I AM seriously considering foregoing my daily read of The Herald. I think the mine massacre was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.
It's not the fault of The Herald, but I consider it unwise to start off every day feeling powerless, angry and frustrated almost to the point of suffering from high blood pressure. Perhaps it would be better to put one's head in the sand like an ostrich and pretend all is well?
There's no escape however. If it's not The Herald, it will be other media showing pictures, telling stories of unbelievable poverty, suffering, unfair dismissals, crime and authoritarian incompetence; and pictures of people wading through water trying to retrieve their meagre possessions from inadequate housing, communities without even the basics of water, electricity, sanitation and roads.
In The Herald a few days later there was a short, almost matter of fact story about the Zulu king needing an additional R18-million over and above the already approved budget of R57.7-million to build palaces for and the upkeep of his six wives.
Fraud, incompetence, billions of taxpayers' rands going down the drain. It's so surreal, as if an incurable insanity has gripped our country, swiftly breaking down everything and leading us to become at best dust bowl of Africa.
What can the ordinary citizen do? Are we completely powerless without voice or opinions that will be taken seriously?
Some will suggest voting out the current political party in power. South African history until now doesn't offer much assurance in that regard, no matter the state of the nation and misery of people's lives at election time.
To be honest, I have no personal political preference. All I desire, my only criteria at this seemingly hopeless point of no return, is for honest, competent leaders with the desire and integrity to get the job done in a responsible manner without an unhealthy dose of personal or party agenda.
How can this be achieved is the vital question? Do ordinary citizens without power or authority other than the ballot box have any means at all to halt what seems to be an inevitable lemming run into the sea?
I wish I had an answer. I am sick to my stomach at what is happening in our beautiful country and rapidly losing my determined will always to portray the positive side of South Africa.
We just cannot allow this to continue without at least trying to intervene in some legal, non-violent way. Perhaps someone from the legal fraternity could assist us by suggesting legal objection or intervention?
If each concerned taxpayer were to donate say R10 towards legal costs, perhaps a substantial offensive could be launched.
I really do not know, but have no intention whatsoever of sitting helplessly, being led like a lamb to the slaughter if I can have a say in it!
Barry Sendall, Walmer, Port Elizabeth