Jacob Zuma has fancied himself as a Shakespeare buff this year, reciting lines from the Bard’s Julius Caesar and Macbeth plays at the official Youth Day commemoration in Ventersdorp.
His soliloquy did not include the line in Julius Caesar, uttered by Cassius to his friend Brutus to get him to join an uprising to stop Caesar from becoming king.
“The fault, dear Brutus,” intoned Cassius, “is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Perhaps Zuma was alert to the warning of another Shakespeare character, Hamlet, against being “hoist with his own petard”. So he did not suggest to the young masses on June 16 that they should stand against a president who, while he did not assume a kingship, acted as if our country was his personal fiefdom to plunder and sex (sic).
There should be no fear among you and I.
The ordinary reading of Julius Caesar is that when we go against (natural) democratic processes of electing and removing leaders we “let slip the dogs of war”.
But what if our democracy is a mere semblance of the ideal, based on proportional representation deals at CODESA in the run-up to the first elections in 1994? What if it has no bearing on the governance needs of our country? And, what if, when it could have been used to hold accountable presidents and cabinet ministers, even ordinary members of parliament, it was so consistently perverted that it had virtually no use value for citizens?
For the record, the new president of the ANC and putative president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, won only 2440 votes at the elective conference out of the 4700 total delegates representing about 1.1-million people.
It is long past time that all the people of our country have a greater say in who gets to lead us.
The fault, dear reader, lies not in our stars, nor in the god(s) we profess to follow, but in ourselves in 2018, in respect of Zuma and all the other thugs who stuff us around.