joe Public sitting in my house in Cape Town. I have known for over 20 years how corrupt the ANC was ever since a left-wing lady who went to work for the ANC in government soon after 1994 left abruptly and emigrated because she was so disgusted by the widespread corruption she witnessed. Right up to the muscling out of Glencore from the Optimum coal mine. Anyone with half a business brain could see what Zuma's Guptas were up to. Cyril, if you didn't know and I knew, what were you doing as our deputy president?
- Neil Kisch, Cape Town
RAMAPHOSA OPTION IS A RISK
Your columnist Peter Bruce has urged voters to vote for the ANC, justifying his recommendation by saying that "a vote for the ANC will give strength to Cyril Ramaphosa" as president.
I appreciate the route Ramaphosa is taking to try to right all the wrongs perpetrated under Jacob Zuma's watch, but let me remind voters of the following facts in our political setup:
1. Voters are not empowered to elect a president. The majority party convenes and elects its president.
2. If the ANC is in the majority, there is no certainty or guarantee that Ramaphosa will be its elected president.
3. The elected president then appoints the new parliamentary individuals.
4. Even if Ramaphosa is elected, what guarantee is there that he will not be recalled by a powerful Zuma faction if he "gets under their skin", or that he, at his age, suffers some illness which prevents him from carrying out his good intentions, or, even worse, is assassinated by members of his own party?
Consider the case where the mayor of the ANC-controlled Harry Gwala district has been arrested in connection with the murder of former ANC Youth League leader Sindiso Magaqa. The accused is third on the party list for the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature.
So, voters in SA, please consider your options in May, and vote for a party that has proved its credentials by its clean and effective governance in the Western Cape.
- Errol Hicks, Hillcrest. KwaZulu-Natal
HATE, NOT FEAR, DROVE MASSACRE
A 28-year-old white man from Australia opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch, minutes after sending a copy of his 74-page racist manifesto to New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, several media outlets and lawmakers.
Fifty people were killed, and another 50 were injured in the attack.
In his manifesto, the shooter conveys a deep hatred for people who are not white, whom he called "invaders", as well as an intense anti-Muslim sentiment throughout the document.
With each mass shooting we have seen more and more how social media and the racist, Islamophobic words of politicians and the media have prompted people to commit these acts.
In the aftermath of the Christchurch shooting, Australian senator Fraser Anning blamed the tragedy on immigration, a sentiment that sounds similar to what US President Donald Trump has said in the past.
The real cause of bloodshed is unchecked xenophobia and white xenophobia, which inspire people to commit unthinkable crimes.
Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch gunman, is a white supremacist who took the lives of 50 Muslims. He acted out of hatred, not fear.
It is necessary to recognise that this was an act of terrorism, because a massacre is not a side-effect of mental illness.
- Saif Soofie, Durban