🔒 Boardroom Talk – RW Johnson: What we already know about SA’s 2024 Election

By Alec Hogg

Although Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is the one quoted most often, even a century and three quarters later, there’s much for our species to reflect on from the equally concise address (701 words) by the US’s greatest president at his second inauguration (click here).

Lincoln’s driving force as president was to incorporate as citizens the one-eighth of Americans who were black slaves and concentrated in the Southern states. He realised that ending slavery was imperative to sustain the US’s democracy, which many forget was globally very much an experimental governance system in the mid-1800s.


While chatting with a German business associate yesterday, it struck me that securing democracy in his country required two world wars. France needed a bloody revolution. The US suffered a protracted civil war, while my own nation’s struggle to eject Apartheid took decades. Getting power to ‘We The People’ is no easy path.

This makes it baffling to see so many of my fellow citizens, led by controllers of Pretoria’s levers of power, siding with those on the other side. Suddenly, ‘The West’, where freedom and democracy are the norm, is painted as SA’s enemy. Autocratic, theocratic and communist regimes where elites rule, get positioned as fast friends.

This begs the critical question of what truly motivates such ‘other-sidedness’ among those currently ruling our Young Democracy.



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