Recently, I posted a Call to Action in which I offered to take a leadership role on condition that I was given a clear mandate by at least 1000 shares; and a general pledge to support fundraising to implement my proposed plan.
We have passed that threshold and I am humbled by the overwhelming support. A single spark has unleashed a firestorm in the parched grassland of what was once a vibrant democracy filled with the hope of a better tomorrow.
This is what we are now going to do.
I have entered into an agreement with Water Shortage South Africa, a registered non-profit organization (No. 2016/161471/08) in terms of which they will be launching a crowd-funding platform.
The sum is not important, but the act of support is. Your skin in the game makes you a shareholder to the success that we will unlock. I recognize this single crowd-funding platform only, because it is subject to stringent fiduciary control exercised by the Board of Directors.
Any other platform that claims to work with this cause is not legitimate, so please do not contribute there believing that the money will go to our cause. We need a war chest to brief the smartest team of legal minds in the country, because as of today we mean business.
Our business is to draw a line in the sand, through the courts of law, to achieve two defined outcomes:
- Obtain a binding interpretation of Chapter 3 of the Constitution from the Constitutional Court. This will create the foundation for all further prosecution, either criminal or civil. The Constitutional Court has consistently acted fairly on behalf of the people, so they are our protection. We embrace them.
- Explore all legal channels to build the strongest case that holds a clearly defined Cadre with executive decision-making competence PERSONALLY liable for decisions made in a way that has disadvantaged us as a collective of tax-paying citizens. This includes failure to act in sanctioning subordinates guilty of maladministration or corruption. This will end the culture of Impunity and establish a personal penalty for non-compliance with fiduciary responsibilities underpinning all executives entrusted to manage the affairs of others (King Code of Corporate Governance). The objective is not necessarily to lock somebody in jail, but it is designed to make the penalty for non-compliance so high that it will cease to be the norm. If jail happens, then that’s the cherry on top, but first prize is behavioural change.
Because I am an African, and now I am your duly mandated leader, I will fight with every fibre in my body to deliver on your legitimate expectations. But it is not my fight, it is our fight. I am your servant, not your master. We are a collective, for that is the way of Africa. I am merely the custodian of your aspirations, so whatever happens to me, also happens to us as a collective. If I bleed, we all feel the pain and when we succeed – as we certainly will – we will all collectively share that victory. Strike one and you strike us all.
Our inspiration comes from Africa, so let me share that with you all. The savannas are home to vast herds of migrating animals like the wildebeest, springbok and zebra. It was among these animals, under the vastness of the heavens between the Okavango and Kalahari, that I gained my early sense of identity. It was there that I realized my significance is derived from being part of a greater whole, for as an individual under that sky I am but an irrelevant speck of stardust. But for those animals, their safety lies in mobility and in numbers. The herd has no leader, but all follow instinctively as one.
The savanna is also home to predators like the lion, wild dog and the hideous laughing hyena. In the Okavango Delta, we find a single pride of lions that is unique, for they have solved the problem that we face today. In the swamps the lechwe and sitatunga have the advantage of water that the lions traditionally hate. To hunt those animals tips the balance in favour of the prey, so the predator has learned to adapt.
We are now following that simple model, for in our democracy everything is against us, except the law. The law is to us what water is to them. In our swamp, we are the prey and the fat-cat elite the predator.
In the Okavango the predator goes for the big prey like buffalo and elephant. Nowhere else in the world do lions regularly bring down buffalo and elephant like those of the Okavango. They do this by the coordination of actions to such an extent, that the whole pride is effectively one single entity.
They do this by being ruthless. They have lost their fear of water and they instinctively know that they are forced to either dominate or perish. They take on a whole herd of elephant or buffalo, and then harass them until one breaks from the protection of the collective.
Then, the big lions systematically bring it down until it is overwhelmed. The smallest then feed. They have an instinct for simple survival that we will now emulate.
This is what we will do. We are the lions of the Okavango. Our teeth and claws are the law of the land, for we are not vigilantes simply baying for blood, with a noose in hand looking for a suitable tree. We crave the justice long denied by a taunting predatory elite that plunders from the prey with impunity.
They have grown fat and lazy, just as we have become lean, hungry and focused. The roles will now reverse as predator becomes the prey. Our prey are those elected to govern on the collective behalf that choose foolishly to steal our money, poison our water, inflame others with hatred to “liberate our land”, and deny us our democratic rights enshrined in the Constitution.
They foolishly disrespect us. They treat us with disdain as if we are the criminals and they are the victims. But victims we are not, for we are survivors, and seared into our DNA is the primal instinct of Africa from whence we come.
Our cause is just. We fight to win.
To battle we go.
Anthony Turton is a water strategist.
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