Celebrate those speaking truth
TRUTH can be as rare in politics as it is in business or life generally. But this should not be as it is ultimately the cornerstone of progress, the bridge to a bright future, the friend of our children’s children. Those brave enough to open their mouths to speak it should be celebrated as fundamental patriots, as freedom fighters in the truest sense.
Tragically many are not. And certainly not now in this country by those who are supposed to be our leaders.
Instead we see truth-tellers pilloried and hounded by the worst type of liars and sellouts. Those South Africans who are prepared to be steadfast in truth – and make no mistake, they are there in their numbers – are having to do so in the full knowledge that they could pay a high price.
They are after all, on a collision course with people willing to sell-out their own grandchildren, not to mention override the legacy of a liberation movement and the viability of an entire nation.
The frequent and brazen way in which our truth-tellers are being victimised is appalling. Men and women of integrity are being swept aside from the top to the bottom levels of government.
They are fired from public office in full view of citizens and if there is an explanation at all, it is ridiculous.
Truth-tellers are threatened with death, labeled as spies, punched in their faces, intimidated in their own homes, ridiculed from official platforms by shrieking sycophants or at public venues by the son of President Jacob Zuma.
Some truth-tellers are dead. And even the children of truth-tellers are threatened.
The records show all of this in full, excruciating detail. We would fail ourselves and those who have been victimised for the sake of principle and nation if we were to choose to look away.
But truth does not exist in a vacuum. It has a trajectory. Lies have one too. Truth moves upward towards clarity, lies spiral downward into a muddle. It’s that simple.
And those who “choose the lower road” befuddle themselves in a fog of delusion, sometimes to the point of losing balance and toppling over.
This tends to be accompanied by a cacophony of panic, one usually proportional to the size of the deception.
This is what is playing out in KwaZuluNatal right now. The ANC in the President’s own home province is so splintered and directionless that the top six have to fly in to try to fix a problem that has been years in the making.
It is a sham. One that will lead who knows where.
It is at such moments of great uncertainty that even quiet words from those who speak truth, resonate with immense impact and offer hope and a sense sanity.
Such was the affect of the words spoken by the longstanding ANC member Sipho Pityana at a Dispatch Dialogue in East London on Wednesday night.
Without a bodyguard or blue light brigade in sight, he had the courage to stand up and call out his own leadership for what they are – complicit in one way or another in cooking up the monstrous pot of corruption that is now boiling over in our nation.
Pityana is a patriot. He sets a fine example. He should be celebrated. That’s the simple truth.