Thanks Hayley, that has answered some of my questions, it has filled much of the empty void...I really really didn't want to write another comment here because I've always seen FB debates as grossly unproductive and even more destructive due to the disconnection of expression and statements being interpreted in a different way in which they were ultimately intended (which you and I know all too well don’t we? 🙂 ) I'll try my best to keep this clear and very rationally thought out and conveyed in the way that I intend for it to be interpreted, so please forgive my thoroughness, it probably going to bulk it up a bit, as I'm not going to comment again on the matter so this is where I going to leave it.
Again lets be very clear, I'm not trying to undermine people's hard work as I appreciate their efforts greatly because we all want to help the situation in our hearts to inexplainable levels.
My thoughts are not to make people look stupid publicly or looked as pessimistic, or have a laugh, as I would take this kind of time out since I have other important things to worry about.
We know what kind of freak of optimism I am, so please view these thoughts in a constructive manner in the name of, fairness.
Additionally please disassociate me from speaking to you directly as the last thing I want to do right now is cause you any unnecessary stress given your precious cargo, so from this point speaking to the group leaders/organisers as a whole and merely using this space on Hayley’s comments to convey my thoughts, which is why I've decided to comment further in the first place.
So from this point everyone, please feel free to lower their defences as this is in no way intended to be an offensive and therefore should not be viewed as one in any way, although some of the questions I raise may be hard hitting they are only there because the possibility is open for them to be there…. for the purposes of convenience in this statement, I shall refer to the South African UK population/community/diaspora/whatever else you want to label as “every South African Citizen currently residing in the UK” as the “SA Diaspora”. T
hank goodness we've finally got the disclaimer out the way haha 🙂
Following on from my previous comment, I did mention having experienced, well known faces as part of the representation, I did list DA Abroad, ANC London and the Chamber for example, and the reason for this was because when we look at it, there really is no-one else that the SA Diaspora has to represent them, so naturally a person would mentally adopt political parties as representation by default since these branches are representative of our official government in South Africa, if they so choose of course. It has obviously come to light what is going on here with this whole effort given Hayley’s reasons above by forming a coalition leadership as such, however this too will rear its own issues I’m sure, because there is clearly no elected leadership which has been elected by the entire community. However after reading Xolani’s comment, it did make me think a lot about this and he does actually have a very valid point, because since pondering on it this evening, a bit of a horrifying thought came to mind of how wrong this could go which I’ll advise in a few minutes.
A broad mixed spectrum community such as ours with views ranging from one extreme to the other, should not be represented or governed under a political banner because of it being so mixed, and the fact that we are not forced (yet…which I’ll elaborate on in a bit) to be bound under a government like we would be if we were actually living in South Africa, because of our choice to live abroad temporarily or permanently. As a whole and due to the nature of what it is, given my explanation on not being forced to be governed, nobody can say they represent the SA Diaspora unless they have been given permission by every single person currently in the SA Diaspora. And the fact is, I know that hasn’t happened because I certainly haven’t given that permission on behalf of myself.
For example, if the entire SA Diaspora consisted of 100 people, and 99 people said “ok ja thats fine, you may represent me”, but 1 oke says “No”, then you cannot say that you represent the SA Diaspora because as clearly as it stands, you may say that you represent 99% of the SA Diaspora but you cannot say that you represent the SA Diaspora because you don’t represent 100% of it, and for the time being, there is currently no law that says that it can be represented under a majority vote. So… we absolutely have to and must protect this right and our freedoms to not let such a law even try make its way into our vibrant community. In order to protect that from ever happening, access of gates to the SA Diaspora as such, need to be closely guarded, which means that having no political affiliation is an absolute must in order to restrict political influence and ultimately protecting the rights of the SA Diaspora. Which brings me to the topic of political party member capacity vs personal capacity.
