Koos Kombuis

A freedom charter for our time

2016-06-29 14:44

The Struggle is not over yet.

It is the 1980s all over again.

We are, once more, a nation in revolt against a cruel and unfair regime.

In the 1980s, it was black against white.

Now, it is the civil society of South Africans against a small group of politicians who are trying to steal our country.

The regime is trying to tell us that this is an ethnic struggle. It is not.

It is an ETHIC Struggle.

It is not a Struggle of black against white, or white against black.

It is a Struggle of integrity against corruption.

It is the duty of all moral South Africans to stand up against the present injustice.

Though this present oppression is not the same as the oppression of the 1980s, the oppressors are using the same methods as their predecessors.

They are clamping down on news coverage.

They are intimidating, with violence and other measures, those who stand up against them.

They are taking steps to ensure that free and fair elections would be impossible.

They are appointing people loyal to their own cause in key positions of authority.

They are creating scapegoats to take the blame for their own failures (apartheid, Jan van Riebeeck, the EFF, whoever comes in handy).

They are siphoning away money and resources to the detriment of infrastructure and effective service delivery to the majority of the people.

They are creating oppressive and restrictive legislation to stifle free trade and freedom of speech.

Not only are their methods of operation similar to those of the past, but also the effect these measures have on society.

Such as: a declining economy.

Rampant poverty.

Increasing lawlessness and disorder.

Collapse of family structures and social cohesion.

An increase in seemingly random killings (such as the murder of farmers and community leaders).

Bribery and double standards.

Et cetera, et cetera.

How are we, as South Africans, supposed to respond to this steady erosion of our basic freedoms and our dignity?

ONE. We must work towards more cohesion in our communities and social circles.

TWO. This is no time for petty arguments. The battle for the supremacy of one Afrikaans dialect in our universities should not be on our list of priorities right now. There are much more serious, much more urgent issues to address.

THREE. When the day arrives to vote, we must go and vote. Whatever the weather. Even if you mistrust the electoral system: vote, vote, vote. Even a vote for the status quo is better than no vote. A high voting percentage will strengthen our democracy.

FOUR. Teach your children to refrain from all forms of racism, prejudice and stereotyping.

FIVE. Make efforts to obtain information about what is really happening in the country and strive to bypass censorship and news blackouts.

SIX. However strongly you may feel about your own political stance, try to respect the opposing views of others, even if they don’t respect your views. Don’t fight your fellow South Africans, fight that which you believe to be the lie.

SEVEN. Strive towards peace, and avoid disorder. Project your anger creatively. Do not allow your rightful anger to descend into anarchy and uncontrolled fury.

EIGHT. Participate ion debates. For as long as the internet is free – and it probably won’t be free forever – talk, listen, read, inform, share your views, be open tio other views. This is the essence of democracy. This is the way to build an open and tolerant society.

NINE. Think for yourself. Believe that South Africa is a worthwhile place to live in. Hold your head up high and say: “I am a South African – I will not be intimidated, I will not lose my faith in this country, I will work and feel and be an authentic person in an authentic country, no matter how much chaos erupts around me, no matter how disillusioned I am tempted to feel, no matter how many truths have been withheld from me and how many lies I have been told.


Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.



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