“I know you will tell your children that you fought for Democracy, but you must also tell them that you fought to destroy it” – Lindiwe Mazibuko.
Black Tuesday. When I awoke this morning and adorned my black clothes, I did not know how significant the Black would be. In my heart, I really believed that sanity would prevail and that the government would let the secrecy bill go, that they would go back to their tenderpreuning, and somehow, let our fragile democracy be. However, here we are a couple of hours later and the country has become immersed in Darkness, Black Tuesday, the symbol of Death.
The information protection Bill, also known as the Secrecy Bill has been Passed. In short, one of the corner stones of democracy, freedom of expression no longer exists. The government now has the power to withhold information from the public as they see fit, we are told that we may apply for access to this information and if the Judiciary deems it fit and necessary we will have access to it.
In a country where people do not have access to water, electricity, sanitation, classrooms, healthcare, we must now apply for access to Information. Mr president, do you hear what you are saying??
October 1997,The ANC was up in Arms again the Apartheid governments banning of local Newspapers that published Steve Biko’s death, Today November 22nd 2011. The government has done the very same thing. Using state powers and resources to further the interests of a Minority.
The media and its practitioners will inevitably face dire consequences for publishing stories of corruption in Government, and other “Information” that the Ruling party thinks should be classified.
I for one, am devastated. I’ve sat through 12 years of formal education and Two years of Tertiary education studying towards a Degree in Journalism in the hope that I will be given the opportunity to give a voice to the people to whom this country really belongs. But today, the ANC has hijacked my Dreams and spat in my face. The ANC has said to me, there is no place for you here, there is no hope for you in this country, this is no longer Your country.
One of my Friends updated his status saying that he did not care about this Bill as he knows that making a noise about this would make no difference, and in that moment. I knew it was over. The government has single handedly taken away the fruits of opportunity, and prosperity that they dangled in front of our eyes for 12 years. The ANC silenced a man that I went to school with, that debated with me in every Life orientation class, a man that never let me have my way unless it was justified, a man who questioned everything, not just me. The ANC has made him say I don’t care any more. He could have been the president, this is what they told us for 12 years.. and now he doesn’t care.
They come to our schools, they hold rallies and give us free computers and tell us that this is our country, that all we have to do is get an education and we can make a difference. Well, here we are , Mr president,educated, ambitious and screwed. There is nothing left for us, we will not inherit this country, the rainbow nation is about to become a distant memory that we will all remember when we see an actual rainbow. What good is it, to say, here you can be whatever you want, but you will never say what you want!
Written 22nd Nov 2011