Amongst party members across the board, its always concerned me that party members seem to believe that they can choose which hat to wear on which day. When in reality this is certainly not the case because if it is, then you are certainly not being true to yourself,your values and your views because the whole purpose of you becoming a member was to live and breathe what you preach, so its kind of like believing in a religion. For example, since we’re talking about hats, I represent my website, PharSide - Wildly South African, I represent PharSide 24/7 365 every minute of every day because that is who I am and that is who I will always be, it is something that I have accepted since the day I realised I have a voice. Just like the fact that in a physical form, I am a man, tomorrow I can’t say I feel like being a woman, I might be able to dress like a woman, but underneath I am still very much a man, unless I go through a sex change to be one on a permanent basis and announce that that is that I am now a woman which would be the equivalent of changing your political affiliation.
Further examples would be in the case of Mr. Mmusi Maimane, he’s not Leader of the DA today, and then tomorrow he’s smoking a joint in public and claiming that he’s “just plain Mmusi” for the day, because he will not doubt get lambasted for it, remember how much heat he took for the gay saga? But same goes for Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema, all leaders are representatives of their respective parties and they live and breathe it. Although I can’t say the same for Jacob Zuma, I do respect Julius Malema, even though I may not agree with all of his views even by a long shot, I respect the man because he he stays true to himself and that is the opinion I have of him, I know this may be a bold statement to say and can be argued I guess, but the man actually does have a level integrity because this. To solidify my statement, I’ll add that Nelson Mandela, spent 27 years in jail because of what he represented. For 27 years he remained true to himself and what he represented, even when the Apartheid government offered to release him if he would denounce the ANC and end the struggle, because being anything else would disassociate himself from his values and his representation to his people, he did not, and he remained in jail until he was given the chance to continue to represent his people still staying true to who he was and nothing else. Now whilst we can only dream of being a fraction of the man that he was and have the capacity to be true to ourselves on a level that he was, we can make a conscious effort to be true to ourselves in a manner that is beneficial for the people that we choose to represent. So if you feel that being a member of a party is hindering you from being involved with other projects which would be more beneficial to others, then ties and membership with those parties should possibly be reconsidered because its not painting a very good picture in terms of solid values, integrity, views and ultimately, the big one…influence which could also very much leave the door wide open to our favourite little C word…Corruption. Since with low values,integrity and views that are inline with our values and integrity, the latter two very much feed eachother and go hand in hand.
One aspect where this could get into a bit of a situation is that for example: John voted for the DA during last elections, so he has put his trust in the DA and therefore they have a duty to honour his representation if a matter arises that he needs to be represented by them. A clear conflict of interest may occur if Lindiwe who is a DA Abroad representative has to represent John for something that may be against the policy of the governing body of the SA Diaspora of which Lindiwe is also on that very governing body, she can’t not represent John because that would mean that the DA will gladly leave those who voted for them high and dry (which would be a PR disaster), and she can’t take the SA Diaspora governing body policy into her own hands and make a decision without a majority vote on that decision, so it can put things in a very sticky catch 22 situation which I’m sure either political party wouldn’t be to happy with having to deal with the fall out of, since such a situation could have easily been avoided with having policies in place to prevent it.
This is pretty basic antitrust and conflict of interest laws of which I’ve signed many a form working in the banking industry, so it does raise a lot of concern that it appears both political parties here in London let this sort of thing happen also given that both these parties are running an entire country….Eish! I can tell you now it would be a bit awkward for people who are members of a political party, when a vote is cast in the SA Diaspora to protest against something which their particular party has done. e.g.. The Secrecy bill… I’d say it could get pretty awkward to say the least..hmmm, or saying that… this is an interesting thought, this entire project could be viewed as a way to prevent those sort of things from happening in the future, I’m not saying it is, but its certainly not an impossibility so therefore we have Oscar Pistorius’ good mate “reasonable doubt” to say this could be a way to “shut up “ the SA Diaspora given that we do have a big voice and we know it…its strange how this has popped up shortly after protests in London for the whole fees thing was widely broadcasted in South Africa…hmmm…what next? we all lose the right to vote?…so I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from with this, I am certainly not going to put myself in a position or let anybody else be responsible for people to lose their rights that we have living here being part of the SA Diaspora in the UK.
