Cyril Ramaphosa has long been considered the white South African’s first choice as ANC president. This is for a variety of reasons, including because he has the gravitas and acumen of a global business leader. But, let’s also not forget it was Ramaphosa’s relationship with young Afrikaner nationalist Roelf Meyer that formed the bedrock of South Africa’s successful transition to democracy. This relationship was known as “the channel”. In this open letter that has gone viral on social media channels, and sparked controversy, Sophia Kapp from Centurion underscores what Ramaphosa needs to do to cement his reputation among white Afrikaners. – Jackie Cameron
Dear Mr Ramaphosa
Congratulations on your election as the president of the ANC. I mean that sincerely. Take it from me: When a white, Afrikaans tannie from the suburbs of Pretoria is happy and relieved that you are the winner of this race, it says a lot about the state of affairs in this country.
Please remember that while tonight you have become the leader of a party, you will in all probability become the leader of this country. Those are two different jobs, a concept with which your predecessor apparently had some trouble. So, here are a few pointers:
- No selling us out to the Guptas and their ilk. You are the leader of a democracy, not the CEO of a corrupt sweat shop where the workers are chained to looms while the owners sip gin-and-tonics on the porch of the country club.
- No appointing your lovers to the cabinet. We want people who can actually do the jobs they’re paid to do.
- No homestead. You hear that? You have a home. Actually, as prez, you’ll have several, which we already maintain. That’s enough. You want another house, build it with your own money, not ours. If you need a fire pool, let me know, Jabulani and I will come and dig you one for a couple of hundred rands.
- No colluding with anybody who serve their own interests above ours. Yes, we want electricity. No, we don’t want to make Russians rich.
- Africa is not a dumping ground for Chinese toxic waste. In whatever format.
- Watch Ace. Tell him to give back those cars.
- You may be taking over a messy government, but you’re going to be the president of some mighty fine people. Like my dad who is eighty-one and still thinks this is the best country on the planet. And my son who has to survive here long after you and I will both be gone. And Jabulani, who comes to my house with a smile and good wishes every time he sees me, even though he has a tough life. And my friends, and my colleagues, and my students, and my son’s friend who has to catch a train in Soweto at five every morning to be on time for class, and the guy who guards my car at Pick n Pay and comes running with an umbrella when it rains and links his arm through mine and says, “Stay close, Mama, this rain will make you ill if it catches you”.
You will be the president of all of us. We work our butts off to make a living. That is worthy of your respect. Govern accordingly.
Good luck with a tough job. Strive to be worthy of us.
By Sophia Kapp/BizNews