Extract

I am one of the many undecided voters in the country. My heart says vote for the party that became a fascination of our youth. The longer the ANC remained in exile, the more the mythology about the liberation movement grew in the minds of young South Africans, especially during our Bush university years. It was both scary and exhilarating being a student in 1976. When Nelson Mandela was eventually released and we could vote for the very first time in the country of our birth, the choice of whom to vote for was easy.

Now I really do not know. The years of corruption under the current government have eaten away not only at the vital resources of the state but at the foundations of the moral economy upon which democratic governance depends. People have lost faith in our public institutions, which is why we burn schools, libraries and artworks. It is partly the internalisation of violence within our very souls — we became like those we detested — but it is also the frustration that institutions do not work for the poor and the vulnerable. But I am comfortably middle class so I do not need the government for a grant of any kind and therefore, like everyone else in this position, black and white, I make my political choices from the vantage point of economic independence that results from a university education and a good job. For those struggling to survive from one day to the next, the government seems to be the source of one’s very existence through a generous system of grants, even if they screw ...

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