By Kate Douglas
I feel kind of drained by all the debates and bickering surrounding last week’s political events. I have found myself reciting impassionate responses to the typical comments representing various South African opinions. To the “this proves how African democracies are developing” comments I find myself murmuring, “This proves that we are an African democracy”. To the “we should all move to Canada” hysteria, I respond with, “Relax, the Nicholson judgment seems constitutional and justice is simply being done”. To the “nobody panic” comments, I usually have to restrain myself from saying, “Oh, shut up”.
The truth is, I do not know whether Thabo Mbeki meddled in the prosecution of ANC president Jacob Zuma or not. What I know is that there are children hungry on the streets of Grahamstown and everywhere else in South Africa. What I know is that I can’t walk down High Street without a starving human being, dressed in rags, begging for food or money. I am sick of all of the governmental drama distracting the media’s attention from the real issues. I guarantee you that the hungry people who knock on my digs door each day are more concerned about when they may get their next meal than about which ANC members are supporters of Mbeki or Zuma. To be honest, I think that there are a couple of government heads who need a good hiding and something resembling a DP warning, telling them to quit their bitching and do their job. And I wish it was as easy as that because the sight of a young boy curled up in a corner outside BP during one of last week’s icy nights, should be our main concern. I don’t care how annoying his continuous begging may be or that years of seeing many like him have numbed us: the fact that he is nine years old should matter. It is truly great that the constitution has protected Zuma’s rights, but what about protecting the rights of that child? It is bullpoo that the poverty crisis in SA doesn’t have the full attention of various heads of government.
However, it does seem to have the attention of numerous societies and students at Rhodes. I think that these programmes and community projects need more awareness and, after my above rant, it would be hypocritical if Activate did not provide space for them to do so. So the next edition will dedicate a page to these numerous programmes and we ask that societies and students email and tell us about each of their community projects.
The next page introduces Activate’s new team. We are represented as criminals (for reasons that made sense at the time). Every one of us aims to make Activate more representative of you, the student. However, I know that good intentions still produce failures, so I encourage you all to tell us where we fall and where we can improve. If you see any of us on campus then introduce yourself and tell us what you would like to see more of in Activate. You will find that we are eager to hear what you have to say. But, if you find that we have not listened to you, feel free to throw a tomato at us. Tomato-throwing is a fun way to get people’s attention, though a bit of a waste of food.