So if an organisation is formed to represent the community in some way, then it should be lead by a group of people that are neutral (yes this will be difficult because at the end of the day we are all citizens of South Africa and vote for our respective parties during elections, but I would much rather have an elective community “government” as such, of people who may have their own personal political views just like everybody else, which are only governed by their own personal minds and not influenced directly through and governed by an entire political party. ) And just incase anybody thought I might be saying this with my own interests in mind to wiggle my way into a governing body position, I’ll do us all a favour just disqualify myself right now and say… With a great sense of pride, I voted for the DA during the last elections and I am and always will be too aligned to the DA to be a part of a governing body that represents the SA Diaspora since I’m also openly referred to by Ludre Stevens, Head of DA Abroad as an honorary member of the DA.
It would not be morally right and fair on others, for me to be on a governing body such as this. This does not however prevent the governing body from consulting people like myself and political party members since this would be basic business practice and we are not part of any decision making process.
I know I could provide some helpful advice and knowledge into aspects on how this should be run, pending decisions based on votes etc. obviously. I’ll outlay these shortly, however there is just one quick topic I’d like to cover before heading on to the creative and fun stuff.
I did see the photos that were posted of the event today, the photos alone raised enough questions as we could blatantly see that it was in no way representative of the entire SA Diaspora and sadly never will if it continues in a way that it looked today. An excuse that people did not pitch cannot be used because that is the same as putting up a poster on a lamp post on a street in the small town of Graaff-Reinet, to say that you will be having an AGM and that you will now be taking over as representatives for everyone in the whole of South Africa…I’m sure anyone would agree, thats not how it works. It does make me wonder and please don’t look at these questions that I’m trying to catch anybody out or spark conspiracy theories but they are the questions that sprung to mind. If every person in the entire SA Diaspora was invited, and its widely known that this is well over 1000 people at the very least (apparently this runs into the hundreds of thousands ) why then was this arranged in a hall, that from the photos seemed to barely be able to hold 100 people. I mean, what if 100 000 people actually showed up, although unlikely, it is possible that this could have happened, since every person in the SA Diaspora was invited after all. How would it have been catered for then? The fact that it was in Stratford which is the furthest place from the majority of the SA Diaspora in London (as we all know this is mainly SW London) does beg the question, was this for the convenience of those involved because they just didn’t really want to travel, which lets be fair, if they aren’t willing to travel across London to meet the people that they wish to represent then this doesn’t give the impression that much effort would be put into representing them in the long run… and again excuse my questioning mind but I feel it is valid, could it be that this was it purposely arranged in Stratford so that the majority of the SA Diaspora which is widely known to be white South Africans, would not pitch, given that there are very very few white faces in the pics (bear in mind it does bug me as much as it probably bugs anybody else to bring race into the picture as its something that I try to avoid at all costs, but the fact is it seems unavoidable not to comment on that) but this is where it does leave it wide open to scrutiny given that the chairperson of this project is or was until recently Head of the ANC London (please bare in mind that I’ve not met Lucy, but I have only heard good things about her from people that I trust, ie. Hayley, so I don’t doubt her integrity and good intentions for one second, however, by having things as they are, if Jacob says to Lucy, “you must say this” or “you must swing a vote on this…” then I’m afraid that Lucy isn’t going to have much choice in the matter, and if she isn’t part of ANC London anymore than we need to be convinced that things aren’t happening behind closed doors and there’s a reason why she is no longer in the position (again not doubting hers or anybody with ANC London’s integrity, I’ve worked in banking long enough to know that nobody knows what the big wigs at the top are deciding on without the knowledge of its workers, the workers are always the last to know, especially when redundancies are announced)…so saying that, who’s to say this whole thing isn’t just a big stunt in start of a other things to come even if Lucy isn’t even aware of it right now at this very moment and her own good intentions aren’t being taken advantage of? I don’t want to believe those sort of things, but the possibility is there and therefore I have a responsibility as a member of the SA Diaspora to question these things and protect the rights and freedoms that we have whilst in the UK, and lets be clear, no I do not represent or think that I represent the SA Diaspora, but I do have a duty to protect this great community that I am part of. I mean we’ve seen some pretty questionable tactics in the past, ie. Elections voting stations… putting one voting station in pretty much one city in an entire country to do a fine job at restricting people from voting ,which everybody knew were gonna vote for the DA which would have caused the ANC to lose even more seats in Parliament, and its not that they couldn’t do more, because it was possible, it was clearly chosen not to for obvious reasons…you can’t deny that putting an AGM in a remote part of London with very little South Africans it to talk about things that affect the SA Diaspora does kinda have the same kind of ring to it…just saying…again, I really don’t want to believe such things, but it cannot be denied that it is possible. Like I said before, it just doesn’t gel right with me… I mean, I don’t really want to stoop to the level of saying this, but take a good look at the invite itself, it screams ANC only with its green, gold and black background… it certainly wasn’t an SA flag background thats for sure…come one guys, I don’t wanna be this guy who has to ask these kind of questions..
