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An Anatomy of Arrogance: Rape, UWC, FNB, ANC and other “quagotomies.” And what about India?

Wait, you don’t know what a quagotomy is? *sigh* Let me educate you. That is a word that I just invented. A combination of a quagmire and a dichotomy, because let’s face it, at this point the world is in a swampy dilemma which is a two folded contradictory problematic mess.

As usual, I’ll look for a solution by piecing together the parts I encounter. Debate, anyone?

I’ve never claimed to know the answers, even when I’ve spoken self-deprecatingly of “solutions”. However, recent issues in this country, and in my immediate life, have made me, once again wonder, why?  And what about India?

It is widely spoken of the divides in this country and the gross inequalities. We are the most unequal society in the world beating even Brazil, the vast divide between rich and poor is painfully evident, Cape Town is a city which is unfair and essentially built on Apartheid architecture.

It all makes me wonder why we, as a society are so quick to point out, but not follow through?
Sure we can mention all of the above more often. Yet we choose not to.

The recent ANC battles have proven what a big ego it is, and how it is run by defensiveness and deflection. The ANC has the opportunity to nurture the country and take it to new heights, realising the potential that many have had, and continue to have for South Africa. Instead, they choose to be defensive and back against the wall and sneer at criticism. Gwede Mantashe lashes out at Mamphela Rampele for the rumours that she is to start her own political party. He, and others, have criticised her for taking an intellectual stance. But is this not what we now need? To start thinking, considering and really debating these issues on which we are remaining silent. We live in silence. We live in fear. And we expect change?!

The recent incident with the FNB bank advertisements is such a ridiculous example. How does a bank which featured ads with children relaying their fears for South Africa intimidate a political party which took down an oppressive regime?

Arrogance borne out of fear is my best guess. The ANC is riding a wave which is losing its trajectory as the ANC was not the only party, or organisation involved in ending apartheid.  So what do you do when you’re in the wrong and have no way out? You get defensive and fight! Dogs know it, except that that wouldn’t be very African of me. So please ignore my comparison of the ANC to a defenseless little yapping dog, because it is completely wrong of me to say that.


I recently had an experience at my University where I was waiting in line to register for the academic year. The queue was long and disjointed. No one really knew where to stand and there were various short queues.

I was towards the front of the entrance and a few men walked up and cut the already disorganised line and just stood there. People spoke up, but there was no one to help them. Let’s compare this to the people in power – they march in and seem to do whatever they want. We protest and speak up, but without the necessary volume and muscle, protestations are virtually futile.

This is what I see when I look at the state of this country. Men in power who, when called out, back into a corner and start barking insults and superfluous insults.

The gentlemen doth protest too much, but why? The ANC seems to fear an Arab Spring-style uprising. But why? Do they have reason to? Wouldn’t there be no fear or concern if jobs were done and issues being addressed?

Maybe they should ask, but what about India? Our friend in the BRICS bloc of nations, despite their infamous poverty, has proved economic growth and their own issues. 1948 was a key year in the world. Besides the state of Israel’s formation, Pakistan was formed from its partition from India, and Apartheid began in South Africa.

I’ve tried to rationalise it by looking at racial differences in SA, even today. But India has had devastating class differences, which could even be seen as even worse to some. There is no comparing really, especially when it comes to size. Is this then the reason why they have risen up? Safety in numbers?

We are a society that is so numb and apathetic, that we cannot even stand up when women and children are violated. How long do we keep turning our heads away and promoting the silence, comparing ourselves to others and not tackling what needs to be tackled?

Do we have to wait for our own national icon to die, wait a few decades, and then decide to rise up?
Do we have to sit in this status quo for a few decades more before we rise up against a system that doesn’t seem to care?

India, with what was deemed the worst rape incident on record, rose up. Women marched the streets in their thousands to tackle something which should never have happened in the first place.

So… why are we allowing the evil of this world to continually invade our country as simply an aspect of our society?

In a country like South Africa, many see certain issues as above others. How could we possibly focus on rhino poaching when we have homeless people? How can we even bother with gay rights when children don’t even have food to eat when they go to school?

You would then think that one or other group would at least rise to the top of the pile and we could achieve some balance. Instead we have children going hungry, people still homeless, shoddy education, human rights violations and dead rhinos.

And the rest of us throw our hands up and wonder why.


<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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