Please do not misunderstand me I am in no way insinuating that the leaders of this historically rich movement are pigs or more generally animals. Not at all. The comparisons I am about to draw your attention to, like George Orwell’s initiative use the reference to animals in a metaphorical manner. Thus the working middle class are not horses but these taxpayers are in essence similar in character to Boxer, the hard working horse in the book. To further emphasise this point let me dare and compare Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela to a pig. No not in the yummy bacon manner nor the dirty we can’t even eat that manner. I compare Dr Mandela to Old Major who is an iconic figure in the story of animal farm and represents wisdom and integrity, values that his successors ought to look to strive towards and uphold.
The metaphorical comparison contrasts the Freedom Charter stipulations of June 26, 1955 agreed upon by the ANC, South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress with the social, economic and political realities of contemporary South Africa. To any Americans reading this blog post the Freedom Charter is as iconic as your very own declaration of independence.
The story of animal farm which as we all know was a metaphor of the Russian revolution tells the tale of animals in Mr Wilkinson’s farm who revolt against the oppressive farm owner, chase him out and take over the farm. Once the animals gain control of the farm they soon establish utopic rules which are unfortunately not adhered to. In fact the rules are actually altered by the pigs that become leaders who start to embody the expelled farmer much to the detriment of the farm animals who endure further oppression.
The original seven commandments, their own constitution or charter, at Animal farm were:
- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy
- Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
- No animal shall wear clothes.
- No animal shall sleep in a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
- No animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
No. Relax. I am not blogging to say you must stop drinking alcohol or killing fellow comrades/councillors because even animals see these actions to be wrong and dumb. The ANC comparison comes later. Three of the seven rules in animal farm changed under the stewardship of pig Napoleon. Changed to suit the wishes of Napoleon and his fellow elitist pigs who no longer acted like other animals; prancing around walking on two feet and wearing suits nogal. The italicised words were added to the commandments:
- No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
- No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
- No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
Eventually the commandments were replaced with the overarching and all-encompassing single maxim stating all “animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”.
Manje uKhongolose ungenaphi la? Well the Freedom charter and to a large extent the South African constitution promulgated by President Nelson Mandela on December 1996 represent the first set of commandments in SA as Animal Farm. See below some of the propositions of the Freedom charter:
- The people shall govern!
- The people shall share in the Country’s wealth!
- The Land shall be shared among those who work it!
- All shall be equal before the law!
- The doors of Learning and of Culture Shall be open to all!
The list is exhaustive and thus I will not exhaust it. We have not officially rewritten these ‘commandments’ as did the animals under the dictatorship of Napoleon, such a vark. However I feel that the current social, economic and political reality in SothAfrica has inadvertently altered these commandments as follow:
- The people shall govern but 4000 delegates will vote for leadership.
- The people shall share in the Country’s wealth if they know the right people.
- The Land shall be shared among those who work it sometime in the future just don’t talk about expropriation and nationalisation, you will scare of investors.
- All shall be equal before the law unless they are terminally ill with that illness called life or have a yearning to be the president.
- The doors of Learning and of culture Shall be equal to all but some will get Toyota quality whilst other’s enjoy Rolls Royce educational opulence.
Allow me to justify my claims. I. Unless you are going to Mangaung, the decision of who will be president of the people’s movement the African National Congress and later the president of the republic, lest the so called Democratic Alliance win LOL I am kidding, will be made on your behalf.
II. The businessinsider.com website places us as the second most unequal society in the world. Namibia‘s GINI co-efficient of 70.7 trumps SA’s 65.0 whilst the USA comes in at number 39 with a GINI of 45.0. In a nutshell there is an inequitable sharing of resources and profits in our society and policies such as Black Economic Empowerment and failures in Education and Labour policies have served to exacerbate the problem. Do not despair. If you know the right people you can magically shoot from oblivion into the mix of the high rollers. No education required ask the SABC boss who has no matric. To mimic Trevor Noah: An education for what? Matric for who? Not even woodwork pho?
III. With the exception of the now expelled former sometimes current ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, the ANC is as mum about the fact that Black African South Africans were forcefully and violently removed from land they occupied and pushed towards the homelands and the forever despicable townships as the Democratic Alliance. Are the people sharing land equitably? The answer is a resounding no. I will not discuss the Lenasia removals or the construction work being done in the president’s home; let us wait for the commissions of inquiry to take their course.
IV. All shall be equal before the Law. I have two names for you. Jackie Sela-Elibi and Schabir Shake, Shake the hand of those you advice. Until they die I will use a phrase one generally sees in social networks: Enough said!
V. The Freedom charter called for quality and accessible education. This one infuriates me most. In her justification of the Annual National Assessment results that indicate, amongst other atrocities, that our Grade 9s score an average of 13% in Mathematics the minister of education who has a Master’s degree in Education made a bewildering statement. I know my friends might think this is a product of my imagination so I will quote Minister Angie “I’m a minister I don’t deliver…” Motshekga. She said “You cannot compare bananas to apples, a Rolls Royce with a Toyota”. According to the City Press this was her analogical explanation of why Government schools cannot be compared to private schools which are, I assume, the Rolls Royce. What then happens when the Toyota learner and the Rolls Royce scholar seek jobs and/or university acceptance? This to me amounts to the rubbishing of Mandela’s take that “…it is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor…”. Clearly not old man. Not in that Toyota. I wonder what model we referring to? If it is 13% it may just be a Toyota Cressida.
Enough reading now let us look at some pictures.
It did not take long for the pigs to adopt the ways of their former oppressive masters. If we accept that the maxim first asserted by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” then we must heed the charter’s call for the people to govern.
Does it not say something about all the people sharing the wealth of the country?
Generally speaking the majority of sober minded South Africans love the African National Congress. We find ourselves hoping and wishing that this prestigious movement does not turn on its own people. I found this picture on someone’s Facebook profile and was angered by the fact that someone designed it but angered more by the fact that we can no longer claim it is blasphemous or completely inaccurate. Let the following words by Dr Nelson Mandela be an inexorable prophecy: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another”.