During his State of the Nation address on Friday, Mbeki made the proposal of an oath of allegiance in the hope of encouraging children to uphold moral values and take pride in nation-building. By Monday, the text of this “oath”, which will be recited every day at assembly at all schools in SA, was released. It says;
“We the youth of South Africa, recognising the injustices of our past, honour those who suffered and sacrificed for justice and freedom.
“We will respect and protect the dignity of each person, and stand up for justice.
“We sincerely declare that we shall uphold the rights and values of our Constitution and promise to act in accordance with the duties and responsibilities that flow from these rights. ”
Now this is all very dandy, but I have some major issues with the whole concept of hundreds of thousands of children standing up every day, hands on heart, reciting some meaningless (to them) mumbo-jumbo. A little bit too much like something our friend Mao would have liked.
And then, I also have a major problem with the wording of this oath. Children (PLEASE don’t call them learners, for f*ck sake) at school at the moment are aged between 5 and 18 (or 25 depending on the school). This means that they were born between 1990 and 2003. They had absolutely nothing to do with the so-called “injustices” of the past, and I see no reason why they should “recognise the injustices of the past”.
I am 1/8 German. Does this mean that I am somehow (even remotely) responsible for the so-called (hang, I couldn’t resist that) Holocaust? Of course not, and so too are our children completely innocent in respect of South Africa’s past.
By dredging up the past, blaming Apartheid for every current problem (like Eskom) and entrenching racial discrimination, the ANC government is no better than those evil dudes who somehow all disappeared in 1994.
The doom and gloom portrayed of life pre-1994 is overpowering, and I’m even starting to believe all this propaganda myself. Maybe my life only began in 1994? Maybe nothing I, or any other South Africans did prior to 1994 was remotely important, unless it involved blowing up innocent men, woman and children in the name of the revolution? Nothing of value was achieved, we were all miserable, and our only hope lay in the mighty ANC.
But hey, I’m not sure why I’m getting myself in a froth about this issue. It’ll die a natural death, just like the anti-kissing law. The kids will just laugh the whole thing off and compose their own rude version of it, or whatever.
“You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
There are obviously a lot of people in government, with a lot of time, being paid lot’s of money, to dream up these crazy ideas. Good for them. Who knows, next they’ll try and disban the Scorpions. (what, they have? are you serious?)