I just want to reflect on the session about conflict resolution that we had with Berenice the other day. For me, personally, it was an eye - opener indeed. It led me to think back at those days and situations were I had behaved irrationally or even said some things which I was not supposed to have said in the first place. The session centred around the issue of dealing effectively with conflict.Berenice highlighted some of the salient features of a conflict, i.e. the style of a conflict can be about to compete, withdrawal or avoidance, accommodating, compromising and collaboration. All these styles have in themselves their in- grained results. For instance, in competing you win and the other party wins, when you accommodate you loose and the other party wins. Finally when you collaborate you create a win – win situation where everybody becomes happy.
This issue of effective conflict resolution is very important to me. For starters, I love South Africa very much though I cannot claim to be a “proudly South African”. Whatever that phrases is supposed to mean! Anyway I am interested in the way in which the political developments have been unfolding in the country. I must say that the ruling party occupies a very precarious if not significant position in uniting the divided public and nurturing the young democracy. What is happening in the ruling party raises more questions than answers. The succession debate is more about personalities than the interests of the country at most. Does South Africa deserve a President who has a dark cloud hovering above his head? What about the vehement pronouncements that had been made in the public domain in the name of a person like Jacob Zuma. I am well aware of the moral- highground talk about “not guilty until found so by the court of law”. But we are talking here of the most powerful position in the country. What kind of messages are we sending to the business community, the global community? What does this say about our moral values? Hhmm! Much food for though on this one I guess. I pose this question to anyone who is concerned about what is happening in the country. Is the recent conflict, and the tone that it is taking the tonic for South Africa’s burgeoning democracy. Is it about individuals’ insatiable hunger for power? You make your own decision and tell me …period