It is with great sadness, yet with high hopes, that I announce my resignation as National Director of QASA and Managing Editor of Rolling Inspiration. Sadness as QASA has been my life for the last ten years, and the magazine one of our major successes. Hopes as I am standing as a candidate for the Independent Democrats (ID) in April’s elections, in position three on the party’s national list.
I have always believed that there should be people with disabilities in all structures, including parliament. And there are – but only in the ruling party. Some excellent legislation has been passed in the last few years, but we are still waiting for that legislation to be successfully implemented. We need representatives of the disability sector in the opposition parties too, in order to bring about the implementation that is so vital to our lives.
That is why the time has come for me to put my money where my mouth is and accept the nomination with the Independent Democrats. Most of you know me well enough by now to understand that I am doing this not for myself, but for you.
I will make it my strategy to develop partnerships and relationships with anyone who is committed to the rights of people with disabilities, no matter what their political affiliations are. I believe it will be healthy to have somebody with leadership, capacity, commitment and conviction on the opposition benches of parliament. I truly believe that I can make a genuine difference to the lives of people with disabilities in South Africa, in a way that is long overdue.
QASA remains an apolitical body, of course, which supports its members regardless of who they vote for and what they believe. Yet the organisation does support my move, on the basis that it is essential that this country has strong leaders from the disability sector in decision-making and lobbying positions.
It is incredibly hard for me to leave QASA. I want to thank my management for standing by me and for accepting the challenge of what will be a difficult transition over the next few months. I will always be there to assist. And of course, I want to thank our members for their continued support; in return, I will always support you.
It’s not yet a fait accompli, of course – the first hurdle is for the Independent Democrats to achieve enough votes to get me in to parliament.
Among many other quotations written in the interests of minority groups, the following best illustrates how I feel:
"Protecting the vulnerable from abuse at the hands of the powerful is society’s most sacred task. It articulates a universal “vulnerability principle” – the duty to protect the vulnerable – which is to be the guiding force of society’s quest for justice and righteousness." - Chief Rabbi, Warren Goldstein
I ask for your good wishes, I ask for your support, I ask for your continued friendship, I ask that you continue reading this wonderful magazine, and lastly I ask you, your friends and your family, for your VOTES!
I have not said “goodbye”, but hopefully “hello” from another platform, from which I will do everything in my power for the cause of disability in South Africa and for the betterment of your lives.