PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS: AN OUTSIDER LOOKING IN.
The personal is political is a term coined by Feminist and writer Carol Hanisch’s essay titled “The Personal is Political”. Here is a bit of history on the term. THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL
I have decided to reverse the order of the words, “The political is personal” to investigate how politics only matter when it is “personal”, and when I say personal, I mean when it is a certain type of person.
The National Parliament of South Africa connotes dignity, regulation, procedures – all these lovely terms. Yet, there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to the elite. When it comes to the word “foreigner” or “immigrant”, elitism and classism
When the elite, like the Guptas, exactly the Guptas, have not followed procedures, they are excused. “It’s okay, sweetie , you made an oopsie”. That’s what you get when you rich and “add VALUE to the country”. Yet, when normal civilians from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana etc do not follow procedures, they get a “That’s what you get for being a foreigner”. Despicable, is it not?
I am sitting in the briefing by the Ministers of Home Affairs, Finance and the Director General of the Department of Home Affairs. We, the loyal citizens of South Africa (journalists), are being briefed on Home Affairs naturalization of the Gupta family. Funny enough, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Finance are not present. The Minister of Finance is overseas and the Minister of Home Affairs “had prior arrangements and unfortunately, could not attend”. This is Section 5(a) of Deflection; at its pinnacle. Much like the procedures at Home Affairs when it comes to the type of “foreigners”.
The people who should be held accountable are not here. Maybe to protect the Guptas, just like their actions of granting the beloved family permission was beneficial to the Guptas. This is absurd! Why do we continue the meeting when the people who should be held accountable are not here? What purpose does this meeting serve? Futile. I am angry.
The Director General of the Department of Home Affairs is left, stranded to say the least, to answer the questions directed at the two absent Ministers. He is prepared, dressed in a dashing suit with his white shirt and a tie. Ready to be the face of the receiving end of deflection.
Imagine! Political parties charging at you for a matter that you should not be held accountable for. In his stress, (not that i feel any sorry for him), the Director-General explains the legalities of Home Affairs, go into great detail of the processes, the procedures, etc. A law lesson. Finally, he touches on the Guptas.
He explains that the family had been here for 18 years, blah blah blah. In all honesty, I zoned out. For I was thinking of the thousands of applicants from our fellow AFRICAN COUNTRIES who were rejected permanent residency, put through various dehumanizing questions and remarks from the oh so love workers at Home Affairs and then, after all the hell, then rejected and told to “reapply”.
There has been so much focus on this family and the controversies, but all that I can think of is how the “Political is personal”. If you are not someone (by the standards of political structures standards (directly proportional to class and elitism)) then your political needs will not be attended to and you will end up as a mere statistic.
Now, please note this is just my thoughts on things. Otherwise, I will be writing more and more (hoping that my sub-par writing will improve), this is just Stella (me, Sisipho) getting her groove (writing/blog) back!