Columns 25.5.2018 08:15 am

I had a dream of a beautiful and good SA…

Picture: iStock

Picture: iStock

Please, fellow South Africans, at least try to give my ‘laatlammetjie’ daughter the country I wanted for her brother 24 years ago.

The lovely Snapdragon is right: I’m ugly on the inside too.

It is to be expected. I’m a South African, after all.

Don’t get me wrong. I know many South Africans who are sterling people. Some of my countrymen compare well with the best the rest of the world can offer.

But overall? Let’s be honest: we live in a country where sons hack their parents apart using the family axe, where we call ourselves prophets and kill each other and hide the bodies in caves.

The taxman is investigated, we are in the bottom 10 on the competitive rankings, one of our provinces is officially falling apart and our showpiece city’s mayor is involved in a legal battle where the c-word is flung around. (I’m talking about corruption, not the other, almost as bad c-word.)

The former president’s son has to pay a fine for hate speech, racial intolerance abounds and many, many of our municipalities are bankrupt.

And there aren’t even AB de Villiers Test centuries to look forward to, to ease the pain. What on earth happened to the dream of a Madiba-inspired Rainbow Nation? It can’t be completely gone, can it?

It’s important to me to know, because as the lovely Snapdragon must realise by now, despite my alleged ugliness, my dreams are as innocently beautiful as a wholesome teenage girl.

I dream of a country where there is no need for sports quotas to offend anyone because we have a level playing field. Where we have teams compiled of players supported by the entire country.

At the dawn of the so-called New South Africa in 1994, I was a young man with optimism in my heart and hope in my eyes.

I dreamed of my son living in a perfect, harmonious South Africa when he grew up. Today, he is 24 and he lives in a country where internet fibre is deemed more important than moral fibre.

But I also have a laatlammetjie daughter. She is only one and was born in a place where corruption is the national sport and fidget spinners are seen as educational toys. Dare I dream of a great country in her future?

Please, fellow South Africans, that little girl got the wrong end of the stick – the poor thing looks like her dad. At least try to give her the South Africa I wanted for her brother.

Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell

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