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Arthur Harding
 
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Response to Brolloks and Bittergal

25 July 2014, 15:05

MR Brollocks I would like the opportunity to respond to your comment you made to me.

“Oh boy, Mr Harding, I cannot tell you what I as a National conscript saw in the Eighties in the Townships.

Thanks for reminding me. (I have forgotten it because I have forgiven, where necessary. I have peace.)

But let me tell you what I and thousands of other fifty year olds saw and experienced in the townships in the eighties as therein lies a lesson for you. Before I do so I must state that we were conscripted and if we refused: Six years jail.

Did I flee the country? No.

Did I and do I pay taxes? Yes.

Here is the truth that you do not know:

My friends and I were shot at by fighting SDU's,

I saw burning corpses of children who died because they were "necklaced" - dowsed with petrol and set alight.

Their sins?

They bought groceries from white owned shops.

Those were the bad days of Apartheid.

Now follows your lesson, please concentrate:

THE APARTHEID GOVERNMENT DID NOT, DESPITE THIS BOMB ANY SCHOOLS IN SOWETO.

They did not send fighter jets to kill children in their own country unlike the Israelis.

For the record I have forgiven and forgotten. I have moved on.

I want SA to work.

I will stay here.”

Firstly you should understand that I have not left SA I’m merely working overseas generally on a rotation basis. Secondly I didn’t design the tax system that now exempts us foreign workers. Thirdly I am contributing a great deal to our economy bringing in foreign currency.

Now even though I wasn’t required to do so I also did my national service as a volunteer, without having to be threatened my choice. I proudly walk around my workplace with a SA flag shown off. I’m sorry if the things you had to experience was so bad really I am. But the fact is you are still wrong sir. Because although the apartheid government didn’t bomb schools, they did send policemen with guns to shoot at children or are we in denial about that.

As for the jet fighters well Gaza belongs to Palestinians so I really don’t know what you mean by that. But seeing as you accuse me of various things including fleeing, let me explain what I have done for this country.

While I was in high school I started volunteering for my local emergency services I did that for three years I ended up writing my matric exams and firefighting exams at the same time. School during the day firefighting training Monday night, Thursday night and Saturdays. In between I still performed volunteer duties at my local fire station.

After school I went to the military one year national service upon leaving the military I first applied for a position at JHB EMS for which I was turned down being told by my station commander that even though I had all the qualifications and passed every test they require they were told to appoint black staff only.

 No problem, I went and worked for a private service for which I worked until 2006.During this time I also served as a SAP reservist. In 2006 I applied with various places to further my studies this time I got told sorry due to limited space for white candidates we can give you place in two years’ time. I then applied to do a course with a company dealing with explosives, on applying I was offered a job in Sudan working for the UN mine action program as a medic where I worked for a year. Upon the end of my contract I again applied with JHB EMS after all the newspaper was full of stories how ambulances stood around cause they had no staff, again I was told the position are AA only.

After that I had various positions doing contract work in Saudi Arabia and Mozambique. I then decided to have a break and qualified as a field guide and spent almost two years guiding . At this point I was approached for a position in Afghanistan where I worked as a 2IC on a private security team. From there I moved to working in Iraq where I’m still working.

Now please keep in mind that in not one of these countries did I actually live I have always worked rotations with a lot of time spent in SA.

Now sir even though I am very proud of what I have achieved in my life so far I merely told you this to give you my story. Now I would like to make it very clear at no point did I leave or “flee” as you put it, I did was necessary to survive or would you rather have another person standing on the sidewalk with a poster begging for you to feed my family??????????

So my point I am making here old man is that you don’t  know me what I have seen and what I have done. So next time you get the urge to accuse someone of fleeing make sure they actually did flee. As for the tax accusation well I didn’t make the rules but funny I don’t hear anybody complaining when the boys working out here dump all that foreign currency back into our economy or would you rather we didn’t contribute????????

Regards

Arthur Harding

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