But hey, if there’s nothing to worry about then I’m sure nobody would have any problem with doing things in a very fair well organised and transparent manner, and if the cause is more important to those involved, then those involved with strong political affiliations will have no problem with handing the reigns over to a neutral governing body to continue the cause forward, because I do agree, its a flipping brilliant idea, for the SA Diaspora to have one strong amalgamated voice that is completely independent but serves as an incredibly powerful voice that speaks for a massive number of people would be monumental… now read that last line again and tell me its not wide open to “opportunity” if its run in a manner that is not entirely for the benefit of the people it represents.
Anyway here are my thoughts on a viable solution, please take this as advice only and not that I’m trying to run the show as some may look at it as, it is merely since I do live my the notion that if I want to have the right to complain or be heard, then I have a responsibility to help provide a reasonable solution to the issue ,in my opinion this is how I think things like this should be run going forward (very high level design of course) in a way that is fair for everyone, guards the gates of the SA Diaspora well, and preserving our rights and freedoms and protecting them from political interference.
Massive online promotion is pushed out through every possible medium to ensure that absolutely every South African residing under every rock in the UK has had a reasonable opportunity to be notified of the intension to form a committee that represents the SA Diaspora in the Uk with a clear choice to Opt In
For those who opt in, clear communication is sent out the community giving a full description of the intentions of the committee and how it will represent those who are part of it in a beneficial way.
People are given the opportunity to send RFC’s and have questions answered in a open and online public forum so that those who haven’t opted in yet can see what is being planned very opening and again choose at any time to be a part of it.
Those who wish to be a part of the leadership committee may nominate themselves and
An acting elective is formed on a vote to taken by everyone involved to form a 30 person leadership committee, from there a final leadership committee is voted on by the community as well as the acting committee. This way its not very possible for people to be placed in positions that may not be entire to the benefit of the greater cause as such with little political influence.
The community in which this committee represents is given a name for the community which it represents ,for the reasons I have already discussed, the SA Diaspora cannot be used because no-one can ever fully represent it, Expats certainly cannot also be used for the same reasons plus to add, personally I disassociate myself with the term Expat since it does hold a stigma to it since as we all know very well, Expats can widely be seen as those who no longer want to associate themselves with South Africa and its journey forward, I like to refer to them as the “The countries f*cked… that can have it” bunch, as many know now I proudly call myself a Global South African, at the moment there is no official definition to the name, its very simple and encompasses exactly what it says, a South African that has gone global, my view is that anybody who chooses to be consider themselves a Global South African is someone who is positively and proudly South African that continues to drive the country forward for the benefit of our nation… which already makes it perfect for this cause since thats exact what this cause should be representing.
The Leadership can then do the job that they were intended to be by being the voice of the community and working closely with the SA Governement to address things that need to be address, eg. visa rules, passport renewals etc etc and other more serious topics that effect us all.
So for the time being, I’m afraid I will not allow myself to be represented by a committee that after thinking about it, is a little too politically aligned which may or may not be too beneficial to a political party that I didn’t even vote for in the first place, (Naturally given I have to accept this and governed within SA Borders) let alone vote to be represented by it or not, so for those reasons and until I am otherwise convinced and I’m sure many others would say the same…I’m out