Constructive opposition will get you further

2010-09-25 00:00

WHEN it comes to politics, I have always been of the view that opposition parties should not oppose the government and its policies just for the sake of being seen to be taking a different view from that of the government of the day.

I have always urged the likes of the Democratic Alliance, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the Independent Democrats and other less significant parties not just to present an opposition under the guise of looking after the interests of the people of this country, but also to provide constructive alternatives to what has been proposed by the government.

When you oppose just for the sake of doing so, you end up playing the person and not the ball, which is against the rules of the game, and you end up paying the price. Regardless of how noble the cause may have been, the person who decides to take the fall ends up the villain.

“PigSpotter”, the self-proclaimed advocate for the right of motorists to evade law enforcement in Gauteng, who communicates on the social network site Twitter, has caused a buzz around the country.

One just has to look at the more than 19 000 followers whom he attracted with his information on accidents, out-of-order traffic lights and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

PigSpotter volunteers all sorts of information under the gospel that he is a Good Samaritan, making other people’s lives easier, but is he?

I do not have a problem with PigSpotter telling motorists about areas of high traffic volume so that motorists can avoid those areas, just like some of the information boards on the national highways tell us.

However, when he tells people where speed traps are, he is providing them with information that could help them commit crimes or get away with breaking the law, which amounts to being an accessory to a crime.

He is no different to the getaway car driver. He is paving the way for criminals to get away with murder, literally.

However, I also have a problem with the traffic officers who lie in wait with their speed traps as this is a money-making scheme.

South Africans do not know what they want. They want the police to fight criminals but when someone helps them evade the law, which is a criminal offence, they hold him or her high as a hero.

There is a Zulu saying for someone who has done wrong and has to pay for it, like PigSpotter (although I am not sure who the pig is here). The saying goes: Uzozisola usuwedwa ebhoshi. It means that you will regret this when you are alone in the toilet. I have a feeling this will be the case with PigSpotter, although I have a suspicion it will be in a jail toilet and none of his 19 000 followers will be able to get him out of trouble. A bit of advice for him when he gets out of jail — he must try fighting police irregularities through elected representatives or run as one, and not by doing another wrong to make a right. Even three wrongs will not make him a right.

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