EDITORIAL: The true meaning of self-sacrifice

03 August 2021 | Opinion

Before every election in southern Africa - and often intermittently during public holidays - we are reminded of the blood that waters our freedom, and how democratic nations in the region owe their gratitude and undying support to former liberation movements.

We are told to harken back the glory days, when battles were fought for our freedom and when those now plump with power were fighting wars in faraway places, and being educated in tropical climes.

For this, we are supposed to be eternally grateful, while overlooking current transgressions and a lack of integrity.

We are reminded by their actions that they did not fight the struggle to be poor, as treasuries in southern African nations become looting pools, and a competition unfolds to see who can fatten themselves the quickest.

It genuinely seems as if there is a contest to decide which political parties are the best siphoning machines, as they brazenly plunder their nations’ resources for their own self-aggrandisement – regarding government resources, including land, as their own personal property, while the majority of the populace is left in abject poverty.

Now what are we to do, as they deploy their barbs at some imaginary ideological enemy, and tell us that some bogeyman from the West is after them and wants ‘regime change’?

We should remind them what true self-sacrifice is.

They should know that selflessness is found in appreciating that they are owed nothing for the fight against colonialism and apartheid.