SONA2015 – Aftermath: What Are You Doing On Monday, 16 February 2015 09:00?

While SONA2015 was collapsing into chaos, I was scouring social media for a feel of our nation’s temperature.  One tweet had been retweeted almost 30 times in a very short period: “The time has come for a soldier to march to demand Zuma resigns. Monday is coming”.  I retweeted and added, #MondayIsComing and #DropEverythingOnMonday

I don’t know why this tweeter picked Monday as D-Day, but it was out there already.  The idea was surprisingly popular. So I went into the tweeter’s profile and discovered that he was serious when he spoke about soldiers marching.  He’s got a strong association with the Defense Force.  I followed him, asked him to follow me back (I’m ex military).  He then vanished.

So I began speculating on what had just happened.  Did someone warn him to drop the idea?  Was he plotting something he suddenly realized needed to be kept top-secret?  I say it’s the first issue.  His “common sense” kicked in, his blood cooled down and he dropped the idea.

Either way, the ANC-led government now knows with increasing certainty that we’re wimps.  They know that there is no action so bad, no state of affairs so severe, no injustice so great, that it will cause South Africa to rise up.  We’re scared.  We don’t think anyone else has our back.  The law doesn’t allow for sudden mass gatherings, and we’re law-abiding citizens.

In the face of all this, I ask you: what are you doing on Monday?  What could be so dreadfully captivating?

Because on Monday, I would love to go to my nearest City Hall at 9am with a placard asking, “Who is the new president?” and in a smaller font, “Who is the new Parliamentary Speaker?”  By Monday, National Assembly would have – by assembling over the weekend, if need be – decided who the next president is.  It might be Ramaphosa but I won’t assume it.  They have until Monday to atone for the many, many sins committed to protect one man from justice.

But that’s possible only if you’re in and you believe in your power to change things.  So what are you doing on Monday?

What South Africa saw last night wasn’t entertainment, though it may end up on CNN’s entertainment section as has happened before.  Last night was proof that a Mafia-like organization loots public funds, resources, powers and systems for its own benefit.  What are you doing on Monday?  I submit that your time would be better spent pushing back.  That if you tolerate this much longer, you send a message that it’s okay.

On Monday I would like to sit outside my nearest City Hall, taking shifts with whoever else shows up, picnicking peacefully, with an umbrella, sunscreen and protest signs.  Call me a dreamer, but I would love to send out tweets hashtagged #OccupyCityHall DBN and see replies hashtagged #OccupyCityHall JHB and PMB.  On Monday, I would really, really like to feel like this country matters and people care.  Do they?  Do you?  What are you doing on Monday?

On Monday, I would like to see people struggle to find parking in the CBD areas, and then deciding to just leave their cars in the street to come occupy City Hall.  Call it a dream, but what if every city hub came to a standstill until the next president and parliamentary speaker was announced?  Because a congestion that big would put pressure that intense.  I didn’t choose Monday.  Someone else did.  I’m just saying, look: if enough people decide on it and spread the message and commit, Monday could be the day we stop complaining about it and start fixing it.

What are you doing on Monday?  Are you working?  Seeing a client?  Attending a lecture?  A breakfast meeting?  Your weekly briefing?  What’s your excuse?  Is it too soon?  Is it impossible?  How many excuses do you have, and how many scornful disguises do they take to hide you from the prospect of discovering just how much or how little power you have?  Are you afraid to do something about the state of the nation?  Is that too much responsibility for you?  So you agree with government that you should only have power and citizenship on paper?  If so, then Monday will flop because South Africans are a flop.  What are you doing on Monday? 

One girl said she’s working.  But we won’t have jobs for much longer.  She said she’ll leave the country. With the value of the Rand plunging, she’s left it too late.  Look, if not 9am then later in the day or the day before.  Or support strongly on social media.  But do something.

If you’re not standing, who will?  If not now, when?  If not this way, then which way?  When the Constitutional is optional, processes are sidestepped, MPs are punched and arrested for nothing; when the signal gets cut in National Assembly and armed forces – police or parliamentary, Mbete Almighty only knows – are called into a sanctuary that was built on the promise to be the bastion of democratized civilization no matter what, then what is left to negotiate about?

What are you doing on Monday?  What are you doing on Monday?  What are you doing on Monday?

This won’t be a Polokwane and Mangaung.  The Party’s had a chance to elect a leader.  It’s enough of that, now.  Monday is coming.  When it’s here, I want my first tweet to read, “Thank God it’s Monday”.  Tweet it out: Monday.  City Hall.  9 am.

Let me know about Monday.


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