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Bongani Mahlangu
 
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Freedom of Expression on very thin ice

19 September 2012, 08:35

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, MOVEMENT AND ASSOCIATION IN SOUTH AFRICA IS ON THIN ICE


There had been episodes of events in this country which explicitly signaled the black clouds gathering over our constitutional democracy where the bigwig of the ANC suggested that the constitution must be amended for the benefit of liberation leaders who use predatory methods to benefit themselves and their ilk.

The Congress of the People Youth Movement is profoundly appalled by the manner in which police infringed Julius Malema’s rights for freedom of expression in Wonderkop Stadium, Marikana where he was not allowed to address mine workers; nevertheless he is currently investigated by the Hawks to establish as whether his utterances contributed to incitement of violence or not.

These policemen and women are behaving in a barbaric fashion identical to the police system of apartheid regime because their masters integrity deteriorated to the level where they apply political tactics instead of upholding the bill of rights enshrined in our constitution, for instance the respect for life of a human being is forsaken due to political careers and interests of people who are leading in government and the ANC. Does it mean that when you are expelled from the ruling party you are also deprived of your freedom of expression and association?

This kind of oppressive actions where glaringly experienced in Zimbabwe where the soldiers were used to garner Mugabe’s support by harassing and maltreating the folk of Zimbabweans citizens who were supporting Morgan Tsvangirai as a presidential candidate, unfortunately the police force of South Africa have been militarized and politicized. As one of youth formations in South Africa we wouldn’t be surprised if Malema was already charged with an offense of incitement of violence, but thus far Malema is as free as Minister Mthethwa to address any section of any community.

We are vindicated today of what we said some time ago that the ANC and its led government will forever mistreat people who are not among their ranks because the ANC has the myopic understanding that the liberation was for its leaders, membership and supporters other than the people of South Africa in their diversity, including Julius Malema who used to hurl insults to Congress of the People before he could be expelled by the ANC. Ours is a role to defend the constitution of the country irrespective of conditions and circumstances and who is involved.

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