It was the worst of times back in the dark ages of apartheid, and it is the worst of times again for the country now; it was the age of foolishness then, and it is the age of foolishness all over again; it was the epoch of incredulity and once again it is the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of darkness and it is the season of darkness again; it was the winter of despair, and 50 years later it is another winter of despair; we had nothing before us then, and we have nothing before us once again.

Who will be our new Nelson Mandela? Do we need a new Mandela to tell us that we cannot keep on appointing thousands of people into key positions they are ill-equipped for? Do we really need anybody to point out to us that nothing in the government is working anymore?

In the history of mankind, no racist policy has ever brought enduring peace and success. We have to improve the skills of all our people so they can all compete in the marketplace, and then appoint on merit. As Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has proved, there is plenty of talent out there.

Izak van Rensburg

Somerset West

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