September 19 passed without fanfare, but it was an important date because 55 years ago on that day Sir David Low passed away at the age of 72.
Low was a New Zealand political cartoonist and caricaturist who had the guts to call Adolf Hitler what he was, while Great Britain and many others tried to appease him.
Low stood alone against a popular tide and so his name reminds us that we should always stand up to authoritarianism. He was finally knighted 17 years after Hitler had been defeated and millions had lost their lives.
The media must never abandon the necessary cynicism against those in power, no matter how benign they may seem.
Last week’s issue of The Economist newspaper was dedicated to the renewal of liberalism. To those of us who grew up on the receiving end of apartheid, liberalism is synonymous with white hypocrisy and apartheid apologists.
However, the newspaper explained what it meant by that term: “… a universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reform”.
It’s hard to disagree with that, even for an ardent Africanist like myself.
Dignity is a human right that is often not afforded to most Africans. Sometimes pigs going to the slaughterhouse are transported in far better comfort than black people going to work.
In business I’ve seen how the dignity of black executives is crushed into chads and forced to fit into the stereotype of corrupt and inept, without being given a chance to have their say.
How could I disagree with The Economist when this black government protects monopolies and shuts out small black businesses by creating prohibitive procurement policies that require mountains of money just to get to the qualifying rounds.
I am embarrassed to admit that our black government is so authoritarian it even legislates how parents should raise their children in their homes.
In the past few weeks we’ve seen on social media how lawless children attack teachers in the classroom as well as bus drivers, endangering the lives of passengers in the school bus and other users of the road.
It is painful to see that this black government of ours has shut down the avenues for progress by closing down teacher colleges, which were a route for many people to get into the corporate world.
Unemployment is at an all-time high and instead of getting into the business of creating jobs this black government finds it easier to entertain the nation with theatrics such as the commission into state capture.
Corruption is a crime, so government should send the police to investigate and arrest the criminals.
If our own black government is proving to be worse than the liberals then in the name of Sir David Low I say please stop now … Stop extending the chains of enslavement.
As Wolfgang Goethe said: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
Break free from the bogeyman mentality.
In a country of 50 million people, the blame for all of the state corruption is whittled down to just two foreign nationals. What nonsense is that?
The ANC must just admit that it robbed the bank and gave the getaway car to the Guptas, who then got caught.
We must also admit that South Africa is a nation of outlaws who snatch purses, commit murder and will loot the state if given a chance.
It will be tough before it becomes easy, but we’ll be safe if the media follows in the steps of Sir David Low.