The decision to brazenly politicize the deaths of 7 young children who perished in what has by all accounts been an avoidable accident cannot have come as a surprise to those who have been following our public discourse.
It all fits the bill.
We have on the one hand a ruling party that is literally fighting for survival and on the other an opposition that instinctively believes that finally ÔÇô after a long wait that has often seemed like forever ÔÇô is now about to hit the finishing line.
The polarity that comes out of this corrosive mix is nothing short of bigotry.
In the end the ultimate victim has been the truth ÔÇô very much like in George Orwell’s immensely celebrated novel, 1984.
Listening to the two sides talk about the accidents, it’s almost as if the information coming from the two ends is not referring to the same tragedy.
That’s how far down the tube we have gone as a people.
We have lost all sense of decency and decorum.
The opposition has taken to naked lies, hyperboles and exaggerations.
Not to be outdone the government and ruling party have taken to those too, plus censorship and restrictions.
The picture that emerges is that of a nation that attaches very little premium to human life.
In talking about these 7 kids that have lost their lives, we see nothing wrong reducing them to some kind of animated toys.
Just what has happened to the values of humanity that used to define us as a nation?
Power – its lure and the temptation to hold on to it at all cost ÔÇô is blinding us to any sense of shame that we used to have.
The lust for power is driving to tear ourselves apart.
We have sunk too low. And from the look of things we have not reached rock bottom just yet.
As a country we are no longer guided by decency, but by deceit, acidic political point scoring and brash immorality.
Were we not once the model of decency and restraint?
Was our government not once a model of openness and honesty?
What has since happened to those ideals?
The social media ÔÇô that greatest invention of our time is fuelling all our defects.
Instead of us using and harnessing it to improve communication and our lives, we are using it to tear each other apart.
The tragedy of it all is that as a nation we do not have moral leaders.
Where South Africa for example has Desmond Tutu, we have no one to point at as a voice of reason, much less a unifying figure.
We are a society that has been left leaders.
If this vacuum is left for long, it is inevitable that a one-eyed monster will soon rise to fill it.
That is how Germany fell under the spell of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi ideology.
All those who pass for leaders are nothing but lightning rods. Mention their names and you get blood-soaked polarity that only serves to sink us as nation to new lows.
Our leaders ÔÇô across the spectrum are betraying the trusty that the nation has on them.
We use the 7 killed children only as an illustration.
On every issue, the spirit of tolerance has deserted us.
We are busy creating monsters from ourselves.
Instead of pointing out what is right and what is wrong, all that our political leaders seem happy to do is to tend to their own backyards.
How can it be right for a councilor ÔÇô a political leader to hit a political opponent right on the grounds of council?
How can it be right that such a hideous aberration finds celebration and justification at the party headquarters?
This is certainly not us.
Not only are we failing, we also are a nation that has lost all its senses.
It is important that we re-establish a sense of purpose again.
There is now talk of crafting a new national blue print called Vision 2036.
Ordinarily, this should be a source of national pride from which unity should emanate.
But we cannot expect anything of that sort.
Our Vision 2036 seems to be dying even before it is born. Stillborn is a more apt reference.
The whole thing centres on doubts (not all of them unfounded) if the people so selected to lead it are the best we have under the circumstances.