"If you want a tree to grow upright, you do not wait for it to grow for 13 years before you decide to pull it straight." These were the words of Muslim clerics to the ANC when discussing issues of morality.
A few weeks ago I was part of this conversation as the ANC, in preparation for their policy meeting, consulted with leaders from different religious communities. The theme of the workshop was "Value of values". For the last 13 years, the government has taken a backseat on issues of religion. In my opinion, all that it seemed to say about religion is that it is a good idea for people to practice theirs while being tolerant of religions different to their own. And so, formal academic theological training has dwindled as the state and academic institutions do not see Theological or Religious faculties as an investment in the building of our communities.
And so, we have let this tree grow for 13 years without investing in a rod that will help this tree grow upright.
I just spoke to my brother in Pretoria. He and the lady he lives with were robbed in the early hours of this morning. They live in a security complex within a security complex. Yes, you read right - two sets of security firms, two sets of fences, two boomgates. Jacques wasn't there, but Vicky was. She was badly assaulted and threatened with her life. If Jacques were there, they would have probably shot him - that is what they do: shoot the men, beat the ladies. The two robbers stole a HUGE plasma TV and a cuboard full of clothes. Now, how did they get all that stuff out of the complexes when there are patrolling security guards?
What can we do to get this tree straight? Mr Nqakula reads into the crime statistics that things are not worth worrying about. Mr Mbeki does not seem concerned about the social dynamics that form when over a million refugees flood over our borders while one tyrrant after another destroy not only their hopes and homes, but also ours.
The meeting with the religious leaders clearly said to the ANC: "You reap what you sow.". Hell, I'm angry! Too much of me is telling me that it is irresponsible of me to raise our children here.