Manyi and Gasa almost made history
I got really excited yesterday. I was taking my tea break in the morning and decided to have a look at Twitter. Two of the people that I follow were at loggerheads. The one is Nomboniso Gasa, a researcher, writer and political analyst and the other is ex-Cabinet spokesman, Mzwanele (previously known as Jimmy) Manyi who also recently launched the Decolonization Foundation. These two, who are clearly not very happy with each other, were discussing a lifestyle audit. I immediately took a keen interest.
The previous day they had a heated discussion that involved many issues and accusations. Ms Gasa floated the idea of a lifestyle audit and Mr. Manyi accepted, albeit tacitly.
Of course, a one-sided audit was never going to fly and Ms. Gasa posted the following Twitter chain, trying to thrash out the terms of a parallel audit.
Initially, Mr. Manyi took the bait, but with the proviso that other parties, less favourable (in his opinion) to Ms. Gasa be involved. He specifically mentioned Mr. Piet Rampedi.
At this point, I was jumping up and down in my seat. Imagine this, South Africans with differing viewpoints agreeing on the need for transparency and openness and offering themselves as sacrificial lambs to lead the way. Wow, I was envisioning this as the start of improving political discourse in SA, the start of talking to each other and not at each other, the placing of openness and honesty ahead of political difference.
Many people liked this idea (well 61 by today) and some people started tweeting under the #GasaManyiAudit hashtag. My excitement was growing.
Unfortunately, by yesterday afternoon, the audit was off. Mr. Manyi seems to have folded after calling Ms. Gasa’s bluff. The disappointment! These two people for whom I have much respect were about to create history and then … it was to be no more.
However, I retain hope and hence this blog. Maybe with enough pressure from social media, commentators and colleagues, this process can be resurrected. What is key though is that the right parties are found to produce this audit, parties that are seen as independent and are acceptable to both candidates. The parties should also really be willing to do this pro-bono. This lifestyle audit should be seen as more that settling a personal score between two people, but rather as a public service, moving our political discourse in a positive direction.
I therefore request the following, if you are interested in a parallel lifestyle audit between Mr. Manyi and Ms. Gasa:
- Tweet under the #GasaManyiAudit hastag to build awareness and pressure;
- Contact Mr. Manyi (@KrilaGP) and Ms. Gasa (@nombonisogasa) on Twitter or directly and ask them to proceed; and
- If you are a reputable and independent auditing firm, please offer your services on a pro bono basis to Mr. Manyi and Ms. Gasa directly.
Do you think that lifestyle audits of politicians, political commentators, business people and others would improve our political discourse and reduce the risk of corruption? If so, please throw your voices behind #GasaManyiAudit and let’s make history.
In the mean time, keep your talking straight!