Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The trouble with Umshini Wami
I must say I did take some interest in Jacob Zuma trying to wriggle his way out of the fact that Umshini Wami, such a rallying call during his journey to president-elect, has become a rallying call during the xenophobic violence recently.

While many of these thugs have been singing "his" song between belting some poor Somalian, Zimbabwean and/or anyone else in their paths, Zuma asks "Umshini wami belongs to the ANC. Who are these people abusing this song while they are doing wrong things?".

While it seems incredibly disengenious to suggest that those perpetrating this violence cannot be from the ANC as they are "doing wrong things", it does show the razor's edge that has to be walked as a leader with largely populist support base.

He went on to say that "Maybe we (ANC) haven't been able to explain how much African countries helped us during the struggle for our freedom." For me, this shows a fundamental disconnect and continuing signs of cracks in the much vaunted "freedom voting" in the electorate.

We continue to see signs that the electorate (please note that I'm not talking here about the xenophobic attacks, but much more broader debate and criticisms) is starting to criticise the grand party of emancipation on socio-political issues and more importantly, to reduce the respect for the party as such. This can only be a good thing within the confines of our democracy.