History will judge the so-called leaders who misled the people of Vuwani harshly.
On the other hand, by giving up their right to vote, the people are equally guilty for allowing themselves to be misled.
Unfortunately for them, August 3 2016 is gone forever.
They have no idea what they lost this week. For one day, they were on an equal footing with everyone, including the president.
They had the same right he has and the same power he possesses, but no, they allowed someone to dictate to them what they should do.
Enjoying a day of sport is good from time to time, but Wednesday was not a sports day; it was an election day.
They lost their voice and they lost the right to choose leaders who will take their mandate forward. They had the power to determine if they wanted to go back to Makhado or remain in Malamulele.
If the president could stand in a long queue to cast his vote, why was it so difficult for them to do the same?
If a 101-year-old woman could queue and cast her vote, what was their excuse? How will their refusal to vote benefit them?
They are no different than someone who trades his or her birthright for a bottle of whiskey. When the whiskey is finished, what then?
We should all weep for the people of Vuwani because they have chosen the wrong path, one that will lead them nowhere.
Is it amnesia, tribalism or pure hatred that led them to decide to boycott the vote?
Did they forget the sacrifices that other people made for them to have that right?
They are living in a democratic state that gave them a democratic right, which put them on an equal footing with everyone, but they decided not to use it.
Vuwani needs rebuilding and election day was a firm foundation for that.
Schools have been burnt down and children there are worried about their future, but their parents are playing games.
As for the so-called leaders, they could have campaigned as independent candidates if they felt so aggrieved by the way things are run, but they didn’t choose that option either.
They used their twisted influence incorrectly by leading people to a dark hole of despair.
They could have campaigned for a political party that they thought would serve the interests of the people, but no, they didn’t choose that option either.
These are the kind of leaders who are gambling with the lives of the people.
They don’t care about anyone but themselves. Unfortunately for them, they are living in a democratic state; their dictatorial tendencies will not see the light of day.
Something must be done to rescue Vuwani, and it must be done soon.
South Africa is not a banana republic and what’s happening in Vuwani is affecting the citizens of this country. Lawlessness cannot be allowed to persist the way it does in that area.
There are about 40 000 people who registered to vote in Vuwani, but less than 1 600 made their mark, according to the Independent Electoral Commission.
There have been reports of acts of intimidation that required intervention by the police to restore sanity.
It is unfortunate that men and women in that area allowed themselves to be passive citizens to the detriment of their children.
It is now up to government to provide leadership.
Freedom and responsibility are intertwined. What happened in Vuwani is an abuse of freedom without taking any responsibility.
The governing party and the opposition parties could not infiltrate the area. They tried to campaign there, maybe a little too late.
It is now up to the state to restore calm in Vuwani.
Skade is a social commentator