This, the fourth and final chapter in the apocryphical series: “The Freedom Charter Files,” is called: The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!
Like the American television series the X-Files, the Freedom Charter has a sinister and creepy undertone: “The Truth is Out There.” Unfortunately the Truth is not contained within the Charter. So, heed an X-Files slogan: “Trust No One.”
Hello, kiddies! Yebo, it’s time again for another look into that remarkable moment in this country’s history – when your ancestors, forefathers, forebears, foreskins, and other forerunners of freedom gathered in the tiny hamlet of Kliptown. In this chapter of our story, the Elves and Dwarfs are still hard at it – trying do outdo one another in proposing the most far-fetched demands in the Kingdom and in the galaxy. (That means in the whole universe and beyond. Even on the Moon.)
“Comrades,” began the chairman, “if you don’t sit down and keep quiet, I shall be forced to call you to order. And you know what will happen then, don’t you?”
The Elves and Dwarfs knew; they’ve all read Freedom Fabrication Chapter 2, so they settled down immediately.
“The lekgotla is now in session,” said the chairman. (lekgotla; from the ancient Bongo-bongo language, meaning: the place of sleeping, free food, and booze)
“Heita! Nou, ek wil weet dae ding,” cried an angry little dwarf, named Jubbie, from Naboomspruitfonteindamvlakte. “Why do we Elves and Dwarfs sleep in the kasi when the settlers sleep in big houses and live on huge farms? At night the music from the shebeens, and the tsotsi’s racing with their BMW’s, is giving us no peace. That’s why my firstborn son is named No Peace. And my second son. And all eighteen my sons. All named No Peace. Why do the settlers own the mines, and the big houses, and the courts, and the tennis courts, and the roads without the potholes, and the streetlights, and ADT signs on their gates, and schools that teach the children, and the good hospitals, and the electricity, and the running water? Huh?”
“That last paragraph has 729 characters, with spaces,” thought Jubbie nostalgically, “enough to take my breath away.” (From the title track: Take My Breath Away by Berlin. Writers: Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock.)
“But that’s not all,” Jubbie continued: “You also get that our people have been robbed of their birthright to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and equality!”
“Hoor! Hoor!” shouted a quaint looking elf – sitting in front – who was wearing his T-shirt back-to-front with the FF+ emblem emblazoned on the back.
“Hamba, mulungu!” said the chairman, “You call me a hoor one more time and I’ll have you arrested for racism. Jubbie was referring to crimes of the Gnat government. Go back to Orania! Bloody agent.”
“Maaifoedies!” he mumbled, as he left. Right! Left! Right! Left! He left. (Although he was actually from the far right.)
Suddenly, a loud voice rang out!
“I’ve got it!” shouted a skinny little elf from the middle of the hall.
“What? The Ultimate Demand in the universe?” asked the chairman (who was in fact, NOT a man at all, but a female Troll in disguise.) But that is not important right now.
“No, I just caught this amagundwana that brought me good luck!” cried the skinny one, hold up a smiling rat.
“Sugai, wena! Leave with Piet!”
But, as the skinny little elf got up to leave, a light shone down on him from the heavens, and he said in a loud screechy voice; like a broken vuvuzela: “The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!”
“WOW!!! At last! That is it! The Ultimate Demand! Give him the Label! The Blue One!” the comrades went crazy.
And so, here follows his demands (my notes in brackets):
All cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands. (When last have you been to a public library? Books are stolen and damaged, and new books are not procured by libraries; due to a lack of funds.)
The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace. (Shouldn’t the aim of schooling be to give the children a quality education with emphasis on maths, science, and useful subjects? And Peace? Are the Elves and Dwarfs finally sleeping in Peace in the kasi?)
Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children. (The quality of education, the standard of teaching, and the ability and proficiency of the teachers is at such a low level that the children DO receive equal education – equal to some of the lowest in the world.)
Adult illiteracy shall be ended by a mass state education plan. (The plan is to keep the children illiterate while they are still at school – and then teach them to read and write once the become adults.)
The colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be abolished. (The coloured bars have been closed and replaced with sports bars, gay bars, sushi bars, and shebeens. And, yes, education has been abolished.)
And that, my dear piccaninis, brings us to the end of this inciting chapter of The Freedom Charter.
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