Tuesday, November 22, 2011

6,418 Days of Freedom. Now it's gone in a puff of smoke

On 27th April 1994, South Africa elected the first democratic government in our history. 6418 days later, that same government, despite the outspoken opposition of newspapers, trade union groups, civil society organisations and prominent individuals, a bunch of criminals (also known as MPs) passed legislation that effectively wipes out the ability of journalists to tell the truth about politicians and public figures.
We wouldn't have learnt about the corrupt dealings of people like Mac Maharaj and his boss' "financial advisor", Shabir Shaik, and his boss, Jacob Zuma. The dubious lifestyle of Julius "fork and knife" Malema would not have been so easy to expose, and the Travelgate affair, where these criminals (also known as MPs) defrauded the taxpayer out of airline tickets and other travel perks.
Why did they pass the bill? For reasons of "State Security" (puleez!). The same reason put Nelson Mandela behind bars for decades, and had thousands of ANC members tortured and killed under Apartheid. But now that members of the ANC are busy plundering the country of its wealth for their own pockets, their lip service to press freedom has been exposed, as they try to hide their nepotism, cronyism and corruption.
What the idiots in government forget is that there is not such thing as a secret on the internet. So it will be interesting to see how they plan to prosecute WikiLeaks or other international whistleblower sites when information does get out. And the suppression of it in the local media won't last long when they can point to other sources out of the reach of our tinpot dictatorship.
What worries me is that under this "cloak of secrecy" the civil servants and low-level party officials will believe they can get away with more corruption than before. Only the "bigger fish" will be exposed while all of the "smaller fish" will gobble up the resources of the country, and the poor will continue to suffer.

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