I sat on 22 November “Black Tuesday” in a pension fund board meeting that looks after roughly 40 000 lower LSM South Africans and much to the irritation and dismay of my board members I was glued to my twitter feed from @EWNreporter and other reputable journo’s present at the passing of the Secrecy bill.
I could not help but think of the fact that the people we were spending the day ensuring their futures are safe financially (who feed roughly 5 people for each person employed so more than 200 000 people) had voted in a party that was in the process of taking away one of the most important rights I have as a free citizen.
Suddenly my entire body filled with anger!
About two months ago I wrote an article about this bill and the danger it poses, needless to say as a rather unknown blogger I didn’t have much impact on parliament. Despite my pre-warning, yesterday the bill was passed in a house that looked and sounded like a cross between a zoo and a kindergarten playground based on the behavior of most ‘elected officials’
Yesterday as I burnt with anger, my soul filled with sorrow, because as hard as the founders of the ANC fought for freedom (in every sense of the word), crowned in a way by Nelson Mandela’s famous words in 1997 “Press freedom would never be under threat in South Africa for as long as the ANC is the majority party” I realized that the dream they had realized was being pissed on by the new ANC, the ones who want the money, the ones who want ultimate power, the ones who behave like ANIMAL FARM!
We have worked so fucking hard in this country for a bunch of corrupt cowards to erode away at it and we have so many devastatingly serious problems without our government being able to hide their disgusting abuse of power behind the shadows in the name of national security. National security, HA! What fucking national security do we have and what national security do we really need that is so important to be able to black out any transgression the government choose.
I hear the hopefuls saying this isn’t the end of the fight, and when I re-watched Lindiwe Mazibuko speak on behalf of the DA I began to cry. She managed to stay so calm and so poised when all others were ready to take to the streets. She spoke with such still power and harrowing words that the reality of what had just happened sunk in. In that moment as I sat fearing the worst, I listened to minister after minister (of all races and colours and genders) speak from the heart and then get booed and hissed at by an ANC that would have disgraced its forefathers.
To echo Lindiwe “let the message ring out from this house across South Africa: the ANC has abandoned the values of its foundations exactly 100 years after it was founded”
The sad thing is, I think most of parliament doesn’t care really, they’re like spoiled brats in a sweet store. They want to stuff their fat faces full of as much chocolate as they can while they can and everyone else can clean up the mess they leave behind.
While I don’t share the panic quite to the extent of some of my facebook friends suggesting tickets to Oz are the only answer, I do share the deep sorrow every journalist around this country must feel today and I hope that this is not the end of this fight.
I hope someone, someone other than a rather unknown blogger, has the strength to push this fight as far as it needs to go because if we don’t, if we allow a wave of darkness to cover what ever wrongdoings it sees fit, then my fellow South Africans we may never see the light again. The nagging concern in the back of my mind is, sadly our only recourse is the constitutional court . . .
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela