Daily Dis­patch

Cel­e­brate those speak­ing truth

Daily Dispatch - - Opinion -

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.

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