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Proposal for a better future


Nothing has changed. The rich still get rich and the poor still get children

File image: IOL

When I started teaching at Heatherdale Primary School in Belgravia Road, Athlone, in 1959, we could not foresee how quiet protest would grow into the confrontation of the ’80s. We did not hear them start up that fateful railway truck that was rumbling ominously towards its shameful infamy as the Trojan Horse.

That orchestrated duplicity and cruelty played out in grim permanence outside the gates of Heatherdale.

This event typified the insanity of the Nats. It demonstrated unashamedly their flawed doctrine that white was right and that coloured and “other” lives were expendable in the larger scheme of things.

In 1983 I transferred to a new high school in Manenberg.

The next 10 years saw the Struggle gather momentum from defiance to open confrontation that eventually tsunamied into freedom under the magisterial Nelson Mandela.

I retired as school principal in 1993.

I reinvented myself through further study that led to my appointment as a teacher trainer at Cape Town College of Education in 1995. Sadly, the then minister of Education trashed teacher-training facilities and reconfigured them into universities of technology.

To me, this was as disastrous as the decision to throw out the existing curricular model known as CNE and replace it with OBE. 

The next time I reinvented myself was the invitation to write the column you are reading now. My belief that we should redefine our relevance attests to my constant involvement with change.

Many of my colleagues on this long journey have passed on. We have third-generation pupils manning our schools as principals and teachers now. Within days of your reading this, I will be 80 years old.

Nothing has changed. The rich still get rich and the poor still get children.

We are exposing chicanery of monumental proportions, running into trillions. At the same time, our president is strutting his election campaign for another shot at the merry-go-round.

So I have decided that I have earned the right to propose the following:

Scrap the election expenses, lies and horse trading. Hand the country to the ANC on a plate.

Then meld all political parties into one opposition. Allow the ANC 10 years of recycling failed crocks, or bring in new non-expertise, with the proviso that we can call a halt as a nation united under the party that gave us political freedom but condemned us to poverty. The opposition would be an amalgam of ALL who did not support the ANC.

The picture doesn’t look good from where I am sitting (pun intended).

But we would be united in getting the trains running again. We could fire up the generators. We could save money by abandoning expensive lawsuits in internecine clap-trap.

As Tom Robbins says in Villa Incognito: “The path to the rainbow is littered with torn-up Lotto tickets and frivolous lawsuits.”