What happened to the lofty ideals of BATHO PELE, Minister Fixit?, Newsline

Editor’s Note by Mazwi Xaba

South Africans are good, patient, resilient, peace-loving and law-abiding people.

I was reminded of this while standing in the hot Durban sun queuing to get my car’s licence disc renewed.

Among us was a conspicuous warrior who’d come along armed with a camp chair, a flask bottle, face visor, cap and sunglasses on top of the required fees and documents.

Watching him edge forwards gave me hope.

Hope kept the snaking queue of people of all shapes and sizes lining up to give our government some much-needed money.

The gate was the first hurdle. Once inside the vast premises, where social distancing could be better practised, there was still a penultimate stopover in a tent set up just before the revolving Pearly Gates leading into the air conditioned payment hall.

I got within a stone’s throw of the first gate. And I must confess, throwing something in anger did cross my mind.

To cut a long story short, the gates were locked without so much as a word from inside to us patient and willing taxpayers outside.

The camp chair gentleman, who’d been at the same licensing offices the day before, came within touching distance. Of course, we all could’ve joined those few who forked out “cool drinks” and disappeared from the queue.

After that I understand why those angry Orange Farm residents were threatening to shut down their “useless” local police station.

Minister Fikile “Mr Fixit” Mbalula, what happened to Batho Pele (People First)?

The Independent on Saturday