In 1992/3 my late uncle General Tienie Groenewald was in the thick of the news. Not long before he went to the late General Constand Viljoens home to convince him to enter politics. They, with two other Generals, united most of the divided Afrikaner nation and potentially had the power to thrust SA into war. So someone from my family was intricately involved in the miraculous political transition of South Africa and he was a founding member of what later became the FF+. As a result of his journey he met former President Nelson Mandela and many of the other prominent role players at the time, regularly.
I remember rushing to his home with a friend many Sunday evenings just to hear about what happened that week, who he met and what he thought of the other players in our political saga. The early 1990’s were tense, especially as we neared 1994 with a decision looming of either entering a peaceful process of elections or staying outside it and taking planned steps towards resistance, even war. I can explain to you how close we were to the latter option, which would have resulted in a very different SA today. Here is an interview I did with the General before his passing: (listen here)
At the time and as an ignorant youngster I wanted to enter politics, but something inside stopped me. And, as a wise man taught me: “It is one thing to be right yet another to be the right time”.
I guess somehow this experience and other special ones that I wont share here put politics in my blood. But, I suppressed that desire and haven’t had an aspiration for it since. While my interest remained, there was no way I would join any party – left, middle or right.
What also happened was that a curiosity for quality leadership and proclaiming it through media became one of my passions. Over the past 20 plus years I have met and interviewed for various media platforms many leaders including former Presidents and leaders of most opposition parties – Jacob Zuma, Kgalema Motlanthe, Tony Leon, Helen Zille, Mmusi Maimane, Julius Malema, Terror Lekota, Bantu Holomisa, Patricia De Lille, John Steenhuizen and others. I did it to further our leadership understanding and then share learnings – it has been very informative, leading to many articles and a few leadership books. But, perhaps, subliminally it was also to search for a political home. I am on record for writing much about many of these leaders and in some cases their parties. I wrote several years ago about the best option for SA being a healthy ANC, if only it was that simple… (read here)
I wrote – seven years ago – about what I believed was necessary to heal our race wounds – (read here) .
I have written…written…and written.
Then, a few weeks ago, on his birthday and just before the launch of ActionSA, I interviewed Herman Mashaba for at least the third time – peviously as a businessman, then as Mayor of Johannesburg and recently as the founder of People’s Dialogue and now ActionSA. (view here)
Earlier this year though, I had a meeting with the Interim National Chairperson of ActionSA Michael Beaumont and he asked if joining their movement would be something I would be interested in. My answer was a hesitant but fairly firm no because I was trying to be part of the solution from outside politics. However, interviewing Herman Mashaba this last time did something for or to me. That original desire resurfaced. It somehow made me realise something I have known for some time, that time has run out – you will sense this in my articles above. We or I cannot sit on the fence anymore, politically speaking. We need a miracle. We…I need to move, put my stake in the ground and do what I can…now! And so I prepared this message: (read here)
So this is a shortened version of my journey back to politics. But this time its not just politics, it’s a mission of joining like minded South Africans in saving South Africa. I don’t subscribe to the current culture of politics where citizens seem to serve, and in some cases worship, politicians rather than the other way around; where politicians treat citizens like idiots that can be manipulated for their own short term gain; where the politics of divide, destroy, disrupt and distract rule; where democracy seems to stop after ones sacred vote was cast and citizens lose control of who exactly leads them. Politics is a journey and opportunity for service and accountability, not one of becoming connected and then leveraging that position for selfish gain. It is authentic public service and not public abuse disguised as public service.
I am not ideal for politics. But, perhaps we need “not so ideal for politics” people to also raise their hands. Many “politicians” – mostly all over the world – have failed us. Let those with the right motives and talents step forward and lead from where they stand. A part of me may have believed the deceptive notion that there is no place for white South Africans – including Afrikaners – in politics. This is false! Forget politics. Remember service to public. Remember, time is up. Remember what a beautiful and magnificent country this once was and can again become. Remember that we are all human and equal; that we are all South Africans; that our level of unity will determine our level of success. Lets do this! Its time for Action…Action… and Action!
To join the ActionSA Party, click here