The ANC has become a monster
Goodbye yesterday. Goodbye memories. I miss the African National Congress (ANC). I miss its old values. Tuesday, November 22 2011, changed everything. We have entered a new but familiar terrain. It is a point of no return for the ANC.
The ANC of old is dead. Long live the monster. The Info Bill was a demonstration of its power. Its message was: "We are in charge. We will do as we please." Indeed it is in power. It did as it pleased. "Who are you to stand in our way?"
The old ANC would never have gone against public outcry. The old ANC respected media freedom. It was not scared of the truth. The old ANC never wanted to be the new Nats. It aspired to be a foundation of new values. Goodbye yesterday.
I waited for Trevor Manuel, Cyril Ramaphosa, Bobby Godsell and other commissioners from the National Planning Commission to bring sanity and words of wisdom to the debate.
Their silence was too loud. Where were our new heroes and heroines? Why didn't they say anything against those undermining the 2030 vision? Was it a case of self-preservation?
It's comforting to hear business people like Gareth Ackerman siding with the constitution. Kudos to ANC MPs Ben Turok and Gloria Borman for refusing to endorse the rebirth of apartheid Draconian laws.
To those who stood outside the Parliament gates, you didn't lose. The ANC lost. In speaking out, our democracy has a future. The real strength of democracy is not in numbers but the courage of the few to stand for reason. Men and women of principle are a rarity in an Orwellian world of conformity. With people like you, our democracy is in good hands.
You didn't lose, my friends. Your cause, for an open and free SA, is mine too. It is a never-ending battle. As Martin Luther King Jr said: "For all of us today, the battle is in our hands. The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one. We must keep going."
We cannot rely on past memories to create a better country. Yesterday is gone. Old friends are no more. Old comrades are the new power brokers. To the new emperors, power is everything. Power is a funny thing. It can reduce even the most sensible of us to a stupid clown. It makes you paranoid. You see ghosts everywhere. You don't trust even your own shadow. Your days are filled with shadow-chasing and ghost -hunting. You lose perspective of what is real or imagined. That is what has become of the new ANC. Goodbye yesterday. Goodbye reason.
The Info Bill symbolises something sinister about old comrades turned new kings. What are they scared of? Who are they hiding from? Why do they need so much protection?
Who will protect us from the thieves looting the state resources? Who will protect us from nepotism, lies and incompetence?
Dr Lucas Ntyintyane
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